Sunday, March 30, 2014

Happiness is an Attribute of Love

Happiness is an attribute of love.  It cannot be apart from it.  Nor can it be experienced where love is not--A Course in Miracles, Lesson 102

This is why forgiveness is the key to happiness.  When we hold grievances and judge others we are out of alignment with love.  When we are out of alignment, it is not possible for us to be truly happy.

We may have fleeting moments of happy experiences, but deep true abiding happiness can never be a significant and lasting factor in our lives until we forgive the world around us.

Many of us look at our lives and think, "But I have a good job and I found the right spouse.  We have money to live on and a comfortable house and children that are healthy and busy.  I must be happy."

Comfort and busyness are not happiness.  They are pale shadows for true happiness.  In true happiness, we feel a deep trust and utter knowing that we are completely supported, infinitely valued and always cared for in every way.  We are joyful and loves flows from us and into us.

This is the happiness that a forgiveness lifestyle brings.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Two Ways to Get Happy Quick

1.  Scan your mind for whomever is annoying, hurting, upsetting or victimizing you today and forgive them.  (Need help forgiving?  Download this quickie forgiveness process for $2.99, here)

2.  Click play:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

When Thoughts Go Bump in the Night

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and find that your mind is filled with worry and fear?  Even those of us that work hard to eradicate fear thoughts during the day may find that our mind sometimes floods with upsetting thoughts in that state between waking and sleep.

The Witching Hour

This is a sign that we have some clean up work to do in our mind.  A forgiveness lifestyle will help lessen the fear.

In the meantime, what can we do when we wake to find ourselves in the dark shadow of the night?  We have two choices.  We can elect to deal with the subjects that are coming up right then and there.  If we are willing to just go with it and lose a few hours of sleep, this is a perfect time to do some forgiveness work.  The Feel the Feelings process which can be found in Chapter 3 of "Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness" is perfect for these times.  (There is also a downloadable audio meditation of this process available here for $2.99.  Why not just slip the headphones on and do the work right in bed?)

Or, for those of us that have to be up early in the mornings to deal with jobs or kids, getting back to peace so that we can sleep is essential.  It's important to "flip the switch" in our minds from fear to love.  One way to do this is with affirmations.  When we concentrate on repeating positive words over and over, there is no room left in our minds for the fear thoughts.

Flip the Switch from Fear to Love

Before starting the affirmations, it is a good idea to give the fear thinking over to Spirit.  You can just say in your mind, "I am giving this over to you, Spirit."  Or, if you are visual, you can create a beautiful white and gleaming marble altar in your mind.  Make it all lit up, glowing and gorgeously bright.  Place your fear thoughts on the altar and watch them be consumed with white flames of Infinite love.

What affirmations are best?  I like "I accept the love of God" or "Thank you God, for creating me."  An affirmation I'm currently working with is "I accept the happiness that God intends me to have."  Of course, you can choose any affirmation that works for you personally and flips you over from fear to love.

I once read someplace that an hour of meditation is equal to three hours of sleep.  Is this true? If this is so, you can calmly enjoy your affirmations, knowing that each moment you spend with them is contributing to a positive, powerful and energetic day tomorrow.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

We're the Ones That Feel Bad

When we don't forgive, we're only creating more suffering for ourselves.  Leaving negative emotions unresolved eats away at us.  It damages out bodies physically and it damages our minds.  When we allow grievances to accumulate in our mind, they block any chance we have of accessing our natural inner peace.

Do the words natural inner peace surprise you?  Yes, our natural state is inner peace.  However, from our earliest years, we start to harbor psychic wounds.  We allow the hurts to accumulate and clump together in our subconscious.  We start to believe ideas like these:

I am a bad person.
I am not smart.
I am not worthy.
Nobody likes me.
I am not love-able.
Life is unfair.
The world is cruel.
Bad things happen.

When we allow these ideas to take over, we suffer.

And the more we think thoughts like these, the more we draw events toward us that re-enforce these very ideas.  We work a theme.  Perhaps it's a belief in abandonment.  Maybe there was an incident as a very small child where we felt abandoned.  We may find that throughout our lifetime we re-experience those same feelings.  On a regular basis, events transpire in which we are "abandoned" yet one more time.

The only way to stop the cycle of hurt is to forgive and release the grievances.  We can start by working on the most recent experience of abandonment.  We can forgive the event and anyone involved in it.  That will go along way toward resolving this issue.  However, it is best to root it out fully.  We do this by searching our memories for the earliest time when we felt this emotion.  We sit with these feelings and experience them fully until they move through us.  We remember, contemplate, feel the feelings and release.

This takes time and it takes a commitment to look deep, be open to epiphanies, to keep studying ourselves, week after week and month after month.  Things will be revealed.  Aha moments will happen.  And as we understand more about what occurred in our past, as we forgive and release, we will begin the process of restoring that natural inner peace.  

We all have a choice.  We can continue to let fear run our daily lives, or we can do the work and forgive our world.  It takes a lot of inner work to create a forgiveness lifestyle and it unfolds slowly over the course of several years, if one is fully committed.  However, once we do this work, we live largely in peace.  Happiness is once again our ordinary state.

Ask yourself, are you really truly happy?  Or are you substituting a nice car, a good job, busy children and a comfortable house for true happiness.  Are you just telling yourself that this is what happiness is?  Because happiness is so much more than a busy comfortable life.  True happiness comes from a deep inner peace that only forgiveness can bring.

Forgiveness is a lot easier than you may think.  If you would like to forgive, but don't know how to start, "Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness" outlines many easy processes to help you learn to forgive.  Amazingly, forgiveness actually becomes pleasurable and something you will look forward to.  

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Withholding Love

On a quantum level, we are all joined.  All minds are joined.  That means that when we refuse to forgive someone, or when we judge someone, on a sub-conscious level, they know.

A while back I read about experiments with plants where love and praise was lavishly given or withheld.  In the studies, each family was given a plant and asked to keep it on their kitchen table where it would be seen frequently by all member of the family.  Half of the families were asked to praise and give love to the plants each time they entered the room.  "I love you.  You are beautiful.  You are magnificent.  You are a wonderful addition to our home."

The other families were asked to scold and ignore the plant.  "I hate you.  You are ugly.  Why are you even here?"

What happened?  The loved plants flourished and the despised plants died.  Yes, they DIED!

Let's talk for a moment about what happens to others when we either refuse to forgive or we forgive them (in tomorrow's post I will talk about what happens to ourselves).  If we choose to judge others harshly, they do suffer.  Everyone of us knows how it feels to be in someone's bad graces.  This suffering also happens on an unseen level.  Whether they know consciously that we are not forgiving them, they do know sub-consciously.  Remember that only a small part of our awareness is conscious.  The much bigger part of us is sub-conscious.  Just like the plants, any people we choose not to forgive will suffer.

On the other hand, when we choose to forgive, they heal.  Consciously, they may not know why, and we may not know why, but when we forgive others it changes them.  Forgiveness means focusing loving feelings towards others.  Love changes everything.

In The Hidden Messages of Water, Dr. Emoto proved that thoughts and feelings affect physical reality.  "By producing different focused intentions through written and spoken words and music and literally presenting it to the same water samples, the water appears to change its expression." --What the Bleep Do We Know?

Water Crystals Given Love and Gratitude

Water Crystals Played Heavy Metal Music

We may think that holding grievances is a harmless, neutral act, but it is not.  When we refuse to forgive, we are actually HARMING others.  

I really don't want to be that person.  I don't want to harm anyone, really, even annoying people.  I can see clearly that it is my job just get over it!  I must not allow myself to feel provoked, injured or even annoyed by anyone because I don't want to do harm.  

Join me in non-violent thought!

Monday, March 24, 2014

All Events Are Neutral

It is the spin we put on things that creates hurt and pain in our minds.  The one thing that we can control is our own thoughts.  We can choose how to view the events that transpire in our lives.

The insanity that you experience as your pain, your suffering, your seeking and your dramas comes only from your mistaken choice to become identified with what arises in the field of your awareness.  You, therefore, lose the sight of innocence. For all events are perfectly neutral, and you are free to see them any way you want. --The Way of Mastery p.4
No matter what happens in our lives we can choose to simply watch it unfold.  We can experience it without defining it as good or bad.  It just is. There is no need for us to decide that, "It is a terrible painful thing" and that, "Oh, it hurts so very, very badly!"

Our ego wants us to believe the insane spin it puts on everything in our worlds.  It judges everything it sees.  It will tell us that these judgments are its' important contribution to our lives, that they help us navigate the minefield of this world.  The ego wants us to believe that the world is a minefield and that without it, the ego, to guide us, we would forever be stepping on mines. The ego wants us to believe we need it.  However, the world is not a minefield, but a MIND-FIELD.  There are no mines.  There is only our perception of danger, difficulty and pain.  This comes from our egos.

When we allow ourselves to be with what is without judging it as right or wrong, or difficult or easy, or happy or sad, we are able to find peace with whatever is happening.  Nothing is as bad as we think it is!  When we drop our judgments about the world we find that things only just are.  It is all actually just fine.  And the more we think like this, the more we are at peace.  The more we experience peace, the happier we become.

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Quick...Name Five People You Know Of Who Are "Bad"

You can do it, can't you.  We can all do it.  We have everyone we know of somehow labelled in our minds.  We label some as beautiful, others as smart or successful, still others as happy and fun or serious and intellectual.  And, of course, there are those that are overweight, or depressed, or sick, or addicts, or lonely, or struggling with money.  Or, or, or...the list goes on.

Whether we have labelled people positively or negatively, it is all the same.  We have judged them.  We have decided their value based on some random criteria of our own makings.

"I am beginning to see that I don't have to judge and interpret the motives and behaviors of others.  There is no need to decide who are the good guys and who are the bad, who should be blamed and who should be punished.  I find it is truly "safe" to surrender the script written by me and trust in God's script."  --Gerald Jampolsky 

What would happen if we just let this entire system of judgments go?  Do we really need it at all?  After all, we have no idea what each of these people is ultimately experiencing.  We have no idea what lessons they are here for, what learning they are here to gather or what rights they may be attempting to wrong.

Each of these people was created by God.  Each one was created exactly in His own image. They are perfect, powerful and creative beings who are choosing to spend some time here on earth.  They are all so much more than we can see.

When we judge others, we are choosing to separate and diminish. When we accept others and love them regardless of who they appear to be here on earth, we are allowing the truth of God's existence to permeate our minds. We are knowing that we can only view a very small part of anyone's whole existence from our very limited viewpoint here on earth.  We are knowing that we are all God's creations, that we exist together with him, in His mind, and that we are all perfect and safe and free.  We are all really only love because God is only love and we are part of Him.

It's not easy to stop a lifelong habit of judgement.  I struggle with it every day.  But I am trying to let it go.  I hope you will think about joining me in this.  After all, if we never judge anyone, we will never have to forgive anyone.  When we release our minds from judging, the peace of God flows in.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Self Forgiveness is a Choice for Happiness

In any moment we are making a choice between one of two things.  We are choosing to be happy or not to be happy.  We are siding with either fear or love.  Every moment in life, every perspective we choose to peer from, every action we take or don't take are all a version of this simple choice.

Guilt is a man-made creation.  God did not create it, nor did he create sin.  In fact God always chooses love and happiness.  He created us in love.  We are designed to be happy.

But, for better or worse, we have been given free-will.  We can use our free will to choose happiness, as God wishes for us.  Or, we can choose fear over love.  When we buy into the concept of fear, we choose to believe that we can be "bad".  And, of course, if we are "bad", then we are sinners.  And if we are sinners, then we need to feel guilt.  This is our system of fear.  It's man-made.  It's not God's.  God is always love.

I say, scrap it.  Let's just toss out this painful, miserable, system of fear from our minds.  It doesn't serve our best interests.  After all, it is in our best interest to be happy.

Release the fear.  Release the belief that you are bad. Release the feelings of guilt.  In the short term this is always a very simple thing to do.  Just think about what makes you happy and keep your mind focused on that.  This is a habit you can develop.  It's a choice you make.  This is step one to becoming happy.

Step two is to go deep into your mind and uncover all the dark hidden unconscious feelings of shame and inadequacy.  The belief that you are a worthless, undeserving, selfish and ridiculous creature is stashed away in the farthest reaches of your mind. You'll have to do some serious forgiveness work to uncover these beliefs and eradicate them.  But you can do this  Anyone can do this.

It's actually very easy to do this work.  It does take thinking time and a development of self-awareness, but there are processes that make it simple work to do.  It all has to do with your intentions for your life.  What do you intend?  What do you choose?  Is it your choice to learn to be live the life that you were created for?

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It is Only Our Own Thoughts That Hurt Us

In "Out of Darkness Into the Light", Gerald Jampolsky lists this as one of his favorite principles from A Course in Miracles:

"It is only our own thoughts that hurt us.  It is only our own minds that need to be healed.  We are not victims of the world that we see."
We choose the contents of our minds.  We never HAVE to be a victim.  We can always elect to see the world differently.  We can simmer in anger and hurt or we can let it go and create peace in our minds.  As the Course says, we are always choosing between love and fear.  There is no grey in between.

If you are toying with the idea of letting it go, but like so many of us, simply don't know where to begin, "Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness" walks you through beginning forgiveness practices and step by step teaches you how to forgive in every area of your life. It is soooooooooo much easier than you may think!  Why not trade in fear, anger, hurt, rage, sadness and upset for inner peace?  It is absolutely doable.  What in your entire world could possibly be more important than your own happiness?

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Don't Change the Subject

Unpleasant memories come upon us.  Sometimes it happens in our dreams.  We wake feeling troubled with past pain.  And sometimes something in our waking hours triggers a troubling thought and suddenly we're flooded with that same old aching wound. We've been here before...thousands of times.

The next time this happens, don't change the subject. These memories are returning to us over and over again because we are being given a chance to absolve them for once and for all.

Burn baby Burn. You can quickly burn through these memories and old hurts and once you do so, their pain will leave your mind permanently. They'll never again trigger intense emotional aching.

It's very simple to do.  Rather than chasing the painful thoughts from your mind, invite them in.  Let them become larger.  Intensify them.  Now move them into your heart area and ask for the heat.  Just watch now.  You'll actually start to feel the heat as the flames of your heart burn these memories to oblivion.  It doesn't take long, maybe ten or fifteen minutes.  Just keep digging up the memories and piling them onto the flames. Visualize the event in your past.  Remember as many details as you can.  Let yourself feel the pain you felt then, but feel it in your heart and let it burn up and leave you.  Find other similar memories if you have them and add them, too.  Get rid of the whole subject category in your mind!

Releasing old pain and forgiving the past is the pathway to happiness.  There are many forgiveness processes in my book, "Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness".  Some are simple like this one and some go deep into our minds to help us identify, understand and work through complicated or intense emotional wounds.  One of the processes will work on whatever is troubling you.

Yes, forgiveness takes a little effort, but the rewards are boundless.  Happiness?  Inner peace?  Yes, please!

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Being What She Is...

"Why what could she have done, being what she is?"--Yeats
I think it's important that when trying to forgive others, we always keep in mind what they are.  When people do things that scream idiocy in our minds, we need to take a moment and look at who they are.  Yes, their actions may seem so unbelievably, obviously insane from our perspective.  However we need to take a time-out from that very same perspective.  We need to pause and look at it in a different way, from their perspective.

Who are they, really?  What events from their past have informed their viewpoint on the world.  We all have mental blocks that keep us from seeing truth.  What are theirs?

An example of a mental block could be a belief that the things we want in life are always being taken from us. A person might believe this because this has been the way their lives have unfolded until now.  And, the more they believe something like this, the more they will see this very thing being played out in their lives. They will experience loss after loss.  If this were your life, would you perhaps grasp irrationally at things that others have.  After all, you need to grab hard to get anything in life if everything that you care about gets taken from you.  A person who believes in loss might take from others what is not theirs to take.

A few other mental blocks are beliefs such as:

  • I am never good enough.
  • I am not lovable.
  • I am not worthy.
  • I always get the smallest, worst, little bit.
  • Nobody takes care of me.
  • The world is out to get me.
  • There is not enough to go around.
  • I am ugly.
  • I am stupid.
  • I am always sick.
There are so many mental blocks that they are too numerous to mention, but you can see where these sorts of beliefs create all kinds of behavior patterns that are unhealthy.

When you find yourself in the pathway of someone else's unhealthy behavior, let yourself do a little mental switch up.  Take on your trespassers viewpoint for a few moments.  What are their deep fears and pains?  Why are they doing what they're doing?

You don't have to condone their actions or agree with them in any way.  I'm only asking you to step into their shoes for just a moment and just ask yourself the question, "Why?"

Once you see the situation from their perspective, remember that you have your own mental blocks and that sometimes they cause you to act out inappropriately.  Yes, you do.

Now, remember that we are all really the same.  We're all a bit of Spirit spending time on earth.  Everyone of us has been created by the Divine in its own image.  In our real reality, we are all perfect.  We are all only love.

This crazy earth creates situations in which some of us win and some of us lose.  It sets us against each other.  It teaches us to behave badly in order to protect ourselves.  Gary Renard loves to call this place "psycho planet" and what else would you call a place where pain, sadness, humiliation, illness, violence and war are all the norm?  But this is not who we really are.

We come from love.  We are going back to a place that is only love.  This is a brief little dream.  Let it go.  Know who you really are.  Know who everyone else here really is.   Choose the love that is the real truth of you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Love Me For What I Am

I must be myself.  I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you.  If you can love me for what I am, we shall be the happier.  If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should.  I will not hide my tastes or aversions.  I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me and the heart appoints.  --Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self Reliance"
Love me for what I am and we shall be the happier.   Releasing all judgments and simply accepting what is creates peace in our minds.

Drop the habit of judging.  Just tell it to go.  Yes, habits are tough to break and it can take some time to change.  However, your intentions are everything.  Intend to see the world through eyes of acceptance.  Allowing others to be as they are is the key to your own peace.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Who Are We, Really?

"Spirit am I, a holy Son of God, free of all limits, safe and healed and whole, free to forgive, and free to save the world."  --A Course in Miracles, Workbook Lesson 97

When we know who and what we really are, it is easy to forgive others.  When we know who and what we are, we know who and what everyone else is, too.  

Knowing this higher truth is the easiest path to forgiveness.  All that is required to forgive is a recognition of this higher truth.  It can happen as quickly as flipping a switch.  When we stop our everyday thinking and simply know that our trespasser is as much a "holy Son of God" as we are, we are seeing them through the eyes of forgiveness.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Does Victimhood Feel Good?

It must.  After all, we so often choose it.  We choose victimhood over peace and we make that same choice repeatedly throughout our lives.

When events transpire to leave us feeling like victims, we relish and cherish those feelings.  We fan the flames of our emotions, firing up the feelings of betrayal, hurt, and pain.  Our minds run amok with thoughts like "I can't believe he did that to me.  He is such a jerk.  I didn't deserve that!  Why would he do that to me?  I am always so good to him and then he turns around and does this to me!"

Or perhaps we simply run through the moment of betrayal and hurt repeatedly in our minds reliving the hurt.  We indulge in these thoughts.  Each time we experience it again in our minds it gets bigger and bigger, always more horrible, more hurtful, more painful.

Or maybe we harbor fantasies of revenge. Like the day we show up having lost twenty pounds and looking amazing.  That will make him regret what he did.  Or maybe we fantasize about hurting him just as badly as he hurt us and making him pay for what he did.  Or maybe we hatch elaborate plans about how we could take back whatever it is he took from us.

Sometimes we choose to stay in victim thoughts for years at a time.  Most of us have certain events in our past that are still defining us as victims, even though twenty or thirty years may have passed.  We are allowing our belief in victimhood to run our minds.  And when something runs our minds, it runs our lives.

Does this feel good?  In some twisted way, it does.  We cherish these feelings.  If we didn't, we would let them go. Or perhaps we simply don't know that there is another pathway available to us.

The truth is that at any moment in time we can stop being victims.  Our victimhood requires our continued belief that we have been wronged or harmed in some way.  We need to buy into the game in order to be victims. However, if we choose forgiveness, we are no longer victims.  We can be free of  the pain.  We can heal the wounds.  The contents of our mind is something that we have total and utter control of.  We can choose what we allow to exist in our minds.

Perhaps victimhood feels good.  However, wouldn't freedom feel better?  Wouldn't peace feel better?  Wouldn't living in love be vastly better than this experience of fear we are creating in our lives?  After all, choosing to be a victim is to choose fear over love.

Take a few moments and examine where in your mind you are allowing victimhood to rule. Is this really the choice you wish to make?  If not, forgiveness is the pathway to peace in your mind.  If you're not sure how to forgive, there are many easy processes outlined in "Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness".  One of them will be the perfect way for you to let go and release victimhood permanently from your mind.

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Alice and Otto and The Happy Dream night while watching the Oscars, I started thinking about the short film, The Lady in Number 6, which features Alice Herz Sommer, a then 109 year old holocaust survivor.  Alice died last week at the age of 110 and was the oldest living concentration camp survivor.  Her joy and appreciation for life were infectious.  Watch the clip below to see how much she loved both music and people.

Alice reminds me so much of a neighbor I had years ago.  Otto lived down the street from us and was the delight of the entire neighborhood.  Everyday he strolled the sidewalks greeting us all joyously.  He had so much happiness and generosity in his heart.  He loved everyone and wanted nothing more than to connect with each of us personally.  There were always dog treats in Otto's pocket and friendly teasing for any neighborhood children.  I was shocked one day to see the concentration camp tattoo on his wrist.  I never quite got over it.  How could Otto, who had witnessed and been victimized by the worst in human nature be able to bring out the best in human nature in his own self?

Alice and Otto have something huge in common and it's not their concentration camp's forgiveness. Both manged to somehow forgive their horrible past.  They were living proof of the happiness that forgiveness brings.

A Course in Miracles promises that if we live a life of forgiveness we will eventually find ourselves living what it calls "the happy dream" life.  Alice and Otto both forgave and ultimately came to live that happy dream.

We each are in total control of only one thing: our thoughts.  What we choose to fill our minds with defines who we are and what we become.  

Both Alice and Otto lost just about everyone they knew and loved in Hitler's concentration camps and yet they lived on to forgive and love the world.  If they can forgive the terrifying experiences of the camps, then we are each certainly capable of forgiving our own past wounds.  Let Alice and Otto be a shining example of what each of us is capable of achieving, if we will only just do it.  Forgiveness is a lifestyle.  Take the first step and begin to forgive today.  Just take a look at Alice and her joy.  Don't you want the "happy dream", too?

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And if you want to get started today forgiving someone but don't know how, this quick and easy $2.99 downloadable forgiveness process will allow you to forgive today:

Sunday, March 2, 2014

When You Were Sad, You Cried and Then it Was Over

"Can you remember a time, perhaps when you were very young, when life as it was--just the fact that it was early morning or any old day in summer--was enough?  When you were enough--not just because everything was the way it was.  Nothing was wrong.  When you were sad, you cried and then it was over.  You were back to a fundamental feeling of positivity, of goodness just because you were alive.  What if you could live that way now?"--Geneen Roth from Women, Food and God

Can you remember back to that feeling of innocence?  You felt happy most of the time.  You were at peace.  There was a time long ago when you did not hold grievances.  You just were.  Life just was.  You just watched and accepted it.  You didn't judge what you saw.  You just noticed.

"When you were sad, you cried and then it was over."  We can do this now.  When life give us bumps in the road we can let ourselves feel the feelings.  Then we can forgive, release and accept.  And will be over.

This is how we lead a happy life.  Forgiveness give us inner peace.

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If you don't know how to "feel the feelings" and forgive, here is an easy to use audio download that will take you through a comfortable guided forgiveness process for $2.99: