For several years, I was a leader in New Thought churches that held strict adherence to the “Law of Mind-Action” – that we change the blueprint of the universe to manifest according to our thoughts and beliefs – and the “Law of Attraction” – that we attract all experiences into our lives based on our thoughts and beliefs, whether conscious or unconscious. Under both of these principles, the material world, and thus the body, are subject to the will of the mind – subservient, docile, and reactive – just as women (traditionally associated in many cultures with the land and processes of the body) were considered inferior to and expected to remain subservient to men. While many early New Thought pioneers were women (Emma Curtis Hopkins, Mary Plunkett, Myrtle Fillmore, Malinda Cramer, Nona and Fannie Brooks, and H. Emilie Cady among them), this traditional gendering of mind and body remains largely unexamined in New Thought circles, as does the Western, liberal individualism whose ideals provide the definitions of success against which one’s “right thinking” is measured.
And yet I’m not unfriendly to positive thinking, to intentional joy, or to mind-action. People who know me in my everyday life know me for my laughter and my optimism. I have a handful of favorite affirmations and craft new ones as challenges arise. I enjoy creating vision boards, and writing and leading guided visualizations.
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