Monday, August 25, 2008

How to Become and Stay Happy

I spent many years of my life seeking happiness, without having the foggiest idea of the vital part I played in how and when I experienced it. All I could do during the times when life was exceptionally good was to try to hang onto it for as long as possible, which was never very long. My happiness revolved around external circumstances, events and other people, which were subject to change and often out of my control. This meant that I ended up trying to hold onto what was already in the past – otherwise referred to as getting the short end of the stick.

For most of us, when the feel-good high takes a dip, we are met with a sense of sadness and loss. If we have become addicted to the euphoric feelings that can accompany happy times – and who hasn’t? – we once again begin the search for happiness outside ourselves and the cycle continues. Like most people, I naturally came to believe that happiness was out of my control, came from outside sources and was never meant to last. I was wrong.

The truth is our very souls yearn for happiness, which is our birthright, and the Constitution protects our right to seek it. We are programmed like heat-seeking missiles to experience this aliveness that lifts us up and fills us to the brim on all levels of our being. The challenge is that many of us are too used to looking in all the wrong places, i.e. outside of us. We also need to understand the difference between the fleeting type of happiness, which is intense and delightful, but doesn’t endure, and the more meaningful happiness that comes from deep within us and is lasting. Both are desirable for a balanced life and each is positively within our power to realize.

I heartily recommend all the following ways to boost our daily happiness quotient, as well as beginning our preparation for becoming self-contained happiness units: Keep an attitude of gratitude. Forgive ourselves for any wrongs done to others, and forgive those who have wronged us. Treat ourselves with the same goodwill, kindness and love we lavish on others. Share our unique gifts with others and make the world a better place. Affirm and accept an expectancy of good in every area of our lives. Learn from life’s lessons. Know who we are and what we really want, which allows us to make decisions easily. Build strong friendships and family relationships. Take time to appreciate the simple pleasures of life and to enjoy friends, family and nature. Stay actively involved in life. Take care of the physical body. Believe in that which is beautiful, good, loving, pure and true.

In my experience, it is possible to become a “self-contained happiness unit” and retain a sense of well-being and peace despite the usual ups and downs of life. It does require a higher level of focus and commitment. I believe this can happen by choice any time we’re ready to turn within and consciously align with the life force-love-intelligence that is within us and everything in the universe. However, due to free will, this action usually happens only when we are forced into this as a last-ditch effort by some traumatic life event.

In my case, when my beloved husband began a lengthy decline that would result in his death, I was compelled to look within and seek support and solace. The dire circumstances brought forth a need that was so powerful that it fueled my daily intention to connect with the eternal and sublime energy that is within us and everything in the universe.

During this process, I touched the sanctuary of unconditional love, support and wisdom within us, which is the heart’s desire of every human being. This is also where peace, trust in life and happiness live. The more we are united with the energy-intelligence within, the more we anchor our ability to cope easily and healthfully with life’s inevitable changes and challenges. It is here that we realize our oneness with all life, discover our life purpose and begin to act from a more loving, harmonious and balanced state.

It takes energy and effort to be happy, and the choice as well as the responsibility is unequivocally ours. Instead of taking the line of least resistance, we owe it to ourselves, others and the world to design our own unique handbook to happiness.

Here are the affirmations I repeat each night before I go to sleep: I name everything that happened this day Good. I know that I draw to me only the people and experiences I need to become a conscious, aware human being. I give thanks for this day, knowing that it is the first day of the best years of my life. And So It Is!
Copyright 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Getting Un-stuck From Our "Stories"

At one time or another, most of us have experienced some sort of life trauma that comes from illness, death of a loved one, relationship woes, work or financial problems. In order to deal with these life challenges, it is often helpful and healthy to share our “story” with a few close confidantes or seek out life counselors until we can heal enough to move into the future on our own.

When we are going through these experiences, however, it isn’t uncommon to feel as if we have temporarily stepped out of time and the world goes on but we’re just not part of it. Sometimes the sadness, frustration and grief are so intense that we feel as if we will never come out of the dark tunnel. Yet with time, the desire to heal, and a little help from our friends, we emerge into the light.

The problem arises when we get stuck in our story and it becomes our identity. Instead of healing and moving on, years later we are still trapped in the situation and still telling the same old story, because we don’t know how to let go of the past and free ourselves to move on.

As I recall some of the individuals who have shared their stories with me, I recognize that a few still wear their “ancient” history like badges of honor. No encounter with them is complete without a listing of the wrongs others have done to them. I also realize with great tenderness and caring, from having been there, that this is one of the most debilitating of life’s circumstances.

I believe that in the extreme this is one of the reasons for the uncivilized and aggressive behavior that some individuals present to the world. I also believe it is why so many people turn to alcohol or other drugs to numb their feelings of being trapped and therefore helpless and hopeless.

Feeling like a victim and being trapped in experiences that are seemingly out of our control and that go from worse to worse – without any understanding or awareness of how to get out of our self-imposed prison – is surely a version of hell on Earth.

If all of that isn’t bad enough, the next stage is that our history becomes our biology and our health begins to be compromised. It is not possible to continue holding such non-life-enhancing thoughts and emotions of anger, grief, hatred, hopelessness, jealousy and sadness without them eventually manifesting in the physical body as illness and disease. I heard someone say that holding negative emotions about another is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.

Now I know that we draw life circumstances to us to provide opportunities to learn how to be in alignment with Universal Laws so that we can live in harmony and balance. At first the lessons come in gentle ways, and if we are open to learning, we face what is, learn what we can from it, and are freed to create better lives for ourselves and our loved ones.

If we are in resistance to facing what is and learning the lessons, the opportunities become more intense and the results less desirable, and all in direct response to our inner thoughts, beliefs and emotions. It truly is done unto us as we believe.

We have been given the ability and the right of free will to consciously or unconsciously choose what our life experiences will be. The universe delivers to us without prejudice or judgment exactly what we place as an order through our beliefs, thoughts and emotions. These principles are timeless, immutable and unwavering.

Simply having the knowledge of Universal Laws and how they work is not enough to be successful. It requires becoming aware of and consciously aligning and harmonizing with these simple truths, as well as releasing the self-sabotaging thoughts and limiting beliefs that hold so many of us in bondage. We alone hold the key to living a life beyond the reach of any self-imposed boundaries or limitations. By choosing to align our focus and actions with these powerful principles, we can create a new story that supports desirable outcomes in every area of our life and affairs.
Copyright 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Learning the Rules of Life

For many people, Life on Earth is like being in a high-stakes game without knowing the rules. As a result, we sometimes end up feeling like we’ve been rode hard and hung up wet. While we have heard about the book “The Secret,” which is based on using the Law of Attraction to create abundant and successful lives, a lot of people are resistant to taking in and using this valid information. One huge reason for this is the fact that great masses of people today lack a basic and clear understanding of how life on this planet really works.

Many of us are aware that electricity and gravity work in the same precise order for everyone, regardless of ethnicity or gender, young or old, saint or sinner. We know that the scientific parameters-laws under which electricity and gravity operate are precise, unchangeable and totally predictable. They work for everyone, everywhere and at all times. The entire universe operates under a number of these natural principles, called Universal Laws, and the universe works in perfect order, harmony and balance. These basic and fundamental principles are the means by which our world continues to exist.

Now we know that there are also mental, physical and spiritual laws that apply in the lives and affairs of individuals as well as in science. They are the basis for how life on Earth works. Similarly, these laws are also eternal, immutable and unwavering. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are using these laws to build or break everything in our lives – loving relationships, health, wealth, success and happiness.

If we’ve matriculated into the Earth School of Life, it is up to us to become familiar with these rules-laws and to use them to benefit and enhance our lives, the planet and the future of humanity. There are many Universal Laws and sub-laws and they have been identified and written about for centuries. Here are three that are easy to understand and that we can use to realize better lives.

The Law of Cause and Effect means that nothing in life happens by chance or outside the Universal Laws. Every action we take has an equal reaction. We are responsible for everything that happens in our lives. It is a fact that we reap what we sow.

The Law of Attraction means that we create things and draw events and individuals into our lives by the energy of our thoughts, emotions, words and actions. If our thoughts, words, emotions and actions are negative, this is what will be returned to us. If they are positive, the law will return positive reactions. It could not be otherwise.

The Law of Abundance means we live in an abundant universe. We attract to us what we are, not what we pretend to be or hope to be. If we have thoughts of scarcity, poverty and lack, that will be reflected in our lives. What we hold in our consciousness manifests in our lives.

In order to work within these laws, we need to realize the following fundamental and scientifically based truths: There is only energy. Everything and everyone in the universe is energy vibrating at different levels, even inanimate objects are energy vibrating at a specific frequency. Everything and everyone in the world is connected to everything and everyone else.

Simply put, our thoughts, feelings, words and actions – also energy – affect everyone and everything. What each of us thinks, says and does each day contributes to the love, peace and abundance – or the chaos, warring conditions and scarcity of good – within our own lives and the world.

The good news is that we were born into a loving and kind universe that is set up for us to realize full, happy and successful lives. While it may not seem like this if our lives are filled with chaos and suffering, the reason is because we are misapplying the laws. The rub, as Shakespeare would say, is the fact that in Earth School, the entire curriculum centers on taking the time and effort to learn about the laws of life on this planet. The Universal Laws are neutral and respond to us according to our thoughts, beliefs and desires. If we want to change our lives, we change our thoughts and focus only on that which is desirable. To do that we must know what our core beliefs are, for until we know what they are, we cannot change them.

If we learn our “lessons,” and align with these laws-rules-principles, we can create our own heaven on Earth. In literal terms, our lives become our report cards. We have the choice of living a life of struggle and scarcity, or learning the rules of life on Earth and directing our lives in full conscious awareness of what we are creating.
Copyright 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Opening Our Minds Instead of Closing Our Hearts

Many of us have had relationships that despite our highest and best hopes could never be what we desire. For more years than I care to admit, I experienced sadness and heartache over a relationship with a close family member who I dearly love. At first I thought I could “heal” the relationship by being more loving, kind, forgiving and generous. That didn’t work. I also prayed daily for a resolution, to no avail. For some unknown reason, the person dislikes me intensely and wants little to do with me. I had only been able to hold onto a tenuous connection by a strong inner desire.

Over the past few years, the individual has stopped responding to or initiating any communication and has kept any physical contact to a minimum. Perhaps if the situation hadn’t presented such a deep emotional-energy tie for me, I would have been able to face the reality of it years ago. However, I had grown through enough in life to know that the time had come to face whatever lesson this issue held. I knew that pain and suffering come from hanging on to what has passed, and I was finally ready to accept what is, and start using the insights gained to heal the situation within myself.

For a very long time, I was unable to make any progress in the healing. I finally got in touch with the fact that I held a hidden belief that by healing me it would somehow dissipate or dissolve the love I had for the other person. I wasn’t willing to allow that to happen, as it would have been a betrayal of the very essence of what I knew in my heart. I knew that I could heal myself and release the other person without affecting the love I held for them. I took the time to anchor that belief in my subconscious and then continued the healing process.

Some time ago I had written a letter to this individual acknowledging our situation. I didn’t ask any questions or expect a response; I simply set the person free and indicated my ongoing love. Then, in loving support of each of us, I repeated the following affirmations daily: I place (name) _______ in a ball of light and love and release them to their own true place in life. I place myself in a ball of light and love and release me to my own true place in life.

Since forgiveness is one of the keys to happiness, I also repeated the following affirmations daily: I freely and wholly forgive myself for any real or imagined wrong I have done to me or to (name) ________, past or present. I freely and wholly forgive (name) _________, for any real or imagined wrong done to me, past or present. I am free. They are free.

As I consciously focused on my purpose, to grow through the situation in an enlightened, life-affirming way, the inner healing began to happen. I recalled that love is eternal. Despite what the external appearances seemed to be, I knew my love for this person was real and ongoing. I was never going to close my heart to the individual, which is usually the first reaction in such an experience. I also began to realize that instead of judging or blaming the person, which is also typical in such cases, I was able to move through that stage fairly quickly with love.

Then in another atypical response, instead of just thinking about me, how this situation affected me, and wanting life to be the way I wanted it, I began trying to imagine myself in the other person’s shoes. I realized that because of our longstanding, yet distant relationship, I actually didn’t know the person, what their life challenges were or what unique destiny they were to fulfill. I only knew they were also here on Earth to learn lessons. I remembered a wise spiritual teacher counseling me that the people in our lives who present our biggest challenges are also our greatest teachers.

While mulling over that last bit of information, it suddenly popped into my conscious mind that this was one of my largest life lessons, and I had drawn this person into my life to help me learn once and for all that I have the choice to let go of sadness and suffering and to be free in any situation. With that realization, a wave of love and gratitude for the other person’s vital role in this lesson rose up within me. At the same time I was aware that any of their actions toward me actually said more about them and their life lessons and had little or nothing to do with me.

I also immediately knew that in releasing the sadness and regret I held around the situation, I wasn’t shutting off love for the other person. To the contrary, I was performing an act of love that would be freeing for both of us. I finally got it, and my heart expanded as this truth-awareness settled into the core of my being.

By opening our minds and keeping an open heart, we come from a higher perspective and can reframe the situation [change our thinking] about these highly emotional issues. As we accept the fact that we are here to help each other learn lessons, we will better understand the value in allowing the other person the space to learn theirs – while retaining the love we have for them within us. This sets each soul free to act from an open and unburdened heart and to realize their full human potential.
Copyright 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.