_Have you read The Secret? I haven’t, but I saw the film, a quasi-documentary/religious infomercial sloppily collaged to the point of comedy. But that said, I think there is something to The Secret’s philosophy. I noticed this again as I sat down in Martha and Bro’s Coffee Company, a café on Cortland St near our new house. There were two men at the table next to me, taking a late afternoon break from the office. They seemed to be in the middle of an interview. As opened my computer and settled, the guy next to me started selling himself, talking about all the times he had taken on a project without having any real background or prior experience, and how he had succeeded. He was obviously in sell mode, but the moment was genuine and reminded me of a few things.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the things we expect from ourselves, how they reflect or don’t reflect reality and how they shape what we actually accomplish. In this regard, my boyfriend Raul is a huge inspiration to me. He has the fantastic habit of always expecting the best of himself. Though he doesn’t always get or do all he wants, he often does, all because he simply expects it and acts accordingly. It’s really remarkable.
I’m also thinking about this because the process of moving was such a large, intimidating task. I’m still unpacking. The worst is over, but a few weeks ago, I remember feeling overwhelmed as I looked at the totality of things to do, and thought of all the details that would have to come together before we could start a new chapter in our lives. And yet somehow, by moving one thing at a time, persistently, everything got into its own box. And then, box by box, things left our old house and appeared in the new. Swiffer wipe by Swiffer wipe, the house got clean. Piece by piece, every picture and Tupperware container came out of the box, every lamp got set up, and the towels got put away. And it may sound funny, but moving my physical life from one place to another made me think a lot about how much I– like every one of us, am capable of.
Anyway, back to the laws of attraction. About a week and a half ago, I went to the Pete’s coffee in Palo Alto after teaching my 8 am class at Be Yoga (sadly, I had to give that class up since moving). The night before, a loved one and I had had an argument, and I was feeling pretty down. Hidden, I hoped, by my massive, hooded parka, I sunk into a corner seat with my latte and looked for writing gigs on my IPad. Before long, a woman came and sat down at the table next to mine. A few minutes later, another woman joined her. They hugged, the second woman complimented the first on her necklace, and they exchanged small talk for a few minutes. I didn’t really listen to much of their conversation until the first woman’s voice took on a different tone. “So, I haven’t told anyone else from work,” she began, “but last week I was pregnant. And now… I’m not.” The air got heavy. The second woman extended her hand over the other’s, and they kept talking.
A few minutes later, a man and a woman came in. They looked sweaty and wet, like they had just come from an early morning Bikram class, and both of them had the same tall, sun-tanned, waifish quality. I think they were in their forties, but life had been hard on them. Either that or they smoked. As they sat down next to me, I noticed the way the woman extended her foot affectionately between the man’s knees, she tapped him with her foot from time to time as she shifted and adjusted in her seat. Of course, being by now a shameless eves dropper and the respite from my thoughts it gave, I listened. “She sent me an email yesterday, she said mother is depressed, some days she can’t even put her face on, and you know how vain she is. And I started thinking about my mother, and how I would feel if I were her. How I would feel if I had no teeth.” And then she said the thing that really struck me. “Caring for your parents is the opposite of caring for children. Kids get stronger and more self sufficient every day, but parents just keep getting weaker.” She started to cry.
I hope that if these people knew I could hear them, they didn’t mind. Listening to their sorrows helped me remember that we all have pains and challenges. Their strength in the face of pain reminded me that I too could move through my own issues. Furthermore, I think that all of us somehow attracted each other. Not necessarily that we were all meant to sit there in the enclave of Pete’s on a rainy Saturday morning, but that we unknowingly moved towards each other using some inner, sonar-like signal that none of us really understand. It’s like traffic tickets. I can go years without getting one. But get me behind the wheel of a car while I’m upset, maybe even crying a little, and I’ll get two in the span of one hour. It’s happened before.
So in conclusion. If you want to be healthy, happy, successful, expect from yourself. Believe that it has already happened. Attract it to you with action and thought. It can’t hurt.