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THE BLISS BOOK
by Maggie Shayne

Copyright 2018 Maggie Shayne Lewis
All Rights Reserved
Absolutely all copying & pasting, printing or otherwise reproducing this material is a violation of Federal Copyright Law

Chapter One
Why This Book?

Most readers know me by my fiction. I’ve published more than sixty novels; hopeful, small-town romances, romantic thrillers and romantic suspense over the course of…well, most of my adult life. I’ve had a wonderful career as a novelist, garnering awards, hitting all the major bestseller lists, and even headlining a few writer’s conventions. But in all that time, I was also a spiritual seeker, student, and teacher. I still am.

In my younger days, I wanted to know “the truth” about religion, spirituality, why we’re here, and what comes after. So I studied many religions, from the beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to the ways of Wicca. I spent endless, happy hours scouring various translations of The Bible, even comparing them line by line to the earlier Greek and Hebrew. And then I read the Gnostic texts, those that aren’t included in the modern translations. I’ve studied Gardner, Valiente and the Farrers intently, alongside the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Kybalion, the Tao. I’ve learned from all of them.

But I learned the most from the simple law that is at the basis of everything. The simple law that is the underlying principal behind the words of Jesus, of the Buddha, and the Goddess of the Witches. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. As a man thinks, so he becomes. An’ it harm none, do what thou will.

It’s not a law in the way “Thou shalt not kill” is a law. It’s a law like gravity is a law. It’s a physical fact about the way things work. You can’t choose to obey or disobey it; it simply is.

In simple terms, we might say this law is “Like attracts like.” It means that things and energies attract similar things and energies. But it’s so much more than that, and exploring its nuances can empower us in our own lives in astonishing ways. It is the natural law behind all other natural laws. It’s kind of like—this is my geeky side making an appearance—The Force.

During the twenty-plus years I spent studying natural magic, I learned again and again about the rule of “Like attracts like.” Every spell and ritual required the use of specific colors, stones, oils, herbs, even timing. And anyone who studies soon learns that the reason for this is the need for items that have a similar “vibration” to the goal of the rite. In natural magic, there are entire books that discuss the energies of hundreds of herbs, oils, stones and more. Most magical reference books include charts with this information.

Clover, for example, matches the vibration of abundance and good fortune. You could’ve guessed that one, because within our culture we’ve heard about the magic of four-leaf clovers and we associate them with leprechauns, wishes and pots o’gold. It makes sense. Our myths and legends have a basis in reality. They reflect unseen truths. The stories about clover spring from our ancestors’ intuitive sense of clover’s vibration. It’s earthy. It’s lucky. It’s wealthy.

Our stories are always secret doorways into the deepest truths about ourselves and our world.

So early on, I wanted to learn what was meant by the word “vibration.” My current understanding is that everything is made of energy, and energy is in constant motion. It became clearest to me when one author compared vibration to radio waves. A receiver pulls in signals at different frequencies. These signals are all around us, in the air. (This is the origin of the term “airwaves” and “on the air” and “air dates.”) But our radio can only play one station at a time. We can only hear what’s being played on the frequency we’ve tuned in to. As I adjust my radio’s dial to any given frequency (channel), I will hear the music being transmitted by the signal that is beaming at that frequency. 91.5 FM isn’t merely a place on the dial. It’s the frequency of the waves.

Frequency refers to the distance between the peaks in any given wave. These waves can be far apart with high peaks, gently curving one to the next, or they can be close together with rapid fire peaks.

We Have a Vibrational Frequency, Too

When I talk about adjusting our internal radio dial, or raising our vibration, I’m talking about tuning ourselves to the frequency that matches what we want to experience.

Our own vibrational frequency can be one of illness or one of health, one of happiness or one of sorrow, one of stress and feeling overwhelmed, or one of well-being. We might be attuned to match abundance or we might be tuned in to poverty.

To see what channel I currently have tuned in, I need only look at my life right now. What’s the predominant state? Is it what I want it to be? If it is, I’m doing great. If it’s not, then I need to make a change.

Most of us think we feel the way we do because of what’s happening in our lives. True power comes from flipping that understanding. What if what’s happening in our lives is because of how we’re feeling? What if it starts with us? I feel a little bad, something bad happens. I feel a little worse, something worse happens. I feel terrible, something terrible happens.

Some people will feel blamed when they read the above paragraph. Others will feel empowered. Because if it really does start with us, then that means we can change it. We get to choose which channel on the radio dial we tune in and which events are more likely to play out in our lives.

Understanding Our Frequency
I imagine my vibrational frequency as the energy I am projecting, the energy that makes up my aura. It’s beaming out from all of us all the time, summoning all things that match it. It’s made up of several items: what we most often remember, what we most fervently believe, what we most certainly expect, and what we most frequently focus on.

a. What we most often remember. Not how we were raised, necessarily, but what we remember about how we were raised. The words of our parents that we most took to heart. The ones we accepted as fact and have lived out all our lives. 

I didn’t have an ideal childhood, by any means. There was violence, there was abuse, and I didn’t end a school year in the same district where I’d started until 7th grade, because we moved around so often. I wouldn’t be who I am today without every one of those experiences, though, so I don’t dwell on or discuss them, and only include them here for clarity.

My mother absolutely adored me. I was her first baby, born when she was only 17. She had a hard life, my mom. But she told me all the time how smart I was. She was always showing me off to her friends and talking about what a brilliant little thing I was. I believed her. So I became smart. 

Choose to focus on good memories, not bad or traumatic ones. The less those come up, the better. What you remember creates who you are. So just decide to start remembering better stuff.

There are good moments in every childhood. 

My friends in therapy will argue with me about this. They say they must relive their childhood traumas in order to process through them. And that’s fine, as long as processing through them happens. Mostly, it doesn’t. Mostly, people seem to keep reliving them. If a woman in her fifties is still suffering due to what happened when she was five, she hasn’t processed through anything. She is simply stuck in a place of pain.

Reliving trauma, retelling it, keeps us tuned to that frequency. We pull in pain and hurt that matches it. We can only move on when we can, at last, let it go.

Not a single cell in my body is the same as it was even seven years ago, much less twenty, or thirty or more. I am not the same person in any way that I was then, unless I choose to stay focused on that one event. 

Sure, we should have therapy if it feels helpful to us. I’ve done it myself to great benefit. I’m not in any way disrespecting the practice. Just know that it is as helpful as we allow it to be, and that the goal should always be to heal from and move past the trauma. Not to continue living within it. 

So many events make up a lifetime. Why choose to remember only the worst of them? Why not instead try remembering the best of them, just to see what happens?

b. What we most fervently believe. Not what we wish was true, but what we really deep-down think is true. Beliefs are the number one predictor of the lives we’ll have. 

For example, there are several very different approaches to the subject of abundance. Some of us have never known anything but lack, and never seriously imagined ourselves wealthy. We might indulge in flights of fantasy, buying lottery tickets and talking about what we’d do if we won, sure. Everyone does that. But if our beliefs are based on what we see, on real here-now, in-our-faces evidence, then we can’t truly see ourselves in that kind of a future. We don’t identify ourselves as one of those kinds of people.

And so, because we see what we believe, and not the other way around, we’ll be as abundant as we believe we’re truly capable of being. And our way to do better, is to shatter all our self-imposed limitations off what we believe is possible.

There are those of us who believe in lack. There’s not enough to go around, so we worry about getting and then keeping our share. Might be money, might be other resources, water, land, time, you name it. If we believe there’s not enough of anything, we’ll never have enough of anything. This kind of thinking creates a world of competition, where everyone is out for themselves. A belief in lack is based on fear. Fear of not enough. The cure is to convince ourselves that there’s always enough. And to notice how much enoughness is all around us, right where we are, here and now.

The other group, a small but growing bunch of us, believe that there is plenty for everyone. Money is just energy, flowing in and out, being traded for things and services. It’s like the vascular system of physical stuff. You don’t dam up a bloodline. It’s a bad idea. So it just flows from one to the next to the next. There’s no need to hoard it. A belief in plenty for all is based on love. Love for all, and a recognition that we’re all one.

I think there are times when I’m in each of those places. But the one I strive to maintain is the third, the calm confidence that there is plenty for all. And by believing it, I help create it.

A lot of people who begin studying Law of Attraction get pulled into the idea that it’s all about getting better stuff. If I adjust my frequency to match that Porsche, I’ll get that Porsche. But that’s such a thin layer of what this is about. This is the blossoming understanding that it’s not about the Porsche and never was. It’s about the feeling we think the Porsche will give us. It’s about realizing we can choose to have that feeling right where we are, no Porsche required. It’s about getting so happy where we are that we no longer care about the car. It’s about recognizing that the goal is joy, the goal was always joy. The Porsche was never anything other than a way for our Higher Power to get our attention, to draw us onto this path of deeper and deeper understanding—understanding that feels better than a fleet of Porsches.

So, lots of us start on this path of study with the notion of getting better stuff. And make no mistake, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make your lifetime as fun and as beautiful as you can! That’s part of what we’re here for, creating that kind of bliss, and joy. There’s no guilt here.

But the more aligned we get, the further our understanding grows. And we find ourselves learning a whole new way to be. A deeper, more spiritual way to be. And yes, we do develop the ability to wield the power of our own beliefs to change our lives for the better. But we’re also beginning to re-define what better means.
This change comes when we adjust our beliefs. Changing our ingrained beliefs takes time and practice, but as my favorite teacher has often said, “A belief is just a thought you keep on thinking.” 

So why not try on some beliefs that are more empowering, and let go of some that have been limiting us? Why not try believing that we can have and do and be anything we want to have and do and be? Let’s get past the doubt so we can move on to the more important work of deciding just what it is we want, and realizing it’s not a Porsche after all.
c. What we most certainly expect. If I’ve had a great meal at a restaurant, I expect to have a great experience the next time I eat there. This expectation actually improves the chances that I will. The reverse is also true. One bad experience leads me to expect more. Even if I give the place a second chance, it’s more likely to disappoint me than to please me, because I expect it to. This is why two people can have the same meal at the same restaurant on the same day and have very different experiences. My experience is really more about me than it is about anything else involved.

This is always true. Which by extension means, I can decide ahead of time to enjoy any experience I need to, just by aligning with that expectation. 

I can read positive reviews or look at the menu ahead of time and get excited about something yummy. Or how about that job I hate? How about learning to enjoy that? 

I’m telling you, the ability to adjust your expectations is a powerful skill to master.
d. What we most frequently focus on. Most of us would deny we are negatively focused. I’ve had people tell me, “Oh no, I’m always focused on the positive. It’s just that my family is negative.” Followed by three paragraphs of the negative stuff their family is doing and/or saying. We can tell what we’re most focused on by paying attention to what we talk about. Recall your last few phone calls. Revisit your last few weeks’ social media posts. Re-read your sent-email file. Review your texts. The topics you’ve talked about most are the ones you’re focused on. It’s easy.
I know when a lot of us do this kind of review, it stings a little, right? It’s not fun to realize that thing we most want to get rid of is the very thing we’re holding tightest right now. Our attention to it is what keeps it clinging to us.

Maxine gets a cold, takes to the couch and tells everyone online how sick she is. She is SUFFERING. She takes her temperature every few minutes and looks up her symptoms on WebMD to see if it might be something worse, like the flu or pneumonia. She decides to get allergy testing to see if it might be that and makes medical appointments. All her focus is on illness. That’s tuning her vibration to match illness, and that will keep the energy of the bug with her for the next couple of weeks.

Mary gets a cold, takes something to relieve the symptoms, and forgets about it. If the symptoms return, she takes another dose. If she can’t find relief, she takes a nap to sleep it off. If it’s still bad when she wakes, she’ll grant herself a day of pampering, and watch her favorite movies or read her favorite books to get her mind off her troubles. Aside from her partner, she doesn’t mention it to anyone, or if it comes up, she brushes it off with, “Case of the sniffles. Taking the day off. Talk to you tomorrow.” She does tell her partner, because it’s kind of nice when he waits on her a little bit.

Generally speaking, and all other things being equal, Mary is going to be a much healthier person than Maxine. Her “bug” will pass quickly, but Maxine’s will linger.

I need to insert a disclaimer here that this is an example of how we can influence our health by adjusting our state of mind. Sickness and health are complex issues, and there are myriad reasons we get sick. It’s always awful, and I wish it never had to happen to anyone. I would never suggest patients caused their own illness. I’m saying, no matter the condition, its source or its cause, focus on it will make it worse. Focusing on things that feel good instead will make it better. Cure it? Maybe, if that’s for the overall good of the soul and the Whole. But at the very least, we get to feel good anyway. We get to feel good now.

 And when I say focus on something good, I’m not sure that’s the best word. I mean, find the very best thing you can in every moment of every day and wrap yourself up in it.
Basking in your beautiful life is the secret art of living well.

We can substitute any other topic for illness in the above example, and the same results will apply. Gravity works on everyone the same way. So does vibration. Whether the virus in this story is a debt, a car accident, a misbehaving teenager, colicky baby or inattentive spouse, the result is going to be the same. Attention to the problem makes it grow. Basking in the present while imagining the solution, will bring that around instead.

Knowing this and beginning to learn how to adjust our own internal dial can give us the power to allow health, joy, love, and abundance into our lives, as easily as changing the station on the radio.

Having learned all of this myself, having practiced it for two decades with varying degrees of consistency, and having learned from each and every experiment and experience how to better tune my dial, I have become adept at it. And I am compelled to share what I’ve learned with anyone who is looking for just this kind of information.

Assignment 1
Your Own Bliss Book
Start a journal. You’re going to use it for the other assignments in this book. Put some thought into it. Choose something you can bask in. Something that delights you. And think about where you’re going to do your journaling, too.

I do a lot of fingers-on-the-keyboard writing, but sometimes, I feel more in tune when I write by hand. A special pen, slender and light to fit my hand, with a fine point, but not so fine it cuts the paper. A beautiful blank books, with pale ghostlike images on heavy pages and art on the cover that takes my breath away. A cup of tea. A soft shawl around my shoulders. A seat by the window where I can see the bird feeders. Music playing softly in the background. These things make my journaling time special, and different from my other writing time.

So give this some thought, and get yourself a journal, a pen, a writing spot, and begin your practice today.

Open your journal and jot down what you hope to get from this book and these practices. And it’s okay if you include better stuff in that. I, myself have a lake house in my future. There is nothing un-spiritual about improving our lives. We live in paradise. More accurate to say, we’re a part of paradise. Our mother, the Earth. We need to start acting like it. Part of this journey we’re on—a big part of it—involves coming to understand that abundance is neither inherently sinful, nor necessary for happiness.

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