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So I decided to steer clear of the LOA in my comments, and I talked about what I think most people really are looking for -- they just want to feel better. Even if I'm feeling great I still want to feel better, just for the sake of feeling better. At the same time, I don't want to avoid the low feelings either. I find that avoiding them tends to exacerbate them. As is the case with all feelings, I think the important thing is to just feel them and let them pass through.
That was the first suggestion I had in my talk yesterday. I've found this paradox to be true about changing my feelings: The best way to change my feelings is to stop trying to change my feelings. I've learned a lot of techniques over the years that are about trying to change my feelings. Positive thinking strategies, cognitive re-framing, releasing, primal scream, etc. While they may have provided some relief, I ultimately stopped practicing them because it seemed that the feelings I was trying to change came back with a vengeance. I've come to see that if I just let my feelings be, that they change on their own. No drama, no story, just clouds moving through. As a result I've stopped resisting and avoiding feelings that I used to call negative feelings. Feelings are just feelings, they're neither positive or negative.
Another thing I've learned more recently is that my feelings are a manifestation of the interplay between thought and consciousness. Consciousness has infinite levels, and those levels take form as the quality of my thinking. My feelings arise from that. They reflect how contracted or expanded my consciousness is, and they also reveal the quality of my thinking in that moment. Sometimes just seeing that at work is enough to shift my emotional state. My feelings appear to be most affected by what I'm paying attention to, and my thoughts about that. Before you tell me that changing my thinking is the way to solve that "problem", let me say I don't see my feelings as a problem, nor do I find that changing my thinking works very well because it's just more thinking.
What I have found is that I'm most at ease, and I feel the best when my attention shifts away from my thinking and the world of form, and rests in the presence within which all of the rest appears. The reason that things like taking walks, or doing yoga, or meditating, or doing mundane repetitive tasks help us to get into a more calm state of mind is that in the midst of those activities our thinking slows down. Sometimes it stops altogether, and all that's left is pure presence. That presence is the source of all our healing and well being, and wisdom, and freedom, and creativity. It's always here, and it takes no effort to find. In fact, effort usually draws our attention away from it. As you rest in this presence your feelings will sort themselves out just fine.
This experience isn't reserved for enlightened people. We all have moments of this every day. What we don't understand or recognize is that this presence is all we are ever looking for. Try as we might to change our feelings by changing our circumstances, all we ever needed to do was stop, let our minds settle, and let our consciousness rest in presence. Within each of us is this beyond infinite source of peace and insight.
At Unity we end each service with this affirmation:
The light of God surrounds us
The love of God enfolds us
The power of God protects us
The presence of God watches over us
Wherever we are, God is, and all is well
Within the presence, all is well. No matter what is happening in the world. May our vibration continue to rise from that.