…is an excellent book that I find myself coming back to again and again. It was written by Esther and Jerry Hicks of “Abraham” fame. Abraham is the spiritual teacher that I seem to listen to all the time on my phone, usually through their Youtube videos. I would like to highlight a couple of the passages I really enjoy about this book.
“Ask and It is Given” is all about the Law of Attraction. This law states that you attract what you focus on, that your thoughts and feelings signal what you are attracting in the moment. It gives many useful insights to lay out how one can align with thoughts that are satisfying and feel good. Abraham’s ideas on these things are the basis for many of my inspirational posts.
Here’s one passage I have always particularly liked:
You have the ability to direct your own thoughts; have the option of observing things as they are, or of imaging them as you want them to be–and whichever option you choose, whether you are imagining or observing, is equally powerful. You have the option of remembering something as it actually occurred or imagining it as you would prefer. You have the option of remembering something that pleased you or remembering something that did not please you. You have the option of anticipating something you want or anticipating something you do not want. In every case, your thoughts produce a vibration within you that equals your point of attraction, and then circumstances and events line up to match the vibrations that you have offered.Ask and it is Given, p68
To me, this passage turns on its head a lot of the conventional knowledge I was taught. As Abraham points out, in general people are taught to “face reality,” to focus our thoughts on what is ‘real,’ even if that is something unwanted, depressing, or unsatisfying. Yet Abraham says that if something is unsatisfying or depressing, what is the value in focusing on it? After all, what we focus on expands. If we don’t want something, why give it our attention?
Although I originally read this paragraph numerous years ago, it still excites and delights me. I feel that I am only starting to truly grok its implications. I love the idea that I get to choose what I want to focus on, for example, what really happened or, instead, what I wish had happened. I have encountered the idea that my brain doesn’t know the difference between a real memory and a visualization. I love the idea that either one is just as powerful for me to focus on in terms of attraction.
Because it’s all about focus. What happened to you in the past is not nearly as important as what you are focused on now, whatever that is. Because (to connect the dots with Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now”) everything that is happening is happening now. Your power to create is now. Your power to focus is now. Your power to make a new choice is now. Where else could it be?
So it’s not so much what has happened to you as what you choose to focus on now that determines your experience, your mood, your results, and what you attract. This is still an exciting, almost mind-boggling notion!
Here’s another great passage:
The greatest gift that you could ever give to another is your own happiness, for when you are in a state of joy, happiness, or appreciation, you are fully connected to the stream of pure, positive Source Energy that is truly who you are. And when you are in that state of connection, anything or anyone that you are holding as your object of attention benefits from your attention.
No one else needs you to be or do things for them in order for them to be fulfilled–for all of them have the same access to the Stream of Well-Being that you do.Ask and It Is Given, p88
I first noticed this passage (as in really noticed it) only a couple weeks ago. The last line in the quote especially hit me: that no one needs me to be a certain way at all! Wow! This is still revelatory to me. Somehow, I got some mixed ideas as a child about others needing me to be a certain way for them to be happy. Yet I think I was mixed up on what happiness actually is. When you are truly happy you feel free, and you want to set others free as well. So I don’t think that, if other people become genuinely unhappy because of your actions, they were that happy to begin with.
It also just really sets me free to set my sights on my happiness, no holds barred. I think I had some screwy notions that I might be hurting or betraying others if I were to go for what makes me truly happy. Again, I think I was mistaken on happiness.
As I said, I have gotten a lot from this book already. In fact, I find that now, numerous years after I started reading it, I still keep it on my nightstand next to the bed for reference. I open up pages as if randomly for inspiration. It is helping me deepen my understand of thought principles that are truly conducive to living a joyful life.