It’s a game…21!

Your inner being adores you, because you are the physical manifestation of its desire to experience time-space reality.

When you learn to love yourself in the same way you come into alignment with your inner being.

Your inner being also adores where you are, your physical circumstances. Because although it sees both the wanted and unwanted aspects of those circumstances, it focuses only on the wanted, and how these wanted aspects perfectly reflect your shared desires and preferences.

We can also learn to love our experience in the same way, if we focus more on appreciating the wanted and focus less on anything unwanted.

Just knowing that it is possible to adore where we are, helps us to find aspects of it to appreciate. Every little bit of appreciation helps, and as we practice appreciation we are allowing in more circumstances and experiences of a like nature.

This has always been implicit in the Abraham-Hicks teachings: find the feeling-place of what you desire. Feel good as if your desires were already right in front of you.

But it helps to know that even your present circumstances are overflowing with adorable aspects if you can just tune yourself into appreciating them.

Even things we take for granted are answers to our inner being’s desire to be here and experience this life: gravity that keeps everything on the ground, the air we breath, the light that illuminates our whole world, the earth beneath us and the sky above us.

There’s an abundance of things to appreciate and adore in every moment. And as we learn to see things this way, we come into alignment with our inner being and we release our resistance to the many other desired things and experiences flowing into our lives.

It’s a game…18!

If you practice feeling good/better/less bad/relief you will gradually encounter and then release all resistance within you.

You don’t have to go looking for it. It’s just like water flowing into a river and gradually eroding all obstacles and blockages.

And spontaneously issues will arise, discomfort, negative emotion and resistance. All you need to do is find relief and the answers will come.

Today my path of feeling good has brought me relief from some more resistance.

I learned as a child that I was wrong to feel good when those around me felt bad. I was told – and eventually accepted – that it was unfair and selfish for me to be happy when those around me were unhappy.

From this I understood that before I could legitimately be happy I had to share in the burdens and problems that were responsible for other people’s unhappiness.

As a simple example: it was put to me that I was happy because I wasn’t responsible for the upkeep of the family home. My compassionate response was to help, to lessen the burden on those who were suffering.

It took me many years to learn that this kind of “suffering” was not caused by burdensome tasks. Rather, people’s attitude and vibration of burden and suffering caused them to find corresponding tasks and use them as excuses to stay out of alignment with their own inner being.

There was nothing I could do to help a misaligned person find their alignment. The best thing I could have done at that time or at any time is to find my own alignment and not add momentum to others’ stories of trouble and woe.

The best and most compassionate thing I can do for anyone is to begin with compassion and love for myself, which means allowing myself to feel relief and practicing feeling good regardless of conditions and circumstances.

I don’t need others’ permission for me to feel good. I don’t need others to be happy as a prerequisite for my own happiness. I can be happy right now, and let those good feelings be enough for me.

It’s a game…09!

I love knowing that happiness is a vibrational game. I love knowing that finding relief always works and is always the way forward no matter what.

I love the feeling of letting go of problems and resistance. I’m so glad to have learned that it’s okay just to sidestep or bypass difficulties – and that’s what letting go means!

I love finding that my difficult moral/character expectations are irrelevant and unnecessary.

I love the relief of just letting go of cares and worries and trusting in my inner being to take care of everything.

I love knowing that my physical self is the focal point of my inner being, that I am created and manifested by my inner being, who focuses only on the wanted aspects of my reality.

I love knowing that I am perfectly created in the eyes of my inner being, that my inner being is the predominant creative power of my reality, and that I only need to allow and receive its creation.

I love knowing that I am already fulfilling my purpose in life, that I have always been fulfilling my purpose in being a focal point for the launching of preferences and desires for the expansion of my inner being and all that is.

I love knowing that my inner being is a match to all my desires, that it has already expanded to embrace those new vibrations, and that it is drawing those desires into physical manifestation.

I love knowing that I couldn’t stop those manifestations even if I wanted to. I love knowing their inevitability and sureness. I love knowing that as I let go and allow and receive, my resistance ceases and my reality immediately changes course as I align with my inner being.

It’s a game…06!

The whole point of feeling better consistently is that we can finally arrive at a point where real love is within reach.

Genuine love for ourselves and others is something we experience when we are in alignment with our inner being, what we sometimes call God.

But feeling better is like any practiced skill. You can’t go to the heights of skill right away.

I can’t start learning the piano and immediately begin playing my favourite pieces. They are too advanced.

But I can keep improving, and if I focus on improving then eventually my favourite pieces will be the next logical step in my improvement.

So while it’s good to be inspired by advanced pieces, it’s also very helpful to focus on improvement as our daily practice and source of satisfaction. Improvement is always within reach, even when Schubert isn’t.

The same applies to “feeling better” by finding relief, and “feeling wonderful” which is a point we will inevitably arrive at by practicing feeling better.

Feel better, find relief, practice that direction and wonderful feelings are inevitably in your path.

Take satisfaction in feeling better and finding relief, and you will master it even more easily.

And relief is so powerful. It can be used on everything. So even when impatience and doubt about your path strike you, look for relief. When you beat yourself up for feeling bad, find relief. When you find past traumas cropping up, find relief. And even when you have sudden insights and clarity and moments of elation, enjoy them but don’t forget relief.

After a time you’ll see all kinds of themes and patterns at play in your life. Just don’t give up. Keep finding relief and you will grow so strong and so sure in it that you will be able to soften any discord in your path, ease the turbulence that sometimes strikes, and find your way assuredly to the feelings of inner love, joy, freedom and contentment you seek.

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.

What is self-esteem?

Someone asked me recently about self-esteem and I admit I fudged it.

My answer was along the lines of self-efficacy…which is more about recognising that I’m good at certain things.

So what’s self-esteem then?

I’ve been thinking it over and I’ve read plenty about it before, but self-esteem has to be more than just words.

Self-esteem isn’t about your skills, talents, or other qualities, but your intrinsic value. Specifically, it’s feeling good about yourself for no f***ing reason whatsoever other than…you’re you, and it feels better this way, and it makes everything easier and more enjoyable.

Baseless, irrational, and subjective…in a good way!

That’s what really threw me about self-esteem. I grew up thinking we were supposed to value objectivity and truth and give reasons for what we believe and reasons for how we feel.

But if you apply those criteria to how you feel about yourself…you’re pretty much screwed because there’s no objective basis for feeling good about yourself. You either already feel good, in which case you’re merely gilding the lily with fresh excuses to proclaim your wondrous existence; or you already feel crap, and there is nothing on earth that will overcome your crappy feelings and convince you to be otherwise.

Self-esteem is not objective. And yet it is vital and life changing, because if you can find a way to feel good without reason then that good feeling goes before you like a holy aura and changes everything around you.

If you can find a way to feel good without reason, then everything feels good the moment it comes into your presence.

Find a way to feel good without reason? More like remember the good feelings you’ve already had, feelings you probably crushed or put away because they seemed unreasonable at the time, as if you were going to be graded on the realism of your good mood.

That’s what self-esteem means to me. It’s not about holding myself in high regard, that’s just how people try to explain why they let themselves feel good for no reason. I prefer to see it as acknowledging that there’s no reason to feel this good, so there’s no reason not to. Life isn’t waiting on me to accomplish something that justifies these good feelings. If anything it’s the other way around.

How to do it

I don’t know if a “how to” will work, but for me my good feelings were all tied up with the fantasy novels and superhero movies and anime and manga that inspired me so much. Feelings of freedom and empowerment and adventure and excitement, love and authenticity and, yeah, worth, and the sheer joy of the characters at the height of their powers.

These are the things that speak to me. Why the hell shouldn’t I use them? Why shouldn’t I take those good feelings and carry them with me? Because I’m old enough now to know that none of the people with “strong” self-esteem I’ve met in the past had any real justification for how they felt. There was not an iota of considered, objective thought behind those people’s bias in favour of their own value. They just felt good because they’d felt good more often than not in their young lives and knew nothing else.

What I’m getting at is that we may not have had that foundation, but we did have inspiration and we still do. Knowing that we create our reality, how we feel is far more important than we ever knew, and it now makes complete sense that every time we put aside those good feelings we delayed their fruition into something more.

No, we had no reason to feel that good, but if we do it anyway, indulge in those wonderful feelings of freedom and empowerment, everything must give way to that.

 

 

 

 

What are feelings anyway?

As a writer there are words I really like, but don’t use because it never seems appropriate. When do you need mellifluous in a sentence? When does communication justify apogee, let alone demand it (outside astronomy)?

But if you know these words, you can use them! You are the master of your own vocabulary and you don’t need an excuse or a chance to use words you love to read and sound.

Favourite feelings

Life has introduced us not only to wonderful words but wonderful feelings; yet we treat them in the same way. I once felt exquisite joy, and maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to have an excuse to feel it again!

Circumstances once dictated a buoyant felicity but lately things have been utterly crap so I’ve put that good feeling in the archives for now.

These days everyday life seems to demand a grinding slog, so I keep that feeling near at hand to save me having to go look for it.

Feeling good is the goal

We’ve fallen hard for a big mistake: we think our feelings are by-products, epiphenomena, of material causes. We think things make us feel a certain way.

And even with the Abraham-Hicks material we can persist with this mistake, believing that our thoughts make us feel a certain way.

That’s not the worst interpretation to hold, but how about this instead: Feeling is what makes us feel a certain way, and reality helps inspire us to better and better feeling, but it doesn’t make us feel.

If you like the word mellifluous then use it wherever and however you like. If you like the feeling of freedom, relief, and peace, you can find those feelings and indulge in them anytime.

If we could take the feeling as prior and substantial instead of subsequent and ephemeral, then life would be very different. If I had sought feeling as the spiritual treasure instead of using it to keep score of how well I was doing, then I’d be there right now, feeling good and not caring about anything else.

What are feelings anyway?

I’m not going to launch into some deep-dive philosophical or historical, but I’ve been fascinated by past glimpses of the old view of human emotions in the medieval and classical world.

Back when I used to read Aquinas, he would describe, as if it were obvious, how feelings of love and joy are physically expansive and warming of the body, while in sadness and fear the vitality is suppressed or shrinks as evidenced by cold and shaking in the extremities and loss of colour in the complexion.

It’s fascinating not only that they had such a holistic view of the mind and body working together, but that joy and love were synonymous wth vitality whereas sorrow was directly opposed to it!

Feelings could be interpreted not as some messy and unnecessary mental by-product but as the very experience of life expanding and shrinking in response to our perceptions and experiences.

Consider in that context the significance of divinely infused love and joy, life eternal that did not shrink from worldly circumstances but trusted in the undying nature of the spirit that sustained it.

Participation in life, felt as joy and love, or to put it another way: the realisation that love and joy are our human experience of life itself.

Feeling is life itself

If we could understand our feelings as our experience of the life in us, the spirit that animates us, then reaching for and allowing good feelings to flow is literally the substance of our life and happiness here and now. And (to tie it all back) what could be more mellifluous than that? 😄

Your interpersonal self

When you grow up feeling dominated by the expectations and pressures of others it is easy to lose yourself in that interpersonal space.

In the interpersonal space they use a different currency. Things you don’t really care about become important, and you feel a pressure to be somebody in the eyes of others. Or at least not be nobody.

But when it comes to your real self, interpersonal currency is not legal tender. Your real self doesn’t give a fuck about all the things you’ve been striving for and struggling to maintain in that interpersonal space. Your real self doesn’t care about who you hope to become, or how your dreams will change everything for you.

Polarised extremes

If you experience this massive contrast between your interpersonal self with its plans and striving and motivation, and your real self whose down-time consists of wanting to block everything out and just avoid difficulties, then it can seem impossible to reconcile the two.

You’ve carried on such a convincing public performance, you’ve fooled even yourself into thinking these goals of yours will bring you happiness. How can you possibly stop right now and let people see that you simply don’t give a crap? That your number one motivation in life is to avoid trouble as much as possible. That the things that seem to excite and please others barely move you.

I don’t know the answer yet. But I think this sense of polar opposites, night and day, is exacerbated by the division. Your real self is extra disagreeable and uninspired because it’s been so alienated and suppressed.

Your real self has no apparent interests or purpose because it’s been drowned out by interpersonal ones for so long.

So it may seem like too big a change to suddenly give your real self more air time, to bring your dour self with you into your life. But even though it feels poorer in all the values and virtues you’ve tried to bring to please others, it has something your interpersonal self will never have: alignment, authenticity, acceptance, and therefore the seeds of genuine love and joy. Not the joy you thought you’d feel when you were finally good enough in the eyes of others. Not the love you thought you’d find when you met the standards you learned from those around you.

You’ve been playing with shiny, glittering fake currency. Your actual wealth doesn’t look like that, but it’s real. Real enough to let you give up at last on chasing approval and validation out there.

Pleasing others, denying ourselves

This Abraham-Hicks excerpt explains how we end up feeling bad while trying to please others:

“Because the source within you adores you so much! There is nothing that is more disabling than focusing in ways that disagree with the way the source within you feels. You didn’t make that up…there were other people outside the vortex that trained you how to think about yourself. When there’s somebody outside the vortex they feel awful, and when they look at you, they feel awful. And then you say, oh something must be wrong with me because they’re lookin’ at me and they feel awful…I wish that I could behave in a way that when they look at me they would feel wonderful…and you tried…you gave that everything you had…but you just couldn’t behave in enough ways to make them feel wonderful could you, and so then your assumption was something must be wrong with me…which is the biggest flawed premise in the whole universe! And the source within you never agreed with that.”

I think this is where things go wrong for many of us, typically as children. We feel there is something wrong with us and we have to change so that others can feel better.

This idea that we are responsible for how others feel is like a noxious weed. It can take years to recognise that denying our own alignment for the sake of pleasing others is a flawed strategy that leaves us utterly depleted.

Some of us build our whole persona around the premise of pleasing others – or at least trying not to displease them. Life feels inauthentic and empty, because, as Abraham-Hicks puts it in another context:

“people have trained each other, people have trained you, they’ve said to you if you behave in this way i will love you and so you just knocked yourself out being lovable, you knocked yourself out being lovable, but you weren’t knocking yourself out being in alignment. so you never felt the love that you thought you were eliciting from others, that’s why it’s so confusing, you see.”

The love and happiness we sought can only come from alignment, and that’s as true for others as it is for us.

Do others need to change?

I’ve been so convinced of my need for spiritual transformation, yet early on I believed we all have this need.

Some spiritual teachings are elitist. They look down on the “great unwashed”, the masses of people who live their lives mired in delusion and governed by sin and passion.

I tried not to think I was special but I struggled to reconcile my strong desire for spiritual change with the disinterest of those around me.

Does everyone need to change? Am I special for realising it? Or are we called to different things in life?

As I grew older I began to see myself as especially needful of spiritual change, as if I was worse off than everyone else and hence more desperate to fix myself.

Judge not lest ye be judged

Anxious to not offend, I concluded that others could live without the spiritual change I needed. But for those closest to me, my expectations remained high.

I’m beginning to see that the inverse of “judge not” is also true: in judging myself as needful of change, I believed others – those closest to me and most receptive – needed to change too.

I’ve ended up seeing some people in my life as works in progress, and wishing they would try harder to improve themselves, just as I am doing.

I’ve taken for granted that they need to heed the same call, listen to the same teachings, commit to the same processes.

But I’ve been wrong about me, so I’m wrong about them too. If I’m perfect as I am then they’re perfect as they are. If I’m in my element (and just need to remember) then they are in their element too.

If all I need is my own love and acceptance then that is all they require to be perfect in my eyes.

And just like that, reality changes. I am able now to see something beautiful that was always there. I am able to appreciate the perfection I was already living in.

To appreciate the people closest to you, you must appreciate yourself first. Stop judging yourself and you can stop judging others too.