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How many of you know about THE SECRET?  You know, the DVD now New York Times bestselling book sensation made famous by Oprah and company?  

Yes, that one.  Hey, I bought THE SECRET way before it still was.

I've seen THE SECRET twice.  I've taken notes.  I've bought copies for my children and friends.  I watched all the creators of THE SECRET on Oprah and Larry King.  I live in Boulder, Colorado where THE SECRET is required by law to read.

At this point, I'm wishing THE SECRET was a secret.

Blasphemous you say?  Sacrilegious?  Bad intentionality?

For those of you who aren't familiar with THE SECRET, it's basically a new age rewrite of the power of positive thinking.  It's about the "law of attraction", a newer version of the scriptural "you reap what you sow".

And there's a part of THE SECRET that is good.  In therapy world, it's called a "reframe"—finding positive meaning in something that may not appear too positive, like missing a plane and running into a long lost lover in the airport.

 My 23-year-old daughter had a brief phase of THE SECRETISM.  I picked her up from the airport.  She was on fire for THE SECRET.  I was trying to ask questions.  She cut me off.  She didn't like my skeptical intentions.  We went to dinner in crowded downtown Boulder.  She told me there would be a parking space right in front of the restaurant, she had put out the intention.  I gently reminded her NO WAY.

We pulled up to the restaurant...yes, you guessed it...a parking space followed by a perfect rare place by the window.  My daughter was smug.  "What about your luggage that didn't make it on the plane?" I innocently asked.    "No problem," she said with confidence.  "It's my fault...I just forgot to make the intention that it wouldn't get lost."  She had an answer to everything.

She decided to go to Vegas with big time roller intentions.  She lost 100 bucks.  She left her losses and her intentions in Las Vegas and came back with a nice balance of being a positive person who has the good sense to also use her brains.

A lot of my work with my clients is to help them find "richness in the messiness", to find treasures in the ashes.  But like anything else, a good thing can go way too far, and THE SECRET is a prime example of that.

Let me name a few:

1)    When one of the creators of The Secret was on Larry King, he was asked about the 9-year-old girl from Florida who was kidnapped, raped and buried alive.  When Larry King asked this person if the little girl had put out this intention, the guy said YES (if I knew how to do videos, I'd put it up, but I don't...haven't made an intention to learn this).

 2)    A client of mine, a grieving mother whose 11-year-old daughter died in a house fire 3 days before Christmas, was told by a SECRET fanatic that her daughter must have put out the intention to die in a fire.

 3)    One of my best friend's daughter and her friend are going to travel in South America.  The friend is insisting on going to Columbia, despite strong government warnings not to do so.  When my friend tried to reason with this young woman and her mother who approved of the plan, the mother said, "I've seen THE SECRET so if they put out positive intentions, nothing will happen to them.  If something happens to them, it will be YOUR fault because you put your fear out there."

 New age legalism.

New age fundamentalism.

Not a whole lot different then my back in the day born again Christian days when I was told if anything bad happened to me, it would be because I didn't have enough faith.  Or when Iwas told that my father didn't have to die from a malignant brain tumor...he just didn't believe enough in God's healing power.

 

Anyone remember prosperity teachings?  They're still out there...usually promoted by televangelists who are living high off their parishioner's hogs.

I’m really trying not to sound too negative.  If you know me, you know I'm not that way at all.  If you know me, you know I am full of positivity.  If you know me, you know that I try to approach each day with gratitude and a curiosity to see all the good that is out there.

But I'm also a passionate mother, a loyal friend, an advocate for my clients, and black or white, believe or pay, all or nothing beliefs cause a lot of suffering to a lot of people.  And that's not only not right, it's downright traumatizing.

I think my mother was right when she taught me, "Everything in moderation".

And I have a feeling the creators of THE SECRET have secret Swiss bank accounts.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sandy Ochoa-West wrote Nov 12, 2008
    • I agree that the only real secret they possess is where they are hiding all the money they made of of the books DVDs etc. Something else we can thank Ophra for!!! LOL



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote Nov 12, 2008
    • Thanks Sassy!  I don’t want to offend, but anything can be taken to an extreme.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bobbi Bacha wrote Nov 12, 2008
    • I havent read the Secret as I believe life should be lived, every second.  We cant worry about how to control our destiny.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sandy Ochoa-West wrote Nov 12, 2008
    • That’s what the LOL was for, it was a joke.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Scorpion13 wrote Nov 13, 2008
    • The Secret is kind of The Law of Attraction for Dummies LOL

           While I do believe in the strength of our thought habits to change our lives for the better, I suppose anyone can interpret what they want from the book/movie's message, including the idea that people intentionally attract terrible things into their lives.

           I think many people who loved The Secret were eventually disheartened when they saw things were not as simple as portrayed in the film.  

           I liked it’s message about positive thinking, though. It can’t hurt to work on that! :)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sweetnsassy wrote Nov 13, 2008
    • I must be out of the loop—- I haven’t heard about The Secret but I do enjoy the self-help books. I’m determined to be a positive person and I have a desire to find good in everyone and I try to be thankful for everything.  It can be a real challange sometimes considering I grew up with very negative thinking parents/grandparents. I’ll have to check out the book/DVDs if you girls think it’s work the time.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote Nov 13, 2008
    • As I said, I’ve seen The Secret twice and love the positive messages it teaches.  And again, everything in balance.  My same daughter I mentioned in the post ended up with a $4000 credit card bill she took The Secret to such an extreme!

      Thanks for all the great comments.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Nov 13, 2008
    • I’ve heard about, never read or saw it. Was told by someone who has, that maybe I should re-think how I got my MS. WTF!!! Same as why my faith is not as it was after being told by a fanatic that maybe my faith was not good and why I got so ill so fast! Again WTF!!  

      But, that is not to say if it works for some then go for it!!
      Blessings!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      AnneMarie Kimberling wrote Nov 13, 2008
    • Wow...  I’ve heard so many things about this book and this posting has just confirmed that I want nothing to do with it...  Thank you for the insight.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheryl Sharpton wrote Nov 13, 2008
    • I think the premise is good but as with anything you have to use your common sense.  I had a bout with cancer but I did not ask for it.  The Secret tells us that I must have thought my cancer into existence.  Sorry folks but that is not true.  I remember wishing for bigger boobs. I did not ask for cancer.  On a positive note, I do like the message and the underlying theme that you are in control of your future.  Your thoughts and actions directly effect the path your life will take.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dee Dee Shaw wrote Nov 13, 2008
    • A much better book with more balance and common sense is Who Are You Really, and What Do You Want by Shad Helmstetter. I started out with an earlier book, What to Say When You Talk to Yourself (both books are excellent.) He doesn’t go to the extreme but explains physiologically how our thought processes affect us. I am not a fan of the Name it and Claim it folks. Not a fan of the Not Enough Faith folks. I renounce their claims, but for many years I through the baby out with the bathwater. There is definitely power in positive thinking, and we do, to some degree, attract what we are subconciously creating as our reality. Our cups can have the same amount. Mine is half full, my mother’s is half empty. I live life happily with my cup half full, and she enjoys being miserable because her cup is half empty.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Scorpion13 wrote Nov 14, 2008
    • I’m asking for bigger boobs too! I think anyone who tells you that you asked for cancer or MS is just plain thoughtless...and mean.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cindy Stewart Penkoff wrote Nov 15, 2008
    • Believing in the Secret, let me just say, you can take things to the extreme.  Everything requires a certain amount of common sence.  If you stand in the middle of a tornados path and say “the Secret will keep me safe“, you deserve to end up in someones tree in Kansas.  

      Positive out gets you positive in.  No one ever said you would be protected by some sort of force field.  You have to excercise free will and common sence in the practice of anything.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Nov 16, 2008
    • I agree with you Annie.  My sister bought the DVD for me.  It took about 4-5 months after she gave it to me to watch it.  I was not impressed at all.  

      Being a positive person...thinking positive thoughts is always a plus, but we live on earth...and earthly things happen to us...good and bad.  I do not believe we get the horrible diseases that are out there because we didn’t intervene prior with thoughts to ward those diseases off.  On the other hand...we are given a brain by God to use it and not do things that we know can cause some of those diseases. And sometimes bad things come our way with no explanation.  How I deal with it is what is important. Common sense is the key here.  

      For me...the only one that is in complete control of my life is God.  And I believe as a child of God he expects me to live my life in a positive fashion.



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