Lots of people ask me to read for them about when they are going to be happy. My answer to them is always that happiness is a choice. We have to find it within ourselves if we truly want to experience.
One of the first steps towards creating a truly happy life is to make the choice to stop complaining about the way things should be, and choose to work with the way things are. I remember fixing a meal with my beloved Medicine Elder, and we were out of an ingredient. I muttered that we had a problem, and he just smiled and replied, “No, we need a plan.”
A lot of the world's greatest discoveries were the result of someone making an error. In the 1930's, Massachusetts baker Ruth Wakefield decided to put chunks of chocolate into her cookies, thinking they would melt during the baking process and create delectable chocolate cookies. Thank goodness she did not understand the melting point of chocolate, or chocolate chips might never have been born!
Charles Goodyear's vulcanized rubber is another well-known mistake, as is the discovery that penicillin destroys bacteria. They acted on what they saw happening, and turned their lemons into lemon sorbet. They believed good could come out of the situation, and they created a positive outcome.
My mother used to tell me that if you can conceive it, and believe it, you can achieve it. I've thought about this often throughout the years, and I prefer to take it one step further. There comes a point when believing turns into knowing.
For instance, I don't have to believe my hair is growing. Whether I believe in it or not, my hair is going to grow. I don't have to focus on it, I don't have to remember to tell it to grow, it is just growing. I know it is growing, and I can turn my attention to other things, knowing that my hair is growing.
Believing equals receiving, but knowing equals peace of mind!
Can we train our brains to know things? Of course we can! When we change the way we look at our lives, we align ourselves more with the way the Universe is unfolding. This is not just psychic-babble, either. The ideas are rooted in the ancient text of the Tao Te Ching, written well over 2,000 years ago. It's a simple law of physics; like energy attracts like energy.
Let's look at an example. Suppose a storm come through and the winds knock a branch out of your tree, which lands on the car and breaks the windshield. Your knee-jerk reaction might be one of, “Oh, great, now I need to get the car fixed, and deal with all the insurance paperwork, just wonderful.” However you can flip that into appreciation; “Thank goodness it only damaged the windshield, and missed the house, we're all safe, and the car is insured, we truly are fortunate.”
When we make a habit of flipping circumstances into appreciation, then we retrain the neuroreceptors in our brains to feed us positive thoughts rather than negative ones, and the world in which we live becomes a much kinder place for us.
Although not always easy, we truly can apply this to any situation in our lives. Caught the flu? Flip it into appreciation that it is not pneumonia. Diagnosed with asthma? Flip it into appreciation that it is manageable, and you will learn to cope. Lost your job? Flip it into appreciation that a better one is bound to come. Roof on your house starting to leak? Flip it into appreciation that you have a house that keeps you sheltered, warm, and safe.
Appreciation is one of the greatest keys I know to manifesting abundance in life. When we appreciate what we have, rather than always wanting what we don't have, things miraculously become much easier for us. When life throws lemons, make lemon sorbet!