Pushing against boredom

Our old habit is to push against things we don’t like. But pushing against something just increases our resistance, and since we are already creating our reality, increased resistance means more of what we don’t like.

Last night I went to bed feeling irritable, angry and in physical pain, struggling to work out why and find relief.

It wasn’t until this morning that I felt good enough to see the bigger picture.

After dinner I’d been feeling bored, and my wife wanted to use my computer to watch a movie.

I was already feeling bored, and in addition I felt like I wasn’t free to use the computer myself. So now I felt bored and powerless.

I looked for something else to do, but couldn’t find anything. I started to feel annoyed at myself for not having more interesting options.

An old physical pain started to return, and I decided to go for a run. But between the pain and the cold outside I felt too dismal to continue.

Coming back home I was angry and frustrated, irritated and powerless. To make matters worse, I believed I shouldn’t feel this way, and it was up to me to overcome or solve these bad feelings.

But by now I was pushing so hard against all these unwanted things, and these old patterns of thought had a lot of momentum. Boredom, frustration, powerlessness and anger, going right back to childhood.

Go to sleep

Sleep was the best way to get some relief. But this unwanted experience was also valuable contrast. It showed me very clearly a residual pocket of resistance, and in the light of day I can see how it started and how it got worse and worse by pushing against the unwanted.

Pushing against things doesn’t work. I tried to push against boredom, focusing on how unwanted it felt, and soon every aspect of my experience felt unwanted and infuriating.

Boredom is very close to contentment. If I could relax and look for things to feel good about, the boredom would dissipate in my ease and relief.

That’s how we create our reality after all. I thought I was bored because there was nothing to do, but it’s the other way around: I couldn’t find anything to do because I was already feeling bored. And I was already feeling bored because I’d looked to my circumstances to entertain me and make me feel good.

The lesson is clear: if I feel bored I find everything boring. If I feel satisfied I discover satisfying things. If I feel excited I will find exciting things. And if I feel inspired I will draw inspiration into my experience.

The only variable is momentum – if I’ve spent a lot of time in negative emotions then it will take longer for positive ones to bear fruit. If you’re really good at feeling bored, inspiration will take a bit longer to learn.

Letting go 05: What is reality, really?

We think we inhabit a physical world with fixed rules based on observable forces and objects. But when we dig into this solid, enduring reality we find that there is nothing substantial at its core.

Molecules reduce to atoms, atoms reduce to subatomic particles, subatomic particles reduce to…what exactly? Measurable quantities of energy, properties of mass and charge, probability functions?

And if we go in the other direction, turning our attention back onto the observer, what do we find there?

No one has come close to reducing consciousness to something more tangible or physically explicable. The experiential core of your individual reality defies a material explanation.

Many people have encountered and contemplated this intangible reality of ours and there’s a consensus of sorts that however we explain both the subject consciousness and the objects or phenomena known by consciousness, the two cannot be truly separate and distinct in nature.

Non-dualism rules

This used to be my thing, but I got a bit cynical when this “enlightened” perspective didn’t yield any apparent benefits to me.

Back then I didn’t understand that I could feel better just by making how I feel my top priority. I didn’t yet believe that nothing is more important than feeling good. I didn’t know that feeling good is good.

I know so much more now, and it’s funny and satisfying to see old knowledge I’d let gather dust suddenly fall into place as a component of my happier and more aligned perspective.

So what do I have to gain from my unusual perspective of reality? What does it benefit me to see beyond appearances? What can I do better or differently now that I know how things work?

Vibrational reality

The upshot of all this is a different causality. A different kind of cause-and-effect at work in reality.

When we wish things were different, we tend to look at our circumstances and ask “but how can all this simply change?” We imagine physical laws and physical reality governing all things. We regard manifestations as dominant.

But this leaves no place for the miraculous. It leaves no place for revelation. It leaves no place for providence.

In the Abraham-Hicks teachings we are told that there is a vibrational reality waiting for us that is a perfect match to everything we desire – with the caveat that our desires will never stop expanding and evolving.

The only thing missing from that vibrational reality is…us. We are the only component that freely chooses whether or not to allow vibrational change within us. We are the only part of our reality that can resist the pull of our desires and the outpouring of love and blessings that is God’s response.

We resist this pull by focusing on the unwanted and misaligned aspects of everything. This habit of thought keeps us feeling disjointed and out of harmony with what we desire. It turns an effortless journey into an unpleasant struggle.

But the solution is easy. We just have to learn to let go and allow ourselves to be drawn into the new reality that awaits. We just have to let ourselves be part of the tapestry God is weaving on our behalf. We just have to let ourselves be taken care of, and enjoy being passengers on the way.

What could be more valuable than a deep and moving feeling of appreciation and love in your heart? Well maybe you’d like to be rich too. But only because you associate being rich with having feelings of freedom, joy, trust, confidence, appreciation and joy.

The audacious claim in the A-H teachings is that by finding those feelings you will allow that wealth to come to you. It’s not just that: whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be added unto you.

That will require letting go of resistance, including perhaps the resistance in your old view of “how the world works”.

Letting go of ‘impossible’

Some situations in life seem beyond our ability to fix or repair or bring to fruition.

They feel impossible because they are impossible, at least for us.

That’s why letting go is so important. Even the effort to find an answer is a form of resistance. Wanting to know how it can possibly work out is reiterating how impossible it seems again and again.

Might as well say “I don’t believe”.

But we don’t need to understand how manifestations come about. And if we are troubled by this lack of understanding, then we are resisting the flow of ease, joy, and freedom within us.

The antidote to an “impossible” situation may be trust and faith, or it may be clarity in the form of realising that we don’t need answers, we just need to allow.

These situations are just manifestations. And manifestations are just the product of our thoughts, filtering the grace and blessings God pours out to us constantly and without end.

And in between thoughts and manifestations, our feelings tell us immediately how much we are allowing or resisting God’s blessings.

So being troubled about a subject and struggling to find answers is a sign of resistance, and that resistance is reflected in the manifestations that follow!

Let go. Let go of the oars. No amount of effort will make the things you desire come quicker or be more likely. Because it’s not a matter of speed or proximity or probability. Those desires are already granted in an unending stream; it’s just our resistance that keeps the manifestation at bay.

Remember to let go

It’s funny how, when life is going well because we’ve let go, it can be suddenly enticing to pick up the oars and hurry things along.

Letting go points us in the right direction, but that doesn’t mean we can rush off in that direction and get there sooner.

Impatience, the desire to be in control, these impulses suggest some resistance to the journey, a refusal to find satisfaction in the moment.

Letting go, allowing, can’t be rushed because it’s all about learning to rely on a greater power than ourselves. What we need is practice: steady, consistent practice that will one day become permanent.

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.

Believe without seeing

I wish I could say I learned to trust and never once faltered thereafter.

But sometimes we expand and improve and gain new clarity, only to quickly feel overwhelmed by unwanted conditions.

The path back to trust, surrender, and ease from the midst of dissatisfaction seems elusive, yet we will feel better eventually.

Abraham-Hicks teaches that as we feel better it’s like a stream flowing much faster, and in that fast-flowing stream our resistance seems amplified.

The amplification of resistance serves us because we can better release it when it comes to our attention.

We are learning to feel good unconditionally, and sometimes that means making peace with the absence of our desired conditions.

I am learning to trust, and sometimes that means experiencing the momentum of my old, distrustful thoughts.

Making peace

It’s one thing to believe that things are still working out for you in health, finances, or relationships.

It’s another thing to trust, irrespective of how things appear to be working or not working.

Do you feel good because of conditions, or do you feel good because of trust?

I think the latter is more powerful, and that’s why we want to make peace with where we are.

Last resistance

Maybe it’s just me, but if I’m in pain I might feel better about it because I’m noticing improvement.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

But what if I could feel good because I know that God has already healed me, and it feels good to trust in Him?

What if I feel good because I know that trusting God is how I allow myself to receive the healing He offers?

Isn’t it good to believe without seeing?

And in that case, the unwanted conditions represent my last resistance, my resistance to trust and therefore my resistance to happiness.

Pain and other unwanted conditions capture my attention because part of me still thinks my happiness depends on circumstances.

Part of me still thinks that trust must be backed up by evidence. Part of me is willing to believe without seeing, so long as the “seeing” part comes along quick enough.

This part of me – the momentum of old thoughts – is actively scanning my world and searching for reasons to feel better or feel worse, actively keeping score, actively objecting to unwanted circumstances, actively distrustful of life.

And that’s what creates unwanted circumstances.

Believe without seeing

Why are we blessed if we believe without seeing?

Because if we believe, we feel good, and feeling good is our real receipt of the joy and happiness promised us.

If you don’t believe, you can’t receive anything.

This doesn’t mean struggling to feel good despite all the evidence and circumstances weighed against you. When you actually believe, you feel an inner knowing and appreciation that no longer activates those contentious circumstances.

It’s only our resistance that keeps us focused on the unwanted, the absent, the painful or the broken. Those conditions alert us to our resistance and help us to let it go, choosing instead the power of believing without seeing.

Right now I feel good, and it’s as if I’ve entered a different reality from when I started this post. The conditions that bothered me before are no longer active in my mind. What is active instead is my freedom and satisfaction at having let go of this resistance.

Those thoughts still have momentum, but I’m draining it fast, and adding momentum instead to the joyful thoughts of appreciation and trust.

Happiness Day 24

How much do you invest in your problems?

When your body doesn’t feel good, what do you pay more attention to: the 1% that hurts or the 99% that feels fine?

I used to let a mouth ulcer rule my world.

A sore throat was the end of life as we knew it.

Its actually funny right now how many physical symptoms are cycling around my body.

My throat started to hurt but I basically ignored it (I’ve come so far!) and resisted the urge to keep triggering the soreness.

It went away! But other symptoms have arisen. I won’t give a litany, but let’s just say pain has moved from my abdomen to my mouth to my eye to my knee to my back, sometimes a few of them at once.

I’m not worried. While it does show I have some resistance, the answer to resistance is never to fight it.

The Yi Jing has a beautiful passage on this:

“If evil is branded, it thinks of weapons, and if we do it the favor of fighting against it blow for blow, we lose in the end because thus we ourselves get entangled in hatred and passion.

Therefore it is important to begin at home, to be on guard in our own persons against the faults we have branded. In this way, finding no opponent, the sharp edges of the weapons of evil becomes dulled.

For the same reasons we should not combat our own faults directly. As long as we wrestle with them, they continue victorious. Finally, the best way to fight evil is to make energetic progress in the good.”

So by taking these pains lightly I’m already soothing the resistance that causes them. In fact I think I’m learning from the pain in a way, because it gives me a direct feedback on how relaxed and soothed I’m feeling in the moment.

This is a big step forward from my previous efforts to overcome my autoimmune pain, which were, in hindsight, as intense and focused as the pain itself.

It turns out I can soothe the pain just by relaxing and feeling good. I don’t have to dig to the bottom of it (there isn’t one) and I don’t have to track down the specific resistance and neutralise it.

Besides, according to Abraham-Hicks it takes far less resistance to keep symptoms going once they have started. Because once they start they tend to grab our attention and become self-perpetuating.

As for me, I remain amused by these sneaky pains moving around my body and trying to be taken seriously. Meanwhile, I can more easily set them aside while I ask “what is the good in which I would make progress?”

Count Your Blessings Day 6

Yesterday brought me some good contrast in the form of physical pain and sheer exhaustion.

But those feelings helped me to let go of my resistance and the end result was that our 1yo soothed herself to sleep for the first time!

And let’s be honest, the resistance to that happening was all mine. I’m the one who’s talked so much about sleep being a problem. I’m the one who built it up in my mind until only sheer debilitating light-headed exhaustion could change my approach.

The experience of contrast has reminded me that I want to feel really good. With all the progress I’ve been making I nonetheless want to keep building momentum.

And to that end I feel for the first time that reaching for really wonderful feelings is unnecessary and kind of a strain.

From where I am right now it’s counterproductive to try to feel exhilaration and joy. It’s actually far more comfortable just to feel satisfied and content.

Abraham has reiterated many times that the best place to be is “satisfied with what is and eager for more” so I’m pleased that this is now making sense to me.

I’m guessing that satisfaction is a more stable and balanced and consistent place to be. In fact I’ve heard that the higher feelings can suggest we are reaching for thoughts that are a bit beyond us.

After all, having a new car or a new house might feel exhilarating at first, but we should soon catch up to it and just feel satisfied or appreciation. There’s something a little unbalanced about being exhilarated all the time.

Happiness Day 22

Path of least resistance.

A couple of people have asked me if the Abraham-Hicks teachings are a form of prosperity theology.

I went looking for an answer, but in practice it appears that “prosperity theology” is just very very dumb.

I can’t do a nuanced comparison of the two teachings because prosperity theology doesn’t appear to have nuance.

The Abraham-Hicks teachings do have nuance. And one area of nuance is that we are sometimes led into circumstances we do not want, as the quickest path to what we do want.

The path of least resistance

In Christian terms this is depicted as God allowing us to suffer and face obstacles so that we turn towards Him and depend on His help.

Abraham encourages us to always take the path of least resistance to aligning with our inner being or Source (God) but sometimes the path of least resistance still has quite a bit of resistance in it.

Last night I was extremely tired and aching all over after training that morning.

I didn’t feel as though the weariness was caused by my resistance necessarily.

By evening I was alone trying to rock our 1yo daughter to sleep as usual, but such was my exhaustion I just couldn’t do it.

Yet through this experience I was forced to find better feeling thoughts about her sleep routine – something that has been distressing us all for almost a year.

And in those better feeling thoughts the solution presented itself. Well, I had no alternative but to feel better and let her learn to self-soothe, and it actually worked!

I’ve heard similar stories of people being pushed into circumstances that force them to find alignment and release their resistance.

The circumstances are in that sense a reflection of our own resistance, but at the same time there’s a slightly different quality to it.

The feeling is of genuine confusion, because “I was doing so well!”

Likewise our physical health can change as our vibration changes; not always in “positive” ways.

Sometimes the path forward looks like it is going back.

And in this way the Abraham-Hicks teachings invite us to appreciate the good in everything, the wanted aspect of all our circumstances, even ones that look bad or feel bad.

I don’t think prosperity theology does that, but I know regular theology does, and calls it “providence”.

Happiness Challenge Day 7

If you had the ability to teleport yourself to a beautiful deserted island in the blink of an eye, how often would you go there?

Would you go there all the time? Would you want to live there? Or would your normal life pull you away from this magical paradise?

We have the equivalent power to go to a feeling place that is just as much a beautiful paradise.

But we don’t.

Ironically, I think we are afraid of missing out.

When we look at our friends and family, our work, our communities, and our own projects and struggles, we simply cannot reconcile these things with an immediate experience of unconditional happiness.

We have grown up learning that life is not perfect, and feeling joy and love and well-being is the reward for accomplishing things.

If we were overflowing with well-being we would no longer fit our old lives.

So instead we inhibit the flow of well-being in our lives. With varying degrees of severity and intention we restrict how good we can feel.

We limit ourselves to the amount of good feeling we can “earn” or justify based on our circumstances.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact it only is this way because of our resistance to the well-being that otherwise seeps into every fibre of our existence.

That’s where I’m at on day seven of my Happiness Challenge. I’m learning to view overflowing well-being as natural, and therefore inevitable if I just stop whatever it is I’m doing to resist it.