“Everything is always working out for me”

Abraham always corrects people who say,

“Everything always works out for me” to

“Everything is always working out for me”.

Intellectually I always understood this, in the way of creating a more effective affirmation, as bringing your outcome into the present moment. In a practical sense, though, I never felt the difference.

Today (showerthoughts, of course) I tried to see what the 2 statements were really saying.

The first implies that IN THE END you will have the outcome you want, despite the fact that you can’t see right now how it can/will come about.

The second implies that since it is happening right now as well as lining up to “conclude” (if you can use that word about anything in life) at some point, if you are alert to it, you might see evidence of steps that are happening to take you where you want to go.

(I believe that this is the meaning of the scripture, “Seek and ye shall find”. If you are looking for it, you will be able to find it.)

So the essential difference in subtext is,

“I will be happy when this happens and I just have to take it on faith that it will happen, eventually”

versus,

“I am happy that this is happening, in part, right now and I am comforted by the evidence that I see that it is happening, stepwise.”

Now obviously there are people who are capable of suspending disbelief comfortably, (ie having faith), although I don’t believe I am acquainted with any. I, and most of the people I know get along much better with evidence, even if it is only the evidence that no one else would accept: that of your own “knowing”, also known as guidance.

As an example:

I was playing Freecell and I was stuck-no moves possible. I read (a Facebook) thread, left and realized that I knew what (commenter) was saying about when you share your problem with someone you also offer them a connection to the solution and I came back to “like” it. I did that and went back to my game and there were 2 obvious plays which opened the game up entirely.

I “knew” that this “sign” was a follow-up to my last post here about being a teacher. It is not possible NOT to be a teacher because it is not possible not to be a learner as they are the two sides of the same coin.

As I was writing this note, I stepped out for a cigarette and  received several more confirmations that I am on the right track; I was warm despite the fact that it is 0 F, I saw a bird eating the food left out for them but haven’t seen any eating for weeks now and have been wanting to, etc.

These small confirmations are so easy to ignore and/or negate if you are not focused on finding them and giving them credence, or if you need to justify their truth to others who are lurking for the chance of saying “confirmation bias!”.  If you can be satisfied in yourself that this small sign has meaning for you and that you know what it is, there isn’t the smallest need to ‘fess up to anyone else.  I sometimes make up a story about what I am doing and why if I feel the need to respond to someone’s “But why are you doing that?”, but more often I just say, “Eh, I just feel like it.” (Which, by the way, is a hard thing to argue against, :)!)

So, if you decide to affirm, “Everything is always working out for me” be sure to be looking for the small evidences you are being shown.

10 ways to say “I don’t FEEL like it”

Sometimes we have occasion to answer to others why we are making the choice  to do what we feel like, sometimes instead of what they want or instead of what is socially acceptable. Here are 10 ways:

1-Nope

2- I am not inspired/ impulsed to do that

3-That doesn’t feel right

4-I can’t be arsed

5-I’m not available for that

6-I don’t think so

7-I’m just not drawn/attracted to that

8-I don’t feel like it

9-That’s not how I want to spend my time/energy/money/life

10-

Number 10 has been left blank intentionally, because there are times when no response is the best response.  There are many ways to make no response;  you can simply be silent  (which speaks volumes), you can change the subject (sometimes repeatedly), you can give a pseudo answer (so that they don’t know that you haven’t answered them.  This is an art for quick-thinking individuals and authors.)

Back in the day, when my regional sales manager would call to get my sales numbers, and I didn’t want to admit to a bad week, I would answer, “No speak Engrish!”  Not surprisingly, he quickly figured out what that meant anyway…

By now, I hope you understand the importance of honoring your inspirations/impulses.  As you hold a vibration of doing what feels good, so you are creating a manifestation of the things you want that feel good.  So what can be gained from following your desire to say no or to not answer?

1) Clarity.  For you, because you have evaluated and made your decision and do not have to make it palatable to anyone else.  For the other person/people involved, because without your input they must rely on their own knowledge and feelings to make the decision about the next step, therefore you afford them the opportunity to achieve clarity for themselves.  Keep in mind that not everyone appreciates this opportunity, because few people are accustomed to it, or to owning their own power.  That, however, is their business and none of yours.

2) Power.  Anytime you are true to yourself and feel satisfied, you are taking back your power, because your thoughts and feelings  are the only things that are truly, completely yours to control.  When you allow “shoulds” to rule you, you are allowing the tapes in your head to have your power, and it does not feel good.  Even if you might choose that action/thought of your own free will, it must be chosen for your own reasons, not simply because it is expected by some outside authority for you to be considered as “good enough”.

Remember: 

Selfish is what you are called when you are not doing what someone else wants you to.

Choices

There are very few things that we have no choices about.  If you think about it, we have choices about whether to eat, drink, and even breathe.  If you choose not to breathe, your body will send increasing signals to do so, and if you continue to choose not to, you will pass out and your body will resume breathing without your conscious participation.  The same is true to a lesser extent with food and water.  Eventually you will really WANT to eat and/or drink.  People who manage to withdraw from life to the point of terminal starvation/dehydration are really proving the point of free will!  But for most of us, it ought to be very comforting to know that even in meeting such basic necessities of life there is freedom of choice.

If we don’t “have to” eat, drink, or breathe, then how much less do we “have to” anything else?

We often forget that we have gotten to where we are by making decisions, some of which are so long-standing as to be assumptions.  It can be helpful, therefore, to re-examine some of those previous decisions.  I have a friend who holds herself to very high standards and often finds herself overstretched to meet all of the expectations and deadlines placed on her.  She usually manages to fulfill those expectations, but at a very high cost to her health and well-being.  She feels like she’s being ground into dust all the time, isn’t compensated well enough for it, and isn’t having fun doing even those parts that she might otherwise enjoy.  And as soon as one set of objectives is met, others spring up to take their place, so there is no respite.

From an outside perspective, some of the choices that she has made are obvious, and in fact her friends and family are always suggesting options which she finds unsuitable. But for this discussion we will examine a few.

She feels that she must accept all of the assignments she is given and that she must deliver a product which is up to her high level  of expectation.  She feels that an outside agency has the right to dictate her deadlines and require multiple revisions of her work. She feels so driven by these requirements that she is willing to sublimate sleeping, eating and her desires to relax by working out, meditating and working on other projects.

Some, if not all, of this pressure is internally generated.  Some could be relieved by substituting the words “I want” or “I choose to” in place of “I must”.  In fact, that is one way of clarifying to herself that not only does she have options, but that some of the tasks she feels she “must” do are much less important than others, helping her to rank their priority.  Underlying all of her willingness to take on this workload are the assumptions that she must work hard to get what she wants, that suffering will pay off in the end, that at least some tasks can be more important than feeling good, that she must always attempt to reach her highest quality and output, no matter what, and that others have the right to demand this of her.

So now she has a lot of things to look at.  What can she say no to, or put other limitations on?  If it is this hard to do what she is trying to do, is it really worth it?  Other people of our acquaintance seem to be able to get what they want without suffering, so is that old saying a bad assumption?  At what point does she tell the outside world to go hang so she can relax and feel good, or will she keep going until she crashes and burns?  If so, what does that accomplish for her or her clients?   This is a lesson many of us have to learn as parents, to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of our children.  It is ironic, in that situation, that we choose to learn how to feel better in ourselves for someone else’s sake.

At those times of feeling trapped, pressured, or frustrated, it is very helpful to remember what choices we made that got us there and then question whether it is time for making a new choice.

 

Words have Power. Or not.

Sometimes words have the power to open a new door to the world.  Sometimes they can strike a thrill of fear into your heart.  And sometimes, they are just noise flowing over you without making any impact at all.  So what makes the difference?  And what difference does that make to you?

The power of words lies in your hearing of them.  Your buzz words are someone else’s blah words.   In fact the words that activate you, for good or evil, do not even stay the same from one time to another.  To my great disappointment, that 3 word jotted note I made, to remind myself of an amazing insight I wanted to record, now portrays nothing of particular interest.  The ability of particular words to work on you depends on a multitude of factors from your mood, the timing of hearing them, and the issues that are cooking in your life at the moment.

The significance of noticing this effect, though, is that when you get a “ping” from a word or phrase that has power for you, it is a moment of opportunity.  If the “ping” is one that feels good, it helps you to identify something you want.  You could use it to build an effective affirmation.  My friend Coffee Lady (not her real name) is a big believer in repeating affirmations.  I have found that doesn’t do anything for me unless I believe it, and I can tell by saying it whether it falls into the category of

a) helpful-the ping feels good and I feel like I could elaborate on it,

b) counterproductive-the ping feels bad and I even hear myself arguing with myself about it or

c) just noise-no ping-no effect.

If the ping feels uncomfortable, it is still an opportunity.  This might be in the form of recognizing an issue you want to change in your life, and you can significantly defuse an issue by defusing the power words that bring it up.  I owe a significant change in my life to a time when I was feeling quite depressed and my friend Jill turned that experience upside-down by saying, “I prefer to think of it as ‘cocooning’ not ‘depression’.”  Just to call it by a more positive name gave me relief immediately, and then I had a new perspective; I could see my feelings as manageable.

What other power do words exert?  How about words like “can’t” or “must”.  These are coercive words, exaggerations which rob you of a sense of choice.  Nothing you say can actually remove your options, but if you say it enough, you begin to feel that way, which is very convincing!  (see “Choices”)

Our family had a tongue-in-cheek rule, “Never say always or never!”, because these are usually fighting words.  “You always…”, “You never…”.  The double whammy,  “I always have to…” or , “I never get to…” are a sure sign someone needs to take some breaths and figure out what they are really asking for.  Even for adults “always” and “never” can be counted on to push buttons.  Always :)

The words you use, the words you choose are either an accurate assessment of how you see yourself, your life and the world around you, or else they are an old habit.  In either case, they can teach you a lot about how you think, and they represent a powerful tool for change as well.

Do you want to feel good?

Better said, do you want to have the ability to feel good no matter what comes into your life?

You do have that ability already.  However, most of us need to build up that muscle a bit.  Identifying this ability and improving it in ourselves is the basis of these pages, and my path in this life.

I make a distinction between wanting to feel good no matter what, and having the ability to feel good no matter what.  It seems obvious that we all want to feel good all the time, but the truth is, if you haven’t already discovered this, that having some “bad” in your life really makes you appreciate the “good” ( you can’t have a rainbow without rain, eh?).  I use the quotation marks as a reminder that “good” and “bad” are judgments that we apply to things, but those judgments may change over time, or they may only partially describe an experience.

Cass Elliot of  “The Mamas and The Papas” (a vocal group of the 1960′s) was hit on the head by a falling pipe during the salad days of the group (“bad”, yes?) and afterward her already-impressive singing range was increased by three notes (“good”, yes?).  So was that “bad” or “good” or a “mixed blessing”?  Overall do you suppose she figured, in the end, it was a “good” thing?

So, let’s say we want to feel good at least most of the time, if not all of it.  We all have that ability to some extent.  For example, when something “bad” happens, like a car accident, very quickly the people involved will find things to be relieved about. “At least no one was hurt”,  “At least we were insured”, etc.  The desire to feel better is very strong and we “instinctively” look for the “up” side,  particularly when the unpleasant feelings we are having are intense and unexpected.

However, throughout the day, every day, we are faced with things we label as “good” or “bad” and then feel the appropriate feeling about. It is essential to understand that every thought we have has a feeling that will accompany it.  “I am no good at this” will always feel irritating, frustrating.  “He always drinks the coffee before I can have a cup in the morning” will always feel resentful.  “I am so good at this!” will always feel energizing.  “That was so thoughtful!” will always feel affirming.  My point is that each time we react to an event in our lives with a thought/judgment, it will generate a feeling.  More importantly, each thing that happens can be interpreted in more than one way.  The key here is to recognize that if you really want to feel good, you must consciously choose the perspective which will give you the good feeling!

For example, you wake up with a headache, there’s no coffee left, you hit all red lights on your way to work, the computer at work won’t boot up, your paper files seem to be misplaced…  You get the point.  Each of those things taken by itself is not a big deal, but the accumulation of them sends you into a downward spiral.  You find yourself saying, in your head at least, “This isn’t my day!” and “Now what can go wrong?”

I had a day like this recently, and despite all my practice in focusing on the positive, it took until the afternoon for me to see the humor in everything I touched exploding.  I heard myself complaining and being outraged at the continuous catastrophe, but I didn’t take the time to calm down and look for the ways in which I could appreciate it all, and as a result it got worse.  When I finally got tired of being frustrated and angry, I was able to see it as ludicrous, and therefore laughable.  At that point I could go back and look for reasons to be glad the day had gone as it had.  After all, the point wasn’t to be “realistic”, it was to feel better about it!

So even if you can’t control all of the things that come into your life, you always have control over how you choose to think, and therefore feel, about them.