What Are You Going to Spy for Today?

Written by Christy Whitman July 12, 2013

As I was relaxing at a park a couple of days ago watching my boys play games with some other children who happened to be there, I started to wonder how it is that two kids of the same age and from very similar backgrounds can walk into the same setting – a park, a play date, or a day at school – and create completely different experiences.   Why is it that one child is naturally curious about his or her surroundings and manages to have a pretty good time with whatever is going on, while another is combative, clingy, or seemingly impossible to please?

Now I’m no child psychologist, and clearly children’s behavior can have complex or deep-rooted causes, but I have discovered one underlying principle that has a powerful influence on the quality and types of experiences that we tend to attract. This principle applies equally to adults and children alike and is invisibly at work in virtually every situation, as it is the basic of the universal Law of Attraction.  Here it is, in a nutshell:


What we look for, we tend to find.

The interesting thing about this principle is that the majority of the time it operates by default, which is to say that most of us spend very little time considering ahead of time what it is we’d like to look for – and find – in each of our experiences.  Instead, we sort of stumble in to each new situation haphazardly, with only a vague idea about what we are hoping to get out of it and how we’d like to feel while there.

Now, when we enter into a new interaction without a clear intention what happens is that our vibration (meaning our thoughts and emotions) tends to find resonance with the mood, energy and emotional tone that has already been set in that situation.  Sometimes this works out really well for us – when the atmosphere we’ve just walked into is upbeat and joyful.  But if we walk into a situation where the dominant vibration is one of aggression, frustration or competition (as can sometimes happen when you get a large group of young kids together in one place), then our emotional state entrains with the chaotic tone that has already been set, and we experience some degree of disconnection or discomfort as a result.

Now, as adults who have been studying and practicing the Law of Attraction for nearly two decades, my husband Frederic and I are pretty good at setting a tone of flow and harmony in our own lives and in our interactions with our boys.  But because we also want them to know that they have the power to set their own emotional tone – wherever they are and whomever they are with (and whether they are with us or not) – we invented a little game to support them in tapping into this innate skill.

This game is sort of a retake of the traditional game of “I Spy.”  As you know, when you play “I Spy,” one person looks around and describes to another person something they are seeing that already exists as a manifested outer reality, and then that person has to guess what it is.  The game that Fred and I invented works in reverse:  Before our boys go on any solo adventure – whether it’s a trip to a friend’s house, a weekend with their grandma, or even a trip to the dentist – we ask them, “What Are You Going to Spy for?”  The very act of asking this question starts their minds turning in the direction of what they desire to happen. The more they talk about the things they are going to “spy for,” the more positive anticipation they start to build toward that future event.

But here’s where it gets really interesting.  Thanks to a little part of the brain known as the reticular activating system, once we’ve set an intention about something that we want to find (you know, like an ATM when you need to withdraw some cash or a gas station when you’re running low), our brains will actually search the physical world around us, helping us to find an exact match to that which we are looking for.  What this means is that just by taking a few minutes to help your children get clear about what they want to experience in any relationship or situation, you increase their ability to search out and attract that experience.  What we look for, we tend to find.

Happy spying!

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