Tag Archives: self help

H is for ‘Happiness’. Is there a secret to being happy?

Is there a secret to being happy? I used to think that happiness was a property possessed by people, places, things, habits and distractions. I used to think that to be happy, I had to have all of those things in my life. Imagine my shock and surprise when, the more I tried to cram ‘happiness things’ into my life, the less happy I felt.

Now that I am a little older and wiser, I have learned that happiness isn’t a property of anything outside of myself. Happiness is a property of me- if I choose it to be so. And happiness is a property of you- if you choose it to be so.

Happiness is a lens that you click over the camera of your consciousness. It is a way in which you choose to see the world. Happiness is a repetitive choice- if you wanna be happy, you gotta keep choosing to be happy, and here’s something that was a real revelation to me:

You can be happy, and still give yourself permission to feel other emotions. Happiness is NOT the repression of other feelings: it is the loving acceptance of all your feelings (and your beautiful self, more generally!)

Image

Happiness is being so so comfy in bed. Photograph used with kind permission from Jassy Earl @ http://www.jassyearlphotography.co.uk/

 

The thoughts you choose to think influence the way you understand the world: fact. If you wake up in the morning and immediately think, ‘I’m tired.’; ‘I’m miserable.’; ‘ I’m stressed.’;  ‘I have too much to do today.’; ‘I don’t want to go to this meeting.’; ‘I don’t like my job.
‘I’m dreading getting stuck in traffic.’; ‘ I’m always running late.’; ‘I look bloated today.’, etc. etc., then you are creating your world within a framework of negativity. A good technique to encourage happiness into your life is to bring positivity into your morning routine. Consider ‘deliberate positive thinking’ as important to your daily routine as brushing your teeth! Deliberately think about something positive right now. ‘Today is going to be a great day!’; ‘I look beautiful today.’; ‘I am a walking success!’; there’s a few to get you started! My personal favourite right now is simply:

I deserve happiness.

Go ahead and try that one on for size. Thinking positive is like going to the gym- it might take some time for you to get into the habit of it, but keep practicing.  Every time you choose to think positively, it’s a win for ‘happiness’. Think of it as those one or two extra reps at the gym – they are a worthwhile effort.

So what about when you don’t feel happy? Well here’s a thought: Worry, for example, is a state of mind that can only be achieved when thinking about the past or the future (as is fear, disappointment or anger). We worry about what has been, how we’ve been treated, how we’ve reacted.  We worry about past events, people in our past and past decisions we have made.

Or we worry about the future.  We worry about the rest of the day, the rest of the week, month, year- we worry about the rest of our lives that haven’t happened yet!

If you are worrying- or experiencing any fear-based emotion- then you are either living in the past that cannot be changed, no matter how much you worry about it, or, living in the future, and worrying about something that has not happened yet, and may never happen!  Fortunately, there is a place where worry does not exist.  You’re in it right now.  Right here, right now, in this present moment.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath, feel your whole body relax: everything is at peace.

When you catch yourself worrying or getting stessed out, bring your mind back to the present moment.  Take a few deep and natural breaths, and focus on your body, your breathing, your heartbeat. In the here and now, there is nothing to worry about. When you begin to worry, focus your mind on something beautiful in the present moment; look out the window at nature, think about something that makes you laugh, think about someone that you love. Happiness and contentment come very easily when we give ourselves permission to exist in the present moment.

What does your inner critic say about you? In order to be happy, you must have a good relationship with your inner ‘self’, perhaps you call that ‘self’ your ego. Be aware of what you think about yourself.  When you criticize yourself, you bring your energy way out of alignment with happiness.  If you think negative things about yourself, then you are thinking in a way that suggests that you don’t feel you deserve happiness.  Don’t be an enemy to yourself, instead, be your own best friend.  Think, speak, and act towards yourself, the way that you would act towards someone you love very much. Look in the mirror. The person looking back is a person with feelings, who is vulnerable, who will flourish like a flower when watered by love. You must count yourself amongst the people in your life that you love.  Speak to yourself in the way that you would speak to your best friend. You wouldn’t criticize them, speak badly of them and be unsupportive of them, would you?  Of course not! So why do those things to yourself?

Every day, look in the mirror and say, ‘I love you.’ And really mean it.

Choose to focus on your good qualities and the things you like about yourself. Think about those instead of criticizing yourself. If you catch yourself thinking something critical about you, then you have to think three positive and genuine things that you love about yourself to balance up the scales of happiness (hey, I don’t make the rules!). To make the most of the happiness that the world has to offer you, you must also think happy about yourself.

It is scientifically proven that being kind to others, receiving kindness from others, and even watching people be kind to each other, is good for your health! To be happy, you must be kind. Perform an act of kindness every day. It need not be a massive gesture, kindness comes in many forms, and as little effort as it takes to smile at someone in the street can help them remember their own inner happiness. Take a moment to reflect on the kindnesses that you have performed, because, guess what?, even thinking about being kind is good for you! As you consciously make kindness a part of your life, happiness will follow. Kindness and happiness are siblings who do everything together.

A great way to make room in your heart for happiness is to practise forgiveness. Believe it or not, making mistakes in life is allowed! It may also surprise you to know that when you make a mistake, you are not obliged to replay it over and over in your mind and hang on to it for the rest of your life!

Forgive yourself. Don’t beat yourself up about things. It wastes your energy and does not help you to feel better. Unforgiveness actually prevents you from experiencing happiness! For more on this, see my post on forgiveness. Forgiving yourself allows you to move forward into a place of increased happiness as you let go of some emotional baggage.

If you feel yourself getting stressed, worked up, unhappy or angry about something in your life, that is ok.  Accept the emotion, forgive the emotion, and just breathe!  There are many mental, emotional and physical benefits achieved just from taking a nice, deep breath.  Breathing helps you to become calm, it allows more oxygen to your brain and brings you back into the present moment.  For a quick fix of happiness, no matter what is going on around you, just take a nice, deep breath, in through your nose, expanding your ribcage and your tummy as you do, and out through your mouth, visualizing all your stresses being expelled by your breath.  Repeat a few times, and feel calmness and happiness return.

The best way to bring happiness into your life is to be grateful for what you have that already makes you happy! When you get snuggled into your pyjamas and get warm under the duvet, take a few minutes to list the things in your life that you are grateful for. For more on this, see my post about gratitude. What are you grateful for today?

Until next week: Do one thing every day that makes you happy. Do it with gusto. Savour it. Enjoy it. Appreciate it.

Next Week: H is for Healing.

Come and gimme some love over at:

www.angellauren.com

www.facebook.com/laurenmedium

Get your daily love and happiness tweets @angellassie.

Advertisements

B is for ‘Books’: Spiritual Books that I Love!

These recommended books have made it on to my list for a variety of reasons. On this list you will find the amazing, the enlightening, and the downright life-changing! Love to read but not sure what to pick up next? If you passionately peruse the ‘mind, body & spirit’ section of your local bookstore then read on! These 20 books Magic Bookchanged my life and massively impacted my spiritual development and understanding in their own special way. It is with love and gratitude that I share them with you. Each of the titles are active links, click on them to find out more about these wonderful authors. Have you read a spiritual/self-help book that rocked your world? Let us know by clicking the comment bubble!

1. You Can Heal Your Life- Louise L. Hay.

Anything that I can say about this book will fall short of its true power. This is the seminal self help text. Louise’s work is the standard of love, giving, compassion and honesty that many of we writers in the genre aspire to. This book came to me when I was 21. I really needed some guidance as to how to be happy with myself and my life. I was in a place of fear and self-doubt and Louise’s guidance in You Can Heal Your Life snapped me out of it miraculously! I was delighted and honoured to finally meet Louise at I Can Do It- Glasgow in 2012. Over the years I have purchased 5 copies of this book, for various people in my life in their time of need. This book has united and re-united me with significant people in my life and most of all, has re-connected me with myself. Thank you Louise, you, your words and you philosophies are a game changer. Great for: Absolutely Everyone!

2. Seven Experiments That Could Change the World- Dr. Rupert Sheldrake.

My goodness, this book blew my mind. I feel such a sense of excitement when I come across a book that elegantly fuses spirituality and science. Dr Sheldrake does this effortlessly, intelligently and with feeling. Some of the highlights involve pigeons, dogs and telepathy. This book is a manifesto of the new and intuitively correct way of thinking that science and spirituality are co-creative friends and not enemies. He offers experiments with a ‘go ahead and try it, see for yourself!’ attitude, which is irresistible! Read it, it’s brilliant. Great for: Spiritual Scientists.

3. How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body- Dr David R. Hamilton.

Dr. Hamilton is my hero. He is a fellow Scot who has given me amazing advice (and has previously worked at my University!). This book is phenomenal. You will say ‘wow’ at some point when reading. His research into the placebo effect and the power of intention and visualization is fresh, evocative and exciting and the application of it has the potential to change the way we ‘think’ about wellness and treat dis-ease. Is your mind the most powerful medicine to ensure your wellness? Dr Hamilton and I think YES! and he expresses it beautifully. Great for: Anyone who wants to feel more empowered about their health.

4. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway- Susan Jeffers.

Susuan Jeffers’ most well known work is so simple and effective. It explains fear and how to move forward from it, through questions. Questions which cause the book to become a mirror in which the readers is reflected in all his or her glory. It is a wonderful technique. Read this book and know yourself better. Great for: Anyone about to take a leap!

5. Many Lives, Many Masters- Dr Brian Weiss.

The most compelling thing about this book is that it is written by a man who you cannot help but trust and believe. He is so intelligent and sincere. Dr. Weiss was having difficulty treating one of his patients who was suffering from debilitating fear. He tried hypnosis as a last desperate attempt to understand his patient- you will be shocked and inspired by what happens next. Let me put it like this, if you have never believed in life after death or reincarnation, prepare to think differently! Great for: Anyone who has experienced deja-vu.

6. The Prophet- Khalil Gibran.

I think Khalil Gibran channeled the words of this book/poem. The resonance of the words are so high that they seem to be of Spirit. I won’t spoil it for you. Run a bath, light some candles and read it. Put it away for a day, then get it out and read it again. You’ll be moved. Great for: Lovers of Philosophy and Poetry.

7. The Road Less Travelled- M. Scott Peck.

An extremely interesting look into the human psyche, outlooks and behaviours. With anecdotes, brave comments and case studies. Although it is never expressed directly, this book has a very strong spiritual and loving vein running through it. This book is an excellent read which makes psychology and psychiatry an artform. Great for: Armchair Psychiartists.

8. Teen Witch- Silver RavenWolf.

I got this book when I was 15. When I decided to include it in this list, I had to search for it online to remind myself of the cover art. As soon as I saw the cover design, it was like looking into a box of photos and memories from my childhood: many emotions and feelings came rushing back. Teen Witch was the first book about spirituality that I ever read! This book is an introduction to magick for young people. It focuses significantly on nature, the earth and empowerment and that’s why I love it. This book really got me started on a spiritual path and I highly recommend it to any young person who has an interest in wicca or spirituality. Great for: Young Wiccans and Mother Earth lovers.

9. Ask and It Is Given- Esther & Jerry (Abraham) Hicks.

Want to know what is at the core of the Law of Attraction? Get this book. Esther Hicks channels the wisdom of Abraham to explain how Attraction works on a vibrational and energetic level. This book is not an easy read but stick with it, when you get familiar with the ideas, it will have a profound and empowering impact on you. Great for: The Law of Attraction.

10. A Course in Miracles- Dr. Helen Schucman

I am about half way through reading this book, at the time of writing this. Every sentence in ‘A Course in Miracles’ gives me the chills because it is so true, so inspiring and resonates so deeply. Great for: Remembering your God connection. (What could be greater?).

11. The Young Person’s Happiness Handbook- by Me!

I still cannot quite believe that my first book is due out in April! The process of devising and writing this book has been such an amazing experience for me that it had to go on the list! This book is a smart and savvy self-help guide for young people. The focus is on navigating the challenges and achievements of a young adult life with love, awareness, spirituality and humour. I have written the book that I wish someone had written for me when I was 18! Stay tuned for launch date confirmation and your chance to win a free copy! Great for: The young in body and young in spirit!

12. The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho

A wonderful parable and beautiful story. This book has two personalities: The Alchemist before you know the ending, and The Alchemist the second time around! Great for: All you dreamers and mystics!

13. Eat Pray Love- Elizabeth Gilbert.

I laughed, cried and rejoiced along with Liz in this beautiful travel/docu/novel. Liz’s literal and spiritual journey is a whirlwind of beauty, bravery and feeling that many readers will relate to. She writes candidly and insightfully. Julia Roberts plays Liz in the movie adaptation, which I enjoyed, but the book is really something special. Great for: Anyone who has experienced heartbreak.

14. The Lightworker’s Way- Dr. Doreen Virtue.

This is one of Dr Virtue’s earliest works which utilizes a mix of her life experiences, spiritual philosophies and good old love and support to reach out to the ‘Lightworker’ in every reader. Want to see yourself in a more powerful and loving way? You will when you discover the Lightworker within with the help of Dr. Virtue. Great for: Improving low self esteem.

15. Tao Te Ching- Lao Tzu (interpretation by Dr. Wayne Dyer).

One of the oldest books in the world (not my exact copy, it was printed in 2012!) but the messages contained within are timeless. There are some famous phrases in the Tao Te Ching that really stop a racing mind in its tracks and gives it something nutritious to eat. Read it slowly and mull it over. Great for: The deeply philosophical.

16. The Shack- William P. Young.

This is a wonderful and (true?) story about a man who receives an explanation from God about the ‘why’ behind his personal suffering. Get the tissues at the ready and read from the heart. Great for: Opening the mind and heart.

17. Freedom From the Known- Jiddu Krishnamurti.

A clear thinker and wonderfully insightful, spiritual being gives insight about releasing fear and embracing love and self-knowledge. Think you know about love, passion, knowledge, violence and change? This book will enrich your thinking, and if you allow it, your way of living. Great for: Anyone who desires a new or deeper spiritual understanding.

18. Intuitive Studies- Gordon Smith.

I have read A LOT of books about developing mediumship. This book is the most recent I have read, and the best. Gordon Smith is wise, caring and fearless in his explanation and direction for anyone who wants to improve their connection to God and the Spirit world. I have been a medium for 10 years, and I learned so much from this book. Whether you are brand new to mediumship or are looking to approach your mediumship from a fresh, real and enlightened place, read this book, it’s brilliant. Great for: Mediums old and new!

19. Paradise Lost- John Milton.

It may surprise you that Paradise Lost has made it on to this list! It is a formidable force of a poem, and apart from its religious content, you may not think of it as being a very spiritual book. I approached this poem through my University degree, but I had been certificated as an Angel Therapy Practitioner for 3 years already! Having the opportunity to meet the Archangels in a completely different context really helped me to understand them better, it helped me to understand how other people might think about the Angels, and it allowed me to appreciate how the Archangels can assist us in ways that I hadn’t considered before! Paradise Lost is not an easy read, but it is well worth it. The descriptions of the layers of spiritual realms is really insightful and the Angel imagery featured I definitely feel manifested in Milton’s imagination from the Angels themselves. Read it and see. Great for: Those who enjoy a challenging read.

20. Looking Back- Arthur Findlay.

I have a very special place in my heart for J. Arthur Findlay. He is considered one of the most influential men in Spiritualism, and he lived in my hometown, a tiny town in Scotland. Arthur Findlay is best known for donating his absolutely beautiful stately home in Stansted, England, to the study, discovery, development and proving of psychic and mediumistic phenomena. His home is now known as ‘Arthur Findlay College’, where I spent a very happy week obtaining advanced training in mediumship. ‘Looking Back’ is Arthur Findlay’s autobiography which charts his remarkable journey from layman to Spiritualist, through the words of a clever, sceptical and scientific mind. Looking Back is a great read. It is a big thick book, but it’s exciting and interesting so you’ll get through it in no time! Great for: The open-minded sceptic.

I am sure that you will enjoy these recommendations. Read any of these books? Loved them? Didn’t love them? Got recommendations of your own for Spiritual readers? Please share your knowledge in a comment!

click, circle, click to comment, comment

This week, treat yourself to some alone time reading for pleasure.

Next Week: C is for ‘Children’.

Come on over and give me some love at:

www.angellauren.com

www.facebook.com/laurenmedium

Tweet me some inspiration and positivity, I love you and appreciate your tweets! Here—-> @angellassie

B is for ‘Belief’: A Quick Guide to Vanquishing Your Limiting Beliefs.

We have all experienced the debilitating force of limiting beliefs, the most damaging of all being: ‘I can’t…’.

I hold an uncommon view about how the relationship between belief and knowledge comes to shape reality.  According to what I know spiritually, the belief/knowledge interaction is co-creative and co-dependent. Our beliefs are just as important as conceptual knowledge, and each informs the other.  Our reality is constructed from a dense and complicated web of beliefs and knowledge. Beliefs are powerful because they inform our words and actions, this is particularly so of the beliefs we hold about ourselves. We can harness the power of belief to create wonderful opportunities in our lives, but in order to do so, we have to learn to vanquish the beliefs that we hold that limit us. The following points are some things to consider when choosing what to believe…

Belief and knowledge are not separate things:

Without belief, knowledge would not exist. Everything that we know began somewhere, sometime, as a belief, a hunch, an abstract idea floating on the ether. Belief is the acorn from which the Oak of knowledge grows. oak tree

Albert Einstein famously said, ‘There is no logical way to the discovery of elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling of the order lying behind the appearance.’- Thank you Albie, they don’t call you Einstein for nothing! In order for a scientist to discover knowledge, the direction of study must be influenced by something.  The scientist must believe that their study is heading off in the right direction, so his/her intuitive belief is the foundation for whatever knowledge is discovered. See what else I have to say about scientists in this post.

‘I believe that the Earth revolves around the Sun.’  This belief fuelled study, expermentation and, importantly, determination, to find what can be known about the Sun and the Earth.  Without belief, without the sense that something will be proved, there is no direction or momentum towards knowledge. Considering this, it seems to me that the power of belief should get a little more respect than it does.  Einstein knew that beliefs are what propel us towards knowledge.  Without belief, we could prove or demonstrate no knowledge- we wouldn’t know where to start.  Think about it.  Most of the information that we consider to be true knowledge started off as a hunch, a belief, an intuition in the mind of a scientist, philosopher or mathematician.

Belief is as ‘real’ as knowledge:

Allegedly, the thing that makes knowledge better than belief is it’s relationship to truth.  When we have knowledge about something, when it is ‘known’ then it has to be true.  I disagree with this on most, but not all, distinctions between belief and knowledge- and my beef is with truth.

What is truth? Say, you and I are both looking at a colour. I say it’s green, you say it’s blue. Who is telling the truth? The colour cannot be both green and blue, but surely it is either green or blue.  Someone has to be wrong- or the concept of truth is wrong. If I see green from my subjective perspective then that is 100% true to me. If you see blue, that is 100% true to you, based on a lifetime of empirical information gathered from seeing that colour and others.  So with the exception of a priori truths (check me out, getting my philosophy lingo on!) it seems like the concept of truth necessary to engender knowledge actually looks suspiciously like a belief. I am not suggesting that knowledge is not true. I am suggesting that under some circumstances, beliefs deserve as much of a truth-bearing status as knowledge.

What can we really say is 'true' about this image?

What can we really say is ‘true’ about this image?

Belief and knowledge are equally real in that they both shape our reality. What we believe informs our conversations, actions, reactions, passions, emotions etc. What we believe shapes every part of how we act in our lives and that action occurs in reality. Belief and knowledge are synergetic- what we believe becomes what we do becomes what we know becomes what we believe and so on.  Albert Einstein said that, ‘The only source of knowledge is experience.’…and the experiences we have are caused by our beliefs.

We ought to monitor our beliefs and ask ‘why do I believe this?’:

Your beliefs hold the key to your actions, interactions and transactions. Making the effort to understand, edit, reflect upon and choose what to believe will change your life.  This is especially true with regards to your beliefs about yourself. The insignificance currently attributed to beliefs (especially in the realms of science and philosophy) allows them to sneak in the back door of our consciousness without us noticing. Beliefs take hold in our consciousness and begin to colour the way we understand ourselves and our life experience, often without us realizing that it’s going on!

Who gave you the beliefs you hold? Have you questioned them and thought them through? When you really consider it, how much do your beliefs about yourself shape the way you act in the world? Are you happy with that? Could you believe something different about yourself that would influence and cause a better life experience for you? For more on ‘what you believe is what you receive’ see this post.

I am very interested to read your thoughts about beliefs. Have you ever believed something and then radically changed

Your beliefs shape your reality.

Your beliefs shape your reality.

your mind? Do you feel like your beliefs are fluid or fixed? What do you believe about yourself right now? Do you notice any difference between what you believe and what you know, when it comes to the shaping and formation of your life?

Until next time, I want you to stand toe-to-toe with a limiting belief that you hold about yourself. See it in your mind and visualize it vaporizing. For one week (and forever!) replace that belief with a positive, loving and empowering belief about yourself and see what happens to your life. Then try and tell me that belief is less true and less important than knowledge!

Have a great week, and keep knowing what you believe and believing what you know!

I welcome your comments and questions!

click, circle, click to comment, comment

Next Week: B is for Books.

Come and gimme some love over at:

www.angellauren.com

www.facebook.com/laurenmedium

Get your daily dose of love and positivity from me on Twitter @angellassie