The people you carry with you (and those you wish you could drop)

Back view of people hugging on a beach
“Once in a while I return to the fold of people I call my own.”
If ever you should find yourself adrift in a moment you can’t put words to, I guarantee there is a Finn lyric that will do the job.
The beautifully simple piece of lyrical mastery above, which has always stayed with me (as good songwriting should), is from a 2006 Finn Brothers song called Won’t Give In. To me, this is about the way our most treasured humans anchor us in time and space, shaping our sense of identity and shoring up our sense of purpose. Last week I returned to my homeland and spent a delicious week with family and friends, and I observed, not for the first time, the effect that being in their presence had on the rhythm of my heart. I felt lighter, I felt held. I remembered how much the humans around me make me want to be a better human.

And then I remembered that some of the people who make me a better human are not among my inner sanctum. Actually, some of the people who’ve taught me the most are people I wish I’d never met.
Instagram, that dubious temple of modern spirituality, is rife with quotes about the importance of spending time with the ‘right’ people. Your vibe attracts your tribe! Surround yourself with people who lift you up! Unfollow people in real life! These snappy catchphrases are all helpful... but also unhelpful, I think, because they implore you to judge people’s inherent worth (which rather undermines that whole spirituality ethos, no?) What’s more, they don’t account for the fact that it’s not always possible to ditch the people who don’t behave in ways you want or expect (particularly if you live with said people), and that many of those folks have probably been brought into your life for a reason. 
Woman's face, looking annoyedLook, people are dicks sometimes. And that’s not a bad thing. Because dickery (prob not a real word, but let’s go with it) can teach us plenty. The bloke who pulled out from a side street in front of you teaches you why being considerate on the roads is important, and why you need to pay more attention while driving. The workmate who took credit for your efforts teaches you why it’s important to acknowledge people’s achievements, and that you need to make your boss more aware of your contribution. The date who never called you back teaches you why it’s important to treat people fairly, and what you’re *not* looking for in a partner. Yes, it would be ideal if these people weren’t in your orbit – but that’s not how the Universe works. Mostly it gives you the people you need, not the people you want (although, I am sure, you have plenty of those in your life too). 
Law of attraction pioneer Louise Hay believes that the reason certain people annoy us is because they remind us of aspects of ourselves we find uncomfortable. I have found this to be true in many cases. About five years ago while reading You Can Heal Your Life, I had a friend who constantly interrupted people, made bitchy comments behind people’s backs and engaged in one-upmanship. You may wonder why I was friends with this person. (I wonder that too, actually.) She was part of a group of girls I’d been close with since university days and I felt a sense of loyalty to her. Even so, I often found her behaviour infuriating, until (after reading Louise’s insight) I realised how many times I did the same shitty things. Ouch. I, too, interrupted others. I definitely gossiped about my friends. And a tendency towards competitiveness, driven by a fear of lack, is one of my least attractive qualities.  Even though this girl is no longer my friend, I consider her one of my teachers because she spotlighted areas I needed to address in order to become a better person – and ultimately showed me how I didn’t want to live. I’m not saying I don’t occasionally do these things still, but I’m getting pretty good at calling myself out when I do.
Think about the person who is really grinding your gears at the moment, and ask yourself honestly whether you are replicating their behaviour or attitude in some way, even at a low level. This won’t always prove to be the case – and it certainly doesn’t excuse their bad behaviour – but if you realise that they are mirroring you in some way, that may help diffuse your anger slightly and help you look at the situation (and yourself) differently.
Silhouettes of people having fun and posingYou don’t have to put up with irritating, inconsiderate or just plain rude behaviour but if it’s not possible for you to cut someone out of your life, reflecting on what you can learn from the situation might make it more tolerable.

Above all else, what can be most helpful is remembering that we are all dicks sometimes. I know I am. Happily, when human contact becomes too exhausting, you can always return to the fold of people you call your own. And you should, as often as you can.

The law of attraction. Does it work? YES. Well, most of the time...

Woman with energy from her head

When Jim Carrey was a struggling actor, he wrote himself a cheque for $10 million for “acting services rendered”, dating it 10 years from that date. He did this because, despite growing up in poverty (his family lived in a car at one point), he believed he could hit the big time as an actor. And he did. Within 10 years he was earning millions for films such as Ace Ventura and The Mask.
This story is a wonderful illustration of how much power we have to manifest what we want. That’s a message that comes up in angel card readings all the time, and a concept that I’ve used in my own life to get what I had my heart set on. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Alas, this approach is not guaranteed  which can be disappointing. Here are my thoughts on why.
If you read The Secret when it came out a decade ago, you’re probably familiar with the law of attraction (I didn’t; I found it too gimmicky). Here’s the concept in a nutshell: whatever you want, you can attract through your thoughts. If you focus on what you don’t want, you’ll block what you want, and probably attract what you dont. 
Here’s how I’ve used the law of attraction to manifest specific things:
* When I needed a car in 2010, I was fearful of buying a car that would break down on me, so I asked the Universe to find me a car like my friend owned, which was cheap to run and super reliable. Within a few days I had spotted that model of car on the side of the road near my house with a ‘for sale’ sign in the window. My dad checked it out and said it was a good buy, so I put in a low offer and got it. Too easy! That car is now owned by my brother and despite being more than 20 years old, it has yet to fail a warrant of fitness.
* When I moved back to Sydney last year I was nervous about making friends. As an introvert, social situations are challenging for me. I visualised myself encircled by a group of friends and laughing – and I returned my thoughts to this vision time and time again. A month after I arrived, the angels drew my attention to a newspaper story about a new social group that had started. I joined the group and within two months I had found myself part of a group of friends who are awesome, and have made me feel like I belong here.
On the other hand, sometimes the law of attraction has not delivered. This can happen because sometimes things that we think we need are actually not right for us. I wouldn’t, for example, recommend focusing on manifesting a winning lottery ticket. Even though you might think a truckload of money is exactly what you need for a better life, the Universe knows better. (Yes, it worked for Jim Carrey, but his goal was more about career success than the financial payoff.)
I have focused on attracting a wonderful man into my life for about four years now, without success. However I can see now that the timing was wrong  I wasnt ready for a healthy relationship, even though I thought I was. I had so much work to do on myself, in particular, bolstering my woefully low self-esteem (my neediness was hardly an attractive quality). If I’d been in a long-term relationship, I would never have embarked on the journey of personal development that has brought me to where I am now. Not only am I now a more independent, resourceful person who knows that happiness and love are derived from within me rather than in a relationship, I’ve also forged a more fulfilling career in the spiritual realm. I would never have taken this direction I hadn’t delved within to find answers to my own discontentment.
And that’s the thing about the law of attraction – while we do have the power to attract what we want, what we want might not be in our best interests. And we dont have any say in the timing.
This is why Im wary of self-help books and wellness bloggers that promise you can have anything you want if you just think positive. This philosophy can lead to disappointment and disillusionment. (Ive written about the inflated promises dolled out by some sectors of the self-help industry before, read my blog post here.)
Keep believing, people. The law of attraction isn’t a perfect mail order system but it *does* work. (Eventually.)

I’d love to hear how the law of attraction has worked for you. Email me if you’d like to share your story.

Believing in the happy ending when you're halfway through the scary book

Road over ocean vanishes into horizonWhen you Google the word ‘trust’, the fourth thing that comes up (behind ‘trust deeds’, ‘trust definition’and ‘trust tax return’) is ‘trust issues’. Oh Google, you know me so well. 
I’m one of those people who flips to the last page of a book when the drama gets intense, and Googles the plot summary of a movie if it gets too nail-bitey. You’d think that would reassure me. But, no. Even when I know the story’s going to end brilliantly, I still skim-read/skip through the uncomfortable parts. It’s as if I can’t quite believe that everything really is going to work out.
Despite years of reading metaphysical texts, communicating with angels and now working with energy, trusting the Universe to sort out my problems remains a major stumbling block for me. On the surface, this makes no sense – I’ve already seen proof that the Universe has my back, again and again and again. But even though I believe a perfect outcome is possible, there’s a part of me that doesn’t believe that it’s probable

Whenever I find myself on my knees in particularly difficult periods, the message I get from the angels, again and again and again, is along these lines: ‘Trust us. Let go. It’s going to be fine.’ I believe them, but I’m also doubtful. Which is normal. It’s not possible, I don’t think, to have a learning experience or challenge that isn’t accompanied by at least a small degree of fear. The trick is learning to let go of the fear so it doesn’t hold you back from living a big life. All I have to do is have faith and relinquish control over the outcome… if only it were that easy!
Here’s the problem – when I worry, fret and despair, I’m getting in my own way. My negative energy increases, blocking solutions and contributing to an adverse result.
There’s a quote that gets bashed about on social media all the time and it goes like this: ‘Everything will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.’ This is posted endlessly because it’s true – even though things may not work out exactly how you had imagined, they’ve worked out the way they were supposed to. And often that’s better than you had imagined, or there’s something better coming up. In either outcome, you will be OK. You are always OK. (I’m saying this to you guys, but I’m sure you realise I’m really saying it to myself.)
The end credit on a movieI dealt out the ‘trust’ card in an angel card reading the other day and I was told that that message was for me as well as the person I was reading for. That message was: trust it is all going to be OK.
And it will. I’ve already been told my business is going to thrive. I’ve already been told I’m going to meet the perfect man for me. Therefore, there’s nothing to worry about, right? Right? RIGHT?!
Everything is under control. Not my control, but that’s probably for the best. (It’s fair to say the Universe does a better job of running my life than I do.)

And then they all lived happily ever after.