Transformational gratitude and what’s wrong with the law of attraction

I’m honored to share with you this guest post by the beautiful Evelyn Kalinosky. Evelyn is a catalyst and mentor for business women in midlife transition. She’s talking about gratitude, and I love gratitude!


gratitudeTransformational gratitude

I received quite a few comments (both good and bad) and a lot of interest around my blog post: Being Human. I shared the difficulty I have with being vulnerable in the face of an illness I’ve been dealing with for more than eight years, and how that’s further complicated by a current culture that places so much credence on positive thinking, the Law of Attraction and, of course, The Secret.

As a coach, I’ve heard my fair share of well-known experts espousing the belief that we bring to our life what we really, truly want. I’ve even been known to tout these mantras a time or two (or three). But couched within these well-meaning belief systems is a more insidious message: That if bad things happen, somehow we’ve asked for it. And that’s too close to blaming the individual for what are often experiences well beyond our control.

The reality is people get sick, bad things happen (and that risk increases as we age), and no amount of positive thinking or willing prosperity is going to change that.

Law of Attraction Rant

What I see as the real problem with this whole concept of manifesting what we want is that if it doesn’t happen, despite our best efforts, we’re left feeling like a failure and made to believe it’s because we didn’t really want it or we didn’t try hard enough to will it into existence.

As thought-seeking beings, I understand the need we have to know the “why” behind the reasons things happen, but sometimes there is no answer that satisfies. Sometimes it’s better to ask “why not?” and embrace the full measure of what that means.

Inspirational, positive messages have a powerful place in our thoughts and minds. They certainly do in my own life. But it’s a matter of balancing these messages so that we don’t always come across as pollyannas or act as though we’re not allowed to express the full measure of the feelings we have — and that sometimes means bearing witness to negative emotions.

Life can be hard. We need inspiration to soften that hardness, but we also need space and freedom to be vulnerable about what is hard.

There is definitely a connection between our thoughts and how that affects our bodies because when we look at the whole of being human, we are after all, energy.

And that’s where how we deal with both the positive and negative experiences life brings to us comes in to play so profoundly. But, it’s never about blame — blame is as dangerous and useless as guilt.

I’ve seen truly amazing people who’ve risen above what others can only imagine with a sense of grace, belief and always, hope. Maintaining equilibrium in the face of a life that ebbs and flows is so much better than telling people if they will it hard enough it will come to be.

A woman left a comment recently on my blog post Being Human that I found extremely on the mark:

“There’s a big difference between saying ‘I attracted it’ and blaming myself. It’s like a radio station I didn’t realize I was tuned into. So, while I believe we do attract things, we can do that unconsciously by our belief system and put ourselves slightly off-path. Those off-path moments often bring us to what we truly wanted all along. So there is no fault, only discovery, centering, challenging beliefs and modifying our focus as we tune in.

Transformational Gratitude and Equilibrium

Life is the experience and expression of patterns. The emotional patterns that you have directly influence the way you perceive the world, and determine what you allow into or out of your life. As you learn the skill of equilibrium, you free yourself from seeing in the same way. You free yourself from repeating the same emotional patterns. Every time you evolve through a pattern you gain wisdom, insight, and inspiration into the universe and into yourself.

As you transcend your emotional revolutions, you evolve your conscious evolution, and your divinity — in whatever form that means to you — becomes more real, and you become empowered to manifest the full expression of its brilliance.

It’s not about religion.

It’s not about positive thinking.

It’s about the secret transformational power of gratitude and how you can use it to overcome tragedy and challenges in your life.

Transformational gratitude is learning to love what you don’t particularly like about your life experiences as much as loving what you do like. When applied, it becomes a state of being, causing balance in your emotions and leading to empowerment over the tragedies and challenges you face.

It creates equilibrium.

How you work with and around your problems defines you as a person.

Not what happens to you, but how you choose to deal with it.

I used to think that meant being stoic and positive all the time. Now I realize that to do this is only allowing myself to be partly human. In order to be fully human, I need to experience both the positive and negative feelings that come with any experience.

Not wallow in these negative experiences, but simply allow them the space to “be.”

If you want to hear more about transformational equilibrium, you can listen in to my Golden Goddesses Radio Show where I talk about this in greater length. Just click on this link and go to 60.10 on the recording where my show begins.

And I’d love for you to weigh in on this topic, so please share your comments here on the blog.


headshotEvelyn Kalinosky is a catalyst and mentor for business women in midlife transition. She specializes in working with women age 40 forward who are ready to claim – or reclaim – their Sacred Capital. Her passion is to create a new paradigm in how we think about aging, specifically, how we think about women aging.

Her award-winning Inner Affluence Blog received top honors in 2011, 2012 and 2013 as one of the Best Coaching Blogs by the School of Coaching Mastery, and her posts have appeared in ForbesWoman, 85 Broads, Boomer Café, Boomer-Senior Living+, Generation Fabulous, and Forward Metrics. In addition to being a coach and mentor, Evelyn hosts a weekly radio show, and is a speaker and published author. Learn more by visiting

Evelyn’s latest product, due out just in time for the holidays, [R]evolution: A Soulful & Practical Guide to Creating the Life You Want, does a deep dive into letting go of things you tolerate and the fears that hold you fast, the lies you tell yourself, how to muzzle your Inner Critic, and how to finally, soulfully say “Yes!” to your sacred right to be SELFish. Sign up here to be added to the advance preview list so you’ll receive all the juicy details and offers that won’t be available to the general public.


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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. Oh, I adore your thoughts on this, Evelyn, and on the power of gratitude to transform.

    I, too, have taken issue with the law of attraction, as it assumes a contracting universe. I prefer to play with a framework that acknowledges an ever-expanding universe and focuses intead on our bigness, our corresponding expansiveness.

    I also love how you seek the space to be…and the wholeness of that beingness.

    • Lori,

      Thanks so much for your wonderfully insightful comments, and I’m happy to know that the post resonated with you. I love the concept of “a framework that acknowledges an ever-expanding universe…” We need to be sure to create space that allows for the full measure of our wholeness, for in that space we become fully human. Evelyn

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