Today’s angel message reminded me of a dialogue I had long ago with Amma Karuanamayi, a Hindu incarnation of Divine Mother and a living saint. I was in awe of how she kept her energy so strong with day after day of seeing hundreds of people for countless hours, hearing all their pain and problems, and seeing them only through God’s eyes. “Baby,” she said, “in the sweetest voice, “You must meditate. Then you will become an eternal spring.”

While I rarely meditate regularly in the traditional sense, I do spend countless hours in silence when I am not working, refilling my well, plugging into that “eternal spring.” Much of my spare time is like a waking meditation. I don’t escape being human, however. I still have to watch my thoughts. Lately, it has become a deep study. I’ve become aware of how one subtle negative thought can cause immediate tension in the body – sometimes in the jaw, or the back – while one elevating thought can start to release all tension.

I play with various thoughts as if I’m sampling food at a buffet. Which ones do I like? Which ones feel better? I’m hoping someday to become a connoisseur of thoughts, choosing only the best no matter what reactions occur, or what pops in my head. It is an ongoing practice!

In addition to choosing our thoughts, we have a lot of freedom to choose our situations. Our ultimate objective is to find good feelings anywhere; nonetheless, the angels have been reminding people lately, me included,  “You can grow through pain or you can grow through joy. There are no medals in heaven for choosing to grow through pain. Stop glorifying it and choose joy!” I howled with laughter the first time I heard that. “Glorifying pain?” How many times in the past have I tried to make myself feel warm and fuzzy about a situation I didn’t like, instead of just loving it for the growth and contrast, and then moving along? Too many! Or perhaps the perfect number of times to finally learn I could grow through more joyful choices!

Many of you have heard this story. In my early thirties, a man hounded me. He tried to convince me we were “meant to be.” I didn’t feel that way. I wasn’t attracted to him, nor did I resonate with his personality even though he was a perfectly sweet soul. He just wasn’t a match and I felt that strongly. I hid from him when I was in town. I tried to avoid him.

In time, however, his sincere wish to date me wore me down. Or more accurately, I should say my sincere desire not to be lonely and needy (great recipe for a painful relationship!) wore me down. So I went out with him and got involved in a three-year relationship. It didn’t get better! He was an abused child and took out a lot of his anger on me. I pushed myself through it, trying to like things I didn’t like. I tried to be nicer, kinder, and more loving in the hopes he’d be nicer. I even moved in with him, knowing that he often couldn’t pay his share of the rent.

On the surface, it might have looked like I was trying to think better feeling and more loving thoughts, but in reality, I was constantly unhappy and doing all I could to get him to change! If I just did enough for him… If I just loved enough… I now know that was spiritual insanity on my part. Quite clearly I was the one who had to change. We were not a match. I had known that all along. As soon as I stopped focusing on changing him and started taking better care of myself, he dumped me. It hurt at the time but it was a blessing in disguise.

Talking to the angels later, I said, “You mean to tell me I would have learned everything I needed from this relationship if I had just listened to my feelings upfront and refused to date him?” I already knew what they were going to say. “Yes indeed!” the replied. Ow. It took me a while to get the gold from that conversation! I did learn from this dance, but it didn’t have to be that hard. Happily, we’ve run into each other several times since and we both laughed over how ill-suited we were for each other! High-fives for the growth, a big hug and we have gone on our separate ways, both more happily so.

According to the angels, taking the path of least resistance to a higher vibe is spiritually intelligent. That might mean changing your mind, shifting gears, turning off the TV if it bothers you, or turning it on if you find a program uplifting and restful. This might mean you communicating from the heart with someone to create a more loving interchange, or it might mean walking away with love. The actions are less important than the vibration with which you do them. What elevates you? What drags you down? More importantly what thoughts elevate you? What thoughts drag you down. Master that one, and we’ll be free no matter what is going on around us.

There are a lot of sources tugging at us to feel not so great feeling thoughts right now. There are people we don’t want to argue with who want to argue with us. There are mandates we may or may not enjoy. There is a small fraction of the earth’s interactions being skewed on the news to look as if everyone on earth is in these situations. All that means is that we have to be more careful to use what the angels call our “superpower” which is the ability to choose better-feeling thoughts and better-feeling situations.

During the day I hear the depths of people’s pains and guide them through the toughest challenges life has to offer. I focus on the love that the angels are offering them to avoid being dragged down. I focus on the soul rising up from within. I focus on their strength, their fortitude, their grace. If I start to feel sorry for anyone I am immediately dragged down. If I feel respect and compassion for the soul’s growth I am elevated.

This has been especially important during the last many weeks as the world goes through a huge purging of past pains. There is much suffering in the world, but there is also tremendous, amazing grace. I watched one man on the internet who had just been through the horrific hurricane. He had a huge smile on his face. “Hey,” he said in a deep southern drawl, “It rained this morning! I got a fresh shower in the backyard.. Got my bar of soap and cleaned up right under the gutters! Hey, I’m clean and I’m alive!” Now that is someone choosing thoughts that elevate!

The angels constantly remind us that the hate, the sickness, the conflict, and all the negativity we see on our media represents such a very small portion of what is going on, on this planet. There are far more people loving. There are far more people healthy. There are far more people living peaceful, kind, contributing lives. There is so much more good than bad… and that is a thought that constantly elevates my soul.

Here are a few pointers to help you use your superpower – the ability to shift your thoughts:

1. Start with Love… wherever you are

No matter what you are thinking, and therefore feeling, love yourself where you are at. Hug yourself. (It releases oxytocin!) Be sweet to yourself. Acknowledge the way you feel and tell yourself it is OK. Then, just as you’d shift an upset child by first acknowledging their feelings then gently distracting them with something better, do that for yourself.

Aim for “better” not “perfect”

It is a good goal, but unlikely that any of us will ever have perfectly elevated thoughts. We face contrast here on earth. We get triggered. Sometimes circumstances are challenging and people are mean. Our reactionary thoughts may not be sweet. What we think next, however, is up to us.

When I catch my thoughts making me feel bad, I aim for the next best one that I can reach. When you feel like a victim, anger may feel a little more powerful. When you’re sad, something soothing may feel better. When you’re frustrated, a good rant might release the pressure so you can elevate further. Choose a better thought, one at a time. It is so much more realistic, easier, and more self-loving than aiming immediately for “perfection.” You’re already perfect in God’s eyes. It may just take a progression of better thoughts to feel that!

3. Stack the Deck in Your Favor

Do things that elevate you when you can. Avoid things that drag you down when you can. This will, by its very natural nature, make it easier for you to practice thinking thoughts that feel good. If you know you have to be around a challenging situation or person look for the good before you arrive. Think about anything good about that person or situation that you can. Send them light. Pray. Resolve to see how long you can look for the good when you’re there. Pray to see the situation or person through God’s eyes. Make a decision you are going to send light rather than be dragged down.

We can always “plan ahead” for the tough situations and instead of going in with negative thoughts, go in with a bias towards feeling good no matter what.

While this all may sound airy-fairy at times, it is amazing how responsive the universe is right now to any thought, and it is far more fun to let it respond to your elevated ones!

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