As the song goes, "you gotta accen...tuate the positive, elim...minate the negative and latch on...to the affirmative, don't mess with Mr. Inbetween."
Life cycles in a spiraling, wave-like fashion toward evolution. Our consciousness follows this same pattern of cyclical, spiraling waves. Some of us resist the pull toward evolution and some of us move consciously and with ease toward the pull. However we move forward emotionally, we all experience the wave-like ups and downs or lows and highs of our cycles. Depending on our habits of focus, we create and live in a particular emotional range, the character of which determines the quality of our lives.
If we pay attention to our thoughts and emotions, we quickly notice which part of the "wave" we are in at any given moment. If we habitually give attention to the negative or lower aspects of our cycles, then our emotional environment will spiral toward the lower ranges such as suffering and depression. If we maintain positive habits of thought, our cycle will spiral toward the higher ranges of happiness and well-being. In other words, if we live our lives focusing on the positive and transforming negatives into useful information, then we tend to spiral upward into higher consciousness. I say higher because positive focus leads to expansion of consciousness whereas negative focus leads to a contraction of consciousness, a pulling backward.
This brings me to a second principle: what we resist, persists. If we are resisting, we are focusing on the negative. We are thinking something is not right, it should be different. This is being at war with conditions or circumstances as they are. This resistance focuses attention on something and therefore feeds it. As long as we nourish the situation it will continue. Forward movement toward evolution is slowed down by our anchor of attention on the negative. Ironically, we perpetuate the very condition we dislike. This leaves us operating in an unpleasant reality and results in limiting the expansion of awareness. This does not mean we passively stick our heads in the sand and do nothing. It means we turn our focus to what we want to see rather than what we are currently seeing and disliking.
There are over 6 billion people living and experiencing their own versions of reality based on their habits of focus. We all have a choice to choose a particular spin on what we are seeing at any given moment. If we are conscious enough, we can notice the nature of our focus and ask ourselves if it produces feelings we would like to expand upon. For instance, if someone says to me, "I really like what you wore yesterday", I may hear that and react in dramatically different ways, depending on how I'm feeling. I may spin it as a compliment and be pleased or, if I'm in a lower part of the cycle, I may think they must not like what I'm wearing today. If I observe that I took it positively, I can then acknowledge I'm in a positive part of the cycle and just let it be, or enhance my position to consciously feel gratitude. If I notice I took it negatively, I can note that I am most likely in the negative or lower part of the cycle. As I become aware of this, I can consciously spin the comment toward the positive without reacting. This will send me on an upward spiral in my cycling and create a pleasant and satisfying emotional environment. We can consciously choose the way in which we focus our attention at any given moment. As a result, we can create a quality of life full of well-being and immense gratitude. This is the essence of free will.