Recently I read the book ‘The Secret’. I have actually owned the book for a few years but have never really been very much into self help, happy-clappy “let’s all live in peace and harmony” books, so have previously put it off.
However, when we discovered we were unable to have a baby naturally, I thought I would give it a try as it is based on the premise that positive thinking can create life-changing results. It has sold over 19 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 45 languages so I figured it must be worth a read.
After completing the book I was pretty skeptical about some of the claims it makes. It is based on the Law of Attraction, the idea that if you want something in life, such as more money, a partner or to lose weight you must put it out into the universe that you want it and you will therefore attract it back to you. You must go through life as though you are going to have what it is you want.
For people like us who wish for a baby, it suggests you get the nursery ready, buy all the baby clothes and fully prepare your life for a baby. This seemed pretty preposterous to me, and felt like playing with fate, as well as being pretty far fetched. After all, where money is concerned, haven’t we all wanted to be millionaires and said it out loud more than once? Yet my bank balance still seems to be short a few zeros.
It’s also worth mentioning that the book has not been without its controversies, not least that it allows people to hope that things will happen to them just by changing their thoughts, a premise that inevitably will often fail and therefore disappoint. I would therefore advise reading it with the proverbial grain of salt and remember that if life was that easy, we would all be pretty damn perfect.
However, there were definitely some areas of the book that made sense to me, particularly on the subject of positive thinking. One specific chapter entitled The Secret to Health, made some really good points and included some exercises that I could incorporate into my every day life in order to try and increase our chances of having successful IVF treatment.
The chapter enforces the point that “healing through the mind can work harmoniously with medicine”. This rings true to me as throughout our situation it would have been very easy to give up, curl up into a ball and sob my heart out. Believe me, I have definitely done this on many occasions, however after reading The Secret I have had a complete change in my mind-set and have come to realise that if I want the IVF to be successful, I have to alter my attitude to make sure it is working in harmony with the treatment we are receiving, and this means feeling as positive and confident as possible that we will have the desired outcome.
Some people might think this is giving myself false hope, and maybe it is, however I feel it’s a better state of mind to be in rather than depressed, sad and negative all the time. As the chapter further goes onto say; “All stress begins with one negative thought. One thought that went unchecked, and then more thoughts came until stress manifested. The effect is stress but the cause was negative thinking. No matter what you might have manifested, you can change it….with one small positive thought, and then another”.
My favourite part of the chapter is based on the benefits of laughter. As someone who loves a good laugh, this seemed like something I could really relate to. The book tells the story of a woman named Cathy Goodman. I actually googled her afterwards to make sure this wasn’t a fabricated story for the purposes of the book, but I came across hundreds of hits about her incredible story.
Cathy was diagnosed with breast cancer and every day she would say out loud to herself “thank you for my healing, thank you for my healing”. As well as this she made a point to watch very funny movies, day in day out. We’ve all heard the saying ‘stress kills’, so she made it her mission to remove all stress from her life and by watching these movies she laughed, laughed and laughed.
From the time she was diagnosed she was completely healed of all cancer in her body within three months. She had no radiation or chemotherapy and she puts her recovery entirely down to her positive attitude, her confidence in her healing and the fact that she laughed every day until her stomach hurt.
Now I know what some of you are thinking; this could have been pure luck. Plenty of people in the world have cancer and simply laughing at a few movies isn’t going to cure them of this horrible illness. But the key element for me here was her positive attitude. She didn’t give in to her illness, she was determined to face it head on and laugh her way through it. Doctors described her recovery as a miracle.
Whilst what we are going through is not an illness, and we definitely can’t compare ourselves to people and families going through something like cancer, the premise is the same for anyone dealing with any part of the body that you feel is letting you down or not working in the way it should. I therefore intend to try as much I can, to laugh my way through our IVF. In the car on the way to all our important hospital appointments I’m going to watch Michael McIntyre on YouTube and make sure I laugh until I can’t breathe, which is the usual state I get in whilst watching him perform his stand up routine!
When I did an Internet search for laughter therapy I found results for laughter yoga, laughter workshops, laughter clubs and hundreds of centres and clinics that run laughter therapy classes. It appears that laughing is a big business!
I also read an article that states; “A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease”.
So if we can do one thing to help our chances of having a baby, it seems laughing is a pretty easy thing to do!
(Following the books advice in my own little way, I have actually made my declaration to the world that we are ready for a baby, and I have bought one thing, only one, that I can’t wait to give to our baby when he or she arrives. Those who know me well know about my love of books, and reading books to my own little bundle is something I look forward to more than I can say, so when Baby Reid is ready to come home to us, they will have the complete collection of Winnie The Pooh ready and waiting for them).
For anyone interested in reading The Secret, you can purchase the book on Amazon or visit the website http://www.thesecret.tv.
You can also purchase The Secret App from the App Store, where you receive ‘Daily Teachings’ that include positive thoughts, words of wisdom and motivational quotes. I have signed up to this and now love getting my daily kick up the bum! Before you know it I’ll be going everywhere in bare feet, wearing beads in my hair and heading off to a spiritual retreat. Or not.