Most of the time, I don't really write about my personal life. I will give some stories here and there, but by-in-large I just try to write in a way that will help you to live a better, happier life.
Today's different, though, not because it's bad, but actually because it is very good. And also because it may have some effect on how I do things in the future.
I want to say first that this is necessarily a pretty lengthy post. I hope that you stay around to the end, and I think you'll gain a lot by doing so. I decided to do an article, rather than a video, because I can collect my thoughts better in a written article.
Before I go into the explanation, I will say now that nothing major is changing. I am still blogging. I am still offering spiritual coaching. I am still going to help you, through both these media, to live a happier, more successful, more connected life.
So with that disclaimer out of the way, let me start from the beginning….
My Journey with the Law of Attraction
I've mentioned several times in the past that I used to be really skeptical about the law of attraction. I used to think it was just a selfish way of getting what you want. And well, let's admit it, it often is that way.
But as I began to explore it, and learn how it worked through my own personal experiences, I saw that it was so much more than that. In fact, for several months, I wanted to stop calling it the law of attraction, because I felt that it was so much more than that. But, if someone's searching for law of attraction resources, and I'm here calling it something else, they're not going to discover what I have to say about it. So I kept the name, but hoped to teach the true nature of how it worked.
Then I finally began formulating my Effortless Manifestation Process, which I've been delving deeply into for the last nearly month and a half. In that time, I learned even more about how all this works.
When I write, or do videos, I'm a lot of times learning at the same time. I feel like I tap into something greater, and everything just comes naturally. So, as I saw this whole process come together, piece by piece, I realized a lot more about the law of attraction.
And so, as you all know by now, if you've watched any of those videos, the key is surrender. I mentioned again and again that surrender is the most important step. Then, you just ask, believing that it can be answered, and it will come effortlessly.
Where Most People Go Wrong
I was relatively active on a forum dedicated to the Abraham-Hicks teachings. On that forum, I saw people post again and again that they were having trouble manifesting what they wanted in life. They were often feeling anxious, fearful, or outright doubtful about it.
I realized that though it is said again and again, people often come to the law of attraction thinking that it is a quick process to magic their desires into existence. Say a few affirmations, do some visualization, and the check should come in the mail, right? Then people say it doesn't work because it didn't happen like that.
And so the message I've been trying to emphasize lately is, you're going about it the wrong way. It isn't just a process of doing some actions and saying some words and you get your thing. It is a whole spiritual process of surrender and letting go. If you can't, or aren't willing to do that part of the process, then the process isn't going to work for you.
Is it necessarily such people's fault? I don't think so. I think it's the way that the LOA is marketed. We had The Secret in 2005, which promoted all this as a way to have the life of your dreams. I see all the time on Twitter or on various websites how this one key will force the “universe” to give you what you want.
If instead, teachers of the LOA would say, “Surrender all of your desires, and only then you can have them,” I don't think the LOA would be such a huge hit as it is. People want the easy fix to happiness, and happiness just isn't an easy fix.
I don't mean to rant; I promise I'm getting somewhere with all of this.
So the thing is, that even though many teachers of LOA besides myself have hammered this point home again and again, still the focus is on the “things”. And as all of us have seen, I am sure, focusing on getting “things” will only foster a desire for more “things”. It's a never-ending cycle.
The only true answer is to actually foster a spiritual connection with God. Yes, I'm using that word I often avoid, and I'll explain more later. But once that connection is present, and you are able to surrender unconditionally, then it is so much easier to have those desires granted to you.
Before recent events, my goal was to help you to get your “stuff”. And of course “stuff” can be really nice to have. But don't you see that this is such a limiting perspective? There are so many people who have so much, and yet so few who are truly happy. How much better would it be to be happy and have some nice things?
So in that way, my new goal became to discover the way to peace and happiness. And indeed, that path really is no different. The path to any kind of success, whether spiritual, emotional, or physical, is surrender.
A Refreshing Change
Let me say first that I've had a love-hate relationship with religion. Mostly hate, for the last several years. I've had a lot of really bad experiences with it, so I tried to stay away from it as much as possible.
However, I think I felt a bit alienated from the whole LOA community, not by any fault of theirs necessarily, but because my goals were becoming so different. I felt like they were missing something vital in all of this.
And so this nagged at me for a few weeks. I didn't really plan on doing anything about it, because, what else is there to do?
But recently I was speaking to some Muslims. I've been working on learning Arabic, so it's brought me into contact with a lot of Muslims naturally. During my first lesson with my Arabic teacher over Skype, I was privileged to hear the adhan (call to prayer). I've heard them before, but it was so neat to experience it up close like that, even though it was still over Skype.
If you don't know, Muslims are required to pray five times per day. So, in Muslim countries, the adhan is performed at each respective time to call the city to prayer.
If you've never heard one, check it out below:
Anyway, something about hearing that, and seeing him drop everything right there to pray for a few minutes, was really awe-inspiring. It touched me at a very deep level.
The other thing that struck me was that each one of these Muslims were incredibly kind and generous. My teacher's name for me is “Brother Brandoo”. I was half expecting for them to try to convert me, but none even hinted at it.
Another Muslim I know barely even spoke of religion. He mentioned he was going to Mosque to pray, but that was it. When I suggested I'd love to read the Quran, simply out of innocent interest at that time, he suggested there were English translations out there that I could look at. And, no more mentions of it.
I mention this because I always got such a bad taste in my mouth from certain Christians who would be “concerned” for my soul. But these Muslims just showed kindness to me, which goes so much further than any apparent concern.
Doing the Unthinkable
You have to get a feeling for the struggle I was in at this moment. I had a desire to check out more about Islam, at first merely out of curiosity and to get acquainted with Arabic culture. But very soon that curiosity deepened to profound interest.
At the same time, I swore off all organized religion long ago. It's always spelled very bad times for me, and, after all, I thought I was pretty secure in my own path. In hindsight, I suppose I was wrong there, seeing all that I wrote above regarding my discomfort with the LOA of late.
So I felt, in a very real way, pulled in two directions at once. It was terrifying. Unfortunately (at the time anyway) for me, that pull only became stronger the more I learned.
I had to come to terms with a whole bunch of issues. I won't go into detail with them here, and how I overcame my misgivings, because that could easily fill another post, and that wasn't my intent here. But in short, the issues I had to face were:
- Heaven and hell
- A personal God
- Not having full control over my life (more on this later)
- The rules and regulations
- The cultural differences
These were very real obstacles, and I wish I could go into the story here of how I dealt with them. If you'd like to know, feel free to comment at the end of this post, or contact me privately. I mean that sincerely. I would truly enjoy discussing these things, because it was such a huge obstacle.
But, What About the Law of Attraction?
The biggest thing was, what about this whole LOA thing? I mean, I know I haven't imagined it when it's worked in my life. I've had some truly amazing experiences. I can't just turn around and say that was all nothing.
But you'd be surprised. I actually found a great deal of support for the LOA in Islam. It's not exactly the same, because Muslims don't believe in an impersonal force such as what is called the “universe” in LOA, but other than that it is actually extremely similar. They believe in God, of course which they call Allah (Subhana Wa Ta'Ala), who desires to answer the desires of those who ask. Here is a very good article on the LOA in Islam.
I realized that though it seems we have control, in actuality we must give up that seeming control in the act of surrender. So did we ever have it to begin with? Certainly we can try, but generally it doesn't turn out very well when we do.
That reminds me of something that drew me to Islam the most. The name of Islam actually means submission, or surrender. I found it very fitting for the journey I've been on of late, almost like a culmination of all I have been learning. In fact, any time a Muslim is talking about anything they are planning for the future, they will say insha'Allah (God willing), demonstrating this very principle of radical surrender. I found that so appealing.
And so, if it's not obvious by this point of the post, I decided to convert. Those are still some scary words, but they need to be put out there. My wife Christine also joined me in converting.
I agonized over making this post, because I do not want to accidentally communicate something I don't mean to. I don't want to alienate any of you, my wonderful readers, who have been with me on this journey. That is why I made the disclaimer up top, and do so again.
My desire is, and has always been, to help people of all faiths and spiritual paths. That certainly won't change. There might be a slight change due to the reasons I gave above regarding the LOA, and I'll use “God” where you once saw “universe”. Other than that, I suspect nothing much will change, because in the end, my new faith is, in essence, totally in alignment with the principles I've already discovered. The exploration of such principles has simply led me to their natural end and fulfillment.
Will I continue to use the word “law of attraction”? I honestly have no idea yet. On one hand, people already know what that is, and I'm not the only one discussing the importance of surrender in this process. On the other hand, as I said, it is so much more than that. And, in my view now, not really a “law” as such, but more of a manifestation of God's blessing. Check out these verses and tell me if they aren't speaking of the same thing:
The life of this world is but play and amusement: and if ye believe and guard against Evil, He will grant you your recompense, and will not ask you (to give up) your possessions. (Al-Quran, Surah Muhammad, 47:36)
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alaihi wa-salam), “The supplication of every one of you will be granted if he does not get impatient and say (for example): ‘I supplicated my Rubb but my prayer has not been granted’.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
So how I will portray this is yet to be seen, but what I do know, and you should feel certain of, is that my writings, and also my coaching, is for everyone. I'm sure my own faith will slip through via certain Muslim sayings, but other than that, I want to make all of this as accessible as possible.
As I said, if you have further questions about how this happened, about any misconceptions of Islam, or about how I overcame the obstacles I mentioned above, I'm happy to discuss, in a civilized way of course. Please do comment below or contact me.
And I'll try to keep everyone updated of how my own personal path progresses. This is all still very new, though each day makes me more and more certain that I made the right decision.
Thanks for reading through this long post. I really and truly do appreciate your support.