Feel good all day 14

Allowing, eh?

So how do I allow?

Part of me wants to hit this with everything I’ve got, but we know by now that when we strive or push or try it’s because we think we have somewhere to be, something that needs to change, something we must fix.

It’s tempting to seize control, but it’s also dismal and small to then feel responsible for everything that’s going on.

You create your reality, but two-thirds of the process don’t require any effort and the final third is only effort in the most minimal sense.

It’s kinda tiring and sad to think that you’d have to build your reality thought by thought and brick by brick. But it doesn’t work that way. The real work is being done by the divine being of which you are just an extension, a thread, a single point of view.

That’s why mysticism is full of surrender: surrender to God, surrender of the individual self, surrender of the illusion of separation.

But the individual perspective is still part of the plan, we still have a role to play, and we can still allow it to be a whole lot easier.

My efforts to be as happy as I can and feel good all day have definitely paid off. But they were also efforts I embarked on when I thought effort and focus was my greatest strength.

I wanted to take control of my experience and I’m very good at focusing intensely on a given subject until I feel completely on top of it. Yet the fruit of this intense effort includes realising that there’s a better way; that needing to be on top of things limits the scope of what can happen in your life.

Allowing is the better way. Making space for surprises and miraculous occurrences is the better way. Leaving openings for God to do the work is infinitely better than insisting I oversee the action step by step from my own limited perspective.

Allowing is the antidote to thinking I’ve gotta do it all by myself. The expectation of a DIY job resists the benefits and cooperation of divine help.

Allowing is, therefore, the expectation that it’s all being done for me, by someone whose power and efforts entirely eclipse my own. Isn’t that far more exciting?

What is allowing?

Last night I had the inspiration to start a series focusing on allowing.

My sense was that I’ve been very successful with my focus on feeling good all day and my previous Happiness Challenge, but these still encourage me to be very active and intense.

Abraham-Hicks sometimes refer to their teaching as the Art of Allowing. But what is allowing? And can I actively focus on allowing without it becoming too much about effort and doing?

Step three: allow

In the Abraham teachings we create our reality via a three step process.

Step one, we ask for something. This happens automatically as we form new desires in response to our present reality.

Step two, Source, God, our inner being becomes a match to that desire. This also happens without us doing anything.

Step three, we receive what we have asked for, by coming into alignment with step two. In other words we now believe we have received it. In Abraham terms our thoughts are a vibrational match to our desire and our inner being, as evidenced by how we now feel about it.

Just feel good…?

Just by feeling good we put ourselves in the vicinity of our desires. But that’s what I’ve been doing, so how does allowing enter the picture?

It’s subtle, but there’s a difference between feeling good with the hope of being a match for your desires, and feeling good so as to allow them to come about.

Does the difference matter? Maybe not to everyone, but some of us are used to being intense and in control, and we can turn even “feeling good” into an intense effort to control our experience.

Allowing let’s us off the hook. It encourages us to take things lightly and easily. And it puts the emphasis back on the spiritual side of this reality, knowing that we are not here to push and strive and make things happen.

It also opens us to surprises, to ease, to answers coming out of every mysterious corner of our experience.

And it primes us to be more flexible, to go with the flow, and not be so dead-set on how we think things should unfold.

Allow yourself to feel good

Why does feeling good become a matter of allowing?

It’s because we usually keep our feelings under tight constraints through paying attention to our circumstances, and thinking the same old thoughts.

We think we would feel much better if life suddenly improved, but the inverse is also true: we won’t let ourselves feel better unless life improves.

Would you like to feel as good right now as if you’d just won the lottery, met your soulmate, bought your dream home?

Most of us are paying such close attention to the absence of those conditions that we won’t let ourselves feel really good.

Near-life experience

We’ve all heard that people who’ve come close to dying can completely change their approach to life.

All it takes is a shift in perspective to let go of our resistance and start appreciating life.

But even a near-death experience is a change in circumstances. How do we have a change in attitude without waiting for life to change first?

I’m finding that allowing myself to feel much better than circumstances dictate requires that I stop focusing so intently and attentively on these circumstances.

Don’t take them seriously. The conditions of your life are fleeting after all. They are just the product of your past perceptions and past choices.

It’s like watching a movie with full attention versus letting it just play in the background. If you want to feel better than circumstances dictate, stop giving your circumstances such hold over your attention.

Living a different reality

Yesterday I took my daughter for a walk around the neighbourhood.

I could tell that all my work at feeling better is yielding results because (apart from feeling better) I found myself noticing and appreciating things I had never noticed before.

I’ve walked this route many times. But for the first time it seemed that every house had some startling new detail or beautiful aspect.

They weren’t new. No one had come along and quietly renovated each house. I was just in a good enough feeling that these beautiful details could show themselves to me.

So what is my reality: bland disappointing suburbs, or a series of intriguing and eye-catching architectural surprises?

Both are potentially my reality, but I had to let go of the former to make space for the latter.

Letting go, allowing, openness and receptivity are all about making space for enjoyment and good feeling that otherwise cannot enter.

The benefits of getting sick

I used to hate and dread getting sick. At the first sign of a cold I’d panic and try everything I could think of to fight and resist it.

According to Esther Hicks, being sick is better described as pinching oneself off from well-being. The solution is not to overcome a sickness but to allow well-being to flow.

So this past week when I woke up with a faintly sore throat I did my best to adopt this point of view. I stopped looking at my coughing, congested wife with apprehension and dread in case I catch her sickness. She wasn’t afflicted by an external malady, merely resisting the wellness already available to her.

Likewise, I wasn’t under the threat of contracting some external contagion; my mild symptoms weren’t the beginning of something more severe. They were simply the earliest manifestations of pinching off well-being in myself.

Instead of a week spent fighting against the onslaught of a virus, I took my discomfort as a reminder to allow well-being. It worked.

The first thing I noticed was that allowing well-being broadened my focus. Instead of a narrow focus on fighting the specific discomfort, allowing showed me tension and resistance I was unaware of.

All the times I’ve noticed the onset of symptoms but been unable to counteract them… I’ve even felt the physical tension that precedes a cold, lending support to the idea that a cold is just an acute bout of resistance. But by the time the symptoms emerge it’s extremely difficult to ignore them. I tended to focus on the symptoms, fearing their increase.

This time my symptoms did not progress, and yesterday I realised that I’d been free of symptoms for a few days. I was so focused on allowing well-being that I wasn’t even keeping track of them.

Practising well-being for everything

It’s not just about physical manifestations of resistance. The same rationale applies to everything in life.

Any unwanted circumstance is like the first sign of a runny nose: it means I am pinching off the well-being and ease available to me.

The solution is not to fight to overcome the perceived negatives in our experience, but to allow the well-being to flow more broadly and more deeply.

External circumstances are just a reflection or manifestation of how much we are allowing well-being in the first place. Try to fix them and we’ll end up focusing only on resistance and missing the parts of us that need to let go and expand.

Ironically, once my symptoms disappeared I stopped focusing so much on allowing well-being, and my overall happiness began to decline as other, more subtle forms of resistance crept back in.

But any negative feeling should be treated the same way. It’s not an indication that things “out there” are bad and about to get worse if we don’t do something; it’s a sign that we’re inwardly resisting well-being, happiness, ease, excitement, joy, and love that are already in us.