Living From the Inside Out

My guess is that if you have found your way to this blogsite and are reading this post, then you are on a spiritual path of some sort.   Perhaps you’ve been on that path for some time now.

The interesting thing about a spiritual path is that it has lots of twists and turns…some clear open lovely spaces, and some long, dark, narrow passages.

And very often, the realizations we had yesterday that were so clear, so true, today we’ve completely forgotten.  We wake up, and then fall back to sleep.  Wake up again and fall back to sleep….and dream.

We dream a dream of separation…separation from our wholeness.  Maybe we’ve fallen asleep and have dreamt that, if we can just manipulate the world in the right way we’ll be happy.  If we can just make a lot of money we’ll be safe.  If we can just find the right mate, our life will be complete.  Or, if that “certain person” disappeared from our life, we’d finally be okay.  Or we dream that if “they” would just give us a chance, give us a break, or if our career happened the way we think it should, our lives would transform;  We’re dreaming of a world works from the outside it, rather than inside out.

Why can’t we seem to stay awake, and live the life we know in our heart is true? Here’s why: Because the voice of the world is so loud!  The voice of the ego is so insistent. The voice of illusion is so damn hypnotizing.  And the voice of the inner presence…that still, small voice is so still and so small.  Why can’t it be the other way around, right? Humanity would have woken up long ago if that were the case.  It seems to be the nature of things that the most important things in life are subtle…not always easy to grasp, but the unimportant things are in our face daily.

So our focus today is on adjusting our hearing, as it were, so that we can better hear that still, small voice and be able to distinguish it from the voice of the ego…and the voice of the world.  

We also need to learn to develop an ear for the Universe…which is constantly providing feedback through our relationships, the circumstances in our lives, and our bodies.  We listen to the feedback and we make adjustments as we go.  Listen and adjust.  We must, however do this with as much compassion, and self-love as possible. That is key!

When we can do this, we will be truly living our lives from the inside out …and as a result…experience living successfully in all areas of our lives.

In working from the inside out we are not trying to force a change to our behavior or to “be good” to even to “improve” our lives. NO.  We are seeking to transform our understanding of who and what we are, and our relationship to the whole.  We are seeking to allow for a fuller expression of our Authentic Self…where our actions are naturally in alignment with Divine Love.

The good news is that the Universe always supports our efforts to awaken and evolve our understanding.  It is where we are all headed anyway.  And we…who are already on a spiritual path…have already gotten the call.  We’re just supporting each other in remembering that.

A good place to start is to think about the times in your life when you have been able to hear that still, small voice.  When have you sensed God’s presence guiding you or supporting you?  What practices have you done, or do you do now that engages that presence…that allows you to hear the Divine within?  As Leonard Felder (The Ten Challenges) says, “Each of us has to find our own individual way of opening up to our particular spark of the Divine Presence.”

And there might be two categories here that can help you think about that.  One place to look might be practices you may do by yourself…usually in the silence.  The other place to look is activities you may do with others, or in community, that opens you up to that Divine Presence.  Very often we experience it both ways.

Below is a sample of activities or practices that you do on your own in the silence.  Make a note of which one of these things helps you hear that still, small voice.

  • Meditation
  • Contemplative Prayer
  • Affirmative prayer
  • Journaling
  • Proactive Gratitude Pratice
  • Yoga
  • Heart Math
  • Present moment awareness/ working with the breath.
  • Walking or being in nature.
  • Walking the labyrinth or Medicine wheel
  • Listening to “Spirit-filled” music
  • Or, __________________________________________(fill in the blank)

 

The section below lists a sample of activities you may do with others, or in community, that connect you with that still, small voice:

  • Attending service at your spiritual community.
  • Participating in a Healing Service
  • Serving others in some capacity.  (Name one or two ways you serve_________________________)
  • Group ecstatic experience (dances, drumming, chanting)
  • Ritual or ceremonial experience
  • A class on some aspect of spirituality
  • Spending time with someone with whom you have a deep connection.
  • Group meditation or channeling
  • Or, __________________________________________(fill in the blank)

 

I invite you to share your list with us here at The Gratitude Experiment…particularly if there are spiritual practices you do that I haven’t listed here.

Now that you have your list, the question becomes, how do we stay committed to doing these activities on a regular basis so that we don’t fall back to sleep?  So that we stay awake more often to that place where “God’s Spirit dwells and the great encounter takes place?”

And making a commitment to daily practice takes a certain amount of discipline. We don’t always feel like doing it, or feel that we don’t have time to do it. So we want to acknowledge our feelings, embrace them, and at the same time love ourselves into remembering that we’ve made a commitment to connect with and reveal our Divine Self.

We all know how sometimes even the idea of discipline can cause a certain amount of resistance in us.  It can bring out our rebellious inner teenager. We may also associate discipline with punishment…or some sort of self-control we think we don’t have. That’s why l love Rev. Michael Beckwith’s interpretation of itHe calls discipline, “blissipline.” And it’s true that after practicing for a while, it gives us such deep satisfaction and peace we find we don’t want to miss it…we don’t want to go a day without it.  He says, “Discipline is a practice of self-love, self-respect and surrender that results in freedom.”

So I invite you to look at this list this week and make a commitment to doing something every day.  And we’re going to love ourselves into daily practice.  We’re going to support each other in daily practice…and we’re going to remind ourselves what we are really doing is nurturing that still, small voice which helps us stay awake to the Divine Presence within…thereby living our lives from the inside out.

Here’s a good affirmation to repeat daily:

Affirmation:
“I open my heart daily to hear the still, small voice within.  With intention I free myself from the voice of the ego, and of illusion, and I make space for the Divine to shine Its light through and as me.”  And so it is!

Connect In Guided Meditations

Starting today, and continuing every Wednesday, I will be posting a guided meditation on my YouTube page and link it here.  I’m calling it “Connect In.”   meditation hands

The purpose of “Connect In” is to provide support for your meditation practice.  In addition to daily gratitude practice, daily meditation helps us connect with the Source of all good…the Divine within us.  By quieting our mind and focusing our attention on our heart center, we allow for that connection.

Please enjoy the video as you make yourself comfortable in a quiet “meditation place” which can be your home office, living room, bedroom…anywhere you will not be disturbed for 8 to 10 minutes.

When the meditation is complete you will return to your day refreshed, centered, and radiating love to those around you.   You will also be more aligned with your inner Divine Guidance and feel it lead your thoughts and decisions throughout the day.

Peace & Blessings.

Gratitude and the Gap

Mind the GapIf you’ve ever been in England you’ve seen this expression “Mind the Gap” posted in the underground stations, to alert you to pay attention to the space between the platform and the train. It’s a valid warning, you don’t want to get your foot stuck in the space between, or drop anything down in there…you’ll never see it again.

In Eastern thought, though, the gap is a much desired place to be.  The gap is the space between your thoughts…usually referring to the practice of meditation.  Mystics and yogi’s recognize that no one can simply stop their thoughts, or “will themselves” to quiet their mind.  What we can do though is to widen the distance between our thoughts and cultivate an awareness of that space — to be mindful of the gap and to encourage it.  When we do this, we are rewarded with peace of mind and increasing our ability to hear the voice of the Divine within us, among other things.  The gap is the golden place, where transformation occurs.

The gap that I am thinking about today is also something to be mindful of – and it has the potential of being a golden, transformational time.  It’s a the place we sometimes find ourselves in that’s between no longer accepting an old way of perceiving ourselves and the world — and not yet experiencing the fullness of what we now know to be true.

It’s that place between “no longer” and “not yet”.

For example:  Maybe you no longer accept the idea that you are a victim of circumstance.  Maybe you used to believe that outside circumstances or situations controlled your experience in life.  Perhaps you used to accept that your employment was dependent on a specific company or individual.  Or that your experience of prosperity was determined by your employer.  Maybe you once believed that your ability to love was dependent on another person.   Or that your body is subject to the diseases of old age.  Whenever we have repeated experiences in our lives or an ongoing challenge, we know it is a direct result of what we believe to be true about ourselves.  It’s first a thought… which if continued, becomes a belief, which then becomes our experience.  This is the Law of Cause and Effect, or the Law of Attraction, or the Law of Manifestation.  Whatever you want to call it, it’s exacting.

Anyway, your old ideas about your limited self are now in the past.  You no longer accept that nonsense.  You know that you are a powerful co-creator in life and all that you have ever needed is within you.  You know that the Source of all your good is the Infinite, limitless, unbounded.  This is the Source of all…which created you out of Itself. You are an expression of It, therefore you are already whole and complete, abundant, love-filled, joyous, fulfilled and all of your needs are met now.  You know this in your heart of hearts.  However, you are not yet experiencing that truth in your life.    You are in the gap.

So, what is the “gap” and why is it that we don’t manifest our new consciousness immediately in our lives?  Why do we have to be in a “gap?”

Well first of all, it’s a good thing that ideas in our consciousness do NOT manifest immediately. Think about it.  Think about all the fearful fantasies you have had.  The nightmare scenarios you have imagined for yourself such as, “That bump on my skin is cancer, I know it!” or if you have kids and you temporarily can’t find them, you think, “They’ve been kidnapped!” or perhaps your fearful thoughts about the world, “We’re all gonna die in a nuclear blast!” etc.  Thank God there is a time gap between the thoughts we hold in our minds and what actually manifests — so that we can review it all and make sure that’s what we really want to create.  Most the time we come to our senses and remind ourselves that ultimately, all is well.

So, the buffer zone of the gap gives us a chance to re-examine our beliefs.

Secondly there is the natural order of growth from the formless to the form in this dense, physical universe.  Ernest Holmes once wrote:  ”The Truth is instantaneous in its demonstration, taking only such time in Its unfoldment as is inherent in the law of logical and sequential evolution.”

So, then the question becomes:  ”Well, what do I do while in the gap?  Is there anything beneficial I can do?”  And, that’s a good question! It’s actually vital.  Because many of us, when we don’t realize we’re in the gap…when we don’t see an immediate response to our prayers, or to our new consciousness…we think that it doesn’t work, and we begin to doubt and fall back into our fears and our negative thinking patterns.  And that just negates the new awareness we’d developed.  It’s like taking one step forward and one step back. Ever have that experience?

So, we want to nurture the environment of the gap while we are in it in order to allow for our new consciousness to emerge from that fertile time.  And we can do that best by practicing proactive gratitude. Here’s what I mean…

You know when you plant seeds in the soil, it takes some time before you see anything happen.  From the surface it looks like nothing is happening.  But, under the surface, a tremendous amount of energy is being expended to release the hidden potential within that seed, to push through the hard shell and then through the soil. That’s the gap experience.   If we water the soil where the seeds are planted we will create a nourishing environment for the seeds to grow.  That’s what gratitude does – it nurtures the environment in the gap that allows for your new consciousness to emerge into experience.

So, looking for things to be grateful for and focusing on those things, and celebrating those things, creates the energetic current that allows for the manifestation.  This is an important, golden time where you want to reaffirm the realizations you have come to regarding your limitless nature and your worthiness of all the good you can imagine for yourself.  You want to water that soil with as much positivity and affirmation as you can.  Practicing proactive gratitude does that.  It gets you to a place where you realize, “yeah…there is a lot of good in my life – look at all this good!  Look at that beautiful sunrise. Look at the abundance all around me.  I’m so grateful for my health…for the things that do work well in my body.  I’m so grateful for my wonderful, supportive friends, and my spiritual community that nurtures and supports my growing awareness.  God must love me…the universe must indeed be for me!”  So you get to a place where an abundance of good just feels natural to you.  And when that happens, the manifestation of your new consciousness is immanent.  It’s a heartbeat away.

Secondly, a very important thing we want to do while in the gap is to surround ourselves with positive people…life-affirming folks who are themselves on a path of spiritual growth.  This is a sensitive time.  We can so easily be influenced by others’ energetic vibrations during this time.  So negative, doubt-filled people are not the ones we want to be hangin’ with when we’re in the gap.  We want to surround ourselves with only those who will affirm our growing awareness with us and can help us see the good that’s in process of manifesting.

So practice proactive gratitude daily, choose who you hang with carefully and remember that this is a fertile time. If you tend to it wisely, you will reap the rich harvest of your new expanded awareness.

Be mindful while in the gap!

Mindfulness and Gratitude

You know when something reaches the cover of TIME magazine, it’s has entered the public collective consciousness.  The February 3rd copy of TIME, featured a cover with TIMEa woman apparently in rapturous meditation.  The headline: The Mindful Revolution. The Science of Finding Focus in a Stressed-Out Multitasking Culture.  

The interesting thing is that Jon Kabat-Zinn (an MIT-educated scientist) developed Mindfulness Based Stress-Reduction (or MBSR) in 1979, and it is only now that it is taking off…and in a big way.   Maybe it’s in response to our overstimulating multitasking, always-on-call, digital culture.  Or, maybe it’s a result of conscious evolution – we’re finally ready for it.  Whatever the reason for its popularity, it’s definitely a good thing.

And while Mindfulness is inherently a Buddhist concept, Kabat-Zinn keeps any reference to spirituality out of it.  This secular approach seems to have helped the movement expand – in particular, some of its biggest proponents, are (ironically) Silicon Valley execs, from Google, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – yes, the very companies that have created the multitasking, always-on-call digital culture.  Apparently, according to the article, “it helps them free up mental space for creativity and big thinking.”  Who knows, maybe they’ll create something that will actually help us become fully present in the moment and alert to the blessings all around us.  One can hope.

The downside of leaving spirituality out of this approach to Mindfulness is that it limits its transformational ability.  But, that’s where we can choose to add it back in.

Briefly, mindfulness trains our mind to pay exquisite attention to what’s happening in the moment. All our senses become alert to what’s going on in our body, our mind and our environment.

This is great training for living in the present moment and appreciating fully what is in the present moment.  It helps us discover what is, and then accept what is…just as it is.  With the benefits being that we become more peaceful, less stressed people who are more self-aware and more likely to accept ourselves…exactly as we are.  That’s huge!

And, we can take this deeper.  When we connect with our heart, and bring our spiritual awareness into the practice of mindfulness, we can take our practice…and our spiritual growth…to the next level.

For example, once we train ourselves to become aware of all the sounds, and sights around us, we can take the next step and choose to view it as one Divine Life-essence expressing in a myriad of ways.  This helps us develop a deep sense of gratitude for it all.  How miraculous all of nature really is!  How miraculous the world is!  We can choose to see ourselves as “one with it all”….the same Life-essence that “runs through the world, runs through my veins night and day and dances in rhythmic measure,” as Tagore wrote. We can begin to feel the rhythm of our bodies and know that it’s all God.  And if something is out of rhythm we catch it early and follow Divine Guidance to make whatever changes we might need to make to restore that rhythm.

Once we become aware of our thoughts, we can take the next step and begin to distinguish the different between our ego-mind and the voice of our Higher Self…and then encourage the voice of the Divine to speak more substantially than our ego.  When we acknowledge and appreciate all the moments in our lives when our inner wisdom guides us to say the right thing, or take appropriate action, we develop a deep and abiding relationship with the Divine within us.  When we do, our lives radiate harmony and blessings in every area.

Bring your heart to your practice of mindfulness and begin to take it to the next level…and watch your life transform!

 

Gratitude Grows Joy in our Life

Cultivating gratitude nourishes the seeds of joy in our life. Many people have transformed their lives just by the practice of gratitude alone.  Here’s why: the practice of gratitude rewires us from deep inside.  Where before we were wired to pay attention only to what wasn’t working, to what was wrong, what was missing, we are now wired to notice all the beauty and abundance all around us. We notice all that is right with our lives and all the little miracles that happen every day. We spend more time living in the present moment, appreciating our life. It’s a huge shift in our energy…our vibration is raised and we connect with our inner joy.

That seed is nourished and it grows and begins to bear the fruit of joyful abundance, love, success and fulfillment.

 

What are You Hoping For?

I hope I get the job.  I hope it all works out for you.   I hope my proposal is accepted. I hope you are feeling better.  I hope they’ll like me.  I’m hopeful that things will turn around for us. I hope humanity will wake up and realize we are all One.  Hope. Hope. Hope.  When we use the word hope in this way, it’s a pretty wimpy form of expressing our desire or our intention, isn’t it?  It’s like passive wishing.  It has no power.  Ernest Holmes calls hope “a subtle illusion.”

And the truth is, that’s where a lot of us are with hope. In fact, when we express the idea of “hope” in this fashion we’re kind of excusing ourselves from actually doing anything to positively affect the outcome, aren’t we?  It sounds like we’re being positive and practicing positive thinking.  But we’re really not. Of course it’s better than saying, I’m sure I won’t get the job, or I’m afraid they won’t like me, or I’m not feeling good that it will work out for you. Hope is actually one step above that.  It’s not destructive. But it’s not creative either.  And remember we are creative beings, we’re creating all the time…not just with our words but with the energy behind the words.

There is another way, though, of approaching the idea of hope that can be creative.  It’s about shifting our understanding of hope and holding it as an energy that opens up possibility. If we can approach hope in this way, then hope can be a powerful key that unlocks potential for us and others.  It can be that essential shift from not seeing an answer, not seeing any possibility, to accepting a larger Truth that harmony, wellbeing and abundance are what the Universe has in fact already given us…and our hope becomes…expectation that opens a way for its realization.

In fact expectation is hope amplified.  Expectation carries a feeling of some certainty about it.  You prepare…you make way…you actively get ready to receive.

Every woman who has had a baby knows exactly what this is about.  When you are in that last trimester of pregnancy, there’s no doubt a baby is coming in a few weeks.  No doubt there will be another little life joining your family…and that that little one is going to need your round the clock attention.  You may not have realized it early on in the pregnancy. Early on, the focus was on staying healthy and maybe starting to think about what having a baby will mean for you and your partner.

But in that last trimester, you prepare.  You make the necessary adjustments in your family — arranging for maternity, or paternity leave if you are fortunate enough to have that.  You get the baby’s room painted and decorated.  You set up the crib and changing table.  You buy and install the baby seat in your car.  You’ve had your baby shower and have put away all those adorable, expensive, little outfits that your baby will either permanently soil immediately, or outgrow before he or she get a chance to wear it more than once. :-)

So, expectation (which remember is hope amplified) leads us to take the appropriate action to prepare for its coming.  Can you say the same for the things you are hoping for?  Are you preparing just as robustly for your new job coming, or your proposal being accepted, or your health returning fully, or your perfect mate coming into your life?  Are you preparing for a world that works for everyone? In other words…heaven on earth?

If so, then you have amplified hope to the next level and are living in joyous expectation. You are open to the possibilities.  You have cleared a path for your good to make its way to you.  And one of the best ways to activate this energy of amplified hope…of ensuring a positive outcome is to cultivate a gratitude practice.

Practicing proactive gratitude helps us to see that we are already blessed, therefore we must be worthy of a fulfilling and joyous life.  We begin to accept that the universe does indeed work together for our good, and that things naturally work out for us.  Therefore, cultivating a gratitude practice is connects us with the fulfillment of the thing or experience we are hoping for.  We rest in joyful expectancy and are lead to take the appropriate action in order to help facilitate the realization of our desired good.  As co-creators, our participation is an essential part of the process.

I have amplified hope you will commit to a practice of proactive gratitude and all that you are hoping for this holiday season, and in the new year, is already coming into your life!

Gratitude Is (Jack Kornfield)

Gratitude is a gracious acknowledgment of all that sustains us, a bow to our blessings, great and small. Gratitude is confidence in life itself. In it we feel how the same force that pushes grass through cracks in the sidewalk invigorates our own life. … Gratitude receives in wonder the myriad offers of rain and sunlight, the care that supports every single life.
Happy Thanksgiving

- Jack Kornfield, Bringing Home the Dharma

Can the Practice of Gratitude Make us Wealthy?

Well, I don’t know if we can become wealthy by simply practicing gratitude. But I do know that the practice of proactive gratitude can heal our relationship with money and can increase our experience of prosperity in all areas including financial.

Here’s how it works.  First, be grateful for every dollar that comes in.  A consciousness of gratitude in regards to our income helps us to see that money is Divine energy in motion. We begin to see the amount – no matter how small it may be – as evidence of substance rather than a symbol of lack.  By allowing a feeling our gratitude to fill our consciousness we understanding that behind that substance we see with our eyes, lies ever-present, limitless, all-providing good.  Our gratitude opens us up to receive more.

Secondly, when we exchange that money for goods and services by paying our bills, we can express our gratitude once again.  How blessed we are to be able to afford a roof over our head, food in our bellies, and heat in our homes (not to mention all the extras like computers and cars and iPhones, that the majority of the world’s population will never know.)

After practicing this for a while you will begin to develop an awareness that earning an income, buying goods and services and perhaps sharing our good with others is participating in a Divine positive energy exchange.  We feel like active participants in this positive energy exchange and we begin to activate the law of circulation in our lives – opening the floodgates for more good to flow into our lives.

Try this and prove it to yourself.  You will witness your relationship with money transform and your experience of prosperity increase!

The Power of an Expansive Vision

In her book, The Path, Laurie Beth Jones says, “Your vision statement is the force that will sustain you when your mission statement seems too heavy to endure, enforce or engage.  All significant changes and inventions began with a vision first.”  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now think about your own life for a moment.  Think about those times where you pushed through your exhaustion and discomfort and moved past your fear and forged ahead, and enlisted help from others…I’d be willing to bet it was those time that you had a clear vision and you were committed to seeing accomplished.  Whether it was graduating college…maybe you had a vision of you stepping up on a stage with your cap and gown and someone putting a diploma in your hand, or a vision of you walking down the aisle to marry the man or woman of your dreams, or a vision of raising children who become fine human beings, or, perhaps it was making some huge positive change in your life.  We succeed in realizing our vision to the degree we are able to focus on that vision.  If we get bogged down in the struggle, or give in to our fear, or think about how long it’s going to take, or how much effort it will take, or that we might fail, then we will surely fail.  However, When we focus on the vision …the end result…we manifest it!  And our lives…and those whom our lives touch…are blessed because of it.

What we need to know is that a higher vision for our lives is always seeking to emerge from us.  Some of us know what that is and are on the path now!  Some may have a vague idea of what it is, and other don’t know what it is yet…or are even aware there is a vision seeking to emerge within you.  But it’s there knocking at the door of your consciousness saying, “you were made for a more magnificent and fulfilling life.  You were made to bring forth the vision that is within you.  Get on it.”

Now, if we don’t “get on it”, we might experience endless frustration (and not even know where that’s coming from) or nothing seems to really click, and we waste a lot of time chasing after something that we think will make us happy…but ultimately doesn’t.  As Rev. Michael Beckwith says, “Allow yourself to be pulled by your vision, rather than being pushed by the pain.”

What is your higher vision?  It’s vital that we discover what that is because unless we’re in touch with that expansive, Divine vision for our life, we are living according to some lesser vision. Remember, the universe is always receiving our impression…and our impression consists of whatever the majority of our focus is on.  If our focus is on just trying to get through the day, or trying to make something work…or if our focus is on what’s missing from our lives, and what’s wrong with us and what’s wrong with others and with our world…if that’s what the majority of our focus is centered around – that’s our vision!  And that’s what the universe hears, and goes about creating more of for us.

We are creative beings and the universe responds to our beliefs and what we’re focused on.   So, if our focus is on all the blessings in our life, as well as on a higher vision for our life, that’s what the universe works to create for us, or leads us to the right place where we’re guided to take action.

If you could use some support in discovering your vision, and/or staying on track with that vision until it becomes manifest, I have several new products and services that might just be the thing you are looking for:  Click here. 

A Day in the Life with Gratitude

The practice of gratitude can do so much more for us than simply making us feel good and raising our vibration so that we will attract more good into our life.  The practice of daily proactive gratitude can also help us identify, and keep in the forefront of our minds, what is sacred in our lives.  Gratitude activates the sacredness of “ordinary things” and “ordinary moments.” When it is our intention to seek out and find things and experiences for which to be grateful — when that is our primary focus — it helps us identify the sacred and connect with it!

Let’s take a “day in the life” of Sam to see how this works.  Sam has a habit of focusing on what’s wrong and what’s missing in his life.  It’s 6:30 AM Monday morning and Sam’s alarm goes off at.   His first thought is, “Oh God it’s Monday!  I wish I could sleep in, but I’ve got to get up, get dressed and get to work.  Ugh.”  And he just sort of goes through the motions like he has blinders on, so he doesn’t notice anything other than…the pants he wanted to wear today are dirty. He grumbles.  Then when he gets downstairs to grab something quick to eat he sees he’s out of his favorite cereal. “Must have been the kids.”  Then when he gets into his car he realizes the gas tank is on “E”.  His wife didn’t fill up the gas tank after she drove to the lake yesterday! “Errr!”  Then, of course he’s seeing that there are more and more cars on the road every day, and he’ll be stuck in traffic for awhile.  So he stops to get a coffee at Starbucks and is immediately frustrated when he sees the extra-long line.  By the time he gets into the office he’s seething with negativity.  No wonder no one says “good morning” to him when he walked in.  Finally when he arrives at his desk he finds a huge report laying there that he’s been asked to analyze before the end of the week.

His whole week is shot before it really begins.  Where are the sacred places and moments in that person’s life?  Where’s the joy in his life?  Maybe he can find some on the weekend, but probably not since he has developed a habit of seeing only what’s missing and what’s wrong.  Not a life worth living really, is it?

Now let’s say this same person has indeed developed a practice of proactive gratitude. Let’s look at his Monday morning from that perspective. 6:30 AM…his alarm goes off.  His first thought is, “Oh Thank God I had such a good sleep, I think I only woke up once in the night.” Then he looks over at his wife sleeping next to him and he’s immediately grateful he’s sharing his life with someone. Then he thinks about his two kids who are just waking up to go to school and he’s grateful they are safely in their beds and are healthy. Even before he gets out of bed he realizes how blessed his life is.  Then when he goes to his closet and notices his favorite pants are dirty he continues to look around and notices a pair he hasn’t worn in a long time because he just hasn’t seen them.  He feels good when he puts those on and they still fit.  In fact, they look pretty good. Then, when he goes downstairs and discovers his favorite cereal is gone, he’s grateful to discover some English muffins in the refrigerator. He hasn’t had an English muffin in a long time and is grateful to rediscover how much he enjoys it.  Next, when Sam get’s into his car and discovers he’s out of gas, he thinks about his wife using the car to go to the lake and feels happy knowing she had such a great time with the kids there…which also allowed him alone time where he could watch back-to-back football games uninterrupted. This just fills his heart with more love and gratitude as he fills the tank.

Then on his way to work he’s feeling so grateful to live in such a beautiful part of the country where there is beauty on both sides of the road the entire way to work.  As he is forced to slow down because of all the traffic, he just has more time to enjoy each individual tree and be grateful for it. He soon feels the sacredness of life all around him.  Then when he stops at Starbucks and gets in the long line, he strikes up a casual conversation with the guy in front of him. And because his positive attitude is so infectious the other guy’s mood begins to brighten.  As they talk they find that they work in the same industry, have clients in common, and end up trading contact info which may turn into increased business for both of them.

Sam’s now humming with this high vibration as he walks through the office doors. People can’t help but notice and as he greets them with a big smile and a “good morning!” He’s just shared his positive energy with everyone there which in turn, affects their day, which in turn ultimately has a positive effect on the business…which keeps him employed.  Finally as he sits down at his desk and sees the gigantic report — he’s tempted to get discouraged and feel overwhelmed, but he remembers to take a moment before he reacts.

What is also sacred is that moment between what happens to us, and how we react to it.  It could be just a split second, but if we take that time and remember it can be a sacred moment…it can be the moment we allow the Divine to enter our thinking and our feeling, and ask that wisdom to inform how we respond to what is happening to us.  That, in and of itself, can transform our lives.

So, Sam does this and gradually sees that in this report he’ll find useful information there which will somehow bless him and others, all the while his skills and expertise will be exercised for the good of all concerned.  And he begins to tackle it with gusto.  And he’s filled with gratitude generally about being employed, knowing that some of his friends are not.

Sam’s day, and entire week is certain to reveal more and more blessings as he moves through it, because his high vibration is attracting more and more good.

Two different experiences rightSame circumstances…same events…but what a different experience!  All of this is possible because he has trained himself to seek out and find the blessing in all situations.  He’s trained himself to begin each day by looking for something to be grateful for.  He has trained himself to see possibility.  Which life would you want to live?

Most would say the second one!  And you can have that life right now, just by making the decision to practice daily proactive gratitude…by making the decision to look for the blessings and see the sacredness in “ordinary” things…every day of your life.