Heavening \Heav'en'ing\, v.
To place in happiness or bliss, as if in heaven; to beatify.
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
A good friend, who is both a psychotherapist and life counselor, recently sent me an email that prompted this current blog entry. In it, he said:
"I trust you did not place a patent on your 'Heavening and Helling' concept as I have used this as a tool with a couple of clients with good effect."
And of course... no, I don't have a patent on the concept of heavening :-) It's freely available for anyone and everyone to share and use, and yes it really does work to enhance life, so I thought I'd share it in some detail in today's blog entry.
So what is heavening?
I originally came up with the concept of 'heaven-ing' one night a few years ago, when I was laying in bed attempting to sleep through the loud noise of a raucous party the neighbors across the road were throwing. Rather than lay there, tossing and turning and focusing on the noise, getting myself more and more angry with fantasies of going across the road and shutting them up with a baseball bat, I decided instead to focus on something more positive in order to distract myself. I thought it would be fun to explore the idea of heaven and to design what heaven would be like if I were its creator. So rather than 'hell-ing' - creating hell in my own life, by focusing on the negativity of the noise and lack of sleep, I decided to do 'heaven-ing' - enjoying the creative fun of playing with the details and fantasy of heaven.
As I lay there, exploring heaven, thinking through how it would work, what it would contain, who would populate it, what rules it would run by, what magic it might provide... I found myself drifting off in a very pleasant state of happiness and joy. Heavening was fun and it worked it's positive magic in my body and mind. I gently drifted off to a very peaceful sleep and awoke refreshed next day, with the noisy party a distant and trivial memory.
The experience of heavening was so enjoyable and delightful that I decided to continue playing with it each night before sleep and at other times when I had some spare moments to fill. I did heavening when standing in lines and queues. I did heavening when sitting in traffic or waiting for the traffic lights to change. I did heavening in the shower and while doing the dishes and chores. Heavening became an integral, ongoing and life enhancing part of my life.
Heavening as a skill and resource
I also realised that by doing heavening, by creating a place in my mind that was a wonder-filled and beautiful space, I was creating a skill and a resource that would stand me in good stead for the rest of my life. You see, no matter what happens to my life, no matter what happens to my body, as long as I am conscious and can think, I will always be able to go to the heaven I have created in my imagination. Even if I'm unwell, or locked away or end up paralysed and unable to communicate, no matter what happens, the more I develop, populate and envision my version of heaven in my mind, the greater the resource and skill I have for taking myself to a wonderful place. I am literally heavening my life. To me, that seems very very life enhancing.
The positive effects
I also noticed another interesting and positive effect from the process of heavening. The more I designed and detailed the concept of heaven in my mind, the more I started to notice and see the parts of the world that matched or echoed my heaven.
I remember the first time I noticed this effect, a week or two after I'd started doing heavening. My beloved and I were out kayaking on the lake that we live beside. It was a perfect blue-sky sunny day. Not a breeze in the air. Not a cloud in the sky. Just azure blue stretching across the horizon. The lake was a mirror. We were the only people there. Drifting across the lake in our kayaks, a pelican gliding past, barely skimming the water, floating on a cushion of air. Absolutely magical!
And I realised that this was just like heaven. Literally. This was something out of my dreams of what heaven would be like. The sun, the sky, the warmth of the air, the peace and tranquility, the freedom. This was heavening on earth. I shared my insight with my darling and we both celebrated and savoured just how heavenly our experience was right then. My process of heavening inside my mind overflowed out into my world. My Reticular Activating System - the central core of our nervous system that is responsible for filtering and directing our attention - became attuned to all that was heavenly in life, and now continues to mark out and highlight the positive and heavenly aspects of my day to day life. Heavening inside my head now spreads to amplifying heavening in my everyday life. It's wonderful and truly life enhancing.
Moving away from helling
From the process of heavening and it's effects in my mind and life, I also began to notice and see when other people are doing the converse. I've noticed how often people do helling in their lives - how they literally generate ongoing hell in their daily lives through self-fulfilling prophecies and negative beliefs and behaviours.
This has lead me to notice the seeds of helling in my own behaviours or thoughts, and to move away from those and replace them with their opposites. I can now avoid the enemies to happiness and enemies to heavening in my life and instead choose to amplify the processes of life enhancing and happinessing.
You see, heavening and helling are skills. You get to choose which skillset you want to practice and put into action in your life. And you cannot not choose - not choosing is a choice! - you are condemned to the freedom of choice, and I suggest you choose powerfully.
Choose to practice and do heavening in your own life. Doing it now will mean that you will have enhanced both your inner and outer worlds and produced ripples and echoes throughout your relationships and life. It's easy. It's fun. And it brings heaven onto earth. Right now, right here.
Fascinatingly, the spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle, writes in his book 'A New Earth' that:
"It is interesting to note that many biblical scholars suggest that the esoteric meaning of prophecies in both the Old and the New Testament that speak of the collapse of the existing world order and the arising of 'a new heaven and a new earth' are talking not about heaven as a physical location but instead as an inner realm of consciousness. Literally they are suggesting that 'A New Heaven' will arise on Earth as an emergence of heavening in human consciousness."
You know, you really do have a choice. In any situation in your life, you can choose to focus on the positive or the negative. You can choose to celebrate joy or failure, positivity or negativity. By doing heavening you direct your mind and consciousness towards joy and positivity and out of that emerges a new way of being that is truly life enhancing.
As my friend said in his email, heavening really can be used to good effect. It works and it helps. I've shared it with you, and I own no patent on the concept. So feel free to use it to enhance your life and the lives of those you care about.
Heavening \Heav'en'ing\, v.
To place in happiness or bliss, as if in heaven
life enhancing wishes
Some highly recommended heavenly reading:
How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth
What would it take to make this world a paradise? Tackling the momentous question of how individuals can envision and enact positive change, this collection of 101 essays from some of today's most notable thinkers, leaders, artists, and writers focuses on how to achieve a Heaven on Earth.
Life: Heaven on Earth: 100 Places to See in Your Lifetime
From the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx to the mysteries of Easter Island and Stonehenge, the editors of Life draw on the world's finest photography to reveal why you must include these truly special 100 places in your life's itinerary.
Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives
A clever little book by a neuroscientist translates lofty concepts of heaven, infinity and death into accessible human terms. What happens after we die? Eagleman wonders in each of these brief, evocative segments. Are we consigned to replay a lifetime's worth of accumulated acts? Is heaven a bureaucracy, where God has lost control of the workload? Will we download our consciousnesses into a computer to live in a virtual world, where God exists after all and has gone through great trouble and expense to construct an afterlife for us? In bite-size vignettes, Sum explores deep human notions of heaven and provides engaging explorations into the human psyche. It is a well-executed and thought-provoking book.