It’s a game…08!

In the Abraham-Hicks teaching it’s the vibration of our thoughts relative to the vibration of our inner being (God) that determines our feelings and manifest reality.

That’s why I’m running with this idea that happiness is a vibrational game.

Our inner being is always a match to the fulfilment of our desires. Our inner being is like the expanded version of our physical being, and we would be in alignment right now if we would only keep up with our desires rather than resisting them.

One thing I’m discovering is that alignment works on many levels. It’s reflexive and meta-cognitive, in the sense that I can have resistance or alignment about the subjects of resistance and alignment.

Or to make it much simpler: it doesn’t matter if you are resisting because you think “my desires are really unrealistic” or because you think “finding alignment is really difficult”. Resistance is resistance no matter what the subject, it feels bad and brings you more bad-feeling experiences.

Learning lessons

Early on in my search for meaning, I accepted the ideas that we are here in this life to “learn lessons” of a moral or spiritual nature, and that these lessons derived from a kind of moral order at work in the universe.

For me this translates into an expectation of having to face harsh truths for my own good. It’s an outlook that presumes an external moral framework much like the painful character growth in narrative fiction.

So even as I accept that I create my reality and my inner being is a match to my desires, and vibrational alignment will be reflected in the feelings I feel and the life that unfolds for me, at the same time part of me insists that it will also include tough and unwanted moral lessons that are both necessary and beneficial.

It’s an old spiritual trope that we have to embrace pain and fear and death in order to receive happiness and life and joy.

Suspicious beliefs

But I’m suspicious of these thoughts. They match a little too precisely some negative childhood experiences and attitudes I developed to make sense of unhappiness and fear.

It’s an attitude that doesn’t really serve me. And since it feels bad to me, that’s my indication that it’s out of alignment with my inner being.

There is no lesson that must be learned or sacrifice that must be made or hard personal change that must be undertaken to justify having what I desire in life.

Whoever told me that I had to earn external validation before I could have what I wanted was just suiting themselves.

I don’t need moral lessons. It’s not a moral game, it’s a vibrational game. And the thought that I have to pay a price or earn a reward or prove my worth or become worthy of my desires is resistance.

Because the whole point of our desires is that we want to feel good. What preconditions are there on feeling good? Only that we focus on things that feel good to us. Nothing else.

I don’t need anyone else’s permission to feel good; not God’s, not my family’s, not my friends, not authorities and not some vague moral principles either. Feeling good is intrinsic and it arises from our alignment with God, our inner being, unconditional grace and love.

It’s a game…04!

Do you love life?

I didn’t. I ****ing hated it. Despised it. Resented and despaired of it.

And like most people I thought I would like life more if it would change first.

But that’s not how it works. After many years I’m beginning to love life, not because life changed, but because I finally understood that loving feels so much better than hating. And when life feels good it’s hard not to love it.

That’s a little glib, so let me break it down to practical steps.

First I learned that I create my reality through the vibration of my thoughts. My whole experience of life is a perfect match for the vibration of my thoughts.

Second I learned that I could control my focus, and deliberately focus on thoughts that feel better instead of thoughts that feel worse.

Third, after doing that for a while I discovered I could find thoughts that feel really really good, so satisfyingly good that I make time to sit down and write out those thoughts and really relish them because they feel so good. At least three times a day I’m taking time to focus on these really good-feeling thoughts.

Feeling that good regularly also overflows into the rest of life. I’m letting go of negative thoughts and circumstances…because why would I spend time focusing on thoughts that feel bad when I could be enjoying feelings of delight and eagerness and satisfaction?

Delight, eagerness, satisfaction, the more I feel these feelings the stronger and more frequent they become.

So let’s put that together: I’ve gone from being someone who hates life and feels doubly burdened by every unwanted experience and circumstance, to someone who can feel profoundly good feelings at will, and, lo and behold, I find myself beginning to love my experience, my reality, my life.

It’s not so surprising in hindsight, but I had to let go of a lot of resistance to even be open to the idea of feeling better.

And I’m not content with just feeling better…I’m not choosing blissful ignorance over harsh realities. I wouldn’t have followed this path if I hadn’t found to my own conviction that I really do create my reality.

The Abraham-Hicks teachings reconcile perfectly with my spiritual and philosophical knowledge and experience. Feeling good doesn’t just feel good, it’s also why we are here, the purpose of our existence: joy, freedom, expansion…life in its fullness.

It’s a game…02!

Since happiness is a vibrational game we should be able to simply deactivate vibrations that we don’t like and replace them with higher ones.

Abraham-Hicks teaches that our lives tend to be consistent because most of us are focused on the vibration of “what is”, in a kind of feedback loop.

Daily grind, ennui, boredom, struggle, when these are parts of your daily “what is” your attention to them keeps them active.

You’re not bored because you can’t think of anything to do; you can’t think of anything to do because you’re already vibrating boredom.

If you don’t know happiness is a vibrational game you’ll think boredom, ennui, etc have to be overcome by something external. Boredom feels like a tar pit and you have to somehow claw your way out of it even as it sticks to you.

But it’s possible to let that vibration go and focus on a higher one. If you understand that it’s a vibrational game, that you are like a vibrational broadcasting device, broadcasting whatever you are focused on, then it becomes easier to swap out the vibration of boredom or struggle for the vibration of alignment.

“It’s a game” means that there doesn’t have to be continuity of focus. Usually if we are bored or feeling struggle or ennui we have beliefs that “this is the way life is” and therefore “it will take something exceptional to change”.

But this is simply not true. Ennui is only “what is” for you because you hold that vibration so consistently. Show yourself that you can change your vibration without having to justify or account for the change.

Focus deliberately on anything that feels good to you, and appreciate that you thereby shift your vibration to something that serves you much better.

In the midst of boredom or ennui, focus deliberately on a subject that feels good. I like to write out thoughts that feel good, based on my spiritual beliefs. When I do this, I immediately activate a much higher vibration than boredom or struggle, and my reality is immediately transformed.

It’s a game…01!

I love having these series to help me stay on track and be focused, and thirty days/posts is a good number to work with a theme.

The new theme is that happiness – all of life in fact – is a vibrational game.

What matters is the vibration you’re broadcasting – not the words you’re using, not the amount of struggle you’re enduring, not the coherence of your story, not the effort you’re making.

It’s a game!!!

Your life has a story, but that story doesn’t define you. Your story, your identity, your past experience do not define you and do not determine the vibration you are offering or the energy you are tuning in to.

That’s why it’s a game: think of it as a game and there’s no reason why you can’t right now tune into a subject, and idea, and hence a vibration that feels really really good.

If life is a story then you are ruled by continuity and narrative arcs. No one likes a story where the hero just decides one day to focus on things that feel good, and their whole life changes for the better.

But if you were that hero, wouldn’t you rather just feel good and know that everything will follow your feeling?

That’s how it’s a game.

It’s not about understanding everything, or learning everything, it’s not about pleasing people or competing with people, it’s not about being good or being great; it’s only about the vibration you broadcast, and that means you can right now focus on things that feel good and let go of anything that doesn’t.

Traditional religions teach the same lesson: grace is a gift. It breaks all the “rules” we’ve established for how life operates. Enlightenment destroys karma. The Way nourishes all beings. At the core of every teaching is a direct relationship with the divine: intrinsic, unearned, and in joyful disregard of all convention and causation.

And it promises happiness, spiritual and material support and abundance, life in all its fullness if we just believe that we have received it.

That’s what all this “vibration” stuff is about. You can tell which thoughts are closer to belief because they feel better. But you can feel better in any subject and know that you are closing the gap.

That’s why it’s a game…just find a higher vibration, any good feeling thought, and let that be your focus.

Practicing happiness 28

Contra mundum with a vengeance.

So it turns out I’m a villain.

In anime there’s the trope (presumably informed by Shinto beliefs) of a creature or spirit that becomes warped through suffering or injustice or its own negative emotion and becomes evil.

It always struck me as a little unfair, but it makes sense. Like the boar spirit at the beginning of Princess Mononoke, or any number of unhappy yokai in Natsume Yuujinchou. These spirits are often victims themselves, yet their bitterness or wrath turns them into something dangerous to others.

In the Abraham-Hicks teachings the cause of our suffering is our own resistance. When we focus on unwanted aspects of reality we experience friction or going against the flow of our own inner being, because our inner being only ever focuses on the wanted aspects of life.

Our negative emotions are our experience of this friction.

I’ve been working on letting go of resistance and feeling better. But it turns out my resistance was more extreme than I realised.

At some point in my life I got turned around. I took my negative experiences and extrapolated to life in general, the whole world, and existence itself.

I decided that life was not worth living, the world was pointless and broken, and existence was burdensome and futile.

Treating all of existence as unwanted felt pretty bad. But in a way it was a relief to reach that sweeping conclusion. It was more satisfying to turn against life than to try to find redeeming features amidst the misery.

It was also a form of vengeance against everyone and everything responsible for making life so burdensome in the first place. Like playing a game where the odds are stacked against you and the cost always outweighs the rewards, the obvious answer was to refuse to play.

Ironically that’s how I finally interpreted spiritual teachings too. Life is being crushed beneath the wheel of samsara, and it’s only refusing to buy-in that brings us true freedom.

If our thoughts and attitudes create our reality, what kind of reality does this contra mundum attitude create? Not the best.

If resisting the flow of life causes suffering and negative emotion, how about turning defiantly against the stream and saying “f*** you”?

Change of heart

My spiritual search was an attempt to find a way out or transformation of this hated reality. But the answer I have finally arrived at is that my hate is itself the problem.

If I want to feel better I have to learn to love the reality I’m in. If I love the reality I’m creating, then it will change to reflect this positive and satisfying and delightful attitude.

I can’t hate my way into a better-feeling life. No matter how justified my resentment might seem, or how comforting my scorn might feel, if I’d rather enjoy life then it’s time for them to go.

Practicing happiness 27

Your inner being is adoring where you are right now.

But how do you feel about it?

Alignment means lining up your perspective with the perspective of your inner being…who always adores where you are.

Abraham-Hicks talks about this as “the relationship between you and You”, closing the gap between yourself and your inner being.

Why close the gap? Especially when you may have lots of reasons to not like where you are.

Close the gap because your inner being is who your really are. It’s the greater part of you, and it has never lost or forgotten it’s connection with God/Source.

Your inner being is where your power is, where your desires are complete, and where your happiness flows effortlessly.

Your inner being is the expanded version of you, and if you line up with it, you will no longer be resisting your own desires.

Surrender to God’s will

In traditional terms this is all about surrender to God’s will. But the emphasis on loving and appreciating and adoring where you are makes it clearer than ever.

God’s will sounds very abstract and ethereal. And even saying that God adores where you are right now and wants you to do the same gets my hackles up.

That’s why Abraham-Hicks doesn’t use traditional terminology. Much clearer to say that your inner being adores where you are, and if you could find a way to align with it by feeling better about where you are, then you will enjoy the love and appreciation, the power and energy of your inner being in this lifetime.

Practicing happiness 25

I’ve come a long way in clearing up resistance on various subjects, and it’s an understatement to say that my path has been unusual.

In learning to be happy I’ve had to approach it modestly, practicing just the most simple intention to feel better, and dealing with resistance as it arises.

It feels like I’m piece by piece undoing the damage from my past – not just the original complex trauma, but my own flawed attempts to overcome it back then.

Following the Underhill text in my previous post, I had taught myself a peculiar kind of self-observation and absorption, treating my own mind, body and feelings as an object to be observed and controlled, as I searched for true freedom and peace from the disorganised and disruptive environment I lived in.

Like putting a kink in a hose to try to stop the flow…and perhaps that was what I needed at the time. But the flow is life. Stopping it is painful and debilitating.

It reminds me of a person I once met who had gotten into drugs as a teenager to try to escape his own emotional disregulation. Years later his life is his own again. I could relate to his journey, but my mind-altering substance was textual rather than chemical.

Again, maybe that was better than the alternatives? People dissociate because they need to, not for fun. And people chase dreams because they are inspired. My spiritual life was a combination of the two – using dissociation techniques to chase the dream of true freedom.

But I’ve stopped now. That false technique doesn’t serve me anymore and I feel a new immediacy and closeness to my emotional guidance, letting go of the distance and dryness I had put there on purpose.

Feeling good feels better than it did yesterday or any time prior, because I’m no longer trying to separate myself from myself, or observe myself as I go about life.

And I can see now that good feeling thoughts really are enough! I really do have the power to feel how I want to feel, by choosing to focus on things that feel good.

My poor burned-out brain is getting some relief. My mind can stop going cross-eyed for the first time in years. I can feel what I feel, without having to observe that I’m feeling it.

I can finally switch off.

Practicing happiness 24

“If you are disallowing happiness you are disallowing everything you believe will make you happy.” – Abraham-Hicks

Even if you know that core beliefs based on childhood experiences are the root of your problems, still it’s not a good idea to make your work about digging them all up.

Rather, if your work is just intending to feel better those core beliefs will come up when you are ready to face them, and you’ll only face those which are actual obstacles to better feeling.

As you intend feeling better you’ll probably notice it working immediately, but after some time and distractions you’ll find yourself feeling bad again, or bored, or in some situation you don’t like.

This is contrast coming up to help you let go of your resistance. All you have to do is intend to feel better in the midst of whatever you are experiencing, and trust that this approach is enough.

It probably won’t seem like enough, but that’s just resistance making you impatient or feeling like you need “more” to really change your life.

But all of that – impatience, boredom, frustration, yearning for change – will eventually be shown to originate in your deepest resistance and loss of alignment.

Alignment is satisfaction, security, and sufficiency. It won’t be immediately apparent but by accepting the intent to feel better as enough for you moment by moment, you are retraining yourself to allow satisfaction, security and sufficiency into your experience.

That’s what the quote at the beginning of this post is all about. If you aren’t happy and you’re finding fault in your experience of life, it’s all because you are disallowing happiness, possibly at a very deep level or from a very early point in your beliefs.

That doesn’t mean you need to go find those beliefs and change them. If you haven’t practiced feeling better you won’t be able to change them. You need to strengthen the attitude of feeling better and letting it be enough, and that itself will become the foundation of your new beliefs.

Practicing happiness 21

“I create my reality” means my reality is a reflection of my thoughts/vibration.

I used this principle when I lost weight – deciding that my body weight was a reflection of my eating behaviour. But then it turned out that my eating behaviour was a reflection of my emotional state, and hence my thoughts/vibration too.

How?

I found that I was eating more than I needed because of the pleasure it brought, and when I stopped, I felt negative emotions that had been there the whole time.

In psychological terms I’d been using eating to regulate my emotional state. Many of us overeat for this reason, often unconsciously.

When I was overweight I’d wish I was leaner and better looking. That wish or yearning was painful, but it gave me a sense of control or rightness to my situation. To be unrepentantly overweight was frightening and shameful, so feeling bad about being overweight and yearning to be leaner brought a kind of balance.

Painful yearning

These lessons apply to my broader reality.

As with my weight, my whole reality is a reflection of my thoughts/vibration.

When I painfully yearn for life to change, it’s the same as wishing I could be lean.

But wishing did not accomplish anything and was in fact part of the problem!

My painful wish for relationships, money, housing, and other conditions to change is in fact a ruse designed to balance out my actual thoughts and feelings on these subjects.

When I was overweight I would feel bad for various reasons, and then eat to escape those bad feelings, and inevitably put on weight. Then I would feel bad about being overweight and wish I was leaner and make attempts at dieting and exercise that didn’t really address the cause.

Real change came when I allowed myself to feel bad without escaping into eating, knowing that if I stopped dysfunctional eating my body would inevitably return to a healthy weight.

It worked. So the same will work with the rest of reality.

I create my reality

On an issue like money, wishing for more money and feeling bad that I don’t have it is akin to wishing to be lean and feeling bad that I’m not.

That means it too is a self-deception.

If I don’t pay lip-service to being financially secure I would have to face the deeper fears and worries I’m escaping from.

Both the “i wish I had money!” cry and the feeling bad about not having enough money are parts of a bigger dynamic. They shouldn’t be taken at face value. Like wishing to be lean and feeling bad about being overweight, they appear solution-oriented but accomplish nothing. They are in fact problem-oriented.

Take them away, and what lies beneath them is a much more potent feeling of terror; and this terror is an emotional response to thoughts of insufficiency and insecurity. Thoughts of not enough power to survive amidst brutal and crushing external forces. Thoughts of being vulnerable in the face of harsh and uncaring others who will exploit and abuse you if given the chance.

Dealing with terror

These thoughts are a significant component of my vibrational set-point. To escape them I focus on less terrifying thoughts of being out of the way and detached from that terrifying reality.

In other words: I focus on whatever is left when those emotions are blocked out. I eke out an existence, and to complete the self-deception I lament my marginal existence and wish it could be otherwise.

I don’t know if you can follow this, maybe it’s too personal. But the reason I’m not rich is because wealth would contradict my thoughts of insufficiency and insecurity and vulnerability.

But to stop me exploring that fact and ending up facing the painful feelings of terror once more, I commit the self-deception of wishing I had more money and thinking of ways to obtain it.

If I just went out and got a job I would be placing myself in that situation of interdependence, submission, and vulnerability that I’ve worked hard to escape.

Yet I create my reality, and what I’m truly escaping is not external circumstances but my thoughts and feelings around those circumstances.

If the perfect job were offered me, I’d see it as a trap. If money were freely given me, or I won a lottery, I’d be challenged by the money itself to face the insecurities and fears I’ve described here.

Finding coherence

To be free of self-deception, to understand how my thoughts create my reality, is profound, meaningful, and brings relief from struggle and confusion.

Where I am makes perfect sense right now.

And the answer for me is to feel the terror I’ve been avoiding. But feel it in an atmosphere of knowing that it has always been there whether I feel it or not, and avoiding it merely kicks the can down the road.

The influence of that terror on the whole of my life is palpable. I wonder what life would look and feel like if I stopped trying to escape it?

I’m curious. What would happen if I allow myself to make peace with those terrifying thoughts of vulnerability and insufficiency?

How will my life change when I no longer think of myself and life in this terrifying way?

Because these thoughts are old. Really old. And while that means they have momentum, it also means they are out of date. I haven’t examined them for ages, maybe ever? And in the meantime I’ve been growing and learning and expanding so much.

Am I vulnerable? Am I insufficient? No. Those beliefs only formed within me in very specific circumstances many years ago. Given a chance to air them and examine them in the light of day? I think they are ripe for change.

Feeling better: certainty at last

I’ve written a few posts about how my approach to dieting is similar to the Abraham-Hicks teachings, and how I can leverage that similarity to my advantage in the pursuit of happiness.

Well it all came together for me recently, and I’d like to try mapping it out here for whoever may be interested.

Confusion and uncertainty

The basic idea is that we can’t really put our best efforts into a path when we are uncertain about it.

But certainty is subjective. You might have all the necessary information at hand, but still be uncertain.

Recently I became extremely frustrated with the Abraham-Hicks teachings, specifically with my continued uncertainty about them.

This might sound bad, but it was actually a wonderful point to reach, because I no longer wanted to “try” anything. I was sick of trying in an atmosphere of doubt and confusion.

The exact same thing happened with dieting. I’d tried various approaches and it wasn’t so much that they hadn’t worked, but that I hadn’t known for sure if they were working or not.

I couldn’t commit to the necessary changes because I wasn’t sure they were necessary. It’s only by finding certainty about the relationship between food intake and weight loss, and then by finding certainty about my subjective motivations for eating, that I was able to commit to the path.

Finding certainty

I found certainty because I was tired of confusion. And because I desired certainty I eventually arrived at principles that supported me.

Recently I found certainty on the subject of feeling better too. In the context of the Abraham-Hicks material, I know that feeling better is an indicator of closer alignment with my inner being/God, and since I want alignment I should focus on things that feel better.

The certainty I found is this: if I’m not intending to feel better in any given moment, I’m wasting my time.

That language is important to me. Yes, it’s an effort to intend to feel better, and no it doesn’t mean I necessarily feel much better in any given moment. But without that intention I’m wasting my time, feeding the status quo, relinquishing my greater control.

And I’ve had more than enough of that.

What next?

There are more details of course.

My intention to feel better doesn’t mean I feel great either. Previously I made the mistake of trying to feel so good that everything would change immediately.

But that isn’t sustainable. By analogy that’s like trying to lose all the weight in one day.

Another important part is to trust that intending to feel better is enough and that spiritually/vibrationally everything is already improving every moment you intend it.

I’m also identifying the times that I lose or forget my intention, and this mindfulness is helping me refine and strengthen my practice.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share this. I’ve been wanting it for a while and now it’s here I’m very satisfied. To have certainty is so valuable, to be free of doubts allows me to give it my all. It’s such a relief to finally be certain! I hope you all find certainty in your own paths too.