How the Secret Changed My Life adds nothing new to the Secret franchise, but it’s still fun to read if you enjoy hearing success stories about people who utilized the Law of Attraction. The criticisms of it have been voiced elsewhere and more eloquently: that it is predominantly focused on material things and that it stresses being happy at any cost. That being said, I liked the stories. I liked hearing about how people hit rock bottom and then changed their lives for the better. I really liked hearing that you can do or have or be anything that you want. Who wouldn’t?
Here’s Rhonda in the introduction: “I want you to know how easily you can change your life, and it’s not by running around trying to force it into the shape you want. You change your life in the only way you can ever change it: change your mind, and then your life will change.” loc 47, ebook. All true change comes from within, I do believe that. Until I typed this out, I didn’t realize just how many times she used the word “change” in those two sentences. Counting back I see… five times? That’s a lot of change, people.
I feel like this book warns the reader away from negative emotions, but they serve a purpose too. It gives you a starting point- if you know what you don’t want, then you know what you do. I’m not suggesting that you wallow in negative emotion, but feeling it, acknowledging it, then moving on isn’t as bad as this book makes it out to be. In this passage, Rhonda is suggesting the use of “Secret Shifters” to control your mood: “The Secret Shifters… are things you can focus on whenever you find yourself feeling angry, frustrated, or any other negative emotion, in order to change those negative feelings in an instant. They might be beautiful memories, future events, funny moments, nature, a person you love, or your favorite music.” loc 409, ebook. I say: feel whatever you’re feeling and trust that your emotions will eventually rise again like a cork in water. Helping yourself along with “Secret Shifters” or gratitude lists or whatever is fine, but for goodness sake, don’t force it. “What you resist, persists.”
I really agreed with this next passage: “Most of us have the wrong idea about happiness. We believe that if we get everything we want, and if life continually goes our way, we will be happy. And from that belief, we create all the excuses in the world for why we can’t be happy right now. … It’s those very excuses that are preventing you from being happy now.” loc 457, ebook. I used to do that- looking forward to circumstances or events and ignoring where I was. The journey really is the point, so why not be happy now? Rhonda Byrne nailed that one.
Recommended for readers who are looking for a quick, uplifting read about the Law of Attraction or for those who are interested in getting started but don’t necessarily believe or know how it works. The latter, in particular, may find a great deal of worth in these pages. As I said, I liked it, but I’d also recommend reading Abraham Hick’s books too: to learn the value of negative emotion, not be afraid of feeling your full emotions, and to learn not to practice affirmations unless you’re feeling “in the zone” so to speak. Additional reading: The Vortex: Where the Law of Attraction Assembles All Cooperative Relationships and Co-creating at Its Best: A Conversation Between Master Teachers.
Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books publishing for a free copy of this book! And, thank you for reading.