Law of Attraction Emotional Scale Redefined – With Help From Marshall Rosenberg

I’ve been teaching this Law of Attraction thing for five years now. And in all that time I’ve struggled to find the right language to explain what Abraham-Hicks calls the emotional scale.

Most of the teaching and writing defines the emotional scale in terms of “good” and “bad” feelings, “positive” and “negative” feelings, “high vibrations” and “low vibrations.”

None of those definitions have felt right to me. Those definitions contribute to the continued, erroneous belief that some emotions are “negative” and should be avoided. In my opinion, and the way I teach the Law of Attraction, all feelings are positive, powerful indicators of our present state. Our emotions, all of them, provide us with some of our clearest guidance on the journey of deliberate creation.

The other day I picked up a little book by Marshall Rosenberg, the creator of Non-violent communication, called, Being Me, Loving You: A Practical Guide to Extraordinary Relationships (Nonviolent Communication Guides).

When I read the following passage, a big, bright, lightbulb went off for me:

When I wrote my first book [Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Create Your Life, Your Relationships, and Your World in Harmony with Your Values] I put in a list of positive feelings and a list of negative feelings. Then I noticed how people think negative feelings are negative. Since that’s not what I wanted, in my next edition I put the words “positive” and “negative” in quotes, but that still didn’t seem to help. Now I write, “feelings present when our needs are being met” and “feelings present when our needs are not being met” to show how valuable they both are because they are both talking about life.

I knew that Marshall was on the right track. But it wasn’t quite right.

When we approach our lives from the perspective of deliberate creation we must accept that our needs are always being met. Whatever is in our life is in response to something we have “asked” for. Remember, the Law of Attraction is always working!

But Marshall’s phrasing led me to what I think is a great definition of the two ends of the emotional scale.

Feelings present when we are allowing our desires.


Feelings present when we are resisting our desires.

When we look at the emotional scale from this perspective, it’s easier to see that all of our emotions are necessary and beneficial.

When you feel excited, you know that you are being given a positive, beneficial sign that you are in a state of allowing your desires. Be grateful and see if you can move even deeper into a state of allowing!

But when you feel angry, realize that, here too, you are being given a positive, beneficial sign that you are resisting some desire. Give thanks! And see if you can begin moving closer to a state of allowing.

Both of these experiences are positive. Indeed, every piece of input from your emotional guidance system is valuable and can lead you closer to your desires. If you let them!

So when you notice strong – or even not-so-strong emotions – see if you can begin thinking about them in these terms: “Is this an emotion of allowing or of resistance? Am I allowing my desires or resisting them?”

By asking this question, you discover where you are on the emotional scale and can begin to take the small, incremental steps to move up. (Not to better emotions but rather to a space of more complete allowing).

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      15 Responses to “Law of Attraction Emotional Scale Redefined – With Help From Marshall Rosenberg”

      1. Build Your Life To Order ™ | Is Esther Hicks a Hypocrite? on August 22nd, 2007 3:24 pm

        […] once again, suppressed knowledge from the people instead of liberating them with the power of the Law of Attraction. This is because they have ‘left the non-physical part out.’ The non-physical part of […]

      2. Mike DeWitt on August 22nd, 2007 11:00 am


        I think you hit a grand slam with this distinction!


      3. Dan and Jennifer on August 22nd, 2007 7:28 pm

        Great distinction Ed. We’ve also found the emotional scale from David Hawkins’ book Power vs. Force to be very helpful.

      4. Edward Mills on August 22nd, 2007 8:52 pm

        Thanks Mike. This is a biggie for me!

        Hi D&J. Yeah, it’s quite an interesting book. And I hadn’t thought of his energy scale as an emotional scale, but going back and looking at it again just now, he does associate emotions with the energy levels. Although I see his scale more as an expression of life-levels, or where a person is anchored in their life. Whereas I see the loa scale and Rosenberg’s scale as more transient. With Hawkins’ scale, he’s suggesting that people will spend much or all of their lives in one or two of the levels. Very few people will move up more than that. Whereas we all have emotional cycles on a daily, weekly, monthly basis….

        I’m going to stop there, but as you can tell, you’ve definitely gotten me thinking about the correlation!


      5. Michael Repplinger on August 23rd, 2007 12:29 pm

        Good distinction, but I think it shifts the weight a bit to another question: what exactly are ‘our desires’.
        Only (emotionally motivated) needs & wishes, or also “higher order” volitions? That’s a crucial point, I think.

      6. Lyman Reed on August 23rd, 2007 7:48 am

        Edward – outstanding! That is such an important distinction to make. While the emotional scale concept, and the recognition that all I had to do was reach for that better feeling thought to move up it, was one of the keys in allowing myself to even *feel* anger or blame, language still would get in the way – up is better than down, low is better than high. Not true, but the concepts behind the words still would stick with me and get in the way. I went with “helpful” and “unhelpful” emotions for a while, but I also realize that even the depression can be helpful if it’s telling me “Hey, the things you are focusing on ain’t gonna get you what you want!”


      7. Barb on August 23rd, 2007 8:11 am

        It’s still hard for me not to see “feelings present when we are resisting our desires” as negative. I know they’re useful, but still thought of them as something I want to get rid of just in and of themselves.

        I’m going to try to commit your terms to memory now. Thanks!

      8. Steve on August 23rd, 2007 9:59 am

        Hey Edward,

        Nice perspective. I would replace ‘desire’ with ‘purpose’.

        Then it would read,

        Feelings present when we are allowing our purpose.


        Feelings present when we are resisting our purpose.

        Cuel – I like the sound of that too!

        Stephen Martile
        Personal Development with NLP

      9. Jeannette Maw on August 23rd, 2007 4:47 pm

        Ed, I love it! I’ve often found myself reaching for a different way of thinking about the scale and our emotions instead of as “positive” or “negative.”

        You’ve hit the nail on the head! Thanks for sharing this wonderful distinction.

        Good Vibe Coach

      10. streamfinder on August 24th, 2007 4:56 am

        The Law of Attraction is a wise and practical philosophy, but it is not a law. All things being equal, you will still find exceptions to it, and its effectiveness varies from situation to situation. Many variables that are out of our control act upon it as well. Therefore, by definition it is not a ‘law,’ it is a ‘proverb.’

        Laws describe physical phenomenon. If you are speaking of metaphysics, then the term ‘law’ should definitely be used. It would be more responsible to call it a theory. Great caution should be used when describing human behavior in terms of absolutes, laws, etc, because our understanding of the variations in human interaction and personality are limited at best.

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      13. ANGER: Awakening New Growth Encountering Resistance - Evolving Times - The Law of Attraction Resource for Personal Growth on December 12th, 2007 10:35 am

        […] the lower half of the emotional scale “negative.” But as I explored earlier in a post about Redefining the Law of Attraction Emotional Scale, I don’t believe there are any bad or negative emotions. Those “lower” emotions serve a […]

      14. How To Leverage Punctuated Equilibrium For Personal Growth | Evolving Times on February 13th, 2008 8:50 am

        […] and emotional patterns indicative of each phase. In general, if you notice you are having more resistant emotions than usual, it is a sign that you are either in or moving towards a period of […]

      15. Jan on December 2nd, 2008 10:41 am

        “Feelings when your needs are not satisfied” hits the right chord for me but “Feelings present when we are resisting our desires” doesn’t reflect what I have experienced.

        For example if my daughter is murdered maybe I feel grief and pain. I am not “resisting desires”. I have many unmet needs and my feelings are a result of that. My desire in that moment is not to “feel good”, but perhaps just to cope with the acceptance of what has happened. My real desire is to have her back and in grief I am not resisting that desire at all; in fact it is the desire to have her in my life that drives me.

        To say someone is resisting desires seems to imply a sort of blame, which I don’t see as helpful to someone who is suffering. On a larger level I believe we are all interconnected but some of the law of attraction philosophies seem to be missing something for me. Maybe it’s compassion / empathy for those going through pain…

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