Now that you have your website up and running, it’s time to start getting serious about ENJOYING LIFE. This week we are focusing entirely on your new job: controlling your mood. Your thoughts are the only thing in life that you can genuinely control; start using that to your advantage!
This lesson will describe the conceptual foundations of thought design, then cover ways to implement these ideas with your website. The goal of life design is to get closer to your Higher Self (the person you want to be). Having a website reflection of that Self-in-progress makes your efforts more tangible and bolsters your reputation at the same time.
The last lesson in designing your digital Higher Self was intended to get you more comfortable with 1) picturing who you want to be, 2) visualizing that person with your site, and 3) sharing it all publicly.
This course in Life Design uses lifestreaming as a “life design methodology.” Lifestreaming is simply sharing your experiences online. Sharing your progress in the ongoing process of designing your life helps you achieve five things:
- learn to focus on what makes you feel good by documenting those things in your life
- discover your passions (which can change over time) through self-reflection
- voice your intentions, thus placing an order with the universe
- teach and learn by finding new information, explaining concepts to yourself and helping others along the way
- process & synthesize information, reducing overwhelment and increasing comprehension
Lifestreaming is a relatively simple, conscious action you can take to start directing your life. But the real effort comes before you take any action at all. Learning to control your mood is your true work here in physical reality. The reason for this? The Law of Attraction. When you are in a good mood, you attract good things into your life. When you are in a negative mood, you attract more negativity.
The Law of Attraction
The Law of Attraction is the universal, unyielding principle that like attracts like. That which is like unto itself is drawn. Whatever you think about, you bring about–thoughts become things. When you conceive a thought, you are creating a very real energetic vibration, like a ripple in a pond. The universe interprets that vibration and brings you similar things.
On May 21, 2010, I was introduced to The Secret by my friend Jessie. She had mentioned the Law of Attraction in a Facebook comment and I was eager to hear more. I watched the film the next day and began my ascent into conscious creation. The Secret imparts some intriguing ideas, such as:
- The instructions for taking advantage of the Law of Attraction are 1. Ask. 2. Believe. 3. Receive.
- Thoughts become things. What you think about, you bring about.
- Trust inspired thought.
- Life is meant to be abundant in every way.
The teachings of Abraham inspired the film The Secret, and there is a long story behind the connection. Abraham is a “group consciousness from the non-physical dimension,” channeled by Esther Hicks and recorded by her husband, Jerry Hicks. Abraham have said, through Esther, “We are that which you are. You are the leading edge of that which we are. We are that which is at the heart of all religions.”
Sounds pretty bizarre, right? A woman who goes into a meditative state and lets some other entity speak through her, sure, ok, whatever you say! But let me explain my take on Esther’s work.
I do not doubt the truth to the message behind the teachings of Abraham. I do not doubt that Esther is translating the message for us. But that is all she is doing–translating. Whether or not there is some sort of spirit inside of her, taking control of her mouth, is irrelevant. Esther is taking the infinite energy that creates all of us, that creates all physical worlds, and translating the best she knows how. Her message is simple: enjoy life. Be happy. Go with the flow. Only take action that feels right. Your emotions will guide you.
A lot of what Abraham says (through Esther) seems heavily influenced by the book Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. Jerry Hicks even states in his biography that it was the book that catapulted him into success. So it makes sense that a lot of the vocabulary and concepts Abraham discusses sound like Think and Grow Rich, because that is what Esther has to work with from her experience.
Esther does not have some super power that allows her to receive this information from Abraham (though being able to empty her mind so quickly could be considered one!). She simply states what we all already know in our hearts: that feeling good FEELS GOOD, and that we all want to be the person we know we have the potential to become. This is why the work of Abraham-Hicks resonates so deeply with so many–it feels true.
Of course, there is criticism of the Law of Attraction and Abraham-Hicks. They call it a McDonald’s theology: “all the fears people have of meaninglessness, insignificance, lost goals and dreams, and ultimately death are all taken care of, without the person needing to do anything.”
And yes, that is exactly the point. You don’t need to DO anything to change the direction of your life! All you need to do is change your THOUGHTS. Think about it–even me typing the phrase “think about it” implies the importance of the effort that is thinking. Every single action you take, every decision you make, every opinion you hold, and every emotion you feel is a direct result of what you think about. How, then, could anyone discount the importance of thoughts? Remember Occam’s Razor–the simplest explanation is often the correct one.
Changing your thoughts
So perhaps this is all beginning to sound very stressful. “How am I supposed to control my thoughts?? They come out of nowhere!” That, my friends, is a belief. And a belief is just a thought that you think over and over. The wonderful thing about life is that you DO have complete control over your thoughts, and when you decide to take control of them, your entire reality will change.
Not that it’s easy, especially at first. Personally, I have gone through some serious emotional work the past few months trying to get a handle on it all. The hardest part was reducing my intake of intoxicating substances. I realized how hard it was to control my thoughts and my mood when drinking alcohol. And then I realized how much I use food to manage my mood instead of doing the work myself.
So when you cut out intoxicating substances (not entirely, or forever! habitual use just does not work out for me), life becomes a lot more clear. And this part can be very, very hard. What do you do when you have a habit of putting yourself to sleep with drugs, or drinking with friends every weekend, or binging on pizza and ice cream to soothe your sadness?
You change your thoughts, that’s what. A habit is driven by thoughts. So you just have to cut the thoughts out. Stop thinking about the things that you know don’t make you feel good. You have to put up a roadblock, so you don’t go down that path anymore. Just like your route home from work or school every day, a thought pattern becomes so ingrained that you don’t notice it anymore.
But if you’re not taking the same route home from work everyday, you still need another route to get home. You have to find thoughts to replace the thoughts that make you feel bad (or that lead you to bad feeling action). So when you think about things that make you feel bad (like, “I feel fat” or “I miss drinking” or “I want to get fucked up and forget about consciously creating my stupid reality”), you have to IMMEDIATELY replace them with different thoughts. Try “I feel beautiful” or “I love feeling healthy” or “I love being in control of my life.”
It’s not easy, not at first. Because thinking like this isn’t a habit. It isn’t ingrained, like negative thoughts already are. But eventually it can become your normal, every day way of life! Just remember–beliefs are only thoughts you think over and over. If you believe something negative about yourself, just start thinking new thoughts.
At first it will feel fake, and forced. But that doesn’t matter. When you start consciously directing your thoughts, you’ll begin finding positive thoughts that don’t feel so fake. If you go from “I feel fat” to “I like the way this shirt fits” or “I love my smile,” you’re moving away from the negativity that will bring more negativity into your life.
The best trick that Abraham teaches is that there is a back door to all this. If you are feeling bad, or negative, you can think ANY thought that makes you feel good. It doesn’t have to be related to the negative thought. When you think ANY thought that makes you feel good, you’re raising your emotional vibration. And then your next thought will come from that higher emotional vibration, instead of the negative one. So if you can just start with ONE better-feeling thought, your next thought will come out of that better-feeling place.
It took me a while to grasp this concept. Thoughts and emotions are intricately connected, so it can be hard to figure out how or where to start. But let’s try this: thoughts are energetic vibrations that create reality. The emotions you feel in response to your thoughts (or your manifested reality) tell you how close you are to your Higher Self. If you feel good, you are on the path to becoming who you truly are. If you feel bad, you are moving in the wrong direction. When you feel bad, you start thinking negative thoughts. These negative vibrations start creating a more negative reality. The whole point of life is to FEEL GOOD, so if you think positive thoughts, you create the reality you desire.
You can direct your reality by focusing on what you want, instead of what you don’t want. Anything you don’t like about your current reality, TUNE IT OUT, NOW! There is no point to wasting time on bad feeling thoughts! It will only bring more bad-ness!
Life is a video game
Kelly came up with an incredible analogy to help explain this. Picture your life as a video game, like Second Life (a virtual world where you have an avatar and can create anything you desire). Now picture Source Energy (or your Higher Self, or God, or Infinite Intelligence, or whatever you want to call it) as the player of the game, and you are the avatar (or video game character).
The only control Source Energy has over you, the video game character or avatar, is through giving you INSPIRATION, or by giving you EMOTIONS. You are free to take any action you wish, but you won’t level up (coming closer your HIGHER SELF) if you don’t work with Source Energy.
The weird twist to this game is the very fact that you are free to take any action. And that you, as a character, develop unique preferences about what you want and don’t want in your reality. So Source Energy tries to help you out. When you find something you don’t want, Source Energy feeds you a negative emotion pellet, so you know to not go back to that thing. When you find something you DO want, Source Energy gives you a positive emotion pellet, so you can return to that thing again and again to get more positive emotions.
Now we can introduce the concept of “clicking” on something. Let’s equate “clicking” on something in a game with “focusing” your thoughts. When you observe or think about something negative, you are essentially “clicking” on it in the game. You are saying “yes, more of this please,” even though you’re eating all these negative emotion pellets and feeling like shit! But when you “click” on something that you DO prefer, it makes sense that you’re saying “yes, more of this!”
If you keep clicking on the negative things you don’t want, the video game keeps bringing those negative things back into your life. Source Energy keeps trying to help your ass by giving you the nasty negative emotion pellets that SHOULD tell you to move on and click (focus) on something else. But no! You are so obsessed with telling everyone that “I DON’T WANT THIS” that your clicking just keeps bringing more and more of it!
Think about your current reality–what are you clicking on? What thoughts or observations do you keep asking for more of? How do they make you feel? Is Source Energy feeding you positive emotion or negative emotion pellets when you click?
When you’re stuck in the game, inspiration is like the magick potion, or mana, or health pellets that Source can give you. When you just can’t figure out what to do next, Source Energy steps in by giving you inspired thought. You can think of this as your intuition, or as hunches. When you get a gut feeling to do something, but you can’t explain why, that is Source trying to give you a little help in the game. When you are working on finding some solution, or invention, but can’t make progress, that is where Source Energy comes in to save the day.
In a later lesson I’ll talk about ways to allow inspiration into your experience, but for now just digest this video game metaphor and really try to apply it to your life. Think of your life as a game, and you have absolute control over what happens in the game. When you are thinking or observing, realize that you are actively focusing and creating your experience. Focusing is the same as clicking in a video game. Focusing is directing your energy to manifest reality. So apply this concept to your life literally. As you go through your day, think of every thought or observation as a click in a video game. Are you really asking for more of what you’re clicking on? Or is Source giving you negative emotion pellets, telling you to move onto a different thought or observation?
Your mood is your work
Source Energy feeds you positive emotions to let you know you’re on the right track towards your Higher Self–so your purpose in life is to find things that make you feel good, and keep doing them. Observe or think of things that make you feel good. Your purpose in life is only to pursue joy.
At first, it might sound selfish, to worry about no one’s happiness but your own. But how can you be of any help to anyone if you’re unhappy? You cannot change someone else’s reality, only your own.
The Emotional Guidance Scale
On page 114 of Jerry & Esther Hick’s book, Ask and It Is Given, they explain a scale of emotions that can help you move from negative feeling thoughts to more positive thoughts. When you feel bad, look at the list and figure out something, anything, that can bring you one step up on the scale. By doing that, you are raising your emotional vibration and enabling yourself to think better-feeling thoughts. Even if you just move from depression to anger, you are in a better place than where you were, and more positive manifestations will begin coming into your reality.
Don’t expect to make a huge jump (the Hicks’ call them quantum leaps) from a very negative emotion to a very positive emotion. Work incrementally up the scale so you don’t get too frustrated or pissed! Often Kelly and I will be feeling frustration or pessimism and want to jump right back to joy, but it isn’t really possible. We have to think thoughts that bring us up bit by bit.
- Positive Expectation/Belief
Jerry and Esther offer a ton of exercises and processes that can help you move up the emotional scale. Check out this site for a great list. The exercises that have worked best for me are segment intending, the why game, and appreciation games.
Using your website to feel good and get what you want
The last lesson, I suggested many post ideas to bring more good feelings into your life. This time I’ll go deeper into a few specific types of posts to explain exactly how they will make you feel good and bring you what you want. Try using any one of these post design ideas to raise your emotional vibration and attract more of what you want into your reality:
- Throughout your day, photograph and post things that make you feel good. What gets you in the vortex of feeling joy? Is it the food you’re eating, the places you’re going, the people you see? Start noticing details around you that make you feel good–stickers, neon signs, animals, graffiti–anything that brings a little smile to your heart. When you appreciate your surroundings, you purposefully avoid unwanted observations. Every thought you think, every part of your reality you observe, is an active click for more of the same! This is one of the ways lifestreaming benefits me most when I’m off my computer–by acknowledging thoughts, observations and experiences I am enjoying, I am deliberately asking for more. At the same time, I experience a boost in my emotions because I am thinking about things I like, instead of things I dislike.
- Discover what you’re passionate about with research posts. What you think about you bring about, and if you’re not sure exactly what you want, start anywhere! Do you think you might enjoy more travel? Cooking? Making art? Making money? As you start focusing your energy on figuring out what you want, these things will start coming to you. Some things you might like, some you might not, but you won’t know until you start thinking about it. Think more money might make you happy? Create a post about what you would do with a million dollars. Post about places you might like to visit, a la Gala. Or just start collecting images that resonate with you and make a vision board post.
- When you know exactly what you want, voice your intentions by placing an order with the universe. Telling the universe what you want via public declaration on the Internet is a powerful way to start manifesting the things you desire. Essentially, you are increasing your belief that things may start happening in your favor, because now a lot more people know exactly how to help you. To get started, talk about things you already have and would like more of in a gratitude or rampage of appreciation post. Next, make a list of things to manifest, detailing all the specific things you would like to see happen in your life in the near future. If you want to get really specific, try making a “telling your future” post, where you describe exactly how you want things to play out for the next day or week. Before you try this one, make sure you’re feeling joyful already, it will make writing a lot easier!
If you’re out and about without your computer, but still have your phone, try segment intending. Take a picture of something and title it with how you want your very next experience to play out. For example: today I have to go to the dentist. When I get to the office, I’ll take a photo of the building I’m about to enter, and title it “I’m about to go to the dentist, which is going to be fun and easy and I will leave cavity-free!” I’m setting my intention about the next segment in my life and determining how I want it to go, not waiting for something to happen to me by default. (p.s., this worked, I am cavity-free!)
- Start teaching by actively learning from your experiences. Creating a “how-to” post is a RAWESOME way to turn any negative experience into a positive one, because it forces you to look at things from a different perspective. Picture this: you’re home for the holidays, and it is not bringing you much joy! Your family is bickering, you’re stressed about all the chocolate you’ve eaten, or you’d just rather be anywhere else. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, start composing a “how to survive being home for the holidays” post in your mind. This will immediately cause you to start looking for ways to improve your situation, turning your experience into a positive one. Pissed that you have to go to that meeting at work? Write a “how to survive lame business meetings” post. It will force you to come up with creative ideas to make the meeting fun (or at least bearable)! Seriously, this works!
You can also try podcasting. Kelly and I have been producing our podcast for over two years now, and it is BREATHTAKING to watch our journey from there to here. Not every episode is a comedic gem, but the archive of personal development progress we’ve made is one of my most prized possessions. We’ve gone from being chubby drunks, to mean girls on a diet, to becoming vegans, to becoming marathon runners, to going raw vegan, to fasting, to learning about the Law of Attraction, to where we are today. Creating a video podcast forced us to really observe ourselves from the outside, and that observation caused us to constantly reevaluate our lives and what direction we’re heading. Basically, we’ve learned SO MUCH from doing the podcast, I’d recommend it to anyone!
- Chill out and let your brain do some processing with creative exercises. You might not be inspired to do any of these posts, and that’s ok! Sometimes it’s better to let your brain do some creative processing and synthesizing before taking action. Whenever I lack inspiration to work on my site, I do something creative yet mindless. I doodle in my sketchbook, open photoshop and mess around with fractal art, or make friendship bracelets and beaded jewelry. Often, doing work like this quiets my mind enough to let inspiration flow through me again.
What to avoid posting on your website
Whatever you do, don’t complain on your site! It brings everyone down, and attracts more things to complain about into your life! Look for the silver lining of every situation, or just plain ignore the unpleasant ones!
When “bad things” happen to you (which they will less and less as you take control over your thoughts), try to learn from the experience. Look for the positive outcomes. Look for the “how-to” post.
How to decide what to post about your “current self”
Lauren Lionheart left a great comment on the last lesson. She was asking how I determine what “current self” stuff makes it on the website vs. all the “Higher Self” work:
My experience has been that there are aspects of the current self that will ask insistently to be shown on the website. Following your intuition will let you know which ones can help you along your journey, while others are more like echoes from an old life. Some parts of our journey are very appropriate to write about online, and serve as a personal healing tool as well as bonding our readers to us.
Here’s how I distinguish whether a part of “current me” is ready to shine on my website: Can I describe the lesson I learned from it? If so, onto the blog it goes! If I’m still mucking about in the issue and feeling confusion, fear, anger, etc. about it… then I keep marinating until the lesson makes itself clear.
I completely agree with Lauren here. If something about your current situation is making you feel bad, don’t post about it. If you are feeling higher on the emotional scale about it, then share away! The point is to not to make too many decisions while feeling crappy, because those decisions aren’t going to help you feel better. Wait until you’ve raised your emotional vibration about an issue, then post away!
Try out any one (or more) of the posting ideas above and let us know what works for you. What feels best to create? Please share a link to your posts in the comments!
To go deeper into this lesson, don’t forget to listen to the discussion MP3.
See you next time!
Lesson 4 is Designing Daily Life. We’ll put the concepts covered here into practice to transform your daily life. We’ll talk about taking adventures and entheogens, using divination tools like tarot cards, and embracing the synchronicities that are occurring all around you. Essentially, this lesson will be about finding every-day evidence that the universe is working to bring you what you desire.
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Thank you for co-creating with me!