|July Newsletter: "The Super-glued Shoe"
I love getting dressed up. I love any occasion that warrants a fancy dress or a costume. Anything will do from weddings to Halloween parties. When I was little, I had a nurse’s uniform which I wore as often as I could get away with it. I would’ve worn it to school if I could. I loved the little hat, the big red cross, and the little white plastic nurse’s kit that I would dig into for my tools. I had a stethoscope, a hammer (no knee was safe), a thermometer, a syringe, bandaids and bandages. Everyone was my patient including the family cat.
My mother’s wardrobe was another source of inspiration. She had this one pair of shoes that were my absolute favourite. They were shiny black patent leather strappy sandals. On this one particular day, my parents had a dinner to go to so mum had pulled them out of her closet to prepare her outfit for the evening. Seeing them so shiny and fancy I had to put them on.
“Mummy, can I wear your shoes?”
“Mummy has to wear them tonight. I don’t want you to break them.”
“I won’t break them.”
“Honey, no. Not today.”
“No, you’ll break them and I won’t have anything to wear tonight.”
“I promise I won’t break them. Please, please, please, please, pleeeease?”
But I persisted. And finally, somehow, I had them.
I placed them carefully on the floor and stepped into them. I positively towered. I spent some time making sure the little buckles were in the right hole. When I was done, I wobbled my way out of the room hearing my mum's voice trail behind me, “Don’t break them!”
My plan was to go downstairs to see who I would meet. Whoever it was would, upon seeing me, enthusiastically exclaim how tall and pretty I looked. I held onto the hand rail as I navigated the steps. I concentrated hard. I didn’t want to break them. Then about half way down my ankle slipped to the side and “snap”. The strap I had so carefully buckled had broken clean off the shoe.
What happened after that is a bit of a blur. My mother no doubt through intuition or super sonic hearing heard my gasp and came to see what had happened. I don’t remember any smacking or even yelling. My mum’s silent fury could be scarier than any verbal or physical reprimand. I do remember my father’s valiant attempt to super-glue the strap back in place (in those days, you didn’t just rush to the mall and buy yourself a new pair). I remember my mum telling me, “For your own good young lady, that shoe had better dry in time.” And I remember eyeing the ruined shoe as it sat alone drying on a piece of newspaper with a Bulldog clip poking out of its side.
As I look back on this thirty years later. I have a better understanding of what happened. The fact is, the odds for the shoe breaking were higher than the odds against it not breaking. Poor mum! Let’s look more closely as to why this is.
Firstly, it’s an instance of the law of attraction. The law of attraction works like this: You have a thought, you feel the emotion behind the thought and the universe lines itself up to match that thought through the emotion. All the time. With no exceptions. Even if it’s an unconscious thought that evokes the emotion. This is why it’s VERY important to mind what you think, say and feel.
The law of attraction is a b*tch when it comes to our fears because what happens is that what we fear the most be it conscious or unconscious is what we focus on and what the universe will match. Here are some common thoughts with examples of matching beliefs (these are just examples by the way, and are not necessarily true for everyone):
“I can’t afford it.” = “I don’t have enough money.”
“I need to lose weight.” = “I’m not pretty/handsome enough.”
“I hate my job.” = “It’s not possible to make money and be happy.”
“I’m tired.” = “Life is hard.”
In my mum’s case, her primary thought was “My shoe(s) will break.” This thought was derived from mum’s fear that if something happened to the shoes, she wouldn’t have anything to wear to the dinner party. In fact, she even mentioned it out loud. This being her primary focus, the universe matched her thoughts, spoken word and emotions on all levels by breaking her shoe. If you think, "I can't afford it" and feel anxiety about it, the universe will match that!
Secondly, the subconscious does not understand the words, “don’t”, “can’t”, “won’t”, “shouldn’t” and so on. Again, poor mum. Without her knowing, she programmed me to break her shoes! The last thing I heard as I toddled away was, “Don’t break them.” My subconscious mind, not hearing the word, “don’t”, instead heard, “Break them!” At the same time, the all-encompassing thought that filled my little mind was, “I won’t break them.” What does my subconscious actually hear? “I break them.” And that’s exactly what I did!
Finally, and most obviously, the shoe broke because mum allowed that possibility in. She did this on two levels; on a subconscious level and on a conscious level. On the subconscious level, it goes back to mum’s underlying fear which had something to do with not having anything to wear. She created that reality for herself by giving me permission to take the shoes (even if it was passive permission, i.e., not actually saying I could have the shoes but by not preventing me from taking the shoes). Things may have turned out differently if mum had just stuck with her guns and followed through with her initial, “No!” Of course, thirty years later, it’s easy for me to say, but had my mum listened to her instincts, she wouldn’t have had to worry about a super-glued shoe all night.
But what’s curious to me is why my mum didn’t follow through. Presumably, she gave in to avoid having to deal with an hysterical child. Why would I have freaked out? Well maybe because I wanted something that would, to my six-year-old self inspire feelings I wasn’t feeling but could feel if I had them. I would be 1) taller (and therefore more important), 2) fancy (and therefore more important), 3) more like my mum –it was an act of literally ‘stepping into her shoes’ (and therefore more important). So, how could mum have avoided the tanty? It seems that my primary concern was to feel important. It makes sense then that if mum had been able to create an environment in which I could feel important (say putting me on the bed (tall) and dressing me in other less-fragile clothes or make up (fancy and still in my mother’s ‘shoes’) then there would be no cause for a meltdown. Again, easy for me to say now, but basically, the idea is to have your own needs met (unbroken shoes) while meeting the needs of those around you (help daughter feel important).
Ok, so we’ve covered a lot of ground here but let’s look at how we can apply these points to your own life.
||Let's start with the Law of Attraction. The idea is to have the law of attraction work for us instead of against us. It’s therefore extremely important to focus on what we do want rather than what we don’t. How do we do that when so much of what we believe is unconscious? Let’s try this small exercise for big ticket items: Think about ‘money’ for instance. When you think about money, do you feel excited, or anxious? What’s your natural tendency? Now, do the same for your body, your parents, siblings, kids, your job, your boss, your home etc. By becoming aware of your emotional relationship with each one, you can determine which ones evoke an anxious, fear-based response. Through this awareness, you are now able to take steps to change your thoughts. Instead of mum thinking, “I don’t have anything to wear.” A more empowering thought would have been, “I have unlimited choices.” When you change your perspective your whole life changes.
||Be mindful of your words. As we have come to understand, the subconscious has a difficult time hearing and understanding, ‘don’t’, ‘can’t’, ‘shouldn’t’ etc. I was first introduced to this idea during my first ThetaHealing class back in 2004. It then came up again in my hypnotherapy courses and in Reiki too. So, if you say to yourself, “I shouldn’t eat that brownie.” Your subconscious hears, “Eat that brownie!” If you say to your child, “Don’t touch that!” Your child’s subconscious hears, “Touch that!” (And will be greatly confused when you slap their hand away). The subconscious however does understand the word, “No! So instead, when that big, bad brownie looms in front of you, say to yourself, “No brownie!” Or even better, “No brownie. Eat a banana instead.” When your child reaches for the knife, say, “No!” Then distract them with something positive, “Go get your red truck”, or “Give daddy a hug.”
||Related to the above two points, another thing I have learned through my work with ThetaHealing, Reiki and Past Life Regression therapy is that if you’re going to take something away, you must put something else in its place. In ThetaHealing, if we pull a negative belief such as, “Life is a struggle.” We must always replace it with a positive belief*. In this case, something like, “Life is an adventure.” In Reiki, if we pull a deep-seated emotion such as grief, we must fill the space with life force energy. During a past life regression session we might find for instance that a person was killed for being wealthy during the French Revolution so the fear of being killed for being wealthy needs to be replaced with feeling safe. At the risk of overgeneralizing, it’s my opinion that this rule holds true in other facets of our lives as well. If you’re going to take something away from someone –a child, a dog, a sibling, an employee, even if it’s a perceived thing (I didn’t have the shoes yet but I wanted them), be ready to replace it with something else. First, you want to figure out why they want the item, or why they want to do the thing. Those shoes would make me tall, fancy and just like my mummy. I felt more important with them. Once you know why the person wants it (ask them directly if you’re not sure) you can figure out what would be a good thing to put in its place. Be sure though that whatever you replace the item or activity with is of equal or greater value. If I have a Tonka Truck, don’t try giving me a Matchbox car. If I manage the store, don’t pull me away to clean the loo. Get me?
*replacement positive beliefs are also widely referred to as affirmations.
Ok, phew! This newsletter is a biggie. Before, I go, let me leave you with this thought:
"Life mirrors every thought, so think good ones!"