The Law of Attraction
For a long time I've had an interest in magic, particularly in connection with manifesting our will and realising our goals. The Law of Attraction and the magic of manifesting is a topic that I'm occasionally asked my opinion on.
Up to now though I've not had anything of real relevance to share as I simply didn't understand, had no opinion on and to be quite honest was wary of the topic of manifesting by means of intention and gratitude. It all felt too simple, too woo woo for a night-walker like myself!
But I never could discard the idea as pure fantasy as so many respected friends spoke highly of the power of manifesting. It would be hugely disrespectful to discount their opinion, even privately, without some deep reflection and understanding.
So, I sat with this idea while reading around the edges of it. I even tried a simple practice recommended by one of our online tutors. He said to think of something I wanted to 'manifest' (even the word gives me the wobbles!) but make it something I believe I can achieve. In other words don't try to manifest a Ferrari by teatime! Choose something you really think is possible today. And put your whole attention into this. Think about it until you truly feel in your body that it's already happened.
So I did. I thought 'what would it feel like if my picture agency sold two pictures of mine today'. They sold my images a few times a month so it wasn't a big stretch of the imagination to believe this could happen. In fact I pondered on this until I really began to feel that it had already occurred. Later that day I checked the online portal and yes! I'd had two sales!
I knew there was something in it, but how did it fit with my own understanding of life and all things? Or did it even need to?
Energy flows where Attention goes.
This saying is bandied about so much isn't it. So much so that it's perhaps become meaningless in many ways. Note the detail of this thought. It doesn't mention 'intention'. Rather it's 'attention' that gets top billing here.
Thinking back personally, Nicola and I can recount numerous times when things have begun to happen as we've given our undivided attention to the topic. Perhaps we've been mindfully harvesting twigs for the Ogham staves that Nicola makes, and we note that coincidentally, while doing that we've sold a couple of Ogham sets! Or we've been out for a wander, pondering deeply together on an upcoming retreat only to find more bookings had magically happened as we gave it our attention.
Could there be a connection here? Energy flows where Attention goes? Why should this be? Through my recent studies, journeys and contemplative times out on the land ideas began to solidify as to how this may work. Maybe I'm wrong in my assumptions here but bear with me. I think it matters.
Animism in all things.
Observations of nature have helped me to see the total and unequivocal interconnectedness of all things. From the way that mycelial threads link every cell of everything to every cell of everything else to the way magicians (not the stage type!) speak of the power of Will in manifesting, I began to see a link.
When I'm out catching the stories of the land with my camera and notebook I allow myself to be totally consumed by the process. I even have an ongoing dialogue with whatever is around me, asking for cooperation, explaining what I want and why, offering libation and gratitude to all the beings who could choose to support me. Far more often than not my communion is rewarded with a story in one form or another. It might not come as a photo or film, it could be an idea or a solution to a current creative conundrum.
However, when I'm distracted by 'stuff', when my mind is all over the place I struggle to hear and see the tales of the land. Even though my intention is the same my attention is elsewhere. So, I began to surmise that there was a real link between the quality of attention given and outcomes achieved.
I've long known that there is a universal language understood by all things. This is a core principle of animism. It's a wordless language, one that isn't articulated even by thought. No, it's far deeper. It's based purely on emotion and I've read that it comes from the heart which emits bio-resonant energies that are felt and understood in the body of others ('others' being the beings, the clouds, the rocks or the land around us). It's a felt language that speaks to a deep and subconscious part. Maybe this is where intuition comes from? Inner guidance which comes from the outer being(s)?
Recently Nicola, myself and a group of friends explored the topic of total and absolute interconnectedness and examined the entwined and entangled connective network that links all beings together as one. Slowly, in the mists of my mind, one thought sought out and joined another and another until I had the beginnings of a theory. And I soon had an experience which gave weight and form to this random being that was evolving in my head.
Roots and Pavement
I visited a woodland with the intention of photographing the interplay of Yew roots and limestone pavement. I wanted to contrast the flow of roots, which took place over hundreds of years, with the flow patterns of waterworn limestone which took perhaps hundreds of thousands of years to form. I went to the right place at the right time. But search as I may it just wasn't coming together for me.
Giving it my full attention I searched and searched, deeper and deeper into the wood. Then I spotted a Roe Deer buck no more than fifty feet from me. I raised my camera and caught a blurry shot only to see him wander ahead. I followed him for a few minutes hoping to catch a few shots along the way. I soon lost sight of him but when I looked around I found myself in an area full of Yews growing out of limestone pavement! Almost exactly what I was seeking, but not quite.
I thanked deer for taking me there and began to shoot the roots. However, he came back! He came to within about twenty feet and turned his back on me. Looking over his shoulder I felt I was being asked to follow. So I did, right into an area that was just what I'd been seeking. Then, again, the Roe Deer melted into the woodland, but not before I got a couple of shots.
It would be easy for me to think that the deer, knowing my heart's desire, decided to help and guide me but that feels patronising and is a huge assumption to make. However, thinking back to my knowledge of ancestral hunting techniques, especially the way indigenous hunters felt (knew) that their prey had given themselves up to the hunt, I came to another conclusion which is all about universal balance.
If everything is indeed connected in the way I think it is, it can be compared to a single, sentient being. Much like me. Much like you. As I wandered through that woodland I brought with me imbalance. I had an unmet need. Things were not well. I had a pain point. I was plugged into the wood-wide web and had become a part of it due to the undivided attention I was giving to my experience of the land there. Hence my problem became a problem for the place. One which it had the means to rebalance and the Roe Deer was the vehicle, an integral part of the whole being that the place used to fix my lack and thereby return to harmony and balance.
It's like when I cut my finger while cooking tea. Something becomes instantly out of balance and I use my other hand to stick a plaster on the wound. It's not as though my good hand feels a surge of empathy for the other and is consciously drawn to fix it. No, the bigger being that is me directs the fix to bring my whole body back into a healthy balanced state.
Perhaps the bigger being, which was the woodland, became aware of the imbalance I had caused and subconsciously directed the deer to apply the sticking plaster (giving me my story - returning to balance) by directing me to the right place! Am I making sense here?
Perhaps I'm way off base with these presumptions, however it does kind of make sense in the tangle of my mind. I've no doubt that we are indeed all connected and so must belong to a greater whole. If a part of something is not working quite right then surely efforts will be made to rectify this if it's at all possible.
Playing our part in bringing balance.
This also shows how we have a huge part to play in this master plan of total balance. We must be striving for an overarching state of wellbeing too. We need to play our part. If I'd gone to a peaty moorland with the intention of shooting Yew roots over limestone it simply would not have happened. The ingredients for a fix were missing. I had to do my part by researching and getting myself out into the right place where the medicine was.
I don't think it's fair to ask for a particular outcome but then hamstring the universe's attempts to meet us half way. We need to play our part too. Our guidance expects us to do the work, to show up, to do our best. If we do that, magic can happen.
Let me end this with a recent experience of ours that, for me, firms up my sense of interconnection. We were taking a few days break on a campsite in Langdale and, as always, we positioned our van on the edge looking out at the land and the nature that thrived there. A pair of Meadow Pipits had chosen this spot too. As we sat watching the swell of the evening light they would come and perch uncommonly close to us and sing.
Nicola and I got quite attached to them. We spoke of them, spoke to them, smiled at them and felt a deepening connection. Each day was topped and tailed by this pair of little brown birds and we gave them our full focus.
One evening, as dusk fell, I was walking back to the van when I noticed a right fuss of feathers and fury as a large female Sparrowhawk was pursuing one of 'our' Pipits around the edge of the meadow. It was too dark for me to see if she had a tiny brown bundle in her talons when she powered off over the hedge. Nicola had already gone to bed and I didn't have the heart to tell her. After a fitful night I broke the news to her and we spent the whole day worrying about our little friends who we saw nothing of.
Late the following day one returned and the morning after they both returned and resumed catching insects for the nest of young they were caring for. Both Meadow Pipits were noticeably subdued and quiet, watching the edge of the wood warily for the return of the hawk. We were elated that both of our Pipits were ok and this sense of great relieve and love must have radiated from us in a language the birds felt. We were dumbfounded when one of them flew over and perched on Nicola's knee!
This was the ultimate expression of connection. A moment of full trust and communion from one of these tiny, vulnerable, shy little birds, a moment we will never forget. This single memorable moment underlined to me that when we truly pay attention our desires, feelings, needs and wants radiate out into the world in a way that our fellow earth beings can understand in a bodily way.
Honouring our Desires
Our upbringing, conditioning and patterning so often tells us not to dwell on our own desires, but to put everyone else first. How is the world that we are so intimately entwined with to know what we want if we don't allow ourselves to feel it first?
It is vital that we give voice to and pay attention to our wants, our needs and our desires. And work to do what we can to open space for the magic to happen. In turn all those myriads of sentient souls that we are plugged in to cannot but help turn their attention to us and strive to give us the medicine we need to bring the greater whole back to balance.