I baked a new recipe this week and took a photo of its shiny, sticky, inviting self. It’s from my favourite recipe blog http://www.alicebakesacake.blogspot.com.au. I shared it with friends. Today I look at the last two slices, thinking about the sweetness combined with sour; the subtle notes of cardamon and freshly made coffee. Pomegranate molasses gives a sharp lemon flavour, complimenting the dark sweetness of dates and soft brown sugar. Kind of like life. The sweet and the sour, with coffee our constant companion.
Sweet and sour. Positive and negative. Yin and Yang. Love and loss. Happiness and grief. Life is spiced by the existence of eternally opposing forces. Abraham-Hicks calls it ‘contrast.’ Every human being experiences contrast; the light and dark of life. They are both temporary, and we do have choices. We can choose to think about what we want in life and hold to those thoughts, no matter the ‘reality’ of events as they appear to be. It’s what all the great teachers tell us.
Louise Hay says, ‘It is only a thought, and a thought can be changed.’
You might say in response, ‘Well, that’s no help. Look at my bank balance! How can I feel happy about no money when the rent’s due?’
Byron Katy might then respond to your fears with ‘Is it true?’ You might reply ‘Yes!’ Or you might say ‘No. I get paid tomorrow.’ Whatever your fears, Byron’s process of examining thoughts, helps you to see the illusions that fear imposes on your life.
There are people who see that their bank balance is zero and the rent is due at the end of the week, but they remain optimistic that ‘something always turns up.’ And for them it does. Mostly. Not in the way you might think, but in ways you might never have been able to imagine. My stepfather was one of those people. He never had much money, but he always had enough. He was content and enjoyed life with cheerfulness. ‘Don’t worry, something always turns up,’ he’d say. Life works in mysterious ways if you just get into the feeling of what you want.
Have you ever had a bad day when everything seemed to go wrong? We all have them. But were you aware of your thoughts and emotions at the time? Were you feeling an undercurrent of anger, or disappointment, or anxiety? Were you attracting more of the same?
Louise Hay tells us, ‘The thoughts that you choose to think and believe right now are creating your future. These thoughts form your experiences tomorrow, next week, and next year. Make your thoughts good ones.’
Wayne Dyer says, ‘With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.’
In their book The Law of Attraction, Abraham-Hicks say ‘It is not necessary for you to monitor your thoughts. Simply be sensitive to the way you are feeling, and anytime you feel negative emotion, recognise that you are – in the moment of that feeling – miscreating. In the moment of that negative feeling, you are thinking a thought of something you do not want, thereby attracting the essence of it into your experience. Creation is the process of attraction; when you think a thought, you attract the subject of your thought.’
I had a defining moment of choosing my thoughts when my husband Terry was dying of pancreatic cancer. I talk of it in my memoir A Wind from the East because of the intensity of my emotions at the time. I realised I could swing up or down, but the choice was squarely mine. In a letter to Terry, I wrote:
‘Months before you died, I surprised myself with a conscious choice about emotions. You were lying in hospital, and I knew I could never tell you about it. I had arrived home alone to our new house at night for the first time. No Adam, or Abbie, or Poppy. Outside on the terrace, I worked a key into a lock, feeling apprehension, but not of intruders – or loneliness. I slid back the glass door to black spaciousness and silence.
This is how it will be when Terry’s gone. How will I live here alone?
A dull weight similar to depression swamped me on the threshold as I listened to the unfamiliar stillness of our new house and breathed its different smells. An image of you dying flashed in my mind, and my emotions could have plummeted further, but it was a moment of choice, and I did not want darkness.
In the heartbeat before stepping through the door, I chose to sing the house to me. A disembodied high note reverberated through the space as I stepped inside. I gave no thought to what I was singing. My voice flowed with an instinctual note, followed by others, bathing the house with melody. It was not like anything I had heard before, but it flew straight from the heart, making me lighter and safer. I had claimed my home, and it had accepted me.’ Chapter 18, A Wind from the East.
There is a lot of beauty and fun in life. You can choose to see it, or not. We might have to break old habits of thinking, but anything is possible.
A Wind from the East is available at http://www.wendydartnall.com,
http://www.readings.com.au, and independent book stores.