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The Behind-the-Scenes Work for Happiness

Use your imagination to change your emotional setpoint

As a metaphysical life coach, I help people retrain their subconscious to attract what they want into their lives. To do this, I leverage different techniques depending on the client. Changing beliefs is a constant thread, as our beliefs affect our thoughts, emotions and actions which determine the road ahead and create reality.

Rarely is the process simple: “I just changed my beliefs and — poof! — I now have everything I have ever wanted!” It’s not just a matter of thinking in a certain way. Thinking new, empowering thoughts doesn’t do jack, unless these thoughts generate feelings. And the feelings the thoughts generate must be felt so deeply, that they create change on a cellular level. Otherwise, we’re like a thermostat set on the wrong temperature: We can go back a million times and readjust it, but if the setpoint is not changed, it’s going to revert back to its programming. People determined to change go through this laborious process: They decide to think in a certain way, but still have to be constantly vigilant, relentlessly guarding their thoughts and redirecting their focus. It’s important to do this — it’s key and it works — but a complete reprogramming of the emotional body needs to happen so we can live our lives not a guardsman, but as free, flowing, happy human beings.

A Story About Timmy
I once heard a story from Erin Pizzey, who in 1971 founded the first women’s shelter in Chiswick, England. Battered and abused women and children from all around the world were welcomed into the shelter for refuge until they could be housed by the council. Women and children floated into the chaotic shelter day and night, its tight confines filled to capacity with damaged women and crying children who needed a lot of therapy and help. They spread Salvation Army mattresses across the floors, allowing the mothers to line up against the walls with their heads to their knees to make room for the children. One mother and her son (I think his name was Timmy) had left their abusive home and sought refuge in the shelter. Timmy and his mother were fortunate enough to leave the shelter, having got housing by the council. They moved to a peaceful, quiet, calm place, probably on the countryside of England. A dream come true. But Timmy died. He got struck by a car while playing “chicken” in the street, a game in which you lie in the road as cars race by. As Erin explained it, they gave Timmy peace when he wasn’t ready for peace.

Even though the new situation provided what it seemed Timmy needed, he still sought out the chaos and danger reminiscent of his background. Staying in the overcrowded, chaotic shelter would have likely been better for him, as it was an improvement — yet not too much of a departure — from his original turbulent environment. Even though the circumstances had considerably changed when Timmy got a peaceful new home, it didn’t matter because Timmy took himself and his emotional body with him. Thus, he attracted into his experience what he knew — he attracted into his experience who he was.

Returning to the scene of the crime.
Though behavior may not appear to be logical, it’s psychological because there’s a logic to the psyche. Timmy’s story reflects what adults do all the time: We leave an abusive parent only to find an abusive partner; we escape a competitive family environment and enter a cut-throat office culture; we’re taught that whatever we do isn’t good enough, and then populate our lives with impossible-to-please people. Some suggest we replicate such scenarios or “return to the scene of the crime” because we want a re-do — the chance to make right what had happened before. Thus, we perform in the same “play” with similar characters but a different cast.

In addition to perhaps wanting to make things right, we return to these scenarios because we’re comfortable with them. We’ve played the parts before — they’re our identity and as such count as pure self-expression. No matter how much we hear we need to tell ourselves “a new story,” our emotional bodies are hardwired to repeat patterns of behavior. Our cells crave the energy they’re used to, just as we can get addicted to poisonous substances. In Timmy’s case, the possibility of the cars hitting him, overpowering him, intimidating him, and crushing him perhaps alluded to his turbulent, abusive background. Lying in the street and courting danger may have created the emotions within him that he knew. Emotions prove that we’re alive, that we exist; but if we don’t create new emotions, we’ll just recreate the emotions that are familiar in order to live and exist.

We don’t just lick it up off the floor
No adult winds up in disadvantageous situation that doesn’t hearken back to some unresolved trauma. Likewise, we can’t experience happy, exhilarating emotional experiences until they’re perceivable internally. It all comes from within us. Empowered decision-making is obviously important, but for permanent change, we need to use our imaginations. Since our logical mind can only perceive that which has been achieved before, our imaginations are what allow us to create what has not yet been experienced.

Imagination and emotion: the keys to creation
In leveraging our imagination, we can tap into other worlds not yet experienced. While imagining what it would be like to be in the desired state, emotions are conjured up that make us feel a certain way. It’s the emotional state achieved when we’re imagining what we want that needs to become normalized. In consistently feeling as if our desires have already been achieved, we change our emotional body. We change our cells. We change the way we think, feel and act. To do this permanently without the need for constant reminders and readjustments, it requires a firm, decisive decision to determine who you are, which is who you want to be.

Since there may be not be immediate tangible evidence to prove the new identity, you must trust what you feel. Thus, who you are is who you feel like you are. To change yourself (i.e., your emotional body) surrender to the imagination while at the same time going about your life like you normally would — except feeling differently. The new feeling state has to feel normal and it will only feel normal when you’re moving through life naturally in the feeling state desired. In doing this, you will change your emotional body. Emotion is energy in motion, and motion creates the self.

Break in the new jeans before the party
So we use our imagination to conjure up the desired feeling state and off we go? Yes, ideally. But like a new a pair of jeans, before you can dance, show off and feel amazing in them, it will help to break them in first behind the scenes. Try on your new emotions. Get acquainted with them by spending some quality time in the imagination.

One way to activate the imagination and acclimating to the feeling-state desired is by asking yourself questions. Questions trigger a mental reflex: If the conscious mind cannot find the answer, it’s temporarily suspended as the subconscious searches for it. Such “possibility thinking” opens the door to perceiving what has not yet been achieved, experiencing emotionally what has not yet been experienced. In doing this, you introduce new, better-feeling states to your mind and emotional body.

For instance, you could ask yourself “What would it look like if I met the love of my life?” “What if I were independently wealthy?” “What if I had everything I wanted?” When asking yourself these questions, allow your thoughts to fall away and surrender to the energy you feel in your chest. Let these feelings wash over you. Be loyal to these feelings and walk around, moving like you would move in that desired reality. Try it now, if you can….

Imagine the experience of having what you desire. You may feel more lightness in your chest. Walking, you may notice your posture rise as you naturally open your heart out more. You may feel a smile spread across your face, the tension in your neck loosening up. Take time to communicate with your body in this new state of awareness. Talk to your toes. Notice how they feel differently — tell them to feel differently — and feel them tingle in this new state. Note the feeling of the cells changing in your feet, calves, legs, all the way up your body, through your chakras. Feel your energy adapt to the new state. Go through this process as much as you like. Acclimate yourself to existing in the emotional body that’s attuned to the reality you desire.

In time, you will be able to really tolerate the good feelings. Then you’ll be able to accept the good feelings, trust the good feelings, and act like you trust the good feelings. Keep doing this and your new emotional state of awareness will be so familiar, that you will feel new. Before you know it, you will have changed your emotional body on a deep cellular level. You will have tapped into not only another version of yourself, but another reality in which what you have always wanted has been waiting for you to dream it up all along.

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