Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.
Q: I have read many books on the law of attraction, and I am firm believer that it works. I also have a mentor at this time. However, I am really struggling with removing the blocks that would allow me to finally be happy and successful. I do affirmations daily, self-talk daily and participate in every personal development call I can, but still the blocks pop up. Can you provide me with some techniques that will help me overcome these blocks?
— Donna N., Cody, Wyoming
Sometimes the law of attraction is a bit misinterpreted. People use it like a wish magnet. They bait the hook with a dream, toss it out into the universe and expect to draw in money, a soul mate, happiness—whatever big fish they want to land. But think about another natural law: gravity. Gravity isn't selective. It pulls on everything, not just the things you want it to pull.
The law of attraction also pulls on everything; it attracts to you many things at once, not just one thing. The obstacles you meet are part of the whole picture. For that reason, this law can't be used as a wish magnet, even though it would be wonderful if it could. I think it's more useful to use another spiritual law, the law of reflection. This law states that the whole situation around you is you. "I am what I see. What I see is me." Once you see it is only you reflecting yourself back, what happens? You become more self-aware. As self-awareness expands, you become much clearer and focused on what you truly want. Then and only then can the law of attraction work for you reliably.
We are not talking about blaming yourself. Many people fear being blamed, which is why it's so easy to project on others. Those around you block your way, keep you from being happy and throw up obstacles to your getting ahead. Such an attitude keeps you stuck because if you are waiting for someone else to change in order to make you happy, you will wait forever. The only change that will make your reflection different is inner change. I mean inner change that is very specific and conscious.
If your reflection is full of stress, do what it takes to reduce your sense of being stressed.
If your reflection causes you to be anxious, look at your own fear. Do what it takes not to be afraid.
If your reflection makes you feel depressed, consider why you feel helpless and hopeless. Do what it takes to have hope and a sense of power over your own fate.
If your reflection shows other people in control over you, look at why you have given up your own power. Do what it takes to reclaim control over your own fate.
I have to use a general phrase like "do what it takes" because every situation has many elements. Maybe you will need to take outer action; surely you will have to take inner action. At bottom, whenever you see something negative in your reflection, three choices present themselves: Do I put up with it? Do I fix it? Do I walk away? These are fundamental choices. It takes self-awareness to know how to make them.
I really want you to make these choices, and the first step is to realize, with true conviction, that everything you see going on in your life is part of your reflection. It is telling you your own personal story, and fortunately, it also contains the clues you need to change that story.