Monthly Archives: April 2017

A Classic LOA Error

In her book, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron recommends that people who want to get unstuck from creative blocks, do “morning pages.” Morning pages are 3 handwritten pages of stream of consciousness writing. They’re not supposed to be inspired or creative. They are not meant to be read by anyone else. They are just a place to dump out the contents of our minds so we can see what’s there.

I’ve done morning pages or something like them, for decades. I haven’t always done them daily, but I do them frequently. I’ve used them to stay grounded and clear. They are the primary way that I make time to listen to myself. Doing morning pages is like having a long conversation with a good friend, except they’re available anywhere and at any time.

In the past year, I’ve fallen into what I think is a common trap in LOA circles. By trying to feel more positive, I denied or didn’t pay attention to how I was actually feeling.

As soon as I noticed something bothering me, I would run to youtube to try to find an Abraham video that would help me feel better. Or I would immediately try to find better feeling thoughts. There’s nothing wrong with either of those methods for feeling better. I just missed the crucial first step of identifying how I was actually feeling. In an effort to not dwell on negative feelings, I avoided looking at my feelings at all.

This led me to an emotional crisis. Various stresses had come up in my life and my efforts to find better feeling thoughts, just weren’t helping. I was getting depressed and edgy. I was crying often and randomly. I was having some self-destructive thoughts.

Depression and self-destructive thoughts aren’t new to me. I spent years in daily battles, trying to overcome them. Now, I go years without feeling any depression or self-destructive urges at all. It shocks me when I do have feelings like that, because it is so rare.

Luckily, my past experience has given me plenty of tools to get out of depression. During my recent crisis, I picked up those tools again. I rested. I meditated. I did everything I could to take pressure off of myself. And I wrote.

The turning point out of this depression, was the long afternoon I spent writing “morning” pages and sitting beside a river. I wrote quickly, without censoring myself. I filled at least a dozen pages with my thoughts and feelings. At the end of it, I felt a new calm and had a better understanding of why I had been feeling so bad.

It took a few more days for me to nurture myself back to equilibrium. Once I was clearer about the thoughts and feelings that led to this crisis, I was able to use some of the LOA techniques I’ve learned to improve those thoughts and feelings.

So, I’m back to writing morning pages almost every day. It’s nice to have this old friend back. I’m feeling better. Life is good.

Habits

I’ve been working on getting myself out of a funk. As always, I learn something when I deliberately try to improve how I’m feeling.

I listened to a few Kyle Cease videos on youtube. He’s a former comedian who now teaches people to go for the lives they want. In one video he leads an exercise that starts with listing 50 to 100 experiences/feelings/things that we want.

I did the exercise. There was another point to the exercise, but what I came away with was that a lot of the experiences I want in my ideal life, are available to me now. I can eat really good tasting, healthy food. I can sit on my porch in the spring and watch the birds. I can dance.

It was the inspiration I needed to get back to deliberately trying to enjoy my life. You wouldn’t think it would be hard to deliberately enjoy life, but I find it difficult. If I don’t pay attention, I fall into habits of worry, resentment and self-criticism.

Recently, I’ve been trying to revive healthy habits – yoga, meditation, eating more vegetables. I’d started feeling a little better physically. The morning after watching that Kyle Cease video, I made a conscious choice to enjoy my morning as I got ready for work.

Instead of trying to cram in as many tasks as possible, I relaxed and enjoyed my breakfast. I did what I felt like doing, at a pace that felt good, until it was time to leave for work. On the way to work, I made a point of enjoying the scenery and the sunny weather.

I’d been feeling stressed and overwhelmed at work, but this day, I felt inspired in a way I hadn’t felt in a long time. Instead of dragging myself through my work shift, I felt energized and focused. When I feel good at work, I find myself almost skipping down the hallways. That’s how I felt that day.

I’d been wanting to get back to that feeling at work. It amazed me that it just took one morning of pampering myself to feel that way again. The good feelings didn’t quite last through the whole day, but for several hours I felt really good.

The lesson for me this time, is that I have to make a deliberate habit of trying to feel good. I have to deliberately relax as often as possible. I have to make sure I make time to do the things I enjoy. I have to be really nice to myself and everything else falls into place.

Making myself feel good is a discipline for me to master. I need a post-it note on my forehead to help me remember. I need a “to do” list full of fun things. I have to “force” myself to do things that feel good, until the momentum takes over and it comes naturally.

Abe-isms

“You can be or do or have anything you want.” she says.

“Yah, right. ” I say. “How?”

“Get happy.” she says.

I roll my eyes.

 

“I’m trying. That’s why I want that stuff.” I reply.

“It does not work that way. Get happy and you will have what you want.” she says.

“That’s not what I’ve been taught.” I say.

 

“A belief is just a thought you keep thinking.”

“Obviously.” I think.

“Nevertheless, this is what I believe.” I say, a bit sanctimoniously.

“How’s that working out for you?” she replies.

 

“Nobody likes a smart ass.” I think.

She just smiles.

 

“You keep looking at what is. That is old news.” she says.

“It’s new to me.” I mutter as I glance around.

 

“When you identify a new desire, your vortex immediately becomes that desire. Your vortex is filled to the brim with everything you have put there.” she says.

“Can you please point me toward it’s location?” I ask

“Just get happy!” she says, inanely.

 

“But I’m not happy.” I whine.

“Law of attraction makes it difficult to think different thoughts.” she admits

“Start first thing in the morning. When you slumber, momentum ceases. First thing is the morning is the best time to start momentum in the way you choose.” she advises.

 

“I’m on a late schedule. I don’t get up in the morning.”

She gives me that look.

“Okay. I could start whenever I get up. Maybe. If I remember.” I grumble.

 

“Or take a nap.” she suggests.

“What if I can’t take a nap? I can’t nap at work.”

“Find a better feeling thought.” she says.

 

“It’s hard.”

“Go general.” she advises.

 

“How long do I have to do this until I feel better?” I ask.

“17 seconds.” she replies.

“I can do that.” I think.

 

“And when I feel better?”

“Appreciate. Make long lists of the positive aspects of people and things around you.” she says.

“What will that help me do?” I ask.

 

She pauses for a beat. “Get happy.”