The Nemesis Teacher

What is a nemesis teacher?  A person or thing which brings out in  you that which you don’t like.   Politicians and celebrities are often the vectors for this (no, I am really not just talking about Scott Walker or Rush Limbaugh).  They seem to embody, or at least espouse, those things that you feel are “wrong”.    They are people or experiences that you do not want to include in your personal reality.  They also have a way of being insistent enough to grab your attention!

Now you know that to put your attention on them simply gives them more power to disrupt your balance, but it seems impossible not to pay attention, so what do you do?  It behooves me at this point to put out a reminder that it is far easier (Really!  Or at least it will be) and more beneficial to distract yourself with something that you already feel good about, but that takes a lot of practice.  Meanwhile, find something to be grateful to your Nemesis Teacher for.  Really.

For example, that politician has powerfully drawn people’s attention to how the democratic process should work, what accountability should look like, what integrity really means.  That celebrity has caused us to value what he has put down with his name-calling tactics, has given us the opportunity to play with it in a humorous fashion.  It has pointed up what we really want by comparison to what we don’t want.

I used to tell my kids that if you really can’t find any other reason to be grateful to a nemesis teacher, tell yourself, “I’m so glad I’m not you!” (over time this has morphed into, “I’m so glad I am who I am”, but the other version has more punch because it tickles your funny bone.  Sometimes there’s a lot of relief to be had in being kinda mean in private!)

The Nemesis Teacher can be a person or an experience (being locked out of the house with the groceries and a busy agenda, for example) and it is what Abraham refers to as “contrast”.   The word “contrast” is a non-judgmental way of looking at it and points up the fact that it is  a contrast to what you want, thereby gently suggesting that inherent in the situation is an understanding of what you DO want.

So, if you are locked out of the house with the groceries and a to do list as long as your arm, what good does it do you to know that what you really want is to get inside and do your stuff?  Well, I admit that this part is kinda tricky.  The truth is that you need to identify the bit about what you want to feel, not the circumstances.  What you can’t change IS, so set about changing what you can change–your feelings about it.

“So, I’ve done what I can to get someone with a key to let me in.  Now how can I make this an experience I’m OK with?  It’s cold enough to keep the groceries from spoiling, yet warm enough that I won’t freeze.  If I wanted to, I could probably get invited into a neighbors for awhile if I do get too cold.  Wouldn’t it be nice if someone with a key comes faster than I expect.  The sky show is pretty amazing, and anything I wanted to do will still be there to do when I get to it.  This will be funny later.   It’s a little bit funny now. Every thing will be okay. ”

Who’s happier, Pooh or Eeyore?  It’s up to you which one you choose to spend your time and energy to be.

 

Love the Commonplace

Something we have learned well, and we can see this clearly when we look at the media, is to put our attention on what is topical.  What big thing is garnering all of our attention today, this week, this month?  I have never seen the Nightly News come right out and say, “People all over the world are still loving each other the best way they know how, today” or “98.5% of children under 3 learned half a dozen useful skills this morning and can be expected to do it again tomorrow”. The media would tell us that is not ‘news’.  That is commonplace.

Politicians are corrupt, corporations are soulless, life is unfair to the common man, disease is rampant, etc.  Sorry, but none of this is new.  Also, none of this is or ever has been universal: not all politicians are corrupt, not all corporations are soulless, each and every one of us, common or uncommon has choices, and health is also rampant.  So why, after millenia are we still considering this viewpoint as worthy of our attention?  Simple.  It is a practiced habit.

We tend to pay attention to topical issues, both as a population and as individuals.  However, the ability to go back over your assumptions and those choices that were made before is a very important tool in changing a habit!  Ask yourself what benefit you get from paying attention to the negatives.  I can think of 2 offhand:

1) It points out the positive direction by contrast (if I don’t want pain, I do want comfort).

2) It feels so good when you stop (paying attention to the negatives).

It is a basic LoA principle that what you pay attention to grows larger, and that you can’t magnetize what you DO want by focusing on what you DON’T want.  To attract it, you must already see yourself having it.  Since this is kinda tough, especially in the beginning, I have a suggestion.  Train yourself out of the habit of focusing on what you don’t want by training yourself to disregard topical issues, social and private.  Start with the ones that are outside your direct control, for example what you see in the media. Replace those thoughts with the ways you have what you want.  Despite what the media says, I have a job, a house, a car, etc.   HINT: Allow yourself to speak from this very moment! Do not predict that you may not have it next week, next week is not here! Match yourself NOW to what you want any time in the future.

The next suggestion is really the meat of this post: celebrate those commonplace things that are so easy to disregard because they are ‘not good enough’ to actually celebrate.  One of my daughters was miserable at one point in her teens because no one loved her.  I told her I loved her and thought she was special.  She replied, “That doesn’t count, you have to love me, you’re my mother”.  This just goes to show our ability to disregard what could be a source of comfort or celebration. Once I had a migraine and searched my entire body for a spot that didn’t hurt, so I could put my attention on it.  It was the arches of my feet.  As I focused my attention on them, not only did the pain recede from my awareness, the arches of my feet rubbing against one another became more and more deliciously comfortable.

I did this today and I felt so much better, I began to giggle. “I love the way these jeans fit, I really look forward to having all my jeans fit this well. I love having lots of clothes to choose from to stay warm.  I love the warmth and the massage of the water in the shower, and the way I feel refreshed and renewed when I get out.  I love the smell of this dill I am harvesting and this soup I am making.  I love the feeling of release I get from taking a big breath. I love the fact that I can feel better whenever I want by breathing deeply.  I love the fact that once I get started doing this, I attract more ideas of what I love….”

Give credit to your commonplace abundance, allow it to help you feel better for as long as you do it, and practice this habit.  You will find the harder issues will, little by little, get easier.

Paradoxical Fun

Sometimes, when you are working on reorienting your thoughts to better-feeling ones, you hit a moment when you just can’t summon the energy/desire/motivation to “do the work”.  The first time I remember hitting this “roadblock”,  was when I was really angry about something.  It seemed, however, that whenever I tried to find a different thought, my mind went all fuzzy and there was nothing else to turn to.  I was vibrationally unavailable to any better-feeling thought.  Eventually, I gave myself up to the anger and just went with it, and when it was spent I discovered that now I felt like pivoting my thoughts.

My experience with feeling low wasn’t exactly like this, in that it didn’t blow itself out.  Instead I kept saying to myself, “This is where I am, right now and it is fine.  I accept  this, I accept exactly who I am right now, and I look forward to feeling better.”  I was surprised, actually, to find out that while I wasn’t exactly enjoying these times, they had their up side. Being angry felt powerful and a release, and provided I didn’t share it in a hurtful way with those around me, harmless.  Being bored and unproductive, while uncomfortable by being unfamiliar, had a restful aspect.

So sometimes I just wanted to be angry, sometimes I just wanted to feel sorry for myself, sometimes I just wanted to cry, etc.  Because I found some strange, non-traditional enjoyment from it, I decided to call it “paradoxical fun”.  And ever since I discovered this perspective, I’ve been able to analyze it and see how it works in a LoA paradigm.

To begin with, allowing myself to feel what I feel sends a great big “I accept and approve of myself” message to my subconscious.  I love myself warts and all, just as my Source does. That is being in alignment.

Secondly, being willing to accept even the “ugly” parts of myself, the ones that my tapes have decreed as unacceptable has allowed me to stop holding judgements against myself and see them all as just experiences.  It also means that I have no dark side to hide from.  I don’t have to fear that “you won’t like me if you really knew me” syndrome that many of us secretly fear is true.  If I can like even my dark bits, then I will be a vibrational match to people who also can.  In any event, I’ll like myself. :)  This is also being in alignment.

Thirdly, I no longer feel threatened by being stuck in an unpleasant emotion/experience.  Knowing that I can change it whenever I am ready to allows me the freedom to really experience it.  This is freedom, and also in alignment.

According to Abraham, if we hadn’t wanted to experience trials and travails we would not have incarnated.  They say that we came here for the fun of getting out of alignment in order to find our way back into alignment.  I expect that that is what I am calling “paradoxical fun”.

Now I have another wish for people, apart from “Have fun!”.  I can wish them “Have paradoxical fun!”, although I might do it in my head until I’m sure they are ready to hear it out loud…

The power of “Now”…and “Then”

You are always Here, Now.

Yesterday, 5 minutes ago and tomorrow do not exist!   Except, of course in your imagination, or as we call it when we are looking backward in time, memory.  Or else, perhaps, if indeed there are no such things as time and space, they exist concurrently with Now.

Each of these perspectives can be useful.   Now exists as your point of power, the place where you can take action.  If you cannot take action, it is not useful to waste your energy fretting about not being able to do so.  For example, it is oh-so-easy to get caught up in things that are not happening right now, and to treat them as if they were.  Are you mentally paying next month’s bills?  Or deciding if you can get that project done by your deadline?  Are you getting nervous? Why?

You don’t have to be afraid of something that isn’t happening.  In fact, if you can get a handle on your imaginings, you can assure yourself that the future that you anticipate nervously does not come to you.

If it is not time for action, what is it time for?  Pre-paving.  Segment intending.  In other words, using your imagination and your intent (because these are the tools of creation) to find good-feeling scenarios.  What you are thinking/feeling is what you are broadcasting to the LoA to match, so if it is scary, find another thought!

“I have food now, my bills are paid now, I am impeccably guided to take the right action at the right time, I know how to find the “up” side to everything that comes to me”, etc.

If you are going to think in the future, make it a good-feeling imagination, because the feelings that your imaginings about the future are bringing up within you are happening Now, being broadcast Now, being matched by the LoA in 17 seconds, in 68 seconds…

The same is true for memories, so HEAL them!  Use your pivoting skills to change the perspective, to see the other information that you weren’t aware of at the time, to give value to the experience.  If that is too hard, play “wouldn’t it have been nice” if it had happened another way.  It is not important to make it “true”, this is about changing your point of attraction in the Now!  Make it feel good Now!

This reminds me of a discussion I had with my husband a few years ago (pre-Abraham for me). He said “Create your own reality” felt overwhelming and since there are parallel universes of every description already existing (at least in potentia) he would prefer to think of it as “choosing” his own reality, thereby bypassing the process of constructing it detail by detail.  This “wouldn’t it be nice” game helped him access it through his subconscious.

Sometimes, especially with fear, it seems as if better-feeling thoughts are hiding from you.  This is a good time to use your intention.  First intend to release the physical sensation of fear, breathe deeply and remind yourself that you are not alone, you have all of Source to draw upon.  Ask for assistance.  Intend that the thoughts you want are there and they will become evident to you.  The more you relax, the more your Source is able to communicate with you, and the more positive perspectives you will think of.

Imagination and intention.  What you put your attention on grows larger and more real. It is the truth behind “Seek and ye shall find”.

 

 

The Focus of Attention

There is a saying common in create-your-own-reality circles, “What you focus on grows larger”.  This is exactly the same as a “self-fulfilling prophecy”.  If all you can see when you look in the mirror is that big, red pimple on the end of your nose, you are also sure that is what everyone else is looking at as well.   This is certainly true in middle school, and your peers will reward you with confirmation of it.   What you seek, you do indeed find.

This also the basis of the parenting advice taught in schools, ” Catch your child being good!” and “Children will live up to, or down to, your expectations of them”.  Why so many quotes?  Partly to point out that “what you focus on grows larger” is just a woo-woo way of saying something that is pretty well accepted by mainstream society, and partly to lay the groundwork for using consciously directed focus to improve your life.

Think of a dark cabaret, filled with people and talking, staff moving around, smells wafting through the air.  The spotlight comes up on the stage and everyone focuses their attention on the stage.  If the performer is good enough, your awareness of all that other activity can simply disappear.  Imagine then, how selective attention to what you enjoy about what is happening in your life can make the parts you don’t enjoy “disappear”.

Each thing has positive and  negative aspects, so you have the choice of what to put your attention on.  This takes practice as well, and at times, it takes giving yourself permission to ignore things which you dis-enjoy.  Or to put a positive “spin” on it.  Same thing.  For example,  I am regularly visited by the ghost of martyrdom past that I learned at my mother’s knee. I find myself thinking that my family leave things undone for me to do; belongings strewn around, food unrefrigerated, toilet paper unstocked, etc. I think, ‘Why is this always my job? or ‘Can’t anyone else see that this has to be done’ or similar versions of the same theme.  So I suggest, or complain, or nag, all the while angry that I should even have to say anything.

In fact, I do not have to do any of those things.  I can choose to leave the thing undone, I can choose to do it for my own reasons, I can choose to mention it as a problem and ask my family for input in resolving it.  What I actually choose to do will vary, but the task in front of me each time is to focus on what I want and not on what makes me angry.  Sometimes I want help, sometimes I want appreciation, sometimes I want it not to be up to me at all.  When I can identify that desire, I can move towards it.  If all I am looking at is what is wrong, all I can see is what is wrong!

Sometimes we get in too deep to be able to find a positive side.  As always, there are options.  Ignore it until you feel better and then try again,  just a little bit.  I knit a sweater once from the pattern from hell.  Lots of things didn’t work and my fixes seemed to make more problems.  I finally posted my quandry on a knitting forum and one responder sympathized, saying she had some projects like that in a drawer.  I was flabbergasted.  I could put it in a drawer! That had never dawned on me.  When I finally pulled the project back out, months later, I had gained a new perspective and was able to make choices about what I was willing and not willing to do and the sweater got done.  Distraction is not only a wonderful parenting tool, but a terrific self-sanity tool as well.

We are used to disregarding many of our thoughts, feelings, accomplishments.  Dis-regard, not look at.  This is a terrific tool, and very useful, but only when you are dis-regarding what you DON’T like!  So, while you are dis-regarding the things you don’t like, what are you putting in their place?  Simple.  What you DO like.  When someone compliments you, do you tell them it is nothing? Your project is great- do you say yes, but there are still problems?  Try this: whenever you hear yourself say, “Yes, but…”, change it (at least mentally) to “Yes, so…”  It is surprising the places that simple word choice will lead you!

Look at what you have and appreciate it.  Look at who you are, what you can do,  and appreciate it.  And then, as Abraham urges, look forward with eagerness to what is coming.