Which Do You Choose: Problems…or Possibilities?
I’d like to ask you a question. Imagine that everything you’re working so hard to achieve has been accomplished: your retirement account is fully funded, a regular stream of income covers your ongoing expenses quite nicely, you’re booked for the vacation of your dreams – and yes, you’ve finally lost those five “extra” pounds. Really, pause to close youe eyes and feel into what it might be like to be at peace, relaxed and trusting in the goodness of Life.
Okay, here’s the question: Now what? What might the divinely creative aspect of your being feel ready to experience, to share, to create? What song does your soul want to sing?
And here’s another question: Were you able to answer those questions?
If you’re like many people, your mind may have gone blank – you’ve never even given yourself permission to consider such an outlandish scenario. Or maybe you got a little twinkle in your eye as you admitted to yourself the dream you have to write a screenplay or take piano lessons or get a patent for that invention you’ve been tinkering with – but then shut yourself down with admonishments of “impracticality.” After all, your retirement account isn’t fully funded, your income may not be covering all your expenses, and there isn’t a vacation anywhere on your horizon. How could you possibly relax and think about letting your soul sing?
Let’s get to the “how” in a minute. First I’d like to make a case for the “why” – why it is essential to let your soul sing, right here and right now. One of the creative principles of this vibrational universe we live in is that energy follows attention. Another way to say that is, what we focus on is what expands in our lives. When we keep focusing on needing to work hard to overcome obstacles, we get more obstacles we need to work hard to overcome. When we keep focusing on not having enough money, we experience ongoing lack. When we keep putting conditions on when and where we can be happy, and see those conditions as being almost impossible to meet, we can never be happy.
Thankfully, this dynamic works in both directions. When we lovingly and consistently shift our attention to what is good, what is loving, what is plentiful and what we’re eager to create or experience, we start to feel good and loving and creative. We open ourselves to new levels of inspiration and insight. We get our creative juices flowing. We become happier and, frankly, a lot more fun to be around.
And when we dare to consider what our souls might want to create, we become bigger – bigger than the small, fearful self who keeps tangling us up in worry and analysis. We gain a broader perspective that helps us make sense of who we are and where we’re going. We see things in terms of possibility rather than problems. The vibrational pull of our soul’s song calls us to expand into our largest, wisest and most loving self. Doesn’t that sound a lot better than keeping your nose to the grindstone and hoping you live long enough to have a little fun between retirement – if you ever get there, of course – and death?
Believe it or not, even in this economy, there are people who are living happy, fulfilled lives. Some have a lot more money than you do, some have far less. They’re happy because they’re choosing happiness, and they’ve learned how to get out of their own way and let it in. And that’s really what it takes: a consciously declared intention, and then a letting-go of everything not in alignment with that intention. It’s a process, and it does require your highest-quality attention, but it doesn’t have to be “work.” (In fact, if it feels like work you’re heading back into obstacle-land.)
So where do you start? There are plenty of teachers and resources to help you make this shift – including yours truly! – but let me suggest a few things you can do right now:
- Create a new habit of noticing and appreciating all that is good and right and delightful in your life, even the seemingly trivial things such as getting every light green on your way to work. Really pause to feel how much you appreciate these ever-flowing gifts of goodness.
- When things don’t seem to be going your way, take some time to be contemplative and ask, “How might this be serving me at a deeper level? What qualities is it helping me cultivate? Is it calling me to make a desirable change in direction?”
- Practice thinking larger. Just a little. Keep expanding your ideas of what is possible. And have fun with it. Challenge yourself to think of reasons why the larger (or deeper, or more appealing) option could actually work.
- Ask yourself the question, “What song does my soul want to sing now?” and keep it open for a while. Reflect on it, write in your journal about it, dream on it. And when you get a response that feels true and right in your heart of hearts, honor it. Find a way to begin, now, even before your retirement account is fully funded.
Okay, that’s enough to get started. Or to restart, if you were previously on an upward spiral but then allowed yourself to cave into cultural habits of cynicism, frustration and resignation. Intend to focus more on possibilities than on problems, and then start doing just that. I think you’ll really like what happens.