I grew up in a mixed-faith household; my mom was raised Protestant and my dad was raised Jewish. While some would think this would be confusing for a child, I only looked at my situation as being extremely fortunate. I got the best of both worlds. I loved celebrating and observing the traditions and history from both Judaism and Christianity. For me, having a Christmas tree next to my menorah was completely normal. As we grew up my brother and I were encouraged to make our own choices about faith, and while we did not strictly observe the facets of either religion, we were raised with strong morals and values.
When it came to celebrating the holidays, we celebrated them ALL, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that was a huge perk to our situation! As a kid, I loved the idea of getting both Hanukkah AND Christmas gifts, eating apples and honey in synagogue for Rosh Hashanah and enjoying day of Easter festivities each Spring! What kid wouldn’t love that!? However, while the holidays were not about faith, they still had an important message. At the core, celebrating these holidays were about tradition and family togetherness.
When I met my husband, a “nice Jewish boy,” I was upfront about wanting to continue honoring the traditions for both religious in my family. All the traditions were part of my childhood and I couldn’t imagine losing those parts of my life. I explained that the holidays were not as much about the religious aspects that are important to so many others. Instead, the holidays were important to me because they were about family, tradition and togetherness. Lucky for me, my “nice Jewish boy” was on board with this idea – PHEW! We now celebrate all the holidays with not just our family, but our extended family as well (you should see all of the Jewish relatives go hog wild for the ham on Christmas and Easter!). This makes the holidays even more incredibly special and memorable.
While I don’t particularity identify 100% with Christianity, Judaism or any other popular organized religion, I still consider myself a spiritual person. It took until my adulthood to develop this sense of spirituality, but because my parents raised me with strong values and encouraged me to come to my own decisions in this arena, I now feel that I truly committed and proud of my beliefs. Like in most religions, the foundations of my spirituality help me strive to be a better person, while honoring myself, my family and my surroundings.
While my sense of spirituality doesn’t have a name, per say, I would say that the Law of Attraction is the foundation for my “religion.” I began learning about the Law of Attraction 5 years ago. I love it because it combines all the ideas that I believe are about religion, core values and morals, but since the Law of Attraction isn’t exactly a religion, I am still able to honor the aspects of Christianity and Judaism that I feel are relevant to my life. I guess you could say that discovering and practicing the Law of Attraction has, in the words of Randy Jackson, helped me make [my religion] my own!
What is the Law of Attraction?
The Law of Attraction is a metaphysical belief or theory, that “like attracts like,” and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results. (Wikipedia). Teachers of the Law of Attraction such as Abraham Hicks and Louise Hay believe that changing our way of thinking can change our reality. (Sound hokey? Kind of, but bare with me…..). One thing that I have noticed about this law that I love is that it compliments the facets of many major religions. So no matter what your religious background, these principles are easily integrated.
You have certainly heard people say, “think positively.” Thinking positively is easy when things are going your way. Sometimes may even feel like you are riding a wave of positivity and the more that you notice all the positive things happening around you, the more they happen. In the same way, when things are rough, it is easy to get stuck in a rut. Ruts can feel endless and we often begin to say things like, “things never go my way,” or “life sucks.” According to the Law of Attraction, while you may not have realized this, by focusing your thoughts on the things you want or don’t want, you are creating your reality. If you focus your thoughts on all the things in your life bringing you down, you will only sink further. However, if you start to focus on even the smallest thing that is going your way , your life will begin to improve. In essence, you bring about what you think about.
I always tended to be a bit of a worrier who tried to think my way out of situations and felt anxious when my life felt out of control (sound familiar to anyone?). Learning how to use positive affirmations helped me retrain my brain to quiet the chatter in my mind that was keeping me from enjoying life to the fullest. By using daily affirmations, I was able to teach myself to focus on what I wanted in my life and stop thinking about what I did not want. When I started learning about this style of thinking, a very close friend gave me the book and CD I Can Do It by Louise L. Hay (available in our Amazon Store, click here! ). This book/CD is a Cliffs Notes for learning everything you need to know about using affirmations. It teaches you how to change your thinking to make your life better. If you are even remotely interested in learning about using affirmations, I strongly urge you to get this book/CD combo! I have given it to a number of friends and they love it!
One easy way I have learned to “think positively” is to have an “attitude of gratitude.” Having an attitude of gratitude means focusing on all the things you are grateful for in your life. This includes anything and everything you could possibly be grateful for; from a delicious latte to a beautiful home. When you are feeling less than fabulous, if you begin to think about all the things you are grateful for, you will likely start to feel better, and in turn it will be much more natural to have a positive outlook!
I am definitely not an expert on any of this, but I do believe that the more I practice using affirmations and develop an attitude of gratitude, the happier my life becomes and the more readily all the goodies that life has to offer flow freely towards me.
Here is a list of some of my favorite teachers of affirmations and The Law of Attraction. No matter what your religion, you may find that you love these ideas!
- Louise L. Hay
- Deepak Chopra
- Abraham Hicks
- Dr. Wayne Dyer
- Joel Olsteen
- Jack Canfield