Law of Attraction: Upstream / Downstream Thinking

Eliot Porter, "Ord River Marathon"

Eliot Porter, "Ord River Marathon"

Law of Attraction Post #4

You know the feeling when you're paddling against a current in a river or the ocean? You're kicking and working so hard, you're exhausting yourself -and you're going nowhere. Or maybe you're even drifting further from where you want to be? It's a frustrating and draining experience. Now picture the feeling of letting go and floating with the current, maybe down a lazy river. You are carefree and effortless and you always head in the right direction. I find this metaphor very useful in daily life. 

Whenever you find yourself fighting too hard to make something happen, forcing a situation, or feeling generally agitated, it's a clue that you might be in an upstream moment. If so, stop what you're doing and ask: What can I do in this moment to make myself feel a little bit better? How can I reach for a better-feeling thought? 

You cannot expect to jump straight from discouraged to enthusiastic. So begin by aiming for a slight improvement, reaching for a thought that will bring a bit of relief. It's like that feeling of relief when you stop paddling against the stream and let yourself float naturally. It may not come immediately, but try to find something - anything - that is a better-feeling thought. Maybe you're able to find one thing that doesn't suck about this person or situation. Maybe you're too involved and you can take a step back. Maybe you get some perspective and realize this isn't such a big deal. Or try saying, "I don't need to figure this out right now." That feels better! We're highly skilled at negative thinking, so reversing this process will take some time, but it's like learning anything new.  


Here's an example (from Abraham Hicks) - picture yourself as a parent feeling frustrated about your children fighting: 

- My children are driving me crazy. (upstream)

- They fight constantly. (upstream)

- I can't find a way to stop them. (upstream)

- They won't listen to me. (upstream)

- I've tried everything I can think of. (upstream)

Feeling frustrated, hopeless, at your wit's end ... ARGH


Instead of trying to come up with a solution to the problem or trying to get someone else to change their behavior, your work is simply to find some relief for yourself in your own thoughts. 

- Their relationship is really between them. (downstream)

- They're probably not feeling as bad about their fighting as I am. (downstream)

- It's normal for kids to fight. (downstream)

- I'm sure they don't like feeling bad any more than I do. And if they're really feeling bad, they'll figure out how to stop it. (downstream)

- I'm making it worse by adding my negative response to the mix. I'm going to let them work it out. (downstream)

- I've really been making more of this than it deserves. (downstream)


Ahhhhhh Relief. Nothing in the situation has inherently changed, but you're feeling better. And probably with your more relaxed & positive energy, the situation will naturally shift on its own. This is how you get yourself into alignment and when you're in alignment is when you attract positive change.