I was asked this really interesting question the other day: “How do you keep your vibration high all the time? Do you ever feel down?” With all this talk of raising our vibration, getting happy and reaching the happy, shiny puppy level, there’s a bit of a misconception going around in the personal development community. A quick google search turned up a whole mess of websites which will tell you (some for a hefty fee) how to be happy. All the time. And they claim to do this without drugs. Huh. I smell a challenge.
Here’s the thing: Yes, you’re supposed to be happy. Generally and mostly. Your baseline, meaning how you feel the majority of the time, is supposed to be joy (as in, NOT supposed to be suffering, depression or pain and not to be confused with you having some kind of obligation to be happy.)I will admit it right now. The title of this blog is a bit misleading. I will not tell you how to be happy ALL THE DAMN TME. But I will explain why you don’t have to be. Furthermore, I’ll tell you why being happy ALL THE DAMN TIME is not only impossible, but actually not something you’d want. And I will also do all of this without drugs. Cause I’m competitive like that. It’s oaaaan, bitches!
Happiness is a Vibration
Ok, if you’ve ever read anything on this blog at all, you’ll have learned a thing or two about vibration. Allow me to recap, in case you haven’t been paying attention, it’s your first time here, or you have the attention span of a gerbil: Everything is energy, vibrating at different frequencies or vibrations. Your emotions are your vibrational feedback system. They let you know how high the frequency of whatever you’re focusing on or thinking is. The higher the vibration, the better it feels. You’re welcome.
Ok, so when you feel happy, you’re accessing a really high vibration. And it feels great. And of course, you’ll want to spend as much time as possible in this wonderful, shiny place. I do, too. Most of what I do all day is designed to raise my vibration and stabilize it in a really high place. I meditate, I deliberately look at every situation in a way that makes me feel good, I pay close attention to how I feel, I do lots of stuff that I know will make me happy, etc. I’ve dedicated my life to figuring out how to get happy and to teach others how to do just that. And even I, who spend hours a day on “happiness activities”(Why does that sound dirty? Does that sound dirty to anyone but me? It’s not meant to be dirty.), am not happy ALL THE DAMN TIME. And yes, I used to feel a bit guilty when I dipped down into “lesser” emotions, but I’ve thankfully figured out that none of us is supposed to stay in that high vibration and never come out. Here’s why:
Negative emotion isn’t a bad thing. We just think it is
Since our emotions are simply an indication of where our vibration’s at, we can’t really demonize negative feelings. They are incredibly useful to us. It’s like looking at a radar screen, when you’re flying a plane. Sometimes the screen will tell you that the course is clear. Other times it will indicate that there’s a big ass mountain in your way. Now, you could say “I hate mountains. I don’t want to crash into a mountain. I don’t even want to see a mountain! I only want to see a clear screen!” And then you could rig the radar screen to never show you any mountains. Except, this wouldn’t erase all the mountains or keep you from crashing into one. You’d simply have gotten rid of the indicator. Our emotions are the same. We shouldn’t try to avoid frustration or boredom or even anger. We can ignore them, sure, but then we won’t know if what we’re focusing on is serving us or not until a much larger, unwanted manifestation hits us.
We’re surrounded by all kinds of vibrations. We want those negative emotions to tell us when we’re looking at something we don’t like. They are our early warning system, telling us that if we don’t correct our course, we will crash into a mountain. And then we’ll have to resort to cannibalism, like they did in that movie about the soccer team. Is that what you want? Is it?! Yeah. I thought not.
The unwanted stuff serves a purpose
So, you may be asking yourself now, “But why can’t I just look at stuff that I like? Wouldn’t that keep me in a good feeling place all the time?” Well yes, it would. But you’d also get bored. “Bored of happiness?”, you ask, somewhat incredulously. No. Bored of never experiencing anything new. Let me elaborate:
[Disclaimer: I stole, um, I mean borrowed, this metaphor from Abraham-Hicks. I’ve added my own special flair, but the basic buffet metaphor is theirs. I tried, Abe, I really did. But I can’t come up with a clearer, better, more brilliant metaphor than this. THIS is why you are the master. One who hopefully isn’t immune to a bit of sucking up. Or is it being sucked up to? Damn it! Why does everything sound dirty today?! I swear I’m not coming on to you… Just don’t sue me, ok?]
You’re at this huge, amazing buffet. They have every dish you could ever think of and many, many more you’ve never even heard of. It will take you a lifetime to sample just a small percentage of everything on offer. Now, in order to find the dishes you’ll like or maybe even love, you’ll have to start tasting. You can’t know what will ring your bells without trying at least a little bit of each. And so, you begin taking a spoon of this and a spoon of that. Some dishes are great, some are spectacular, some are mediocre and some are freaking nasty. Sure, there’s a risk each time you try a new dish that it’ll be nasty. But there’s also a chance you’ll discover a new favorite. The point is, you can’t know without trying it.
Now, you could decide that you never, EVER want to taste another nasty dish again. So, you take a big heaping spoonful of your favorite dishes, and decide that you will eat nothing else for the rest of your life. There are a kajillion more options on that buffet, but you’re going to spend the rest of your physical life munching on pizza and donuts. If you’re now asking “That’s the best I could come up with?! Pizza and freaking donuts?!”, then I have made my point. Of course there’s better food on that buffet. But you’ve decided that these are the best you’ve found so far, and you’re not willing to take the risk. So, pizza and donuts it is.
Over the next few weeks, you keep eating pizza and donuts. Only, something strange is happening. You’re getting bored. What seemed to taste so good only a little while ago, has lost its shine. Your food seems kind of dull and bland. You keep peeking over at this amazing buffet. There’s got to be something really good on there, surely. Something that will get you all excited again. Something new, damn it!
The point is, you can be content eating the same thing for the rest of your life, but you won’t be happy. You won’t be excited. You won’t be passionate. You won’t shush people during your meal because it’s so good you don’t want to be distracted.
If you find something nasty, stop eating it!
So, as we move through life, looking for new adventures, we will look at both wanted and unwanted stuff. Our emotions, especially the “negative ones” will tell us when something tastes nasty. Then we can stop eating it and move on to the next thing.
Except, many of us don’t do that. When we find a nasty dish, we keep on eating it. We tell everyone how nasty is, call other people over and ask them to taste it so they can agree with us about how horrible it is and then we rally to put up a sign telling everyone not to eat this thing because it’s freaking nasty. Never mind that not all other people will agree with you. You ignore them. “Take this dish off the buffet!”, you cry. “If I don’t like it, no one should be subjected to it!” Only, the entire time you’re doing this, you’re shoveling that nasty crap right down your throat.
When we find something unwanted, we often focus on it all the more. We talk about it, blog about it, bitch about it, read all we can by others who also hate it, and push against it as hard as we can. We keep eating the nasty stuff, and in doing so, we feel worse and worse. But we were never meant to do that! We were supposed to just take a taste. Don’t like it? Move on! When we see something we don’t like, we should make a note, let it help us to further define what we DO like, and move on to something else. We were never supposed to get stuck in negative emotion, but rather notice that it’s there and get the hell off the subject that caused it, change our thoughts, shift our perspective or do whatever is necessary to feel better. Move on to a better tasting dish.
Don’t ignore your negative emotions
Negative emotion isn’t a bad thing, and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for having it. What we don’t want to do is ignore it. We should see it for the signal that it is and release the underlying belief. That way, we don’t get stuck in that emotion. Over time, you’ll become more sensitive to your feelings and much less tolerant of negative emotion. You’ll notice it much faster. For example, now I notice when I’m not all shiny and happy. That’s already an indicator that I’m not fully connected. Then I go exploring. Often, I actually get excited about this – what will I find? What will I release this time? What am I thinking about? How am I looking at this? This is an early indicator that I’ve got some resistance. I don’t have to wait for a bigger indicator. Of course, I can, and then perhaps I’ll give myself the flu or something, but it’s not necessary if I notice my negative emotions.
So, in conclusion: Being happy ALL THE DAMN TIME is unrealistic. Our goal should be to achieve a happy baseline – meaning that we feel really good most of the time. We can eat good tasting foods which we know that we like most of the time. But just to keep it interesting, we’ll try something new here and there. If we don’t like it, we’ll make a note of that and move on. Dip in, just long enough to get a taste, then get out. That’s how these feelings were designed to be used. And when you realize that you’ve been munching on a whole bowlful of nasty crap, while feeling sorry for yourself, when you realize that you’ve sunk into a negative space, don’t beat up on yourself. Just pick yourself up, go back to the buffet and choose a better tasting dish, or better feeling thought. But don’t eat all the chocolate. That’s mine.
So, what are your negative emotions telling you? Spill it in the comments!
And please don’t forget to help a blogger out by sharing this in whatever way you feel comfortable with. Facebook. Twitter. Walking around with my picture and url pasted on one of those sandwich boards. You know… Whatever.
Loved your post but would have liked more real life examples. :O) It makes it easier to apply to a range of situations then.
Noted. 😀 I’ll probably do a follow up post to this, and will then be able to put in more real world examples.
My negative emotions are telling me I need to turn them into positive thoughts.;) Of course, as you say, it is nothing bad about them, we just think it is, because of the connotation of the “negative” in them. But, in fact, such emotions can be very useful as they are also showing the critic side of us. They are necessary for our personal development and we should, thus, learn from them in order to upgrade our feelings and become better persons.
You’re so right. Negative emotions are necessary for our growth. But we should be careful not to stay there too long. What often happens is that we think we have to really suffer to grow and we get stuck in our negative emotions. Instead, we can simply notice them and shift.
Thanks for stopping by!
There are moments when I just feel so happy and I enjoy those times very much.
I seem to feel a sense of contentment most of the time. And then I just need to say, I enjoy those negative feelings almost as much, because they reveal so much to me and let me make change and move forward. I find myself writing in my journal more – because others don’t want to talk about emotions out loud – I do.
I do get stuck at the smorgas-bored and get all wallowing when it takes too long to explore, figure something out and make the change. I am exhausted and low vibing about my weight and finances – all the reading, all the exercising, all the gratitude, all the figuring out money and I get stuck….after so many false starts and attempts…3 years of no resolution on these two fronts is truly worrying me now – low vibing for sure…
I am reading an interesting book about How to be Sick a Buddhist understanding….and I am still being told I need to love myself and count calories and work harder at making my blog a success and follow these directions…and well frankly, I feel like I could just vomit…
I go back to my miracle balls and just lay there being still…4 hours a day – the pain relief is great…ah what to try next…?
It’s great that you have this fantastic attitude towards negative emotions. I also journal prolifically – it’s a great way to get clarity and to “talk” myself through my emotions and their causes. I dare say it’s definitely been one of my most important tools for growth…
You don’t need to work harder, and there’s nothing you have to do. But loving yourself is a good idea. The trouble with that is, that when we’re not feeling all that good, those are just words. I’d suggest you get more general first. Just look for things that make you happy, in general. And stay with that. You’re doing that with your miracle balls. You’re focusing on something that you have no resistance to and that makes you feel good. You don’t have to actively work on your “issues” to feel better. Do whatever makes you feel better and the rest will fall in line as your vibration raises. When it comes to the big stuff, this is definitely a much easier approach.
Thank you so much for this post. Sometimes I can be so hard on myself for not being happy “all the damn time”. It’s great to get some sort of validation that it’s not only unrealistic but not helpful to us as human beings. I admit that I can definitely get stuck eating the nasty stuff at the buffet table and I am working on my vibrations – some days are just harder than others, especially when I see myself making the same mistakes. At any rate, I loved your post. Thank you 🙂
I’m really glad this was helpful to you. Hey – some days are easier than others. 🙂 Life is full of ups and downs. We should never beat ourselves up or be ashamed for how we feel. Feelings are just indicators. We should honor them and use them, but never feel badly about having them. 🙂
You tricked me. I was expecting to find out how to make my life feel like sunshine and roses all the time. You hood winked me. 🙂
I didn’t know I am suppose to embrace my negative emotions and then take my spoon and put it into another dish at the buffet. Isn’t that considered double dipping. lol!
Melody, you killed this post. It was informative, entertaining and full of practical wisdom and ways to apply it. Life is messy. The people who seem to do the best are the people who get used to cleaning up the messes as they go along. The worst thing we can do, when negative emotions hit us, is ignore the way we feel and accept the way things are. We have got to challenge those feelings and push to find happiness. Life isn’t about burdens it is about living. I expect my life to be full of more good memories than bad. I choose happiness. Great post.
LOL Frank. Since we are all one, double dipping is not an issue. Think about it. 😉
Thank you so much for your kind words. The thing is: everyone’s life is full of more positive memories than bad. But we have to choose to look for them. If you’ve got your “bad memories” or “grumpy bastard” glasses on, you’re not gonna see the good stuff. But when you change that filter and put the “shiny, happy, people” glasses on, you see how wonderful your life is and has been for the most part.
I choose happiness too. 🙂
Melody, you have an odd way of writing that I find very similar to mine. Very free – spirited. I like it.
Anyway, I feel it’s important to stress that it is not an obligation to be happy. You just don’t want to beat yourself up because you’re not feeling happy right there and then. Happiness is not a goal to be reached, but a state of being that you achieve by achieving something or traveling. It’s purpose.
Now, I may be talking completely utter nonsense but I believe that it’s alright to be… happy? Where am I at now? I tend to fall completely out at times.
Oh well. Hope you got it. If you didn’t, I’ll try next time.
Thanks so much for your kind words.
I agree with you – we have no obligation to be happy. Nor do we have an obligation to be or do anything. It’s always our choice. But I do think happiness is the ultimate goal. When we look for something that will bring us happiness, we keep on searching. When we simply become happy, the activities that perpetuate that happiness (because they are a match to the vibration of happiness) keep showing up. It’s great to be happy, and it’s ok not to be happy. It’s all good. 🙂
Great post as always.
I have two things to say.
First of all, I really like the idea of emotions being akin to an early warning system. The first time I’ve ever heard that idea was that this blog, and the idea deserves to be spread.
I usually consider emotions to be habitual reactions to various things we do/think about. But I like your idea so much I think I’m going to include it in my paradigm.
Okay, so emotions can have two sources. One is when we’re present – that’s our vibrational feedback system as you described here. The other is when were not present. That’s when we’ll have annoying thoughts that bring us down, or we’ll just feel awful for no reason. And actually, now that I think of it, that could also be our vibrational feedback system telling us to stop thinking of crappy stuff. Damn.
Not bad, Melody, not bad…
Okay, and the other thing.
I was talking to a friend yesterday about what we would do if we had all the money in the world (big surprise). She was talking about buying clothes, making her apartment cute, and other girly stuff. Stuff I’d totally imagine you saying.
Then I said I’d probably sell most of my stuff in either travel the world are become a monk or something. That didn’t make much sense to her, so I told her almost exactly what you said here about baseline happiness.
Clothes, drugs, doggie treats – whatever – that stuff is only a temporary boost in happiness. Spiritual development seems to be one of the best ways of achieving a permanent increase in baseline happiness. She still didn’t care much for it, but no big deal!
Soooo, you’re saying you think I’m girly? Huh. Interesting. *takes off pink butterfly hair clippy thingy and throws it at you*
This is such a common misconception: that you have to be all monky and impoverished to be spiritual. Monks are celibate you know, Fred. Had you thought of that?
My standard of living has steadily risen as I’ve gotten more money. I don’t live like a monk. When I travel, I either go all backpackery (like a hippy, not a monk) and simple, which has provided me with some amazing experiences. Or I do the luxury, 5* spa thing, which gives me a very different but no less awesome kind of experience.
The problem with materialism is when people think they need the material stuff to be happy. That will get you in trouble. But if you’re already happy, when you can take it or leave it, you can still enjoy material stuff, makeup, cute clothes and beautiful furniture. I love my stuff. I’m not attached to it, but I enjoy the hell out of it. If I had to give it up tomorrow, I’d be ok. I truly would. But how is my excitement about a cute Gucci bag wrong? *whispers*. “It’s not, Fred. It’s not. ”
Thinking that material stuff will bring you happiness is no different from thinking that poverty and monkishness will bring you happiness. It’s all external. And nothing external will ever bring you joy. It all starts on the inside.
So, your girly friend is right. Sort of. And so are you. Sort of. Smoosh the two of you together, and you’ll get one weird looking but enlightened individual. Ha.
I’ve got to go do my nails now.
Celibate? I’d rather go into debt buying Gucci bags..
Got a question for you, I’ll e-mail ya.
Glad to see the site back up and awesome post as always, Melody. See, this is why I like your blog. It’s realistic. It’s true that everything works in perspective. If everything was made of gold, gold would have no value.
That being said, I applied your advice above to two basic situations and would love to know how it applies to each. Granted, the situations I have in mind are a little bigger and wider in scope. Like I’ve said before, relationship issues intrigue and perplex me, so the first thing that came to mind was “How does the buffet scenario above apply to a relationship situation?”. I know it works for feelings, moods, and general directions in life, but in order to actually savor a relationship, you need to get a lil’ deeper instead of having just a taste (now you’ve got me sounding all dirty…….cool!) .
Sometimes a person may seem like such an opposite until you’ve started to connect, and then realize that you actually like those opposite traits. OR, you’ve gone deep and now realize you don’t like her and leave. Won’t someone leave a trail of broken hearts and a mob of angry women / men behind if they kept doing this?
And my second thought was “How does this apply to married people with families?”. The two major things that limit people in common society are careers and families. They don’t have to be bad limitations, but a father of two has to think twice before making drastic decisions…or even minor decisions for that matter. How does a father / mother explore these vibrations, moods, orientations, etc while still maintaining stability at home? I don’t think the little ones will be too thrilled when one day their Dad’s a banker and the next day he’s Batman. :p
Would love to know, Melody! 🙂
Right then Derrek,
I accept your challenge. Here we go, but I can’t guarantee that I can use a food analogy with relationships without sounding just a teensy bit perverted. So, here’s a disclaimer: any dirty thoughts one might have while reading this are one’s own. They have nothing to do with me. In other words, if you think this sounds dirty, it’s because you have a dirty mind. So there. You have been disclaimered and I’m still all lily white and shit.
Relationships: You’re thinking the whole person is a dish on the buffet, when actually, each little trait of theirs is a dish. So, when you notice something you don’t like, stop freaking focusing on that. And when you notice something you do like, focus on that all the more. The reason that we often find stuff we don’t like as we move into a relationship is because we go looking for it. So, what if that person you cease to be a match? Believe it or not, you can gravitate away from each other without first starting to hate the other person. You can simple realize that you are no longer happy together. But if you focus on the wanted traits only (which means you also no longer illicit the unwanted traits), that is less likely to happen…
Family: You don’t have to change your whole life every time you see something wanted or unwanted. You just have to change your focus and your reality will change along with it, but in a way that you can handle and that includes ALL of what you want. For example, if a father no longer likes his job, he could focus on the stuff in the job that he wants only, and he would begin to manifest a different situation. The Universe would not bring him an opportunity to move to Thailand, unless that fit into his overall picture of what he wants for his family and the essence of what his family want for themselves. NOTHING can come to you unless it’s a vibrational match to you. There’s always this underlying fear of “be careful what you wish for”, which basically means that you can never really get what you want without some ugly consequence. Nothing is free, and all that bullshit. Not true. Perfect manifestations do exist. We just have to let them in.
That being said, having Batman as a dad would be so freaking cool. Think of all the toys!!!
Huh. You never cease to impress me, Melody. I never thought of it that way. I kept thinking we’ll have to hop around from person to person in order to find the perfect match. But what you said makes so much sense. We have our significant others, and it’s up to us to focus on the good parts instead of whining about the bad parts, thereby enhancing and amplifying those negative traits.
Same goes for the family bit. So true. Thanks for being awesome! 🙂
Also, it’s really weird for me to have said the little ones won’t be thrilled about Batman. I’ve been dealing with a lot of boring paperwork and mundane, polished corporate clients lately, I guess I started to think like a ‘grown-up’ grown-up last night. What was I thinking?! *Shudder* I’m going to go watch some Sesame Street now. Elmo FTW!
HI Melody… I wanna be happy all the time dammit.
to be honest I am happy most of the time. The only thing that brings anything different is a challenging person from my past life… but don’t get me started.
One thing I do know is that if I do dip into vibrational shite, I recognize it immediately and point out the stupidity (usually it is stupidity).
Of course there have been times I just want to play my violin… but being I have had one of those difficult to deal with years where some very special people in my life have left this planet… I truly am much better at keeping things in perspective.
As a woman, of course we can get clobbered on a fairly regular basis with hormonal mood swings… but I recognize that too and go and inhale a chocolate bar… usually a mint Aero… or mint Cadbury bar… a king sized one. It makes me feel so much better as the serotonin get’s it’s sugar boost. (sorry for hogging some of your chocolate)
In any event, I get what you’re saying. The variety makes you appreciate the high vibes.
BTW… glad to see you like to hang your head in the gutter…. it can be exciting there sometime! ;-)… “atta girl” We’d have a good ‘quip fest’…. you’ll have to pop out and visit sometimes!
You are officially the first person to have used the word “shite” on my blog. Congratulations. You win, um, chocolate? Virtual chocolate. Here you go. Tadaaaa! You’re welcome.
Believe it or not, since I’ve been eating intuitively, and have reduced my stress levels. the hormonal mood swings (and cramps) have gotten A LOT better. I truly don’t think that women were meant to suffer every month. We’ve somehow done that to ourselves. What is interesting is that my raw chocolate consumption does go up a bit just before that time of the month, so it’s not really the sugar we want, but the minerals that are in cacao (you have to eat really high quality chocolate).
The gutter has some of the funnest people in it. Sometimes you just gotta pop on in there to party. 🙂
Also a quip fest sounds bitchin’ (I see your Britishisms and raise you one Americanism. Ha!)
Today I’ve been exceptionally happy all damn day!! (of course, not every day is like that!)
I find that when I’m “not in my happy space”, this sometimes leads to moments of great insight, new directions, and new thoughts. And so – as much as I don’t like being in this place – there is always something I can take away from it (if I choose to really “see” it).
Happiness from Wisconsin…to YOU!!!
Those little (or big) dips do lead to major moments of insight. I’m getting to the place (ok, not 100% of the time but more and more) where a dip gets me excited. It depends on how big the crisis is. Of course, sometimes you ignore the emotion and then you manifest something bigger. Like getting hacked. LOL.
Happiness and hugs back atcha from Idaho (where I currently sit, visiting the family).
Love the article Melody.
And reminds me so much of something my dad taught me when growing up:
That you have always have a choice in a situation you are not enjoying – either leave it, or if you can’t, find things to enjoy about it (look for the good in the bad situation). Or you can just let it make you unhappy. It’s your choice.
It was amazing advice that stood me in good stead. One example how it helped was when in a job I wasn’t enjoying, I got my enjoyment from colleagues in my office. I couldn’t leave at the time because I was studying for my next career choice. And didn’t want to upset my studies.
Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your personal experience. We really do have a choice in each moment. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, but we always do. Your dad is a very wise man. 🙂
Thank you. But if we are generally neutral is that bad?Neutral plus not neutral negative. I dont mean neutral because we are clueless. I mean we know we are one with the cosmic flow etc. but we are just not buzzing a high vibe all the time. Generally we know all is well. We are not fearful we have faith that things are going in a direction of our highest good. We meditate etc. Do we have to feel the emotion of happiness to be considered happy even though we know we are happy?
Welcome to Deliberate Receiving!
If you’re generally feeling good, you’re on the right path. You don’t have to be giddy all the time. This is your journey and you get to decide how you want to feel (there’s not right or wrong). No one else can judge how “good” you’re supposed to feel. Do you like where you are? That’s the only criteria that’s important. 🙂
Oh, so now you’re suggesting that when we’re at the buffets, we leave the stuff we don’t like on the plate and not finish it after we taste? Ok.
Makes sense to me but you’re probably not going to make too many buffet restaurants *happy* with this post. lol
Is one way to look at this Melody to appreciate the negative emotions so we can thrive even more in the positive?
The idea is not to load up on food and not eat it, but to only take a taste and then take more only if we like it. 🙂
Yep! We should appreciate our negative emotions for what they are – indicators of vibrations that aren’t serving us. We shouldn’t deny them or ignore them, but change what we’re focusing on until we feel better.