A pair of ducks are regular visitors to my front yard each spring. I’ve grown quite fond of them over the years, so when the male presented a foot injury earlier this week, I immediately went into protective mode.
I took up vigil at the front window to make sure none of the neighborhood cats showed ill intent toward him, whom I feared might not be able to defend himself properly.
With that action, I may as well have flipped a switch requiring all cats to report for duck-stalking duty right in my front yard.
Instead of deterring kitties to keep my ducks safe, my strong attention on exactly what I didn’t want was precisely what required it to happen.
Within 30 minutes, four cats from three different houses had snuck up on my ducks. Or so I thought. (One, as it turned out, was just looking for a sunny spot on her own driveway.)
In my extreme effort to keep cats out of the yard without scaring the ducks, I tripped and injured my own foot.
Never before has there been such a flurry of cat activity focused on the ducks. Did this happen because the cats sensed the duck was vulnerable? Apparently not; actual observation revealed he got around quite well even with the lame foot.
A more likely cause is that I was flowing such a strong focus on avoiding trouble. And it turns out that’s not the best way to avoid trouble, since we get what we focus on. My laser attention on injured duck and scheming cats led to a ridiculous morning of exactly what I didn’t want.
I showed my boyfriend my first-ever sprained toe. “Well, shit happens,” he said.
That’s the thing. Shit doesn’t just happen. Things don’t just come to us “out of the blue,” as if we were victims of a random and chaotic world.
Life happens as a result of our vibrations. And when I misappropriate my attention as completetly as I did that day, it’s like turning on a magnet for shit you don’t want to happen.
Let’s get more deliberate about focusing on what we want more of. For example:
• Rather than publish a neighborhood crime report, how about spotlighting things gone right in the hood? At least put things in proper context.
• Instead of focusing on the carpal tunnel developing in your wrist, how about cataloging a dozen or so things your body is doing brilliantly?
• Rather than let your colleague list in ridiculous detail everything the new guy did wrong yesterday, get a couple words in about something gone right somewhere – if not with the new guy, anywhere. And if your co-worker stops talking to you because of your “Pollyanna” attitude—count your blessings.
Because shit doesn’t happen without our alignment to it. Getting more deliberate about managing our thoughts and feelings is the key to creating the kind of world we’d be proud to put our name on.
Jeannette Maw is a Law of Attraction coach and founder of Good Vibe Coaching in Salt Lake City. www.goodvibecoach.com