Regulars and Shorts

Coach Jeannette: What Do You Wonder?

By Jeannette Maw

When we practice a strong habit of thought, we call forth results that match.
by Jeannette Maw
R_9_Maw_B.jpgWhere does your wondering mind take you? What do your thoughts land on when you leave them unattended? I asked a handful of friends what they were wondering about one day. Here’s a sample of what I heard:

“I wonder …”

•    when my son will remember my birthday
•    whether or not I’ll get this project done in time
•    if the check came yet
•    how many things in last night’s dinner were not on the diet
•    whether it’ll rain on my wedding day
•    when my trainer’s going to admit he doesn’t know what he’s doing
•    if I’m going to let my partner down in our next tournament
•    whether the bank will close before I get there
•    what my manager thinks when I’m late

The common thread was to muse about something they didn’t necessarily want to come to fruition. I don’t want to say it’s natural for our wonderings to take on the form of worries, because that sounds like a limiting belief I wouldn’t want to add energy to. But until I started asking much younger people what they wonder about, most of the thoughts I heard didn’t feel very “wondrous.”

The top three dictionary entries of “wonder” on share the possibilities of where our wondering mind could take us:

1.    to think or speculate curiously
2.    to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe; marvel.
3.    to doubt

So our wondrous thoughts could potentially take on neutral, positive or negative tones. In fact, sometimes I heard positively worded wonders that reflected negative attitudes behind them. (“I wonder if my husband’s coming home for dinner,” one friend said, for example. Sounds like a nice thought, but she spoke with irritation that indicated she didn’t expect him to.)

Even our positively worded thoughts, if associated with a negative feeling, actually call in a negative outcome rather than the positive potential. That’s why it’s so helpful to be aware of (and deliberate about) what we wonder.

Imagine the higher stakes of where our undisciplined imagination takes us. In October 2003 an Army private phoned his dad from Iraq saying he thought he’d be killed in an unarmored Humvee. Exactly one week later, the private was killed—just as he had imagined he would be, in his unarmored military vehicle.

That’s not to say every random thought we ever entertain will manifest itself. Thankfully, many stray topics we wonder about don’t become reality. But when we practice a strong habit of thought, retracing it over and over, reactivating the associated feelings with that pattern of thought, we call forth results that match.

My triple-Virgo boyfriend and I recently moved in together, along with my rambunctious dogs and foster cats. The potential for significant challenges was clear as we integrated two very different lifestyles under one roof. He is fastidious, somewhat of a perfectionist and didn’t have pets. I, on the other hand, have long since learned to live with cat hair on clothes, dog hair on bed, noseprints on windows, and all the other joys of sharing space with four-legged companions.

Recognizing the potential for trouble as we made plans to live together, I purposely flowed lots of positive expectations about how smooth the living arrangements were, how easy it was to get used to and to accommodate each other, and what a fabulous idea it turned out to be to consolidate households.

And it was all that—smooth, easy, accommodating, fabulous!

Except for the one thing I kept wondering about…where, I mused, would the dogs relieve themselves in the new house? I didn’t wonder about my boyfriend’s reaction—I knew it wouldn’t be fun. But I did wonder about where the dogs would “go” if the need ever became urgent.

In the old house, their regular spot was on the rug in front of the tv. As I settled into the new house, I wondered where the new “spot” would be.

Of course, I didn’t realize I wondered that until the day I discovered the new spot. (Formal living room rug; toughest in the house to remove a stain from.) “Oh boy,” I thought. “Russ isn’t going to like this. Who did this?!”

While putting all my best stain-cleaning efforts to work before my sweetie came home, I heard myself resignedly say, “Well, I always wondered where they would go.”

“Really?” I asked myself. “You always wondered?” Indeed, I had. The realization then hit me that I’d been wondering it since we moved in five weeks ago. In hindsight, I realize it might have been smarter to wonder how the dogs are so good about holding it. Or how lucky that they chose the hardwood or tile floor.

Five weeks of wondering till manifestation—that would have been plenty of time to redirect the miscreant wondering had I been aware of it!

Nevertheless, lesson learned.

These days I pay better attention to my wonderings. Instead of musing about what will happen to my unemployed friend or whether gas prices will bankrupt the airlines, I wonder better feeling things. Like how quickly my foster kittens will be ready for adoption and what sort of pleasant surprise my sweetie will bring home tonight.

It’s a simple matter of noticing where this mind inevitably wanders.  When it goes somewhere repeatedly that isn’t something I’d like to call in to my reality, I gently take the reins and redirect it to a new wonder.

Here’s how you can put your wonder power to good use:

1)    Pay attention. If you don’t notice where your mind is going, you’re powerless to redirect it. Although stray thoughts will unavoidably come and go, it’s the repeats that gain power to manifest in your physical reality. Be mindful of them.

2)    Practice Wonder Management. Set an intention to become more conscious of what thoughts cross your mind and to naturally entertain more positive and supportive thoughts. (Setting the intention is an easy way to grease the wheels for achieving whatever you want.)

3)    Be picky. Don’t let yourself wonder just any old thing—be choosy about the quality of musings you hold. Only the best will do!

4)    Don’t despair if you discover negative wonderings over and over. No need to add fear or discouragement into the mix. Instead, smile at your cute self and gently redirect.

This technique requires no money, no experience, and little time. Instead of letting your wonderings roam willy-nilly wherever they might chaotically land, practice wondering what might go right for you, how good life can be, and what delicious things you must have done in a past life to deserve it. Your wonderings are much more powerful than you may have given them credit for! 

Jeannette Maw is a Law of Attraction coach and founder of Good Vibe Coaching in Salt Lake City.

This article was originally published on August 1, 2008.