Life is meant to be fun

My wife told me last night that winning a Nobel Prize extends your lifespan. Assuming the researchers did their homework, that means fame and adulation for one’s life’s work actually helps you live longer.

Good feelings are good. Life is not meant to be grim and miserable, it is meant to be fun and enjoyable. All it takes to let it be fun and enjoyable is to stop focusing on thoughts that feel bad and start focusing on thoughts that feel good.

Gradual improvements

If you persist with this practice, your feelings will gradually change and so will your circumstances. When we focus on thoughts that feel bad, we are drawn to more thoughts and circumstances that match. We unwittingly refuse, resist, and sabotage the good things in life because we’re not willing or practiced at going along with them.

When you focus on thoughts that feel good, thoughts of fun and enjoyment and appreciation, you allow those feelings to gain momentum in your life and open yourself to receive circumstances and conditions that match these good feelings.

Making fun of life

If you can find a feeling of fun in yourself, then you can expect fun to fill your life as well. It just depends on how consistently you can enjoy a feeling of fun without getting thrown off by negative thoughts.

The more frequently you enjoy good feelings, the better your life will feel. You’ll start to see that people who once looked like “victims” of their reality are steadfastly focused on bad-feeling thoughts and circumstances; and the baddest-feeling thought of all is that “I have no control over my circumstances”.

Focusing on fun feelings today is helping me appreciate that I have great potential in this. There’s a lot of fun available to me, and I’m inspired to see how this fun feeling will unfold in my experience, what signs and manifestations will turn up in response to my new point of focus.

Seeking solace and fulfilment

When I used to practice detachment I would run into a problem of feeling bored and yearning for something more, yet I couldn’t think of anything in the world to satisfy that desire.

This is perhaps where my melancholic temperament shapes my experience, because melancholics are excited by ideals and ideals are hard to locate in physical reality.

…aren’t they?

Rethinking idealism

There’s no question that I am more excited by things like spiritual teachings and principles than material possessions and experiences.

Yet this dichotomy is informed by my own past belief that reality was dull and miserable. If what I’m longing for is the fulfilment of my exciting ideals, then naturally it’s frustrating and disappointing to believe reality can never rise to meet those ideals.

But the whole point is that manifestations are only a reflection of thought, and feeling guides us as to the alignment of our thoughts with God/inner being.

Hence quashing my ideals because I couldn’t see or even imagine them manifesting in my reality is, in A-H terms, like digging up the seedlings you just planted because they haven’t borne fruit yet.

Don’t go looking outside

My old frustration was guidance telling me my thoughts were off. And boy were they off! I was using my reality as the measure of my ideals, my excitement, my good feelings. I was shutting down my own enthusiasm because I didn’t know what to do with it!

What I can do instead is accept that my manifestation is a reflection of my alignment, and the profoundly good feelings I have right now are telling me I am aligned with God/inner being.

It feels good to know this now. It feels good to know and to see that manifested reality is a perfect match to what I’m feeling right now. It is wonderful to know at last that I don’t have to go searching for something to justify, anchor, or explain this inner peace and satisfaction and ease.

Temperament Project 01: Getting Started

Blogging has helped me stay focused on some subjects, so why not use it to focus on writing my book about temperament? My aim is to write regular blog posts that will help shape and inspire an eventual book. Hope you like it!

What is temperament, and why should I care?

Temperament is the foundation of your personality. It’s the part of your personality hard-wired from birth, biologically based, that determines how you respond to the world.

It’s significant in the same way that physical attributes like height are significant. Some people are taller and some are shorter; and while your height doesn’t dictate anything about you, it does shape your experience and make certain outcomes more, or less, likely.

Being tall will give you an advantage in basketball, netball, swimming and some other sports, but it might be a disadvantage in weight-lifting, ballet, gymnastics or horse-racing.

Temperament is more complicated than height, but it has an analogous impact on your choices in life and the shaping of your personality.

Life-long traits

Contemporary psychology has studied aspects of temperament and found that traits identified in infancy will persist throughout life.

The ancient Greeks observed this too, and in their own proto-scientific context they came up with theories to explain these fundamental differences in temperament.

If the world was made up of four basic elements: earth, air, fire, and water, then obviously the human body must be governed by four basic substances too.

Blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile were the four fluids or humours that determined health or illness, as well as the foundation of the personality: the temperament.

The word temperament itself means blend or mix and refers to the blend of humours within the individual.

We each have all four humours within us, but one or two tend to dominate. Depending on the blend, individuals are categorised as sanguine (blood), phlegmatic (phlegm), choleric (yellow bile), or melancholic (black bile).

A perfectly balanced person would have all four in proportion. But most of us can be described by a primary-secondary blend. Thus a person with primary choleric and secondary phlegmatic is a choleric-phlegmatic.

But Greek medicine was wrong…wasn’t it?

Absolutely!

There’s no such thing as black bile, and there’s no indication that the other bodily fluids mentioned have any impact on personality or behaviour in the way the Greeks envisaged.

But observations are still valid data, even if the theory that attempted to explain those observations has been discarded.

In the case of temperament what we have inherited from the Greeks and the civilisations that adopted Greek medicine is a robust yet pragmatic set of observations spanning millennia.

We may not know yet what causes differences in temperament, but we do know that such differences exist, and the four temperament model remains a valuable framework for understanding, interpreting, and responding to those differences in ourselves and others.

What if home were magic?

Circumstances don’t create our reality; it’s our own thoughts and focus that creates our reality.

Where the heart is

Home has been a touchy subject for me. We’re a family of four living in a small unit. We would love more space. We would love a beautiful, wonderful, magical home.

But to say that housing and land are too expensive is beside the point. We create our reality through our thoughts and focus. If I feel bad about the subject of home that’s not a market issue, it’s a focus issue.

The cost of housing represents something to me: the feeling of distance from my ideal, the sense that a beautiful home is unattainable. Money signifies the gap between where I am and where I want to be.

Old thoughts

The truth is that home hadn’t felt magical, beautiful, wonderful or magnificent for many years. Not since we left our old home to come to this city when I was five.

Home lacked those qualities. No, I lacked those feelings about home. Seventeen years I practiced noticing the absence of magic, excitement and adventure in that house.

That’s why my ideal home has felt distant. Not because of money but because of the practiced thought that home is bland and utilitarian, oppressive, boring and ugly.

These thoughts have gotten in the way of my desire for a beautiful, magical, wonderful, magnificent home. I’ve had this desire for a long, long time, but I shot it down over and over with thoughts of insufficiency and lack.

My practiced negative thoughts stopped me from even feeling good about home. But now my positive thoughts have enough momentum that I can change how I think and feel on subjects like this.

Changing direction

I can enjoy finding good-feeling thoughts about home purely for the sake of feeling good. Home can feel like magic right now if I stop resisting it.

There are so many positive aspects to where we live now, enough to keep me flooded with appreciation and joy all the time.

Our home is already beautiful, magical, and wonderful. It already has so much space. We’ve already made a delightful home out of this unit, and it is entirely up to us to appreciate it right now.

Receiving blessings

In the Abraham-Hicks teachings it is often said that the only reason we want anything in life is because we think we will feel better in the having of it.

The two components of the teaching are first that we can feel good right now just by focusing on those things we want, and second that by feeling good we open ourselves to receive from God the things we have already asked for.

But the whole point is to feel good regardless, and by appreciating what we already have, we can arrive at such a state of alignment that we no longer feel any lack or insufficiency.

By focusing on my desires for a wondrous home and letting go of my resistance, I am already there. I feel in my heart the beauty and abundance I’ve longed for, and where I sit right now is perfection.

Awakening to your higher self

There’s always been this dichotomy of two selves.

The self you are most aware of is more like a focal point than a separate entity. It’s how you participate in the physical world, but it’s not the fullest extent of your being.

When we worry, fear, struggle and fight, it’s as if we are focused on this self to the exclusion or ignoring of its true nature, and ours.

What people call the higher self, Buddha-nature, Christ dwelling within us, is an awakening to this greater being of which we are a part.

If we say the physical self is a focal point, then it is this greater, spiritual self that is focusing here.

We could live most of our lives focused only on the physical self, with only fleeting awareness of the bigger picture.

But the real joy and ease and happiness comes as we come into alignment with this higher, spiritual self that is an extension of God, and begin to merge those two perspectives.

Our higher self is always united with God. It knows only endless streams of love and appreciation and joy.

Our physical self can, as a focal point, be in harmony with our higher self and enjoy the resonance and beauty of that most satisfying relationship.

That is why ease and relief are important, because from God’s perspective there can be no reason, no obstacle, no thing to stand in opposition or resistance to the love and the light that is His very being.

This higher self, this relationship with God is always within us. It just takes practice of relief, practice letting go of the oars and turning downstream, practice of trust to the point where we can feel its presence as naturally as we feel a cool breeze on our skin or the rhythm of our own breath.

It’s only taken me two years of exploration and practice to cease feeling chronically depressed and find relief and trust available to me at all times.

And in that two years it only took about two months of daily focus to really hear the answers i was seeking: let go of the oars, again and again let them go. Let the current turn you downstream. Stop trying, stop efforting, let go into trust that the universe is good, that God desires your happiness, and rest in the utter totality of trusting the creator of the universe to carry you gently, easily into the love you always desired.

This trust is the spring of life-giving water. It is the abundance of joy promised us. It is everything we desire, and it is available to us always.

Feel good all day 11

Up til now I’ve practiced feeling good about things in my life and it’s improved my baseline mood to the point where I can feel good all day.

Reaching a new stage like “feeling good all day” naturally raises my expectations and desire for more. Contrast helps me focus on what I want, higher levels of feeling good.

Without planning or trying I’ve started to address thoughts and feelings closer to home and my own self and identity.

These are thoughts about my self-worth and how I carry myself in the world; and it’s exciting and gratifying to feel that all my focus on feeling better is now transforming the bedrock of my daily life.

It feels good to feel good. This tautology applies as much to my thoughts about myself as to thoughts about the world.

I don’t worry about world events anymore because it feels good to trust that everything is unfolding according to a higher plan.

And in the same way I can feel proud of myself for all I have accomplished. The feeling of pride and appreciation is accessible right now, and no action is required (or able) to justify or earn it.

The old patterns of thought I created were to protect me from painful emotions. I don’t need them anymore because the answer to painful emotions is not defensiveness or protection but a deliberate practice of finding better-feeling thoughts instead.

Feel good all day 3

This old kookaburra was sitting in the tree above me while I wrote yesterday.

Today is my ninth wedding anniversary (and my wife’s too 😜). Nine years feels pretty substantial. We must be doing something right, and as my focus on feeling better takes hold it begins to feel like we’re doing everything right.

Yesterday was amazing. The only low point only served to help clarify what I want, how good I’d like to feel, and put into perspective some small pockets of resistance still active in my mind.

I’m at that wonderful place of being able to sit and feel appreciation for my life right now, and the journey I am on.

I’m taking away momentum from old patterns of thought, and freeing up energy to focus on new thoughts of how good life can be, how satisfied I can feel.

Yesterday was beautiful and sunny. Today is pouring with rain, and I feel just as happy. Whether it’s raining or shining I have in myself the power to choose my point of focus, and decide to focus on what feels good all day, every day of my life.

Does your happiness seem far away?

Your reality is a reflection of what’s going on inside you – the average of all your thoughts and attitudes.

So if it seems like your happiness is far away: be it relationships, wealth, career or anything; or if it feels like there are weighty obstacles to your desires, these obstacles and this distance are a perfect reflection of the resistance within you.

If you have doubts about a major purchase you might be tempted to make the purchase anyway. But the doubts won’t be resolved by action alone. Instead you’ll find new reflections of doubt in your fresh circumstances.

If you think you can make a relationship happen through effort despite obstacles, know that the obstacles are reflecting resistance already in you. Trying to change the circumstances will just bring the resistance out by another path.

If wealth seems always out of reach it’s not the external distance that’s the problem but the internal resistance in the form of thoughts about wealth, value, economics and so on.

Use the reflection

The good news is that we can use the reflection or manifestation to understand and ease our resistance.

If it seems like there are no jobs for people like me, or if the only jobs for which I am qualified appear soul-destroying in their awfulness, that’s just a reflection of my thoughts about money.

Someone like me doesn’t deserve easy money.

The cost of obtaining money is just too high.

Money requires sacrifice.

Yet I’ve had jobs that were objectively easy, and did I enjoy them? No. I created and focused on aspects of the jobs that kept alive the feeling of sacrifice or struggle.

If the job was easy, I spent every day fearing that I’d be called to account for not accomplishing enough.

I balanced out the easy money by feeling untenable guilt and unworthiness.

Close the gap in yourself

Instead of struggling to change the reflection or manifestation, work on resolving, soothing, or otherwise improving the thoughts you focus on.

Struggle and action will only move things around, they won’t change the underlying cause.

Whatever distance or obstacles appear in your reality, the real gap is not between your present circumstances and your desired outcome; the real gap is between your thoughts and your desires.

Work on closing that gap, simply by finding thoughts that feel better.

And when your thoughts actually change, then you’ll see that the distance doesn’t matter, obstacles don’t mean anything, and new possibilities arise without any effort on your part.

Feel good all day 1

Aaaaand I’m back!

Phew! It’s a relief to have a focal point once more, a coherent goal to guide my thoughts and feelings, an aspiration, and an inspiring ideal!

I can feel good all day. If I don’t, I can feel okay about it. Every time I feel less than good, it will help me focus and improve. Because that’s how we learn!

Plan of attack

First, focus on subjects that feel good and ignore subjects that don’t feel good.

If you can’t ignore a subject, start softening it so it doesn’t feel as bad, and then ignore it.

Appreciate: Weather, possessions, activities, interactions, ideas. Everything has an appreciable aspect to it, and if it doesn’t then soften and soothe your thoughts and then ignore it.

And above all keep reminding yourself that you want to feel good all day.

It’s easy. You know how to do it, you want to do it, and now you’re doing it!

Missing my happiness

Okay, I admit I’m feeling less happy now that my Happiness Challenge is over.

Focusing on happiness every day really did make me happier.

It gave me discipline but also momentum and most importantly it kept me oriented to a positive goal.

Each time I wrote something I would feel for whether it was bringing me closer to happiness or not.

Now that it’s over I feel less sure of what to write, and I’ve found myself mulling over ideas that don’t feel good.

At the same time don’t want to just pick up where I left off. I want more than before!

So I’m going to pick a new, more specific, goal and focus on that for thirty days or so.

It could be something like “enjoy every moment” or “appreciate each moment”. I like goals that are extreme and totally encompassing, because they help keep me honest and motivated.

Or if it’s day by day I could pick “feel good all day”.

Actually I like that one. Let’s give it a try!