I recently found this article/video on CNN and was pleased to see that there is now scientific evidence to support the advice that Miles Gardener offers to Jamison in my book, The Bountiful Garden. Mindfulness training can be achieved in a lot of ways . . . playing a musical instrument, reciting a poetry from memory (something I’m doing regularly now and loving it!), yoga, skydiving (go ahead and just try to think about something else while you’re taking that leap from a perfectly good airplane). In a new book I’m working on, I compare it to training a dog to lead because it’s a lot like putting your mind on a leash and teaching it to heel. Once it’s trained then you can give it permission to run wild or get still and life becomes a whole lot more peaceful in the process!

Embedded video from CNN Video

For the past decade or so, I’ve worked at living by the Law of Attraction and positive thought. Like so many others, I created “vision boards” and, with varying degrees of focus, did my best to hold my “desires” close. But, within a matter of weeks, the board would usually fall to the bottom of the closet or wind up in a corner of the room. Likewise, in the struggle to simply keep up with the daily demands of life, my list of “desires” would often get pushed aside, rarely recited or revisted and usually forgotten completely — a wish list of pipe dreams that I didn’t really believe would manifest.

This year, with the completion of my book, The Bountiful Garden, and renewed confidence in the Law of Attraction and the power of positive thought, I’ve decided to create a daily practice of reviewing and reaffirming, or in this case, e-ffirming my vision using the internet and a daily email to myself.

Here’s how it works.

Begin with an email to yourself that lists your personal visions (include for your vision for family, friends, community and the world, for added impact) then end each of your desires or images with the statement. “And, so it is.”

At the start, and perhaps at the end, of each day, take a moment before you do anything else, to review your list and reply to yourself. If you want to create even greater impact, you might consider enlisting your spouse or a trusted friend(s), to share the task with you. As you create your list, take time to incorporate the desire into not just your thoughts but your feelings, let each vision travel from your thoughts to your fingertips down through the computer keys and when you click on send, it will go out into the universe to contribute to the realization of your desire.

When you send it take five minutes to breathe. Inhale and imagine. Exhale and say, “And so it is.”

Each morning take time to review your list. Copy it, paste it or rewrite it, repeating each desire out loud and then, close your eyes, breathe deeply and click ‘send.” Let it become a habit, as routine as brushing your teeth and then relax in confidence and faith that the Universe is already moving to make it so.

I decided today that my motto for the New Year is going to be: If you can’t think something nice, don’t think anything at all. My decision is based on a recent event that offered proof that the Law of Attraction really works absolutely, positively, if (and here’s the biggie) we can stay out of our own stupid way.
Here’s how it all went down.
I’ve been stressing a bit (okay, a lot) over the sales of my most recent book. Titled, The Bountiful Garden, it is a work of fiction, ironically, about the law of attraction and the importance of right action. Given the central theme, I’ll admit that it’s odd, or maybe just human, that I am stressing over anything but I’ve spent more than a year finishing the book and money is, to say the least, tight.
At the same time, I’ve been crazy, busy following up the completion of my book with a whole lot of right action. I’m attending book signings, passing out free copies of my book to anyone who acts remotely interested in reading it and shamelessly working the new social media tools to spread the word. But, even with all the positive action, I have continued to live in the vibration of fear and doubt: “What if my book doesn’t sell.” “What if no one likes it?” “What if I can’t generate enough money to eat or pay the rent?” And, as any good law of attraction practitioner might have predicted, success has been slow in coming.
Then, just yesterday, my ex-husband showed up and handed me a barely used guitar. I am taking it as a sign.
Here’s why. Two weeks ago, I told a friend that I had decided to learn to play the guitar. Living just outside of Nashville and being a huge fan of acoustic music, it seemed like a bucket list thing to do. “The only rub is that I don’t own a guitar,” I told my friend, “but, it’s Nashville and I have lots of friends with lots of guitars. I’m sure I’ll be able to get one.” I was confident that it would happen and then I forgot about it; turning my attention to worry about the larger task at hand . . . book sales.
Enter my ex Shortly after the guitar discussion with my friend, I traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, to spend Christmas with my daughter. Her father, John, drove up from his home in Florida to meet us. As we were settling in to the condo, John said, “I’ve got a Christmas surprise for you.” I was stunned. We don’t typically exchange gifts and I certainly didn’t have the funds to reciprocate. He opened the back door of his Jeep and pulled out a guitar case. Handing it to me he said, “This is yours.” I cried.
According to John, the guitar is one that I bought new and gave to my son several years earlier. It had been sitting, forgotten, in John’s Florida home for more than three years and yet, it was only now that something had mysteriously motivated John to deliver it to me. I don’t remember the guitar or much about the circumstances of how it came to be at John’s house.
When I asked John what had prompted him to bring the guitar along on this particular trip, he just shook his head. “I don’t know,” he says. “It’s been sitting at my house for several years and I thought it was yours.”
I have a theory that his decision to deliver the guitar on this particular trip, is a result of the Law of Attraction. And, what’s more, I believe that it happened so quickly because I sent the intention into the Universe and then got out of my own way. I didn’t fret. I didn’t worry or wonder how I was going to get the guitar. I didn’t bog the energy down with negative thoughts or doubts. I simply said it and moved forward, confident that it would happen.
And, I’ve decided do the same as I move forward with my books—and pretty much everything else in my life. I believe the guitar experience to be a message, a gentle reminder of how perfectly the Law of Attraction can work when we don’t allow negative thoughts, doubts, fears or insecurities to enter in. And so, my motto for 2010 will be: If I can’t think something nice, don’t think anything at all.”

So many people have written to ask how they can get a copy of The Bountiful Garden. Books can be ordered online at http://www.TheBountifulGarden.net. I’m also working furiously to make the books available in small bookstores across the country. Blue Bicycle Books in Charleston now has copies available as does First Church Unity in Nashville. If you know of a bookstore interested in carrying them, please email me at denise@thebountifulgarden.net.

My friend Jen posted a challenge on Facebook last week: Perform one random act of kindness each day during the month of December.
Great idea, I immediately replied, typing my acceptance for all the world (or at least all of my Facebook friends) to see. This, I thought, would be a piece of chocolate covered cake. But, it seemed, I had a thing or two to learn about myself and the effort required to pull off a random act of kindness.
Day one came and went and at the end of the day I couldn’t come up with a single act of kindness to show for it. OK, I quickly forgave myself. I’d simply carry it over and make certain to perform two tomorrow. But again, at the end of the day, I failed the test. Three carryovers and counting.
Jeeze, this is tougher than I thought!
It’s not like I’m a mean person and thankfully, I can’t add anything to the random act of meanness column but really, this clearly isn’t something I’m going to be able to do without a little preparation.
As I was working my way through a reflection of the day, searching desperately for anything that might qualify as a random act, I passed by minor items, like, “thanking the cashier,” or “smiling at the crossing guard.” As far as I’m concerned, those are gimmes—actions that are automatic and without forethought.
That’s when it came to me. To qualify as a random act of kindness in my book, the act would require intention and attention. By that I mean, I would need to be aware of the situation including my actions and how they might affect another person. And then, I would need to act with intention—a decision based on creating an outcome.
In my book, The Bountiful Garden, I addressed the importance of intention and attention as part of seven affirmations called, The Gardener’s Way.
It is the last of the seven affirmations and is titled: Seeds of Mindful Responsibility. It reads:

Knowing that my thoughts, my words and my actions are powerful beyond human understanding, I act with mindfulness; focused on positive outcomes and always conscious of the effects that they might have on myself, my family, my community and my world, today and into the future.

For me that’s the key–the component I’d been lacking for the first three days of the exercise are the ones I miss most days of the year. I’m rarely MINDFUL of most of my actions throughout the course of the day. And, I don’t think I’m alone in that regard.
I’m willing to bet that most of us go through our day, focused on what happened last night, or on our long list of ‘to-do’, or what we’d fix for supper, or why our boss seemed to scowl at us when we entered the room. It is rare, at least for me, to be completely mindful in the present moment when the rest of the world is beating at the door.
So, tomorrow’s another day. Day four, in fact but I intend to make certain that the sun doesn’t set without me reducing my growing list of “need to dos,” by at least one or two. To make certain I’ve printed out the affirmation – you’ll find a list of all seven at http://www.TheBountifulGarden.net – and will carry it with me throughout the month as I create attention and intention for manifesting kindness in my world.