Like graphic design, you only get better at life design if you practice. Often in graphic design courses, an instructor will assign a “daily practice,” where you pick one creative activity to do every single day for a semester. (One semester I added a self portrait every day to the DND365 group. Another semester I created one 12seconds video a day.) The point is to make creativity a habit, but also to facilitate breakthroughs that can only come from doing the same damn thing over and over until you find a way to make it exciting again. In life design, our daily practice is picking a few activities to do every single day to keep the good-feeling thoughts flowing.
It’s fun to learn to direct your thoughts. It’s a shortcut to getting what you want out of life! This lesson will help you practice thinking good-feeling thoughts until it is a natural habit. Habits take about 30 days to form, so give yourself time. Accept that you won’t be able to change your thought patterns immediately. And remember that each passing moment can be a fresh start. Why not choose now to start feeling better?
FEEL GOOD NOW.
If you aren’t feeling good at this moment, do something to feel good. NOW. This lesson will suck to read if you aren’t already feeling good.
99 WAYS TO FEEL GOOD
- Smoke something.
- Drink a polar pop.
- Sign up for a half-marathon.
- Pet your kitty. Literally or euphemistically.
- Watch an episode of The Popular Podcast.
- Get a backrub.
- Give a backrub.
- Think about how you felt during your favorite class in high school. Mine was driver’s ed!
- Put on your lucky bathing suit. Don’t have one? The one you have already is.
- Listen to or read your favorite motivational speaker. I like Jerry & Esther, Steve, and Gala the best.
- Burn a CD for a friend.
- Burn a DVD for a friend.
- Doodle in your sketchbook.
- Write a rampage of appreciation.
- Write a post about the things you’re grateful for.
- Make yourself a raw vegan meal.
- Do 10 pushups.
- Jog a mile.
- Look at I Can Has Cheezburger
- Write a list of all the things you want & concentrate on the feeling each one would give you if you already had it.
- Call a friend.
- Facebook message everyone you would like to keep in touch with. If that’s too many people, make a list of all them and write to as many of them as you can. Save the list as an email draft and return to it the next time you’re inspired to.
- Play online poker.
- Look at Lookbook.
- Look at ONTD.
- Look at Boing Boing.
- Read a book.
- Paint your nails.
- Go for a swim.
- Sit out in the sun.
- Listen to Calle 13.
- Listen to some dubstep & dance.
- Look up the translation of your favorite non-English song.
- Think about thunderstorms & rollercoasters.
- Look around you & note everything you like about it.
- Put on some gold jewelry.
- Dye your hair.
- Cut your hair.
- Change your bedsheets.
- Make yourself a magick wand.
- Bead yourself some jewelry.
- Drink coffee.
- Drink an energy drink.
- Deliberately take 20 deep-as-possible breaths.
- Set up auto-pay on one of your bills.
- Read Think & Grow Rich.
- Watch The Secret.
- Watch What the Bleep Do We Know!?
- Record a video of yourself smiling.
- Run as fast as you can.
- Give yourself permission to stay up all night.
- Do yoga.
- Rub your temples.
- Rub your eyes.
- Give yourself a tarot reading. Reading the cards can give you a new perspective on your experiences. It’s like asking your higher self for advice. And don’t be afraid of doing it wrong! Any card you draw can be enlightening if approached with a positive attitude.
- Start a website.
- Work on your website for 5 minutes.
- Take a shower.
- Mod a tshirt.
- Play a Pandora station someone else suggested.
- Play your favorite Pandora station.
- Put your headphones on and picture your life as a movie with a great soundtrack.
- Pierce something.
- Smell you favorite perfume.
- Light some incense.
- Take a nap. I had to do this one in the middle of writing this post!
- Call your sibling.
- Think of your favorite birthday present ever.
- Read about DMT.
- Do the dishes.
- Have a drink.
- Finish this thought a few times: “Wouldn’t it be nice if…”
- Read the bio of a musician you love.
- Think about fresh starts: beginning undergrad, starting a new project, a new school year, a new sketchbook, a new friend, a new home, a new morning.
- Start a vision board.
- Jump on a trampoline.
- Play a videogame.
- Go on a roadtrip.
- Take photos of all the beauty around you.
- Take sexy photos of yourself.
- Remember the first time you got in trouble with a friend. I was caught behaving indecently with a boy in second grade!
- Do handstands.
- Remember how you felt when you wrote your first love letters.
- Write a love letter. I know this one works, because I just wrote one to Kelly to test it. Here’s what I wrote, on the back of a piece of car insurance paper on my desk:
When I gave it to her, “our song” came on Pandora. I started crying! I could not have planned the moment better. I didn’t have to. I’m a good life designer!
As I went to link “our song”, I had to watch the video. And guess what? I have the exact same haircut as Cyndi Lauper! Feeling good gives you mind-blowing synchronicities.
- Enter a contest.
- Buy a lottery ticket.
- Eat a lot of something low calorie, like apples or kale chips or sugar-free jello.
- Carve a pumpkin.
- Play an instrument.
- Think of yourself as easily tuning your body to a better-feeling vibration, like you would a radio dial.
- Make a fort.
- Shave your cho-cha.
- Look at kids and wonder what they know that you forgot.
- Make a list of all things you like about someone you hate.
- Mail someone a gift.
- Tell someone you love them. And mean it.
Are you feeling good now? Yes? Now you’re ready to learn. Let’s do this. YOUR MIND IS YOUR BITCH.
Lesson 1: Introduction to Life Design introduces the practice of shaping your reality into specific, desired experiences. Lesson 2: Designing the Digital You discusses using a personal website to help design your life. Lesson 3: Designing Thoughts and Emotions explains the conceptual basis of thought design. This lesson is about practicing feeling good every single day.
The goal of this lesson is to make the conscious designing of your life experience a lasting lifestyle change. You really can practice feeling good. Having a website can help you improve even faster!
Get what you want by feeling good
You like the feeling you get when you think about why you like something, because you are deliberately making yourself vibrate at a higher emotional level. The more you think positively, the better you feel. The better you feel, the more inspired your actions are. The more inspired your actions are, the more you allow the universe to orchestrate things on your behalf. When you allow the universe to work for you, the closer you get towards the things you desire.
The Law of Attraction says what you think about, you bring about. This is because when you think a thought, you feel an emotion. That emotion is a vibrational signal to the universe to bring more of that vibration. Your next thought is then born out of that emotion/vibration, and that thought will likely cause you to feel the same emotion and emit more of the same vibration.
Your emotions are like magnets, attracting thoughts that bring you similar feelings. When you think a thought that feels good, you are creating an environment in your mind for more good-feeling thoughts. When you feel good, the universe brings you more thoughts that feel good. It does that by placing in your path things that you desire, as well as things you haven’t thought to desire yet, but which bring you similar good feelings. This is how you get what you want by feeling good.
Get in the vortex
Abraham calls the following feelings being in the vortex: Joy, Appreciation, Empowered, Freedom, & Love. These emotions are at the top of the emotional guidance scale. When you feel these emotions, you are generating thoughts that are pure positivity. These thoughts bring you more positive emotions, which bring you more positive thoughts. When you feel these emotions, you attract more of the same. The point of life is to feel these emotions. When you feel such positive emotions, you allow good things to come into your reality. All of the money, the power, the love, all comes flowing to you when your emotional vibration is consistently high. But the point isn’t to feel these emotions to manifest material possessions into your life, the point is that it feels good to feel joy, and love, and freedom!
A simpler way to put it is that when you feel joyful, you make the right decisions. You trust your inspiration, you’re eager to try new things, and you are excited to have positive interactions with people. When you feel joyful, and intentionally remain feeling joyful, the Law of Attraction brings you more joy.
Start your daily practice now
It’s easy to say you’ll start directing your thoughts and thinking positively, but sometimes it can be harder to put into practice. I’ve found that consistently doing a few simple activities each day is a great way to build momentum.
Use one of the following lists depending on your waking mood. If you feel crappy, it’s easy to get wrapped up in negative thoughts your entire day. But if you do one simple action to alter the direction of your thoughts, your day can be magickally transformed.
Novice (i.e., crankypants):
- First, whatever you’re feeling cranky about, say in response, “FUCK IT.” You’ll instantly feel better.
- Write down a list of things you’re grateful for, first thing when you wake up. That’s all. See how it affects your mood.
Beginner (feeling ho-hum):
- Write down a list of things you’re grateful for.
- Meditate for 10 minutes. Notice how you feel after.
Intermediate (I’m feeling pretty good):
- Write down a list of things you’re grateful for.
- Write down your intentions for the day (I will manifest $20. I will enjoy my friends’ company. I will eat well.)
- Meditate for 15 minutes.
- Go for a 3 mile walk. Notice how you feel after this!
Advanced (I feel great!):
- Write down a list of things you’re grateful for. Think about how each one makes you feel and why.
- Write down your intentions for the day.
- Meditate for 15 minutes.
- Go for a 3-6 mile walk.
- Practice segment intending. When you enter a new segment of your life (a phone call, a meal, a drive, a walk, a shower, etc), pause for a moment and focus your thoughts on how you would like the segment to play out. By intentionally choosing what you want to happen, you can begin to influence how events unfold. By getting in the emotion of how you would feel if things did play out the way you want them, you are attracting more of that exact feeling.
- Milk your good feelings. Bask in how good you feel. Write about it. Go on a rampage of appreciation.
Lifestreamer (I feel great & I’m not afraid to tell the world!):
- Write a post of things you’re grateful for.
- Write a post of your intentions for the day.
- Take a photo of yourself meditating.
- Map your exercise with Runkeeper. Bonus points for making a video of your adventure!
- Before each segment in your day, publish a photo with a title of how you want the segment to go.
- Write a rampage of appreciation post. (If you want to write all these posts but not feature them on the front page of your blog, try filtering them like I do with a WordPress plugin like RYO Category Visibility.)
Some days you’ll wake up feeling like a novice. Some days you’ll wake up feeling so good you won’t need any list! The point of doing a regimen each day, no matter how you feel, is to practice strengthening your brain muscle. You have to work it out each day, just like you would any other muscle you’re trying to build up.
All that matters is that you find something that makes you feel good, and you make a habit of it. Don’t feel bad if you skip a day, but remember that only you can decide to feel better. Relying on external things to make yourself feel good (like alcohol, a relationship, or food) doesn’t work very well. Being drunk all the time is just messy, eating to excess feels terrible, and what happens when your relationship isn’t going the way you want it? You allow someone else to control your mood, when it’s much easier and satisfying to learn to control your own mood.
Throughout the rest of your day
Breathe deeply. I have to remind myself of this all day. It helps.
Think about what you want, not what you don’t want. Drink water. Smile. Be nice to yourself. Say “fuck it” a lot. Notice the things around you that you like. Ignore the things you don’t. Don’t watch the news. Don’t let other people determine your mood. Don’t let them scare you or intimidate you or piss you off. Only you can control your reality, so start doing it!
What you do in the morning can affect your whole day. But how you feel before you go to sleep at night is just as important. The emotion you feel before you go to sleep is often exactly where you’ll wake up, so make sure you feel good before you fall asleep.
Kelly and I played the Alphabet game before we went to sleep the other night. The Alphabet game (another Abraham process) is where you start with the letter A and think of a few words that make you feel good. Alignment, allowing, alive… then move on to B. Basking, beautiful, breathtaking… Then C: caring, camping, colorful. And so on.
I was SO CRABBY and did not know what to do with myself. So Kel came in and gave me a backrub, then talked me into playing the alphabet game. By the time we made it to N, it totally calmed my mind and made me super sleepy. Then I woke up feeling awesome the next morning!
Keep track of your manifestations
On a recent episode of TPP, Allison suggested using a spreadsheet to keep track of your manifestations. Feeling good is the main point to all this, but once you feel good, it’s time to start thinking about what you want!
Thinking about specific things you desire, then paying attention to how you feel when you imagine them, is one way to bring those things closer to you. When you set intentions in daily blog posts, spend some time with each intention. Say you want to manifest $20. Write it down, then spend a minute thinking about how you’ll come across that money. Picture finding a $20 bill in the street. Imagine receiving a $20 Paypal donation. Savor how good it feels when something like that happens! If it’s important to you to keep track, log the intention in your spreadsheet and return to it to record the manifestation.
In case of emergency
When I was feeling down the other night, Kelly came in and read me something she had just written. She calls it an affirmation meditation. As she read it, her soothing, authoritative voice started making me feel so much better. I asked her to read it again! She recorded it to share with everyone. Take a listen when you need a boost!
Another track Kel and I have been listening to a lot lately is Abraham’s Rampage of Wellbeing. This 11 minute treat explains a lot about how feeling good works.
If you’re feeling bad
First, say FUCK IT! Who cares? What does it matter, really? There are so many other things to be thinking about!
Does talking to that one friend always bring you down? Then stop talking to her! Does watching TV leave you feeling sick and junk foody? Destroy your television! Try to completely remove anything in your life that feels bad.
If nothing else is working, cheat! Do anything you can to start feeling better. If I’m bored, the best thing I can do is exercise. If I’m irritable, the best thing I can do is meditate. If I’m tired, I take a nap. Try to avoid things that make you feel guilty while you’re doing them, like overeating.
Alcohol and drugs can help you up the emotional scale, but are only temporary fixes. You don’t need me to tell you that you don’t want to depend on them to get you happy.
I know this shit can be extremely annoying if you’re not already feeling pretty good. If you’re feeling a negative emotion and this post is making you gag, then just acknowledge that only you have the power to control how you feel. And since you have that power, you can choose to feel something different. You might not feel like doing that right now, but just knowing that it is within your power can be enough to feel a little better.
Magickal is the new normal
Now that you’re working on feeling good, take care to stay that way! Think of building up your positive thinking faculties as working on your magick powers. By directing your thoughts (or your focus, or energy) towards the things you want, and towards feeling good, you are actively manipulating your reality to become more of what you want.
Practicing feeling good every single day will turn your life inside out, in the best way possible. All you have to do is make a new habit of thinking good-feeling thoughts. It’s that simple.
Abraham calls the act of getting joyful before acting lining up energy. You can think of it like casting a spell. Before you can expect to sway a situation, you need to have power. And your power comes from your emotions. When you take the time to feel joyful, you are lining up your energy–or building your magick powers. The more joyful you are, the more powerful you are. Neat, right?
If you’re ever in doubt about the true nature of reality and if this is all worth your time, do some research into entheogens. When you realize that your mind has the power to make you see completely alternate realities with the ingestion of a simple chemical, playing with your mind becomes a lot more intriguing. Life is the trip. Sometimes it just takes a different perspective to make you realize how crazy (and fun!) reality truly is. Also, entheogens can have mad healing powers, especially for those with cancer.
Enjoy the fruits of your labor
When you are in a joyful state (or in the vortex), observe the synchronicities happening all around you. Observe all the intentions you put into place that are unfolding before your eyes. Everything in your reality was at one point just a thought in your mind. Remember wanting to get the job you now have? Remember wanting the home you live in? Remember wanting the relationship you have? You manifested all the good things in your life, they were not accidents.
I want to know what makes you feel good, so I can try it! Often, something will work a few times but then lose it’s flavor, so I’m always looking for new ideas. Please add something that makes you feel good to the list at the top of this post. Add it in the comments here or make a list on your own site and link to it (then we can all peep your new site!).
To go deeper into this lesson, don’t forget to listen to the discussion MP3. Kelly and I give a lot of personal examples of how we’ve been applying these ideas to our own lives. It’s a really good one, almost an hour long!
See you next time!
Lesson 5 is Designing Your Environment. This lesson will be all about figuring out your preferences in life and transforming your environment to match them. We’ll talk about vision boards, living spaces, digital spaces and learning to say no to things you don’t want.
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Thank you for co-creating with me!