Monthly Archives: December 2016

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.