“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” — Rabbi Harold Kushner
I’d like to share an excerpt from Tame Your Inner Critic Find Peace & Contentment to Live Your Life On Purpose about finding the good in every part of our lives.
Most people spend an inordinate amount of time making action plans, striving toward the next mark, pushing, reaching, and then going on vacation to get away from all of that stress and pressure. They cannot “have” their current state of affairs. They are in resistance to it, and what we resist, persists. Dreams are important, but so is being very conscious and present in the life that we have right now.
Being in havingness is accepting, with gratitude, the fullness of your life, just as it is, right here, right now, including the not-so-good parts. If you resist who you are right now, you are in a state of lack, not abundance. You have sent the signal, “I am resisting this, send me more of the same.” As an example, let’s say that you are single and not happy about the situation. You find yourself constantly wishing, hoping, and dreaming of finding a life partner. Your days are spent thinking about the future or re-hashing the past. If you are energetically “out there” searching for a mate, you cannot be fully present in your everyday life. You can’t have your current state of being single. You are sending the message to the Universe, “I’m searching for a mate.” And guess what? The Universe sends you energy of the same vibration: searching.
On the other hand, maybe you live far away from family and friends and are wishing and hoping for the day that you can move back home. As you pine away for what you are missing, think about whether you are energetically “here” or “there.” It might be that there are lots of activities and friends to be made in your current city if you decided to have your current situation.
Bring to mind something in your life that you are resisting right now. If you frequently think, “When such and such happens, I will be happy (or free, or out of debt, or not so alone),” you are resisting your present-time reality. Let’s work on that. Write down five things that you would like to change about your life. Maybe you don’t like your boss, or your apartment, or your roommate.
Exercise 8.1: Your Resistance to Current Circumstances
The first key to living a life full of purpose and meaning is to be able to have where we are right now. Once we are comfortable with our current circumstances, then we are able to take a step towards more. This exercise highlights those areas of our life where we have “low havingness,” an inability to be content with our present-time reality.
- List the top five things that irk you.
- Spend some time honestly assessing where you are in resistance to your current circumstances. You may be dreaming of a time when life will be different or constantly regretting something you did in the past. Consider whether you are so busy planning your future that you are missing the joys of today.
- Once you have completed the list, use your tools to remove the associated thoughts and feelings from your aura. You might want to refer to exercise 2.3 and tap the story of why you are unhappy out of your system. You might want to put the energy of discontent in a rose and blow up the rose. Or you can send that old baggage of why your life is not the way you want it down your grounding cord. Whatever tool works best for you, use it.
Now ask yourself the question, “Am I happy with things just the way they are, right now, without exception?” Let us say you have asked the question, and your answer is, “Yes, I’m happy with the home I live in, my husband and kids are great, but my sister, with her constantly derogatory comments about my life choices, is driving me crazy.” You are in a state of appreciation of most things, but you are in a state of resistance to at least a portion of your life: your sister and the judgments she holds. Remember, she is your mirror, and she is offering you a chance to get to know a part of you that is asking to be experienced.
To move from resistance to appreciation, take a step back and look at the situation from a place of neutrality. As we detach from emotional drama, we can see ourselves honestly and not be tripped up by the stories that we have told ourselves—perhaps for years and years.
In the example above, your sister has not changed at all, but you, in your neutral state of detachment, have shifted your perspective. Your attitude is different, and that is the point. You are no longer focused on what you do not want, in this case reacting to your sister’s constant criticism of your life. You have moved from a grumbling state of mind, which has a lower vibration, to the higher vibrational frequency of allowance and appreciation. You have removed yourself from the drama. Through neutrality, you can stand back and look at the circumstances in a completely new light.
You may not condone your sister’s behavior, and you may not even like her—but you can accept her exactly as she is, with neutrality. That is moving from resistance to acceptance. You cannot escape from your life by wishing and hoping for your fairy godmother to magically whisk you away to a better life. That’s resistance too.
Havingness is accepting life exactly as it is, right in the moment. It is being in present time, with all of our emotional baggage. It’s also about being grateful for the lessons we’re learning from that baggage. Yes, that’s right. Be grateful for the messes, the pain, the hurt, or the abandonment you feel. Acknowledge it. Don’t run away from it. See it. Make peace with what is. Be in the present moment and appreciate with gratitude all parts of your life.
Spending time in gratitude for all that is going well in life is also important. The more attention we place on the positive aspects of any situation, the more we magnetize similar thoughts, feelings, and circumstances. This is not a Pollyanna way of being. There are several scientific studies that show that being grateful for what is going well in our life actually raises the level of our “happiness quotient.”
If you’ve enjoyed this excerpt from the book, I hope you will consider adding it to your must-read list. And I hope you will share this post with a friend or two! Many blessings to you – from my heart to yours.