Monthly Archives: July 2016

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.

It’s Just Information

 

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I recently got into a funk at work.  I was feeling resentful and guilty and I couldn’t think my way out of it.  I was also by blaming myself for feeling bad, which added to the fun.

Abraham talks about situations that don’t feel good, or “contrast”, as being beneficial because they make us more clear about what we want instead of the contrasting experience.  When we clearly don’t like something, it makes it easier to imagine what we would like. I can appreciate that in retrospect, but in the moment, I don’t care.  I just want to feel better.

Maybe someday I’ll become a contrast connoisseur. I’ll seek out uncomfortable situations, just so I can develop a happy alternative.  That day is definitely not today.

In an attempt to get out of my bad mood, I scrambled around a bit, watched some Abraham tapes on youtube, and finally heard what I needed to hear to break out of my negative state of mind: negative emotion is just information.

That phrase doesn’t seem very dramatic, sitting there on the page, but it freed me from my resentment and guilt.  I felt immense relief.

The theory of law of attraction is that we attract whatever we focus on.  When I feel negative emotions, it means that I’m focusing on what I don’t want rather than what I do want.  Negative emotion is like a blinking red light saying “Wrong way! Wrong way!”

Remembering that negative emotion is just information, helped me to realize I could change my focus and feel better. It’s not some dire judgement on my worthiness.  It’s just information.

I can choose to think a thought that feels better.  Abraham talks about the process of thinking a different thought as a way to get from one unpleasant emotion to better feeling emotions. It’s simple but it can be magic.

For example, if I’m resenting something my co-worker did, that resentment feels bad.  It would be nice if I could instantly decide to feel ecstatically happy and full of love and peace, but it doesn’t work that way.  Law of attraction creates an undertow that works to bring me more of what I’m already feeling.  Rather than breaking free all at once, I have to gradually move toward a better position.

I can deliberately find thoughts that I believe in that state of mind, that feel a little bit better than the resentment. I can think that my co-worker and I are doing the best we can in that moment.  I can remind myself that the issue I’m feeling resentment about is not very big in the scheme of my life.  I can be happy that the co-worker is there doing some of the work, so I don’t have to do more of it. Unless I hold tightly to that resentment, it will eventually fade to the point that I won’t remember the situation a few months from now.

My aim is to find thoughts that soothe me, until I feel a sense of relief.  That relief not only feels better, it’s a sure sign that I’ve changed my focus for the better and am no longer attracting more feelings like resentment and guilt. That’s a lovely thing.