The Volkswagen Jetta Principle
What shows up in our lives is a direct reflection of our inner thoughts and emotions. My friend Linda told me an amazing story about a young woman she once observed at the airport. This poor young thing was struggling with three heavy bags. But worse than the unwieldiness of her baggage was her less-than-positive attitude. With great gusto, she was vocalizing her immense disgust at a lack of help.
“Why is the bus taking so long?" she kept shouting. "Where in the hell is that bus? This is completely unacceptable!”
Linda said she might have felt sorry for the girl except that the very bus she was criticizing was five feet in front of her with its door wide open. Twice the bus circled, each time stopping to pick up passengers, but the irate young woman could not see it. The bus, thanks to the girl's intense commitment to struggle and anger, was literally out of her energetic sphere.
That’s why I named this principle after a popular model of car. Once a new model or make or brand enters your sphere of awareness, you suddenly notice it everywhere.
And that’s what happens when we devote our minds to things we do not want.
Lack, unhappiness, and danger are no more prevalent than a Volkswagen Jetta, but once we bring them into our consciousness, they sadly take over.
According to physicists, there’s a zero-point field (what I call the field of potentiality or the FP) where every possibility exists. For example, there’s the possibility you could be a ballerina, another that you could be a U.S. senator. Still another possibility is being a bag lady in Haight-Ashbury. When it comes to the FP, the possibilities are infinite.
Since I’m not a physicist and can barely pronounce the name David Bohm, let alone understand his theory of layered realities, I prefer to think of the field as a gigantic Walmart with hundreds of thousands of “products,” or possibilities....I know just where to find the fabric, the puzzles, the kids’ shoes—all the things I’ve been known to purchase. But I’m completely oblivious to most of the hundreds of thousands of products on the shelves.
Why? Because they’re not what I’m looking for.
That doesn’t mean they’re not there. It doesn’t mean they’re not as “real” as the puzzles and shoes. It just means I’m not aware of them. For example, my daughter once came home from school with head lice. After panicking...I finally concluded I would provide a much better parental example by going in search of lice shampoo. Sure enough, in an aisle at Walmart I’d walked down dozens, probably hundreds of times, was a complete selection of lice shampoo. Why had I never noticed it before?
Because it wasn’t what I was looking for.
For the next 48 hours (that’s all—a pain-free, two-day commitment; you are free to go back to your life as soon as this experiment is over), you are going to actively look for certain things. And just like sixth graders who start out dissecting worms, not human bodies, you’re going to begin with something simple—green cars. Or if you insist, pick another color. Sunset beige, for example. For the first 24 hours of the experiment, you’re going to make the following conscious intention. “I hereby intend, for the next day of my life, to look for (okay, you win) sunset-beige vehicles.” Again, nothing special is required. Just keep your eyes open and make the intention. And then simply notice if your conscious awareness has made a difference in the number of sunset-beige cars you see.
On day two, during the second 24-hour period, you’re going to make the intention to find yellow butterflies. Or purple feathers. Just make the intention. My friend Jeanette tried the experiment in January in the upper peninsula of Michigan and found yellow butterflies on stationery and on a paper cup at her daughter’s friend’s birthday party.
Another friend, Angela, was reading The Secret on a plane. This popular book on the universal law of attraction suggested that readers make an intention to receive a free cup of coffee. She laughed because, after all, the onboard flight attendant was just two aisles away from asking her that important flight-attendant question: “Coffee, tea, or soda?”
“That isn’t quite fair,” she noted, making the intention and moving on to the next paragraph.
But during her layover, a stranger who was sitting near her in the waiting lounge leaned over and said, “My flight was just called. I can’t carry anything else. I haven’t even taken a sip. Do you want this?”
You guessed it—it was a just-brewed Starbucks latte.