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Rumor has it, it's all in your head

I've got a secret. And only 40 million other people know about it.

"The Secret" phenom: It's a book, it's a movie, it's on "Oprah," it's on magazine covers and it's the hot buzz around water coolers and car-pool lines.

I think it's safe to say that "The Secret" is not a secret anymore. And truthfully, it never really was.

In case you've been living under a rock, the premise behind "The Secret" is that your thoughts and feelings create your reality. Your thoughts have physical power, they go out into the universe and the universe sends you back exactly what you put out. So even if you want to be rich, thin and loved, if you keep thinking about how poor, fat and lonely you are, that's the way you'll stay.

It's like the world is one big drive-through window, and every thought you have is the karmic equivalent of shouting your order at the guy in the paper hat.

Many call it the law of attraction. It's how like attracts like and successful people have been consciously using it to their advantage for centuries.

However, thanks to the creative packaging and slick marketing behind "The Secret," the rest of us bottom-feeders are finally getting the message.

A Newsweek commentary suggests that "The Secret" isn't really a secret and that the "teachers" in the film are "mostly motivational speakers and writers who have been selling the same message for years."

Yet Oprah Winfrey, who devoted two entire shows to it, says, "It's life-changing" and that it enables you to "make more money, lose weight, fall in love or find your dream job."

They're both right. It's not new information, but it has the power to change your entire existence.

So why haven't more people embraced it? The movie implies that "The Secret" was purposefully kept away from the rabble because it would give us too much power.

I think people have been trying to share it for centuries, they just never packaged it up right. Any of these adages ring a bell?

"Pretty is as pretty does."

"If you keep making that face it will freeze like that."

"You get what you give."

"What goes around comes around."

"You reap what you sow."

If you're like me, you've probably had hundreds of teachers, preachers and motivational screechers telling you that stuff for years. But a droning lecture from an authority figure isn't nearly as captivating as a secret revealed with music and high-res graphics.

Secret or no, the law of attraction is about operating from a place of love and gratitude rather than negativity and fear. It sounds great when you're rich and thin, but it's harder to think that way when you're 30 pounds overweight and the electric bill is overdue.

However, according to "The Secret" it's not your circumstances that are creating your attitude, it's your attitude that's creating your circumstances. It's a universal law: Until you're grateful for the life you've got, you'll never get a better one.

To be fair, in the spirit of full disclosure, while I understand the challenges of creating positive thoughts in a negative environment, I'm also one of those annoying people who sees the bright side of everything, and who is eternally convinced that life always works out great for them.

I was never clever enough to package up the idea as a secret. But having watched the DVD and read the book, I'm sure glad somebody did.

Attracting what you want by being positive and grateful has never been a mystery or secret. That information has been available for centuries. The secret is getting the masses to pay attention to it.

So if timeless truths presented via slick marketing is what it takes to get 40 million minds moving in the right direction, I'm grateful that the secret is out.

Lisa Earle McLeod is a nationally recognized speaker and a author. Her new book, "Finding Grace When You Can't Even Find Clean Underwear," is being released April 1.

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