Happiness Day 30

For thirty days I’ve been focusing on happiness, wanting good feelings to be the norm and bad feelings the rare exception.

So how did it go?

It went really really well 😄

Right from the beginning it reframed my inner landscape. The intention to feel good got me to look up instead of down, and start appreciating how often I felt good already.

Abraham teaches that our reality is created primarily by our inner being (God) who is pure positive energy. The role of our physical self and our worldly focusing mind is significant, but in terms of negativity it can only really create friction, it can’t halt the power of our inner being.

That’s why it is always possible to feel better, whether better be less bad or genuinely good.

In other words things are always better than they seem. Happiness is attainable, it just takes practice to retrain our focus.

What is life like now?

Life is really good now.

I’m laughing and smiling a lot more. I’m finding deeper appreciation of the many good things in my life.

I’m handling the contrast so much better! I can soothe bad feelings much more easily, and I even appreciate contrast because I can see how it’s helping me to focus in certain directions.

I’ve had insights just come to me on subjects dear to my heart. By day 30 I found myself musing on inspiration and the question I’ve long deferred: what do I really want to be doing in my life?

I no longer feel like I need to explain, justify, or apologise for my mood and lack of energy, because I’ve shown myself for thirty days that it’s entirely up to me how much energy I have, since I can decide what to focus on and how I focus!

Satisfied and eager for more

Last night my 1yo daughter slept through the night in her cot. That is a genuine miracle! I never even thought it would happen, and yet it all happened so suddenly and so easily.

And I allowed it to happen. My focus on being happy weakened my resistance and my negativity, and opened the tiniest crack in my old story, and circumstances that seemed unwanted opened the path for this new sleeping routine.

Many other things have shifted, small but meaningful and sometimes enormous in their significance to me. Things that were difficult have gotten easier. Things that felt hopeless feel easy. And things I already enjoyed and appreciated have become even more satisfying and wonderful.

What next?

This challenge has only whetted my appetite for more.

I can feel so much potential to feel better and refine my processes. There are many things I would like to allow into my experience, and now I know how to do it.

And without planning it, blogging has become a new experience for me and a wonderful discipline and tool for helping me train my focus.

Being able to write here fulfils an old desire that my writing become more like my private journaling in terms of ease and content.

I’ve written 55 posts in this thirty days. To put that in perspective, the previous 55 posts took about six months to write.

Blogging each day not only kept me focused, it also helped me develop my thoughts and deepen my understanding of this path I’m on.

I don’t yet know what form the next segment will take, but I want blogging to be part of it, and I want it to take my new habits even further.

Thank you for following, reading, and liking my posts! Having you reading my posts has helped keep me honest and on-track!

Acceptance: nothing changes, everything changes

One of the biggest problems with acceptance as a practice is that it is often presented as a means of bringing about personal change and improving your life.

The idea is that if you accept yourself for you who are, your life will change for the better.

On one level this is true, if only because acceptance is such an unfamiliar and unusual path for us to take that it is all but guaranteed to bring about a different set of outcomes.

But it is also true that everything in life is always changing anyway. If you begin accepting your experience or your reality, then you will feel less conflicted about the normal ensuing changes to your life. Life will seem to change for the better, because it is always changing and you now feel better about it.

A third aspect of change is that our refusal to accept our experience often hinges on consistent themes. I won’t accept my reality because I am not rich and powerful enough, or because I haven’t met the partner of my dreams, or because I am deeply insecure about my status.

But when we accept our experience, those themes dissipate. We might find, all of a sudden, that our anxiety about future career prospects drains away when we accept other parts of our experience. The disappearance of those compensatory themes will often feel like a change for the better too.

With all these changes going on, it’s entirely likely that other changes in our experience will occur as well. If you aren’t walking around obsessing about power and money, you might notice things you never noticed before. People might treat you differently. You might find different motives and intentions arising in you.

So, yes, accepting your experience does bring about change. But it is best to be clear about the kinds of changes that might occur, because “self-improvement” is a potent theme for many of us, and “accept your experience” can become grist for the mill of “if I do this, I’ll become a better person and my life will change for the better!”

I think we need to balance out the overly positive messages about acceptance and change.

This experience is the only reality there is for you, and your refusal to accept it is at the heart of all the delusions and complexities that arise over the course of a lifetime.

Reality is not what you think it is. Acceptance is first and foremost about reversing the impulse to run away, to create new distractions or compensate for the perceived inadequacies in your experience.

Beware the allure of acceptance as a means of personal change. You cannot practice genuine acceptance if you are using it as a means of changing your experience. That hidden motive will undermine any attempt at accepting your experience, because it constitutes a prior rejection of your experience.

I’ve found that there are times when I cannot seem to accept my experience. In fact it almost feels as though I don’t know what my experience is, so how can I accept it? This “moving target” feeling does not respond to efforts to accept it.

It doesn’t respond, because it is already a response in its own right, to something buried a little deeper. We can’t accept things that are not part of our experience through denial or ignorance. In these situations the best we can do is accept that we are reacting to, or hiding from, something else.

Usually that ‘something else’ will appear if we turn our attention to it, then we can try to accept in turn this previously hidden element of our experience.