I began smoking cigarettes since I was a junior in college. That was fifteen years ago. At the time, I worked as a bartender and spent lots of time on the other side of the bar as well. The bar manager hid a pack of Marlboros behind the Southern Comfort bottle. After our shift, we would share a drink, a smoke, and some laughter. And somewhere during that period, I started buying cigarettes.
I stopped smoking a while back. Don’t know if I’ve had my last cigarette or not. That’s not important to me. What is important right now is that I know what is responsible for my smoking and any unhealthy/addictive behavioral patterns I engage in.
We all have our addictions in life. Drugs, working, overeating, worrying, fear of failure, stress, negativity. There’s a lot to choose from, I know. We all have something about ourselves that we want to change. Yet we can go through an entire lifetime never crossing to higher ground, never becoming the person we really want to be. Doesn’t that seem odd to you? Why is it so difficult for us to change behaviors that we know keeps us from having the kind of lives filled with more well-being?
Looking back, the truth of why I smoked has nothing to do with nicotine. It has nothing to do with the neurons in my brain or the science of addiction. There’s a much simpler truth as to why I repeatedly engaged in a behavior that left me feeling bad about myself. It’s the same truth behind any addiction:
There was something I did not want to feel.
I’ll say it again. Every time a lit cigarette found its way to my mouth, underneath that behavior, I was really avoiding having to feel something. The behavior of smoking allowed me to remain unconscious to something I did not want to feel.
Remember, addictive behavior is unconscious behavior. Much of the time, we’ve come to perceive addictive behavior as something beyond our control. In other words, we live in such a reactive state, that it’s just Stimulus ïƒ Response. There is no gap of awareness where we experience any space to make a conscious choice. The addictive behavior just seems to "happen” and exists outside of our locus of control.
So how does this apply to Attraction?
As always, we must go back to the fundamentals. The concept of Attraction is deeply rooted in how you feel. In this life, you travel in the most amazing vehicle — the human body. This design of the human body is an unfathomably complex machine. Timothy Gallwey in his great book, The Inner Game of Tennis described this well:
"As you read these words, your body is performing a remarkable piece of coordination. Eyes are moving effortlessly, taking in images of black and white, which are automatically compared with memories of similar markings, translated into symbols, then connected with other symbols to form an impression of meaning. Thousands of these operations are taking place every few seconds. At the same time, again, without conscious effort, your heart is pumping, and your breath is going in and out, keeping a fantastically complicated system of organs, glands, and muscles nourished and working. Without conscious effort, billions of cells are functioning, reproducing, and fighting off disease." (p. 33)
Just as your body conducts so many of the functions necessary for the body to live unconsciously, the majority of our feeling-level reactions operate at the unconscious level. Understand that Living in harmony with the Law of Attraction does not mean you just sit around trying to manifest stuff in your life. Rather, living the law means that you take full responsibility for living a conscious life. It means no longer just reacting, but rather responding with conscious intent. We move from Stimulus ïƒ Response to Stimulus ïƒ Awareness ïƒ Response. In that moment of awareness, we are able to exercise our free will to choose.
Of all the wonders of the human body, I know of none other than our infinite capacity to feel. We have all heard the notion that we only use 10% of the capacity of our brain. However, consider that the vast majority of the people walking the planet use less than 10% of their capacity to feel things fully.
What do I mean by feeling?
Physics shows us that everything in the universe is made of energy. This includes every experience we have. So, for every thought you think, there’s a unique pattern of energy created. For every experience you have, there’s a unique pattern of energy. Likewise, for all of your past, a unique pattern of energy was created.
Recall that emotions are "energy in motion." When we feel fully, we allow our bodies to process these patterns of energy and the energy moves right through us. By feeling fully, we keep the energy (and the intentions we resonate with) flowing through us.
Why is feeling important?
When we live life without feeling fully, we are stuck in the reaction mode responsible for addictive behavior. The old adage is true: "What you resist persists." In other words, when we fail to feel fully, the energy pattern associated with the feeling stays stuck in the body. We continue to hold onto it, taking it with us wherever we go. Remember that the universe does not care what affirmations or words we put out there, the universe responds to the pattern of energy (or vibrations) that you emit from your body.
When we do not feel fully and hang onto old patterns of energy, those old patterns become our point of attraction. In other words, because the energy is present and vibrating within our bodies, we attract more of the same energy (what we do not consciously want). We feel stuck in our lives and we wonder why we keep repeating old behavioral patterns that fly in the face of what we know to be healthy for us.
For example, if you feel a sense of dread every time you go the mailbox because your experiences with money lead you to fear the bills you might find there, you would need to feel and resolve the pattern of energy that accompanies that feeling of dread in order to change your vibration. However, the more common/default/unconscious response is to ignore the feeling that arises with the body in that moment, hurry inside the house, stash the unopened bill somewhere, and distract yourself by smoking a cigarette, eating some chocolate, become depressed, etc. In doing so, you ensure that similar events and reactions will be in your future experience.
Why don’t we feel?
In the previous example, the belief is that it would be too overwhelming to face the feelings that come up when the bills arrive. No matter what you avoid feeling, the old notion that we do not have the capacity to feel is what’s responsible for our resistance.
(This notion comes from our experiences in childhood when we did not have the hardware — we lack the spindle cells in our brains — to process much emotion. Think of the children you know. Doesn’t take much to overwhelm them, does it? However, as adults, our brains are fully developed emotionally and have the capacity to feel everything and anything. We just need to relearn to put our awareness on our feelings.)
The point of this article is to raise your awareness that the road to a better, healthier life is in harmony with the Law of Attraction is always about harnessing your capability to feel so that you can eliminate the resistance that will always thwart your intentions. It’s about awareness, not willpower. This is why diets and "cold turkey" methods do not work. And even when they do work, the addiction (e.g., smoking) is merely replace by another (overeating).
Feeling requires awareness. Feeling requires courage. Feeling requires space. Feeling requires practice.
But living, really living with a true sense of well-being, requires feeling.
(Note: I realize this is a theoretical article on feeling. As feeling is an experiential process, there would be limitations to trying to describe the technique that opens the door and allows us to feel fully again. Because of this, subscribe to my blog as I’ll be posting audio content that addresses this in the near future.)