To make changes in our lives, we have to consciously become aware of the thoughts that we focus on and believe in so that we can begin to discern between what is true and what is not, what is helpful and what is not in order to reprogramme our belief system and operate from a new paradigm. We do this simply by investing in new ideas because when we repeatedly do this in the conscious mind, what we instill as new beliefs become imprinted as truth in the subconscious mind where all things are possible. The subconscious mind influences our behaviours, inspires our actions and so to change who we are, what we do and how we think and feel, we must first invest in new beliefs that become true for us at a fundamental level.
As we have mostly spent a lot of time affirming the beliefs that now influence the way we experience ourselves and the world, we have to start affirming new ideas in order to change the paradigm we operate from. In order to reprogramme the subconscious which does not seek to qualify new ideas but accepts what it is told as real and true, we have to consciously maintain new ideas that point us in the direction of where we want to go, what we want to experience and what we want to achieve. Ideas that resonate and align with who we really are and what we are really capable of.
One of the first things we can change is our attitude in and towards life. Are we grateful, are we happy, are we looking for ways to express and explore our innate reverence for our opportunity to be here? If there is a meaning to life, I believe it is joy, to enjoy our time here. So often, we become accustomed to complaining, expecting hardship or misfortune and even become invested in the idea that to be on the lookout and prepared for misfortune and unhappiness is a responsible approach to life. But this is a state of affairs born of a misunderstanding of life, that sees it as work, difficult and fixed, that sees us as unable to flow with, meet and move on from challenges that occur at the same time as enjoying and expressing wellbeing, joy and grace.
When we are stressed, panicked, pessimistic we shut down and impair our ability to experience creative and innovative thought. We are designed for life, we are designed to be imaginative and creative in meeting challenges, in processing our experiences, in overcoming less than perfect circumstances and situations and we do this best when we are free from fear and suffering, when we are present, experiencing gratitude for the resources within ourselves, connected with our wellbeing and allowing it guide us in how we take part in and respond to life.
I am grateful and happy to be alive
Gratitude is a state of being that inclines us to think positively, to view ourselves and the world optimistically, to lean towards feeling well and living well and supporting ourselves and others in wellness and directs us away from seeing ourselves as victims and at the mercy of life and instead as fortified by it, supported by, a part of it and able to joyfully and enthusiastically take part in it. We are born in a state of wellbeing and wellbeing is always alive and well within us. The mantra, I am grateful and happy to be alive is an acknowledgement of our true state of being; we do not seek to be grateful for things, we are innately grateful and happy just to be here and from this realisation we find endless opportunities to express this.
When we are grateful, we feel blessed, we feel lucky, we feel empowered and we turn away from complaining, blaming, resentment and bitterness towards more beneficial behaviour and feelings. We all know by now, to some extent at least, that our thoughts and feelings are closely related to our experience of life. We know that any two people can have profoundly different experiences of the same event and that our thought patterns, opinions and beliefs actually determine the information our eyes receive and the way our brains process it.
Every one of us has had the experience of changing our feelings by changing our thoughts and the phrase, energy flows where attention goes, allows us to see how wherever we direct the creative energy of life we bring into being an experience there. Bringing to life an experience of the innate gratitude and reverence for life that are always alive and well within us, that cannot be diminished or damaged, lost or let go of, is just as easy as bringing to life an experience of unhappy thinking, it is just that one has become more common than the other.
Our thoughts are not instructions. We do not have to believe in them or act on them or even take them seriously. When they are creating an experience for us that does not feel healthy, balanced, helpful, often we seek out reasons for it as well as justifications but what we could just as well do is fall into our hearts and remember what we came here knowing it is all up to us. We can fight and struggle and resist and justify or we can fall into love and rest in the sense of release and relief we find there.
Which we do more often when we spend time rewiring our minds, giving up those habits that steer us away from love, such as complaining, which is not a means of communicating our experience in order to let it go, find a solution or return to a state of connection with our wellbeing but an act that sees us feeling stuck in an unhappy mindset instead. The wonderful thing about complaining is that it is a choice and the moment we decide to stop doing it, we can. Those endlessly optimistic and positive people we meet in life, honour their feelings and express themselves well, they are healthy minded and able to care for and support themselves. They don’t complain, they reroute that energy to find peace within themselves, pleasure and presence, they allow their innate gratitude and love for life to lead them in the way that they live and approach it.
And we can too. We will have a new experience of life as soon as we allow new thoughts in, as soon as we relax into ourselves when we feel the urge to do the opposite, letting our thoughts and feelings flow and releasing the desire to resist. When we do, we find that it is a natural and very comfortable experience to just allow all thoughts to flow and feelings to rise up and out of us without attempting to shut down, analyse, judge, repress or deny any of it.
This does not dishonour our feelings, negate our experience or judge it, rather it is a way to bring us back to the present, back home to ourselves when our thinking and feelings are creating an unhelpful experience for us. Gratitude is presence, it is what wakes us up to the moment. When we relax and allow and accept, we feel immediately grateful, we are home, at peace, soft and soothed and find that it is our most natural state, our true default setting to be in harmony.
If we are going round in a loop of unhappy thinking, feeling disconnected and uneasy and overwhelmed by feelings of despair or anxiety or mania, it can be useful to give train ourselves to breathe deeply, arrange our bodies comfortably and just witness the moment, rather than become involved in it. When we do, we will notice that the speed of our thinking reduces and that thoughts that we cannot help ourselves, are powerless, are scared and sad and lonely and frightened begin to lose their weight, their meaning and that the belief, I am grateful and happy to be alive is deep wisdom, true knowledge that we are only ever just one thought away from the realisation of this truth that is always known to us on some level. When we turn away from truth, we feel it, we are alerted to the fact that we have strayed off course.
I choose to focus on thoughts that guide me towards health and wellbeing
I let thoughts pass that would lead me to feel unhappy, uneasy or unsure
I am in control of the thoughts I choose to pay attention to and energise
I choose clear and healthy thinking because I enjoy clear and healthy being
I easily discern between thoughts that are empowering and those that are not
I easily follow thoughts that resonate with my innate wisdom and happiness
I let my feelings guide me in choosing which thinking to continue with
I am powerful and resilient and turn away from thoughts that doubt this
I trust in my ability to choose to express happiness and gratitude
I am able to connect with my innate health no matter what is occurring outside of me
We all know what it’s like when we have moments of anger or frustration or unease and turn those moments into hours or days. We feel so much better when we decide to let go and give way to feelings of peace and happiness instead and we can by choosing to focus on thoughts that guide us towards health and wellbeing and recognising that those that don’t will feel exactly that way. There is nothing wrong with feeling dejected or despairing about circumstances and expressing those feelings with awareness but when constant reflection on what’s not right with our lives becomes our habit, we are programming ourselves for an unhappy experience.
Whether it’s a paradigm learned in childhood or a habit picked up later on, all we have to do is bring the light of awareness to our complaining in order to stop doing it. When we notice how it feels to relive the things we haven’t enjoyed rather than learn or move on from them as we are designed to, it no longer makes sense for us to keep doing it. We might also find that from here we are more prone to experiencing a new perspective on the things that we once complained about or noticing what we can change in future.
We can let thoughts pass that would lead us to feel unhappy, uneasy or unsure, no matter how compelling they are. Complaining never helps. It takes the place of reflection and expansion and instead of growth, we experience stagnation. We are evolutionary beings designed to enjoy higher states of wisdom and consciousness as we grow and complaining hinders this. When we instead remain the neutral witness of our thinking and fall into peace and ease by letting our feelings arise and move out of us, we ascend to a level of being that is light and healthy and happy. Every time we feel the urge to start complaining, noticing the feeling this creates within us and deciding we want something better for ourselves is all that is required to give it up and utilise our energy for more creative and life enhancing practices.
Sometimes we feel we don’t have the distance or space necessary to witness our unhappy thinking and allow it to pass and that we have to express it in order to do so. Often we know we aren’t in the right frame of mind to address a situation we are challenged by and yet we do want to speak to someone else to clear our minds and experience a fresh and more helpful perspective. Seeking out someone who is compassionate yet impartial, not encouraging our unhappiness but able to let us talk about it can help us to voice our concerns and grievances and sort out our true feelings from our immediate or habitual reactions. Rather than act on our upset, this way we get to release it and from there we have the space to see things from a new angle. When we cannot do this, we can journal or put down our thoughts on paper so that we are able to sort the facts from the fiction our minds so often create which helps us to not devolve into complaining, narrow mindedness or victimhood.
Whilst we know that our thinking about something creates our feelings about it, we are human beings dealing with underlying beliefs and programming that get triggered on a regular basis. Being able to see this as it occurs means we don’t have to act on it but when we don’t feel we quite have the wherewithal to let it pass straight away, expressing ourselves in some way acknowledges that we know we can see things differently and feel the desire to which allows us to return to clarity without repressing our feelings or keeping them going.
We are in control of the thoughts we choose to pay attention to and energise. Expanding beyond our unhelpful conditioning and ideas about the world sees us triggered less and less by life and in the times we feel negatively affected, able to choose a new route. The awareness that we are in control even when we feel we aren’t is what prevents us from taking action that doesn’t truly resonate with us or that we will regret and what steers us towards treating ourselves gently and kindly, seeking out support when we need help in returning to a healthier state of mind and refusing to get caught up in a cycle of complaining.
When we do this, it is because we know we can change our experience, because we want to let go of our current thinking so that our feelings can shift and we can return to a more balanced state of being. Letting things out rather than keeping them in in a safe space can further help us to recognise that when we are feeling not at peace, we aren’t in the best state of mind to deal with things in order to improve them. As we talk through our thoughts and feelings or quietly reflect on them alone, we see where our judgements are not sound or where we have missed out on understanding things from another point of view which helps us see through and let go of our experience more quickly.
You deserve to enjoy clear and healthy being and so you can choose clear and healthy thinking. When we don’t feel able to immediately let our thinking and feelings settle down after we are triggered in some way, expressing ourselves with awareness and presence allows us to move on from an experience so that we might approach dealing with it in a helpful way, move through it, reflect on it and learn from it, allowing us to return to peace and wellbeing, realising our resilience and capacity for clarity as we do and move forwards without making decisions or taking action from unhelpful thinking and unhappy feelings that steer us away from our ability to think clearly and make choices that reflect it.
Many of us would claim that we just want to be happy and yet once we begin to uncover who we really are and discover that happiness exists within us at all times, it can happen that we begin to repeat old or unhelpful behaviour or create issues for ourselves because on some level we cannot quite accept that being happy is okay, safe, natural and can last. We have all been brought up listening to stories that essentially teach us that when good things happen, bad things follow or that if it seems too good to be true, it usually is or that when people have too much good in their lives, they turn bad or that even only simple minded people can be happy but creative, intelligent, inquisitive people cannot.
All of these unhelpful and untrue ideas turn into beliefs over time as we are conditioned to respond to the world by creating expectations of it and programmed to limit those expectations or base them on fear or upset or dread. At some point we come to identify our beliefs as facts and invest in them so greatly that it is confronting to challenge or change them and so many of us choose to be a little unhappy because perversely for the ego it is comforting to remain in the space of the known and not transform the way we view and experience life, embracing and allowing the happiness that is innate to us.
But we can change, we do change, change is normal and natural and safe and if we can just witness our thinking when we begin to invest in unhelpful ideas about happiness so that we can notice how much emotion is stirred up by the ego’s endless list of reasons for why happiness cannot be right or good or last, we will give ourselves the chance to see how unhappy our experience is when we invest in ideas about why we should or cannot be happy as opposed to how we feel when we are calm and clear and allowing ourselves to be.
We are designed to follow thoughts that resonate with our innate wisdom and happiness and when we do, life feels easy, beautiful, wonderful. Because we are easily able to discern between thoughts that are empowering and those that are not, we can trust that when we feel other than clear and well, our thinking is leading us in another direction. When our thinking about choosing a new way of life creates uncomfortable feelings, we can take the opportunity to consider whether it is true, clear, helpful. When we let our thoughts flow and embrace new ideas about life and happiness, we experience new feelings about how we might live, what is available to us and the opportunities on offer. If we remain open to these rather than defaulting to the fear or insecurity we have become accustomed to, we allow ourselves the space and awareness to reflect on whether it makes sense to refuse ourselves permission to be happy and, therefore, deny ourselves a more joyful and fulfilling experience of life.
When we welcome change and being at peace with where we have misunderstood how life works, we begin to see clearly how we create our feelings with our thinking and that when we are aligned with our inner truth, taking conscious action and living from our wellbeing rather than limiting thinking, fear, denial and suffering, we are clearer, better connected with our wisdom and more aware of the option to be happy and grateful and in love with life as well as accepting of our absolute right to it.
We can be happy, we can live well, gracefully and in gratitude by changing the way we view life on a base level. As our perceptions change, the way we feel about life changes and we find that we are aligned more often with our ability to be happy and grateful and in love with life without having to give space to what might go wrong, is going wrong, has gone wrong that could threaten our sense of joy and peace in the moment because we do not have struggle for joy and peace, we only have to allow them. We see through the idea that making ourselves unhappy in case something occurs that will is not a helpful way of living. If we let our feelings guide us in choosing which thinking to continue with, we will always head in the direction of health.
Knowing and affirming that you are powerful and resilient and turning away from thoughts that doubt this allows you to show up to life with a practical approach that is guided by your inner wisdom, able to make plans, flow with challenges and allow your experiences to rise up and out of you, neither clinging to what feels good or pushing away the opposite.
Living life from knowledge of our resilience allows us to have goals, devise strategies, aim for achievement without giving time to the old rhetoric that tells us to plan for pain and unhappiness and disaster, often causing them in the doing so. When we are happy, we are better able to cope with life not going to plan, less invested in controlling things in order to try and feel well and less affected by what occurs when it is not as we hoped. When we give ourselves permission to be happy, we thrive, we give up on surviving and embrace and deal with life successfully as it occurs.
You can trust in your ability to choose to express happiness and gratitude. The next time you notice that you are jeopardising or threatening your own connection with happiness, you can relax, release what beliefs and ideas are inspiring you to create unhappiness and witness the thoughts and feelings that arise when you consider life from the point of view of the ego as opposed to the true self. You know which feels better, which feels balanced, which feels harmonious and clear and resonant. When you follow that, when you give up unhelpful ideas about happiness in order to uncover you inborn ability to be happy, your innate joy and gratitude and reverence for life, you will no longer even think in terms of giving yourself permission to be what you are, allowing and celebrating and being led by it.
We are able to connect with our innate health no matter what is occurring outside of us. We do not need to wait until a day of predetermined celebration to feel enthusiastic about life, we do not need permission to be happy, we can allow ourselves in small and simple ways to express our inner joy every day. If we allow feelings of enthusiasm and excitement to bubble up to the surface no matter the circumstance and notice when we are creating excuses for not celebrating life, we will connect more often with the natural enthusiasm for life we are born with.
From a young age, we are taught that there are times it is appropriate to be happy and excited about life, that a serious and correct approach to life does not find enthusiasm for small things and even looks down on those who do. But taking every opportunity to celebrate life is what we are born for. We have been hoodwinked by a view that claims stress and seriousness and busyness are the way of life and when we try to fit in with it, we feel that we are struggling because we are moving in opposition to who we really are and how we are really designed to live, striving to be part of a culture that claims there is virtue and value in limiting fun and joy and play.
If we look around us, at a world decorated by flowers and lit up by stars, can we really imagine that any Divine creative energy wants us to spend our time here limiting or rejecting celebration, enthusiasm, gratitude and love for life? We are designed to feel good. We are designed to get excited about the small things. We are designed to feel wonder and joy and connect with life in an innately healthy and happy way. It feels good to feel good for a reason and there is relief and wellbeing available to us in celebration and enthusiasm that connect us with our innate gratitude and steer us away from modes of being that see us dejected, confused, overwhelmed, complaining, bitter, frustrated and towards a perspective of awe and delight for life.
The feelings we experience when celebrate are available to us all of the time. Nothing outside of us is creating them; they come from within. We can allow them to bubble up as often as we like, allowing ourselves to endlessly celebrate and be enthusiastic. It’s a choice. We can begin by expressing gratitude for our aliveness and what potential and possibility this holds for us. And we can cultivate appreciation and thankfulness in every moment that we remember they are an option for us, helping us deal well with life by reducing stress and elevating our mood and increasing our willpower as we do.
Your mind is a powerful force. You can think your way into different brainwave states and manipulate the physiology of your body with your thinking alone and creating and connecting with a feeling of gratitude has beneficial neural effects that are long lasting. The more we feel grateful for life, the more effortlessly we notice all we have to be thankful more which leads to greater feelings of peace, presence and health and when we feel well, when we operate from wellbeing, life feels simpler, we feel empowered, we live in alignment with respect, love and compassion for ourselves and others.
Gratitude is good for the world. The areas of the brain affected by gratitude, the anterior cingulate cortex and the medial prefrontal cortex, are associated with moral judgement, understanding for others, social interactions and bonding. Gratitude is a social emotion that leads us to find ways to benefit others as well as connect with them and their perspective. Gratitude motivates us to do things for other people as it inspires generosity, charity and compassion. It makes sense that we are born to live from a state that benefits all of humanity; acknowledging, realising and cultivating our innate gratitude is good for us all.
When we feel grateful, we are more likely to take care of our health, find it easier to remain calm in tense situations and experience a sense of optimism about life which is proven to boost the immune system and has been linked with better quality sleep, higher energy levels, healthy blood pressure, faster recovery rates from illness, increased mental health and emotional stability. Another benefit of cultivating gratitude is the sense of purpose and desire for action that it enables. Gratitude improves our decision making abilities and productivity levels. When we focus on feeling grateful we work more consciously towards achieving our goals; feeling glad for life, in love with life and a part of life inspires us to embrace all that is on offer to us and achieve and succeed in a state of joy and happiness.
Gratitude can also help us to recover from past trauma, betrayal or upset as it leads us to consider what positive lessons or aspects of our experiences we can be grateful and we are more resilient in the face of our memories as we are more likely to feel a sense of peace about what occurred and closure. Cultivating gratitude is really about uncovering who we are beneath the layers of created self that have convinced us that it is too hard or a bad idea or not possible for us to think and feel well. Affirming that we are in control of our thinking, able to choose the feelings we energise, able to be peaceful in moments of unease helps us to keep overriding old patterns, creating new subconscious belief systems that are truer to our innate desire and ability to celebrate life and feel grateful and happy to be alive.