Practicing happiness 05

I can choose to feel better.

It starts small. It’s a tiny, gentle change in direction.

It’s a choice to feel better, regardless of circumstances.

You can choose it again and again and again, choosing that “feel better” feeling, just because you know it’s better than anything else you could do right now.

Just feel better! Modestly and gently feel better, and over time you’ll start to get the change in direction. You’ll start to feel the difference as you practice.

Old problems might come up, new challenges might arise, but I promise that you can practice feeling better through those as well.

And then what?

After practicing like this (and some other things arising and resolving) it suddenly became clear to me that when I feel better I’m actually turning to the presence of God/Source/inner being within me.

The better feeling is God’s presence, my Source, pure positive energy, and I’m just letting myself feel it.

When you feel better you are aligning with God, with Source, and the true source of all love and happiness within you.

So keep practicing! Feel better now…and now…and now. Ask yourself “what would feel better right now? What’s the best feeling thing I can do right now? How can I relax and feel better?”

Every time you choose to feel better your power grows, and it accumulates faster than you realise. It’s just that it’s a small and gentle and modest shift. But that’s all it takes. You don’t have to go anywhere or do anything dramatic because alignment has always been so close by all this time.

Because it’s close, you don’t need effort. Because it’s close, you don’t need a reason. Because it’s close, you can always find it.

Just feel better, just a little bit better, just find a gentle direction of better feeling and do it again and again until feeling better becomes your new way of being.

Close the gap…but not too much

There is always going to be a gap between your vibration and that of your inner being. When the gap is wide we feel bad. So in order to feel better we must close the gap.

That’s why we find better-feeling thoughts. Each better-feeling thought is vibrationally closer to the joy and love and appreciation our inner being (God) already enjoys.

But the gap is not a bad thing. The gap – and the contrast it brings – is why we are here. It’s only because of the gap that we can form new preferences and desires and allow expansion.

Sometimes we try too hard to close the gap or we think there shouldn’t be a gap, shouldn’t be any contrast in life. These efforts to eliminate the gap do not bring happiness, nor can they succeed.

The gap is important and necessary, it only feels bad because we are looking at it the wrong way. From God’s perspective this gap is of tremendous value. And if we can learn to appreciate it as well then it can become a source of eagerness and joy rather than fear and incompleteness.

Learning to love contrast because contrast is the foretaste of new expansion; learning to appreciate the gap because the gap is what this life is all about; this is the way to true happiness, happiness in the path and the journey, not happiness conditional on outcomes and circumstances.

Letting go 04: Metaphysics? It’s the vibe!

I’ve been really unsure about the Abraham-Hicks concept of “vibration”.

They say that we live in a vibrational reality, that the underlying nature of everything is vibration, and we create by our vibration relative to God’s; but I’ve treated all this as just placeholder metaphysics without really engaging with it.

Because I’d have wanted to ask “what is it that vibrates? And how does it vibrate?”

But looking at it now, I know that’s not the point.

The point is that there is a deeper level to reality and creation operates on that level and according to those principles.

Accepting vibration is important because it helps us let go of physical cause-and-effect and shift our perspective to one of detachment and deliberate creation.

Vibration means giving ourselves permission to let go of limiting beliefs about how the world works.

But there’s more

But that’s not all. If we accept that vibration is the essence of everything we experience and think and feel, then vibration is what we are truly working with when we change our thoughts and feelings and manifest reality.

It’s not necessary to translate our thought into words and parse it and thresh it out. It’s not necessary to pay attention to the details of our reality. We can refine the process to a vibrational work.

It’s the vibe

From a vibrational perspective, God/inner being is pure positive energy and constantly expands to become a vibrational match to our desires.

Our physical self is a vibrational match to whatever we are focused on. The discrepancy between this vibration and the pure positive vibration of our inner being is what we call feelings or emotions and it serves us as guidance to our alignment.

Everything we desire, all we really desire is vibrational alignment with God within us. We can accomplish this alignment by following the guidance of our feelings bringing those two points of vibration together in us.

That’s the essence of this work: that is where we allow thoughts to come, where we enjoy the most wonderful satisfaction and appreciation and love, and where matching manifestations must follow.

Manifestations just aren’t that important

Manifestations are not as important as we think they are.

When we look to manifestations to make us happy, we begin clinging to conditions and circumstances, trying to get things just the way we want them.

We think manifestations have the power to make us feel good, but how we feel is determined by how well our thoughts align with God’s perspective within us.

Clinging and craving are universally recognised as obstacles to happiness, and most spiritual teachings encourage us to let go of manifest reality and find the true source of happiness within us.

That doesn’t mean manifestations will disappear or that reality is bad. And those same spiritual teachings promise us miraculous changes in our reality when we do find God.

Sometimes we let these promises confuse us, and we end up chasing spiritual growth because we hope for a change in our manifestations. That’s putting the cart before the horse, and simply won’t work.

It’s almost a paradox, but the promise is that manifestations will change to reflect the love and joy flowing through us. In other words: when we no longer desperately need them to.

Have you ever noticed that things you desire remain out of reach when you’re yearning for them, but when you forget about them and find peace they often turn up when you least expect them?

And by contrast, sometimes in our desperate yearning we manage to get what we want, but it doesn’t bring satisfaction or joy because we are still shaped by the sense of need.

Visualise

For me at this time the best answer is to view manifestations as akin to a music visualiser that generates animated images correlating with aspects of the music such as frequency and loudness.

When we watch a visualisation of music we know that it is just following the music. We appreciate how it complements the music but we never think it should change or be a certain way other than how the music is playing right now.

If we could have the same attitude to our manifestations, knowing that our whole reality is just reflecting the alignment and misalignment within us, we would stop clinging to the manifestations around us and focus instead on the love, joy, freedom, and happiness that flows inside us when we align our thoughts with God.

And that very perspective: letting go of manifestations and focusing on God; is one major component of the alignment we seek.

Thoughts, Feelings, and Manifestations part 2

The false premise of thinking manifestations are more important than thoughts, leads us to clinging and anxiety and striving for control.

We are in turmoil when we mistake cause and effect. Manifestations are not a cause but an effect. To think our happiness depends on manifestations leaves us confused and chasing our tail.

That’s why struggle and effort feels bad, we are already facing the wrong direction and reading the wrong cues.

So here I am now, learning to feel good about manifestations, or better yet: learning to find alignment in all manifestations.

The multiform manifestations that comprise my reality are a perfect projection of my thoughts in relation to the goodness that God is bestowing on me at all times.

Imagine your reality as a projection of God’s perfect light through you; shaped by your desires and clouded or disturbed by your resistance.

Keep feeling good and finding alignment, and those perturbations will cease and we will find clarity and joy.

Francis de Sales: progress in perfection

“Keep yourself faithfully in the presence of God; avoid hurry and anxiety, for there are no greater obstacles to our progress in perfection,”

Excerpt from Maxims and counsels of St. Francis de Sales for every day in the year. Francis, de Sales, Saint, 1567-1622

I came across an old book with quotations from St Francis de Sales, and they immediately resonated with my focus on providence and what I’m learning from the Abraham-Hicks material. I figured I’d put some up each day for a while. Enjoy!

Going up a level

Last night I was asking for clarity, and I got it.

I’m so reactive! Even though I’ve worked so hard at feeling better, even though I do feel so much better, I’m still taking my cues second-by-second from the manifestations around me.

Our feelings are a sign of how aligned our thoughts are with God’s perspective, our inner being.

When we look at manifestations and feel good it’s not the manifestation making us feel good, it’s our thoughts aligning with God: this is good.

When we look at manifestations and feel bad, it’s our thoughts going out of alignment: this is bad.

In that sense, all good feelings are basically God agreeing with us.

Since God sees only the good in all things, if we want to be in agreement with Him we should do the same.

That doesn’t mean we have to specifically find something good in every single situation and circumstance, but we can stop focusing on what isn’t good about it, focus more on things that are good, and in a general way accept that even the things that don’t seem good are bringing more good to us.

Thoughts, feelings, and manifestations

It seems like a long time but it was only a few months ago that I decided to focus on being happy all the time, using the same logic that I discovered in my approach to weight-loss.

That was my “Happiness Challenge” and after a month I moved onto another theme and then another.

Accepting that there’s no final answer, I can appreciate that so many answers have come my way.

Trust, let go, accept, allow, focus, appreciate, feel good, feel less bad, imagine, meditate, rinse and repeat.

I used to think this meant I was going in circles. But it’s natural for things to evolve in stages.

With that in mind I’m inspired today to allow more clarity about my place in this reality and how it all works.

Taking stock

When we think a thought, our emotions tell us how close that thought is to the perspective of our inner being, God.

For example, God loves us. That’s why self-critical thoughts feel bad, because they are not aligned with God’s thoughts about us.

God loves all of us, that’s why you feel bad when you’re critical of others too.

We can take stock of our lives by looking at how we feel, and the manifestations that follow.

If your thoughts are aligned you will feel good and you will notice good-feeling manifestations. If your thoughts are misaligned you will feel bad and notice bad-feeling manifestations.

Creating a new reality

I’m noticing that I don’t have the home I would like for my family.

That’s a manifestation. And while it seems like the manifestation is what causes me to feel bad, that’s not how it works.

How it works is that my thoughts create both my bad feeling and a corresponding manifestation.

There are lots of aspects to homes that complicate this subject, so let’s keep it general and say “I want the perfect home”.

If I focus on the general idea of “my perfect home” I feel good. If I can stop myself focusing on any thoughts that don’t feel good on this subject, just keep it general, then I will continue to feel good, and soon enough I will receive another thought that feels good too.

Keep it clear

This is the only dynamic I need to focus on. My perfect home is a thought that feels good. Keep it general unless more good feeling thoughts become specific.

My perfect home. That feels really good.

There’s no effort needed. Just enjoy how good this thought feels, and the clarity of knowing that this is how creation works.

My perfect home.

Practice enjoying this thought, because it feels so much better than misaligned thoughts. Appreciate the clarity you have in this process, and trust that everything is already unfolding perfectly.

Love is not earned

Children lack insight into the minds and motives of adults, so as children we tend to take other people’s behaviour at face value.

I could never understand why things were often bleak and unpleasant at home. It didn’t make sense to me; but over time I concluded that I must have done something wrong, or failed to do something right and thereby earned these unhappy interactions.

Those thoughts stayed with me for a long time. In my interactions with new people I would be mindful of their possible expectations and my own “performance” according to those mysterious criteria.

I worried about making mistakes or doing something wrong in other people’s eyes. I would often second-guess people’s words and my own actions, trying to predict possible offences and conflict.

All that anxiety and effort stemmed from the false childhood premise that I was being treated according to my worth or desert, and these were lacking. I brought these thoughts to new interactions and looked for evidence to confirm them.

A new premise

With the benefit of knowing how I create my reality with my thoughts and focus, I can look back and see that things were not as bleak as I make out. If I hadn’t taken to heart the bad moods and cruel comments, there was plenty of room to manoeuvre.

If I had applied the Abraham-Hicks principles I would have had a much happier childhood.

It’s okay that I didn’t. My unhappiness has given me a correspondingly magnificent desire for joy, freedom, and expansion.

But looking back is helpful in this moment because I don’t want to keep those old thought patterns going anymore.

My new premise is that instead of getting the treatment I deserve, I get the reality I allow. God wants me to be happy, His love and blessings have never stopped flowing into me. It’s up to me to enjoy the flow instead of resisting it, to look to where the blessings are instead of where they aren’t.

There is no stream of bad things raining down on me because of some fault or error of mine. There are only good things that I allow, or resist.

Life is as good as I allow it to be; I am as happy as I allow myself to feel. Searching for my own faults and trying to avoid making mistakes was itself just the product of a misunderstanding.

There is no degree of personal perfection required to turn your life around. There is no correction of faults or errors required before people start treating you right. We do not earn God’s love and blessings, they are freely given.

We just have to accept them.

In the receptive mode

God wants us to be happy.

“All things work for the good of those who love God”.

God is always shining love and light and blessings upon us. He is always turning circumstances and conditions to our advantage. He is constantly bringing us satisfying and fulfilling experiences.

All we need do is appreciate, allow, and receive these benefits. There are no preconditions or requirements unless we call “receiving” a requirement or “appreciating” a precondition.

Allowing, trusting, accepting, these attitudes let us see the good things coming to us and feel the alignment with God’s love and joy within us.

It’s easy; it only seems difficult or elusive because we have practiced looking for difficulties and treating happiness as hard to find.

As we practice feeling better we begin to appreciate this lightness and ease. We appreciate and enjoy the feelings of relief that well up inside as we let go of any struggle or effort.

Allowing life to be easy is all it takes for life to actually be easy. Allowing good things to come is all it takes for good things to actually come.

It is only our resistance that disallows, and resistance lies in thoughts like “life is hard” instead of “life is easy”.