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Kiss the Frog: Creating happiness through the power of appreciation

The fear of being stuck with happiness

Everybody wants to be happy.

Even though we all want to be happy in theory, we don’t always give ourselves permission.

Why would we do that? Because happiness is considered to be dangerous.

Although every one wants to feel good, we fear that being happy will pacify us and ultimately destroy us.

Unhappiness is like an abusive lover that we’re afraid to leave because we don’t believe in our ability to get through life successfully without having him in our lives.

We’re afraid to love our lives as they are because we fear being stuck with an unwanted condition.

If we allow ourselves to be happy NOW, even though we have some things going on that we don’t like, we fear we might become complacent.

To many people, being happy no matter what sounds identical to settling for less. On the surface, it seems so much more responsible to analyze what’s wrong than to appreciate what’s right.

Appreciation might be the moral thing to do, but who wants to get stuck with a mediocre life? So we dismiss appreciation as a waste of time and dive right into the bad stuff. After all, that’s what we’re trying to get rid of, right? So WHY NOT focus more on the bad stuff?

Rethinking the concept of appreciation

 
Well, contrary to popular belief, appreciation is not just an act of maturity. It’s an act of creativity. When we highlight and emphasize what’s good about our lives, we ascend to a level of consciousness that empowers us to create more of the same.

There are some who would have you believe that you shouldn’t be happy as long as there are things wrong with your life or the world. This idea is based on the notion that happiness is just a fleeting emotional sensation. At its deepest level, however, Joy is a creative force. When you feel good, you are in alignment with the very energy that creates worlds. And no state of being is more powerful or productive than that.

Waiting for your life to improve before you choose to be happy would be like the princess waiting for the frog to turn into a prince BEFORE she kissed it. It doesn’t work that way. At some point you just gotta pucker up and love all the ugly aspects of your life. Because you enjoy kissing frogs? No! Because your prince is trapped inside of there and you’re not going to let “being grossed out” keep you separate from him.

But you’ve gotta kiss the frog FIRST.

“I aint kissing that bleeping frog”, you may be thinking.

Well you don’t get to see the prince of your dreams until you chuck it up and kiss that ugly thing sitting over there.

“I’ll really live life once it becomes lovable” we think. But you have to love your life until it becomes livable.

That’s what tough-minded optimism is all about!

What are your thoughts?

Cheers 🙂

T.K. Coleman

The unwanted is the underestimated in disguise Pt 2

I ended my last post (click here to read) by mentioning the power we have to promote problematic people and situations to a more useful function in life through the making of slight adjustments in perspective. Let’s continue following that train of thought.

The power of the processing process

 
You are free to be my enemy. I cannot control your freedom of choice with my thoughts. But I am free to process my personal experience of you in whatever manner I choose and it is this choice, alone, which determines my fate in life.

What is often left out of most discussions on dealing with unwanted people and conditions, is the sovereignty we maintain in how we “process” our experiences. “Processing” refers to a set of activities which include interpreting what a given event  means, assessing the value it has, determining what its relationship is to other elements in one’s life, and deciding what kind of response best fits the situation.

Understanding the options available to us in the “processing process” is the key to realizing the limitless extent of our creative power. More specifically, in this context, “processing” is the primary tool we use to maintain the control necessary to alchemize the personal and circumstantial enemies in our lives.

The coat of many colors

In the Book of Genesis, we are told the story of Joseph, the boy who wore the coat of many colors. As a child, his heart was filled with many wonderful dreams. But his brothers envied him and sold him into slavery. They stripped him of his prize coat, poured the blood of an animal over it, and concocted a story of how he’d been killed by a wild beast.

While most people would have been emotionally and spiritually defeated by such a cruel act of betrayal, Joseph kept his focus on well-being. Joseph had been stripped of his material coat, but that was only a temporary outer symbol of his inward ability to colorfully clothe the unwanted conditions of his life with creative thinking.

The energy of his positive focus radiated throughout the Universe and attracted a sequence of seemingly miraculous events which culminated in him becoming a great ruler. At a later time, when his brothers apologized, Joseph said to them;

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Joseph understood this great principle of thinking in harmony with the laws of well-being.

Affirming autonomy in the face of adversity

This philosophy is not a matter of letting people run over us. Nor is it a lesson which promises that we will be loved by all people.

This is a powerful dosage of esoteric wisdom which reminds us of the divinely endowed ability we have to transform our reality through the creative power of thought.

When we affirm autonomy in the face of adversity; and confess order in the presence of opposition, then we summon only those qualities from others that find agreement with our harmonious thoughts.

In this way, we “please the Lord.” When we “please the Lord”, those people, places, and conditions which once seemed to work against us will take on a new function. Though they may swear against our joy, they will be the very instruments by which that joy is obtained.

There’s an old saying “if you can’t beat them, join them.” Well, the reverse is also true. If someone can’t beat you, then they must join you. If you let no one defeat your joy, then they must become a contributor to your joy, whether they know that’s what they’re doing or not.

That’s just how powerful you are when you think in harmony with the Divine Order that exists at the very center of your being.

That’s my two cents. How do you intend to invest that?

T.K. Coleman

I tap the Source of all blessings

“When we first focus our thoughts and energies on life’s highest purpose, there follow the most efficacious earthly consequences. It is only when we tap The Source of all blessings that blessings become the lot of mankind. ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.’ 
 
Once we have our fundamental principles straight; once we have brought ourselves into harmony with Divine Providence; then, our social problems untangle and the way to individual growth, evolution, emergence becomes clear. Life and liberty unobstructed by man, yes! But there is more, for in seeking to realize life’s highest purpose lies the pursuit of happiness. We are truly happy only when we are in a perpetual state of hatching, our own consciousness opening to Infinite Consciousness.”
 
-Leonard Read, founder of the Foundation for Economic Education
 

Is it possible to live above life’s turmoil? To be IN the world but not feel dominated BY the world? To fully engage the whole of life without self-compromise? To do work one feels called to do and be of meaningful service to society? To love AND be loved? To know power as an innate quality and creativity as a birthright? To face fears with a sense that there’s a Divine Spark within us that can never be extinguished?

In this moment, let us center our awareness in a consciousness of the Divine Reality. Let us affirm that  our being is rooted in God’s being and only that which is expressive of Infinite Good has place in our lives. As we invite the energy of compassion and creativity to be our constant companions, the floodgates of peace and prosperity are opened mightily in every direction.

From this place of centered awareness, affirm with me:

I live, move, and have my being in a Boundless Ocean of peace, possibility, and prosperity. The Living Waters of Infinite Good are flowing through me now and my soul is refreshed. I am riding the waves of Spirit as I joyfully surf along this powerful Stream of Well-Being!

Today I open my heart to the endless bounty and infinite beauty of this magnificent Universe. I join hands with the forces of good and through this connection I am empowered to create, encouraged to love, and excited to live.

I bless every APPEARANCE of lack and conflict in my life, for they are not here to harm me. They are wonderful teachers and delightful gifts. They are here to teach me how to look beyond the APPEARANCE of things into the spiritual REALITY of Unconditional Love that lies behind all. As my vision of this REALITY intensifies, I draw more of its energy into my experience.

All is love. My heart is open. There are no threats. All is well. Behind the appearances of chaos, confusion, and conflict is the unchanging and invincible reality of Infinite Peace.

I choose to live in this realm of unquantifiable abundance & unlimited wellness! I look beyond all forms and manifestations towards the limitless potential of Unmanifest Being.

My attachment to outcomes is now released as I place my faith in that which is beyond my ideas and expectations.

It is so and so it is!

T.K. Coleman

Evidence is overrated: It’s not what you can show, it’s what you know

You can’t prove the existence of a headache, but it still hurts

Some facts can be known, but not shown. Anyone who’s ever followed a court case knows this all too well, but this is also true of everyday life.

If you have a headache, there’s no way you can prove it to me. A headache, by definition, is a subjectively experienced sensation of pain. I can take your word for it that you have one, but I can’t know for sure since I don’t actually feel the pain in YOUR head. Even if your eyes were bloodshot red and tears were pouring out as you clutched a bottle of Tylenol, I could still choose to remain unpersuaded. You might be acting in an overdramatic manner. There are other possible reasons for why you could be exhibiting those symptoms. Who knows for certain?

But here’s the important part; Even though I am capable of remaining skeptical about your alleged headache experience, YOU still have a very good reason for believing it. After all, arguments aside, you have a direct experience of the headache. My skepticism doesn’t undermine the rationality of what you accept as true.

We’ve all been in situations where we knew we knew something, but we just couldn’t explain it. Then we see someone else who’s better at illustrating things come along and makes it as plain as day. Why is that? Because knowing and showing aren’t the same thing.

Knowing versus showing

To know something means you have a personal awareness of it through direct experience.

To show something means you have the ability to offer a presentation that will convince others of what you know.

Knowing is an internal state.

Showing is a skill.

Here’s my two cents on knowing and showing:

The inability to show others what you know does not negate the validity of what you think, feel, and believe.
 

Your life is not a game of show and tell

Some people in this world will try to make you feel as if you’re silly, naive, and uninformed simply because you can’t answer their tough questions or refute their skeptical claims. They don’t feel you have a right to believe what you believe if they are unconvinced by your convictions.

I’m here to say that you don’t owe these people an explanation or proof of any kind.

Your personal philosophy of life is not determined by a jury vote. You get to choose your own way of thinking regardless of anyone else’s opinions. Evidence is important when it comes to finding what resonates with you in your own pursuit of truth, but it is grossly overrated in relationship to other people’s need to approve of what you think.

The quality of your life is not determined by other people’s opinions, but by your opinions. Their opinions have no relevance at all until you form an opinion that it does.

Since the benefits and consequences of your beliefs are most fully experienced by you, then you, and you alone, are the one who needs to be convinced.

Anyone else can have a piece of my two cents.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

Perkiness & positivity are two different things

I have a pet peeve.

Well, it’s not really a pet peeve because I find it far more amusing than annoying. So let’s just call it an observation.

Here it is:

Whenever I’m in deep thought, someone always asks me “Is everything okay?”

The positive philosopher and the sad singer

Those who are closest to me know that my one of my most cherished pastimes is the process of wrestling with a challenging philosophical conundrum. I routinely toss around paradoxes and riddles in my head throughout the day to keep myself entertained. If you catch me in the middle of one of these thought experiments, you’d see that my problem-solving game face can be quite intense. These moments, however, are among my times of greatest joy.

But, as much joy as I derive from serious in-depth contemplation, someone always checks in on my emotional health whenever my game face goes on. Here’s the funny thing; I love to sing too. I also walk around singing as much as I walk around thinking. Sometimes I’m in a horrible mood and am singing the saddest of songs, but people usually assume the exact opposite during those moments. “Wow, you’re really happy” a woman said to me, once, as I sadly strolled along singing “One Last Cry” by Brian Mcknight .

There’s no happiness like showbiz happiness

The association of seriousness with sadness and perkiness with positivity is highly understandable. I totally get it.

It does, however,  prompt me to make an important point about optimism and happiness:

When many people think of being positive and happy, they are referring to what I call “showbiz happiness.”

Showbiz happiness is when you walk around with a big grin on your face looking like you’re ready to break out into a tap dance routine or give everyone you see a hug.

There are people who express their happiness in the showbiz way and that’s quite a fine thing. But others question their capacity to be happy and positive because they don’t walk around whistling all the time. There are even some who shy away from any efforts at becoming more positive because they fear it will turn them into a one-dimensional “turn your frown upside down” cheesy clown character who annoys all of their friends.

Well, for all of you who’ve ever wanted to be more optimistic, but feared that positivity wasn’t for you, I’m offering you these two cents:

Being perky and being positive are two different things.

Optimism is diverse and happiness is multi-dimensional

Not all people who are perky are positive. Some of them have just had too much espresso.

Not all people who are positive are perky.

A positive person is simply someone who maintains a commitment to doing the best they can with the cards they’ve been dealt. 

 Some optimist are highly energetic, but some are very laid back, mellow, easy-going people who are at peace with themselves even though they have no interest in giving you a hug.

You don’t have to smile to feel satisfied

A psychological state is different from the facial expressions, tones of voice, and physical mannerisms various people use to express themselves. Words like “happiness” and “positivity”, ultimately refer to psychological states.

You don’t have to fit into a cookie cutter behavorial mold in order to live joyously. You don’t have to become a stereotype. In fact, by making an effort to be more optimistic, you’ll be pleased to find a more full version of your personality available to you.

You have a right to be happy and healthy. The opportunity to develop a positive psychology and live an extraordinary life is a real option for you.

So don’t count yourself out just because you don’t have a perky personality.

At least that’s my two cents.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

P.S.

By the way, for all you perky folks, I’d still appreciate it if you check to make sure I’m okay when you see me looking serious. You never know when I could use an uplifting word of encouragement or, better still, a good laugh.
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