Learning to trust what I want

I’ve always enjoyed writing. As a child I wrote poetry to express my feelings. Later, I experimented with essays, humor, and fiction. I enjoyed writing, but I didn’t think it was very exciting. It was a skill I used to help me think and to express myself, but I was nervous about sharing my writing. Publishing was hard and I wasn’t comfortable with promoting myself, so I always let go of thinking about writing as a potential career.

I have wanted to work as an independent creative person for most of my life. The trouble was, I hadn’t perfected any creative skills that I could readily use to make money. When I moved here, to Vermont, a new friend taught me to quilt. I eventually opened an Etsy shop and tried to create a quilting business.

For five years, I worked at developing my part-time quilting business. I learned a lot in those five years and I don’t regret a moment of it, but ultimately, the quilting business was not for me. I just didn’t like sewing enough.

By the time I shut down the quilting business, I was looking around for another creative endeavor. Writing was there as it had always been there. I didn’t know how or if I could make a living with it, but I decided that I wanted to try.

At this point, I had spent a couple of years learning about law of attraction and related ideas. Reasoning out the path to accomplishing a goal had not worked for me in the past. Instead, I visualized the general end point I wanted to reach and I wrote about it.

I started writing a journal about my happy future life as a full-time writer. That’s where the idea for this blog came from. Every time I would write about my happy future life as a writer, I got a strong urge to create a blog about my experience with the law of attraction.

In September of 2015, I started the blog. I developed lots of grand plans for the blog. I planned to post regularly and guest post on other blogs and create ebooks, all while building a thriving, supportive community.

By the first anniversary of the creation of the blog, I was losing enthusiasm. I had published almost every month, but certainly not as often as I had intended. I had a few regular readers, but I wasn’t getting more. I was making steady progress in setting up my life to better accommodate writing, but it was slow going. I was finding the whole process to be harder than I thought.

By spring, my motivation was almost gone and I stopped writing blog posts for a month or so. I was in a new writing group then and I considered focusing on other forms of writing. I wrote some humor and some essays.

After a month of not writing for the blog, I found I missed it. I missed thinking about the principles that were helping me in my life. I found I was forgetting the things that improved my life: focusing on feeling good, gratitude, being open to positive outcomes. When I wasn’t writing about these things, I forgot them.

I have three friends who read my blog posts regularly. I missed my conversations with them about the my blog posts. I missed the sense of purpose I felt when I was publishing my blog posts and sending them out to subscribers and social media followers.

By May, I was back to writing for the blog and feeling renewed enthusiasm for it. I’ve learned that the thing I love most about writing is the creativity of it. When I write, my brain swirls with new ideas. I want to live in that world of creativity and new ideas.

I’d still like to make a career of writing, but I find that I don’t accomplish things by reasoning out how to accomplish them. I don’t have enough information to intellectually plot the best paths to my goals. I get to where I want to go by enjoying my life now. I get there by having fun and listening to my intuition for the next right step.

For now, I’ll continue to enjoy the creativity of writing. I’ll continue to remind myself of what works in my life and I’ll share that with others who are interested. It’s fun. For now, that’s enough.

My 3 Favorite Web Sites for Law of Attraction Inspiration

Here are the web sites of my favorite teachers, writers and cheerleaders about the law of attraction and other related information. When I want inspiration or guidance about how to make use of the law of attraction in a specific area of my life, I always go to one of these three web sites. The information they provide is grounded, thoughtful and often presented with humor.

Abraham-Hicks

My first real introduction to law of attraction was reading a book by Abraham-Hicks. The book was Ask and it is Given. I still go back to it regularly. It’s a textbook for how to live.

Abraham’s teaching and presentation are always sensible and down to earth. Abraham’s identity is a little different. Abraham says they are a group consciousness interpreted by a woman named Esther Hicks. It’s channeling and it’s woo woo, but I don’t care. Everything she says as Abraham makes sense to me. By following Abraham, I’ve found a philosophy that seems to fit the world I see. The information is practical and Abraham is very funny.

Esther Hicks has been channeling Abraham for 30 years or so. They travel around the country and sometimes internationally, giving seminars where people ask questions and converse with Abraham through Esther. Abraham is beloved around the world. The Abraham-Hicks organization sells books, and DVDs and recordings from Abraham seminars, in various formats. There are even vacation cruises that include Abraham seminars.

Meanwhile, there are lots of free Abraham resources available. On the web site, you can sign up for daily email quotes and there are free videos to watch. The Abraham-Hicks organization also allows people to post recordings of parts of seminars on Youtube. You can search for Abraham-Hicks on Youtube and find enough videos to watch for the rest of your days. Whenever I want help with something, I search for “Abraham-Hicks” and the topic, for example “releasing fear.” It’s a great resource.

Pam Grout

Pam Grout is a freelance travel writer who also writes about spiritual principles, in fun, easy to understand ways. Her books, E-Squared and E-Cubed, are inspiring and humorous. Both books are filled with experiments that she encourages readers to carry out to prove to themselves the validity of a universe that conspires to help us.

Her most recent book, Thank and Grow Rich, is a handy guide to the many ways to use gratitude to make our lives better.

Pam also publishes a blog where she shares inspiring success stories, often sent in by her readers. Her style is light and engaging. When I see her posts in my Facebook feed, I perk up immediately. Reading one of her blog posts is always a bright spot in my day.

Good Vibe University

Good Vibe University is the brain child of Law of Attraction coach, Jeannette Maw. It’s a membership site with recorded webinars available on applying law of attraction to all sorts of life situations. It’s also a community with discussion forums, classes and even coaching available.

In connection with Good Vibe University, Jeannette publishes a blog about making use of the law of attraction in our lives. Her advice is always useful, based on years of coaching clients. It’s a resource I count on to remind me of the principles I want to apply in my life.

My favorite blog post by Jeannette is about allowing. It’s funny as well as helpful. Check it out here.

There are lots of people writing and speaking online about law of attraction. I count on these three web sites for consistently good and entertaining advice.

What Could Go Right?

I had the idea to ask myself “What could go right?”, when I noticed how often I thought about things going badly. As Abraham says, “When you know what you don’t want, you more clearly know what you do want.” The habit of expecting the worst is meant to protect me, but it doesn’t really. It keeps me depressed and fearful.

What if I could turn that around? What if I could change my focus from expecting the worst to expecting the best? It feels radical. It’s a measure of how far I’ve come that I can even contemplate such a thing.

Many years ago, a therapist shocked me by suggesting that the unknown future may include good things as well as bad things. My focus was so relentlessly on my fears, that I was dumbfounded by the idea that the unknown could be good. Decades later, I remember that moment clearly. It was pivotal for me. It was a moment when hope shined through the crack in my armor against misery.

My habits of thought didn’t change much then, but over the years when I’ve been immersed in fear and trying to feel better, I have sometimes remembered what that therapist pointed out to me: the unknown may actually be something good.

Expecting pleasant surprises is the opposite of worry. I’ve been thinking lately about a story I read on Jeannette Mau’s Good Vibe blog. A woman suddenly lost a job and she took that development as evidence that the universe had lined up something wonderful for her life. She was right. It’s a funny blog post. Check it out here.

She expected her life to get better and it did. I am convinced that feeling good is the best way to get everything I want. I’m getting better at coaxing myself into good feelings and this is another way to do that. What if I could simply see the unexpected as new pleasures coming into my life?

What could go right in my day today? What unexpected good fortune might appear? What might be easier than expected? What resources may come my way without any effort on my part? I’m having fun as I to start to ask these questions.

 

The Emotional Scale

(Photo courtesy of Debi Barton Haverly, @debihaverly)

 

One of the more useful techniques I’ve learned from Abraham-Hicks is called “moving up the emotional scale.” The emotional scale is a scale of emotions from those that feel the worst to those that feel the best. As I’ve worked with this emotional scale, I see that it’s also a scale of feelings of personal empowerment.

Abraham puts fear, grief, depression, despair and powerlessness at the bottom of this scale. All of those emotions are based on thoughts of being powerless and at the mercy of negative situations in our lives.

Abraham talks about moving to rage or anger, from those more powerless emotions, as being a breath of fresh air. I think that’s because rage and anger mean our negative thoughts are directed toward other people or situations rather than toward ourselves.

As we go up the emotional scale, we feel lighter and better as we think of ourselves as less at the mercy of others’ negative actions and more empowered to create what we want in our own lives. I won’t go through the whole scale but it moves up from anger to doubt, “overwhelment”, frustration, boredom, then into mildly pleasant emotions like contentment and hopefulness.

At the top of the emotional scale are strong, good feeling emotions that reflect a sense of alignment with source and our true powerful, creative nature. Those feelings include joy, empowerment, freedom, love and appreciation.

The point of the “moving up the emotional scale” process, is to deliberately choose thoughts to think that move us to better feeling emotions.

For example, if I’m feeling a lot of fear about money, I will write the thoughts that are generating this feeling of fear. “I’m afraid I won’t be able to pay my bills. I’m afraid I’ll run out of money.” Those thoughts feel bad to me because they come with a feeling that my money situation is somehow beyond my control. That’s my starting point.

If I’m deliberately moving up this emotional scale, I may reach for a thought that makes me feel angry. “I’m sick of feeling this fear. I work hard and I deserve a good life. I’m sick of struggling.”

As I continue on, searching my mind for better feeling thoughts, I may think, “I haven’t always felt afraid about money. I have managed to get myself in good financial situations in the past.”

“My financial situation, right now, is much better than it was a few years ago. It’s been steadily improving.”

“Right now, I have everything I need. I can’t always foresee the good opportunities that will come my way. When I take care of myself and stay in the moment, solutions often just appear.”

As I make my way up the emotional scale, more “better feeling thoughts” occur to me. When I’m successful in moving myself into better emotions, I have a visceral sense of relief.

It’s startling to see how different the world looks to me, once I have shifted my emotions. I see happy solutions that I couldn’t perceive when I was depressed. Often I see that there was no real problem to begin with – just a fear.

When I feel better, I notice the things I love that surround me. That’s the real gift of moving my emotions to a better feeling place. The world becomes magical and alive to me again. I enjoy my life. Once again, it’s lovely to be here.

Anger?

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Someone I follow on twitter, posted a quote from the Dalai Lama. The quote was “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” The person on twitter said, “This quote makes me furious.” Interesting.

I should say that the person I follow on twitter, is involved in politics and I think that informs his attitude. I’ve seen another quote around political circles, that says, “If you’re not angry, you aren’t paying attention.” The assumption is that the only sane response to some conditions is anger. I get why people feel that way, but I must respectfully disagree.

For me, this is about emotional perspective. Abraham Hicks talks about viewing our emotions on an emotional scale. It’s a scale measuring emotions from those that feel terrible to those that feel wonderful. At the lower end of this scale are emotions like despair, depression, feelings of worthlessness. At the top of the scale are emotions like joy, love, ecstasy. Abraham encourages us to work our way up the emotional scale to the happier emotions, to achieve what we want with our lives.

Abraham also talks about anger as being a huge emotional improvement over powerlessness. I think that’s why so many people rely on anger to fuel their political activism. It’s an affirmation that we are not in fact, powerless, even though we may feel that way in the face of larger political realities that distress us.

The problem I have with anger is that I don’t want to get stuck there. I want to feel better than that. I find it’s not a very effective state of mind when compared to joy. Joy is where I find clarity and creative solutions.

Anger has allowed me to take action to change circumstances in my life that I don’t like, but acting from anger is messy and ultimately unsatisfying. Anger is a good indicator for me of the need for change, but not a good place for me to launch action. If I lead myself up that emotional scale further, I will more easily generate results that I like.

I don’t hear much about working for societal change from a place of joy or love, but I do have role models for that. One role model for this joy-based activism is Thich Naht Hahn. He is a Vietnamese Monk who came of age during the Vietnam War. His advocacy of reconciliation got him ostracized by both sides in the war, but he has inspired millions with his loving view of the world. Martin Luther King, Jr. also inspired us with love. More recently, Barack Obama’s vision of hope, catapulted him to national prominence and drove his historic presidency.

Law of Attraction teachers point to a danger of staying too long in unpleasant states of mind like anger. Anger keeps our focus more on what we don’t want than on what we do want. The theory of law of attraction is that our focus brings us more of what we’re focusing on. If we focus on what we’re angry about, we bring more of it into our lives. That’s not usually the effect we’re hoping for.

Of course, I have to start wherever I am. If I’m angry, it’s not going to change the anger to pretend it’s not there. I can only change the effects of anger if I genuinely change the how I’m feeling. That’s what this law of attraction work is for me. It’s learning to change how I feel so I feel better and better.

Anger is empowering, but joy, love and hope can be empowering too. I can create what I want from a hopeful place. In fact, I believe it’s the easiest way to do it.

I was upset by the results of the recent presidential election. It took some time for me to gain emotional equilibrium afterwards. I felt some anger and despair, but eventually, I reaffirmed that I want to be led by joy. There was some joy for me in this election. I was joyful at the prospect of a good woman president. I was giddy when I thought Hillary would win.

This election has reawakened my feminist feelings in the best possible way. I’m now determined to let my joy lead me to find and promote good women politicians. I’ve already started. This is going to be fun.

The Election

 

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You may have heard.  We’ve had a presidential election here, in the United States.  Perhaps you’ve lived it these past months and years.

In my estimation, it didn’t end well.  My candidate lost and the winning candidate terrifies me.  Or at least he did.

On election night I stayed up late, watching the results.  The contest was too close to call for a long time, but clearly not going the way I wanted. I didn’t sleep much that night.  As the truth became clear, a solid feeling of despair and terror descended on me.

I quickly decided that I did not want to stay in that emotional neighborhood. One thing I’ve learned regarding the law of attraction, is that it’s vital for me to feel good.  That doesn’t mean I should pretend to feel good when I don’t.  I need to acknowledge the genuine feelings I have. It just means that my work is to gently and consistently soothe my unpleasant feelings and steer myself toward feeling better.

I think clearer when I feel good.  I see more options when I feel good.  I get inspired to wonderful solutions when I feel good. I want inspiration now.

I don’t know why this election went the way it did.  People are proposing all sorts of explanations. All I know is that if I stay feeling good and listen for inspiration, I will find the best possible way forward for myself.

Despite the final result, I’ve had wonderful experiences in this election.  I came to feel admiration and affection for Hillary Clinton as I learned more about her. I think she’s a wonderful, talented, kind person who has helped many people. Early in life, she made a conscious decision to spend her life helping others and she’s kept that focus.

It touched me to learn of the little things, in addition to her big accomplishments, that Hillary has done to protect and encourage vulnerable people.  For example, I learned that when she was a senator, Hillary reserved some of the intern openings in her office, for people who had been foster children. She also worked to make it easier for foster kids to get adopted.

During the beginning of the Aids epidemic in this country, when there was a lot of hysteria about contamination, she publicly stood by the gay community and people who were working to care for Aids patients. My twitter feed has been full of stories of people she’s helped. I admire her tremendously.

On twitter I discovered a wonderful community of Hillary’s supporters.  I feel a connection and a shared vision with these people. That connection and vision will last long past the election. It’s a vision of the many diverse people in this country, loving and appreciating each other, and building a society that allows us all to flourish.

The election got me to follow the twitter feed of one of my writing heroes, Anne Lamott.  Her clever posts as well as the pictures of her ever-growing pack of #gooddogsforclinton and #goodcatsforclinton, comforted and entertained me through this election.

I feel grateful to the comedians who’ve lightened the mood.  I’m particularly happy to have discovered Samantha Bee. It’s nice for me to hear humor about politics from a female perspective.

Hillary’s campaign reawakened my dormant feminist sensibilities and made me want to get involved with promoting feminist causes again. This time I’ll have less fear and anger, and more joy. It was joyful to be reminded of the Sufferagettes and the long line of feminists that paved the way for Hillary’s candidacy.  In my own small way, I was part of that line.

After the election, social media was full of people trying to comfort each other. We’ve been reminding each other that love and beauty still exist. Creativity and passion and kindness still exist.

Now, I have a challenge.  Can I take this election result, that I didn’t want, and find some hope in it?  Can I imagine it being okay? The law of attraction perspective on unwanted things in our lives, is that they clarify for us what we do want. We can use the unwanted to fuel our vision and pursuit of what we prefer.

This election is a call for me to get more involved in my wider community. It’s a call to create the things I want to see. I was overjoyed when I thought we were going to have a good woman president.  I want that feeling again.  I want to do everything I can to support women politicians I believe in. I also want to support organizations working for racial harmony.  I want to help slow climate change.  I want to promote peace.

Before this election, I couldn’t imagine that anyone as unqualified and unsuited to service as Donald Trump, could be elected to the highest office in the country. It’s shocking and appalling because he treats other people so badly, but it also shows that the limits of my imagination are just my limits.  One thing I can say about Donald Trump is that he demonstrates absolute belief in himself and it has helped him to accomplish what many reasonable people never thought he could.

It’s made me think. What could we accomplish together with that kind of faith in ourselves? Could we become people who love and value our racial and cultural differences? Could we live in harmony with nature and care for our environment?  Could we make sure that every person on the planet had clean water, good food and a comfortable home? Could we make a world where every child is treasured? Could we fill this world with music and art? Could we eliminate war?

Fear and hate got strong momentum in this election and carried us to this conclusion.  Imagine if we put that much energy into love and kindness. Imagine if love and kindness gained overwhelming momentum.  What could our world be like with that kind of power?

A Radical Notion

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I have been changed by studying the law of attraction and deliberately using it in my life. My fundamental assumptions about myself and my world are different. There is one new perspective that embodies it all: I can trust my joy.

I was shocked when I realized this was true.  It goes against everything I used to believe. I thought I had to force myself to do difficult and unpleasant things to eventually get what I want and be happy.  I totally bought the notion that forcing myself to do things I didn’t want to do, was the key to achievement and being a good person.

I thought joy was a bad influence.  At best, it was a waste of time.  At worst, chasing after joy would cause me to lose everything good and decent in life.

I’m so relieved to learn that life doesn’t work that way.  I’ve caught glimpses of the truth throughout my life, but my belief in hard work was so firmly entrenched, that I didn’t believe my own eyes.  I didn’t believe it when I saw that relaxing and feeling good led me to easily accomplish tasks that I struggled with when applying will and effort. Desperation finally motivated me to consider that there could be a better way – an easier way.

I can trust my joy.  Those 5 little words encapsulate the essence of everything I’ve learned about law of attraction and how it works in my life. My feelings of joy are trustworthy.

I can trust my joy to take care of me.  I can trust my joy to nurture my relationships.  I can trust my joy to lead me to my best work.  I can trust my joy to keep me physically and financially healthy.  I can trust my joy to help me contribute to my community.

More than that, I can trust my joy to lead me to excitement.  I can trust my joy to lead me to love.  I can trust my joy to bring creativity and adventure and deep satisfaction to my life.

Joy is both the goal and the path to the goal.  I get to joy by cultivating joy.  I can simply look around my world to find joy.  We live on an amazing planet.  Right now, it’s autumn where I live.  I’m surrounded by trees displaying a joyous profusion of red and yellow leaves.  The hillsides are exquisite tapestries. I can see joy everywhere.

My life’s work is to cultivate joy.  That’s it.  Every other thing I want will show up along the way, like cartoon woodland creatures peeking out from a path in a fairytale. I’ve seen enough evidence of this that I feel absolutely certain of it.  Eureka!  I can trust my joy.

Thank and Grow Rich

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I’m in the habit of worrying.  In fact, I’m a world class worrier.  If there were an Olympic sport of worrying, I’d bring home the gold. I even worry in my sleep.

As I’ve been studying the law of attraction, I’m finding that this habit of worry prevents me from changing my life.  It’s based on a mistaken idea that if I search the world for threats, I’ll see them coming and be able to keep myself safe.

I want to take the intense focus I apply to worry and turn it to more positive thoughts and emotions. I’ve had a lot of good results when I’ve deliberately changed my thoughts and emotions so that I feel good.  If I focused on joy as intently as I have on worry, my life would be wonderful.  That is my goal.  I want to replace the habit of worry with the habit of joy.

I’ve recently encountered a new tool to help me change my habits of thought.  It’s Pam Grout’s new book, Thank and Grow Rich.  As the title indicates, it’s about gratitude, but also about other positive mental stances.  It’s about love.  It’s about creativity.  It’s about being in the moment.  It’s about all the ways of thinking and feeling that make life sweet.

Thank and Grow Rich is the kind of book I can turn to again and again, to get grounded and focused on what helps me in life. It contains lots of easy little exercises that she calls party games.  It’s a handbook for generating positive habits of thought.

Lately, after reading Thank and Grow Rich, I’ve been making impromptu gratitude lists in my head.  When I want to boost my mood, I just look around and name 5 things for which I’m grateful. It’s easy and effective.

In a twist on one of Pam Grout’s exercises, I’ve started a nightly gratitude journal. At the end of the day, I spend a few minutes writing 3 or more things I’m grateful for about the day.  It keeps me focused in a happy way.  I get excited about writing in the journal every night. Throughout the day, I’m alert to special moments to record. It’s a fun exercise and it keeps me appreciating the wealth of good in my life.  It makes me happy.

The Magic of Vision

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I’ve seen an advertisement on youtube where a woman starts her pitch by asking disparagingly if I am sitting on the couch waiting for law of attraction to bring me what I want.  There was a time when I would have been offended or questioned myself when I heard those words.  Now, I just shake my head because I know she’s totally missing the point of this work.

It’s about navigation, really.  I navigate to where I want to be, by focusing on where I want to be.

This isn’t as easy as it sounds.  I’ve been a terrible navigator for most of my life.  In fact, I come from a long line of bad navigators.  We’ve all been stumbling around, faced in the wrong direction and wondering why we didn’t get to where we wanted to go. It’s what we were taught by all the bad navigators that came before us.

I keep having an image of the nose of a plane or the prow of a boat.  My life is that plane on its flight or a boat on the water and my work applying the law of attraction is learning to point my vessel toward where I want to go.  Working with the law of attraction is not about what I do or don’t do.  It’s about where I aim.

I can just focus on everything I want to experience and just trust the river of life to carry me there. That is what I’m coming to believe. My work is to keep my attention focused on the vision of what I want – to flesh it out and feel the emotion of having what I want.  I focus my imagination on the future and set a course to where I’m focusing.

I have experienced the benefits of focusing on a positive vision for my life.  When I knew I needed a new car and I didn’t know how to get one, I started deliberately envisioning myself happy, driving a safe, well running car.  I visualized myself easily driving it through the hilly back roads of my environment.

I’m convinced that this visualizing helped me get a car and car loan when with no extra money and no credit history, I believed I had no way to get either.  The vision and my deliberate attempts to stay open to it, overcame my fears and my precarious situation.

Something similar happened with my health.  When I was experiencing some minor, but chronic health problems, and I was reading about law of attraction, I deliberately tried to focus my attention on feeling healthy.  I didn’t do that a lot.    Just a few episodes of focusing on my desire to feel healthy and I was led to change my diet in ways I’d attempted for years and failed at for years. This time it was inexplicably easy.

One more example: I was finding myself getting crabby and resentful at work.  I often dreaded going there.  I decided to deliberately envision feeling good at work.  On my drive to work, I would tell myself that I was going to have an easy, fun day at work.  I’d think about everything I liked about my job.  I’d envision getting along well with everyone there.  I’d envision my workday going smoothly and easily.

This visualizing and focus helped me right away.  After a week of doing it consistently, my work day became very pleasant.  I had fun at work.  In fact, my workday became so enjoyable that I enjoyed being at work more than I enjoyed being at home.

I can select what I want to experience in each part of my life and I can focus on that and envision it until it comes true.  I can envision a whole life where every aspect of my life pleases me.  I can focus on that vision and relax and let the stream of life carry me there. So that’s what I’m doing now.

After I create the vision and infuse it with love and hope, I let go and turn it over to the beneficial forces of the universe.  If I stay in the moment and trust and do what feels right in the moment, I will be led to everything I want.  I’ve seen it work so many times.

Happiness is like a Campfire

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I’m experimenting with deliberately nurturing happiness in myself. I can create emotions with very little effort. It’s much easier to feel happy if I just focus on feeling happy rather than on creating conditions in my life that I think will make me happy, like more money, health, better relationships.

Law of attraction teachers always say that an easy path to the physical things that we want is to create the good feelings that we imagine we’ll have when we get those physical things.  Lately, I don’t care as much about those physical things.  I just want to feel good.  It turns out that it’s not that hard to create emotions.

Creating happiness is like building a campfire. It can start as a tiny spark.  That spark can be a joke, a passing feeling of well-being, appreciation for some useful item I see every day.  If I shelter and protect this spark of happiness, if I coax it along, it grows. The growth is almost imperceptible at first, but then the happy feeling grows fast.

As the spark turns into an established flame, it becomes less vulnerable. I can step back and relax.  I don’t need to shelter my creation as much. I feed it with thoughts of appreciation for the world around me or the world in my head.  I think of good things that have happened, people I love, the way sunlight filters through trees. It’s easy to find things to appreciate once I’m looking.

If I continue to feed my happiness with happy thoughts, it gets bigger and bigger, until it just needs occasional tending. I can enjoy the warmth and the glow.

Creating happiness and creating a campfire both benefit from starting under favorable conditions.  It’s hard to start a campfire during a rainstorm.  Happiness doesn’t grow from an emotional storm either.  A storm of painful emotions is a bad time to get a feeling of happiness to catch and build.  Best to find shelter and wait for the storm to pass. Then try again tomorrow.