The year 2022 is up to you, just as every day of your life in years gone by has been up to you, and the creative ability and responsibility of your Divinity will go right into 2023…if you do! This year will unfold in sameness or newness, in continued conflict and confusion or newly discovered well-being and harmony, and it will arise out of choices you and make as we live it. We’ll experience what we’re creating in the present moment as we go along. Even if you don’t believe that’s true, how you experience 2022 will still be up to you. Abraham-Hicks tells us, “You are so free you can choose bondage. You are so free that you can choose not to feel free. That’s freedom!”
We are so free in our Divinity that we can deny the power of our thoughts, words and actions, and live as if it doesn’t matter what we think or do. We can decide to sit back mentally and just see what happens this year without our conscious participation in the direction our thoughts are taking our life. We can cheer when things go our way and call it “good luck,” and we can complain when they don’t and call it “bad luck.” That is a way to live in this world. But it’s not the most powerful way we can live as a Divine being with freedom to create good things, happy things, beautiful things, and uplifting things while we’re here.
If we’d like to improve the days of our life so that we laugh more, love more, and feel fulfilled and peaceful more often, it’s up to us to make a conscious decision to take ownership of our human experience, to become aware of our thinking and how we’re feeling in the moments we’re thinking and feeling whatever it is, and to know that it matters. In this way we can use our inseparable connection with the Law of Attraction, that creative Power of the Universe that responds to the vibration of our thoughts, to attract with our good feeling thoughts, the people, activities and experiences we’ll enjoy this year, no matter what the world is doing. We’ll stop bracing our self for what fearful thing might happen next, and embrace each moment with the awareness we are free to choose how we want to feel in that moment and how we want to respond within it.
Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” We’ve all done the best we could do since we arrived in this human environment, no matter what it was we did. The thought “I could have done better” is one that can only occur in retrospect within a mind that knows better now. We proceeded to live our life based on what we learned from the voices of authority around us, and because we believed what we were told about our self and life, our life seemed to validate that what we were told was true. We didn’t know (back then) that we experience life as we believe it to be.
If we’re not feeling good about who we are yet, it’s because we haven’t unlearned our limitations yet and discovered our Divine Power. We’ve always had the power to deliberately direct our life in positive ways, we just need to know that we can choose our life direction and go where we want to go. All our life, despite the encouragement or discouragement of those around us, we’ve been the only one responsible for what we see in our self and the world around us. We just need to know that our view of life is determined by us and no one can change it but us. It’s up to us to decide if now is the time for us to know better so we can do better.
No matter what our chronological age, it’s not too late for us to become a Master of our life. No matter what our current health condition may be or what physical situation we may be in, the power of choice still belongs to us and there is still time for us to choose to take time to get to know who we truly are so that we can live in joy and freedom from now on. Deep within us we must know that is true or we wouldn’t be seeking to discover more about the Divine Power within us so that we can do better and live in a world that gets better and better to live in. Good for us that no matter what road we’ve traveled, and no matter how bumpy our journey may still be, we want to take charge of our life now. And, as we do, it’s important for us to remind our self that the world we live in can only become better and better for us to live in as we change our thoughts, words and actions in positive ways.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, “Discover who you are. With that, your charm becomes eternal, your love becomes unconditional, and great strength arises.” When we deliberately choose Divine Power over our human impulses, when we focus our mind on the good we want to experience, despite what may be going on the world in any moment, we do better in life. Life doesn’t happen to us from outside of us, it happens within the vibrational possibilities of our mind wherever we are focusing. We do better in our life when we focus on what we want instead of what we don’t want because we’re able to feel it coming even before we see it manifest. We do better when we know better than to try to control the world around us or blame anything outside of us for our experiences. We do better when we know that to blame and complain is to give up our Divine Power to deliberately choose and to hand our freedom over to the fickle finger of fate.
It takes courage to take a stand for the better we know, especially when those we know may not agree with how we live our life and point out the things they believe we should be focusing on. But unless we discover our Divine Daring, we’ll miss out on the purpose of this human experience, with all its contrasts that allow us to make choices that prove to us that we have Power over our mind. Dr. Martin Luther King found his Divine Daring and lived it. He proved the power of his Divinity through the force of his humanity. He demonstrated that responses to life don’t need to be mindless reactions, but can be conscious decisions we make. He said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Though Dr. King was a Baptist minister, his words and actions reflected spirituality rather than religion. He knew that Love is a spiritual gift belonging to anyone who chooses It. A hero’s heart bypasses the mind of judgement, and rules of right and wrong, and allows Love to flow freely outward from the center of the heart into the world in all directions without conditions. We’re all born with a hero’s heart, but so often we allow fear within the mind to cover it. If we want to live in harmony of life, it’s time for us to rediscover our hero’s heart. Love is a choice that we can make in any moment, no matter what may happening in that moment, because Love is what we are. A hero never stops to ask, “What’s in it for me” before acting courageously. A hero lets Love be the reason for every action.
There can never be an “unsung” hero. Love knows where It flows, and It flows through a hero’s heart accompanied by the joyous vibration of a choir of angels. Marcos Gualberto wrote, “There is no happiness as long as the sense of separativity is present, me and the world, myself and the other.” We are all born into this world with a Love that is intended to bring us together in happy co-creation, cooperation and peace, a Love in which there is no sense of you and me separately.
We are so free we can decide not to feel our unity and choose the bondage of living separately. But, we read in A Course of Love, “Make a new choice! The choice that your heart yearns to make for you and that your mind is finding increasingly difficult to deny. When you choose unity over separation, you choose reality over illusion. You end opposition by choosing harmony. You end conflict by choosing peace.” Our heart knows that conflict, war, and control of anyone anywhere will never bring peace on earth. It knows peace comes with our awareness we are One Life Together.
If we let it, our heart will inspire our mind to perceive life as one universal creation, and to speak to each other and of each other, as one holy family of Love. Martin Luther King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Peace on earth is up to you and me. We are so free that we can choose to Love unconditionally.
Our overall theme and focus this year at The Life Enrichment Center is “2022 is Up to You.” If we want to deliberately direct our life in positive ways throughout the year, it’s important for us to be aware of our mental-emotional trending. We tend to that trending by noticing how the thoughts we’re thinking, in any moment, are causing us to feel (good or not-so-good). How we’re trending is reflected by our mood and attitude in general, as well as in any moment.
If our mood and attitude is generally positive, it’s easier for us to notice if (when) what we’re thinking about is causing our mood to “dip,” and taking our life in a downward trend away from experiences we want. If we’re usually feeling good about life, it’s easier for us to shift our thinking to a place that lifts us right back up into our joy and happiness. On the other hand, if our mood and attitude is generally a downer, because we’re used to feeling not-so-good about our self and life, it’s difficult for us to recognize if what we’re thinking in a particular moment is increasing the momentum of our general downward trend and taking us more quickly towards experiences we don’t want.
How you experience this year, and all the days within it, is up to you because only YOU can direct your mental and emotional trending by choosing what thoughts you want to focus on. Mooji tells us, “You have the power to take a chaotic mind and bring it back into a peaceful state.” No one in heaven or on earth can bring our mind back for us because only we have power over our mind. When we realize that no one and no thing has the power to make us think or feel anything we don’t agree to think or feel, we understand how important it is for us to stop blaming people, situations and conditions that come into our life for our mood and attitude about life. We realize that if we want to deliberately influence our experiences in 2022, rather than living by default or claiming our life situation is someone else’s fault, we must take ownership of the thoughts we allow to visit our mind, as well as those we allow to take up residency there. Thoughts that feel at home in our mind create our mood and attitude.
The good news is all we have to do is focus on thoughts that cause us feel good about our self and life, thoughts that cause us to feel enthusiastic about the new possibilities that lie ahead, and 2022 will be a good year for us. But no year, month, day, or moment has the power to make us feel positive in any way if we don’t choose to. No matter what new year’s ritual we may have participated in to try to clear the way for the new year, every day in 2022 will require our full positive participation for anything to be new for us. The time it takes for positive change in our life doesn’t have to do with the time on a clock or a date on a calendar. A “happy new year” is a moment to moment choice to be happy.
Whether the craziness of 2021 has left us feeling invincible or vulnerable, hopeful that things will get better this year or fearful that things may get worse, it’s important for us to remember we have power over our mind. We are the one who decides what thoughts we focus on in each moment. Nothing has the power to uplift our mood unless we’re willing to rise. If we insist on staying seated on our pity pot because of some condition or situation, there is no one outside of us that can lift us off of it. Only we can do that. Only we can stand up for our Divinity.
If we’re in the midst of a situation or condition that doesn’t feel uplifting, it’s up to us to lift our self up anyway, in any way we can, if we want things to improve. That doesn’t mean we suddenly jump up and down. Happiness can feel calm. It can simply be a feeling that feels so good we just want to keep feeling it. As we call upon the happiness within us that doesn’t depend on anything around us in order to be present for us, we find we can be happy for no reason at all. Happiness is a choice, not a result. It’s been said that “happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.” A mood and attitude of happiness gives positive momentum to our life journey and eases our travel. Thich Nhat Hanh tells us, “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” Our happiness doesn’t come to us, it comes from us. A happy new year for us can only unfold out of our own happiness.
If we want to take Divine ownership of our human experiences this year and deliberately create healthy, happy, peaceful, and calm experiences for our self and the world, it is essential for us to get in touch and stay in touch with our Divinity so that we can access our Divine Power over our mind and choose thoughts, words and actions from a peaceful place within us. Discovering our Inner Divine is something only we can do for our self. If we want to feel better and better about who we are, and more enthusiastic about life, we need to realize that all we want and need is already waiting for us in the high vibration of Divine Love within us. Love would never allow us, even for a moment, to go without health, happiness, peace, and well-being. It’s all within us now, but it’s up to us claim It. And that doesn’t take time, it takes willingness, and willingness is a moment to moment decision.
Fifteenth Century Indian mystic poet and saint, Kabir Das, wrote “Wherever you are is your entry point. Be still and find out who you are.” We have to allow the dust of yesterday to settle in our mind and memory if we want to see who we are now. It’s only as we feel our connection with our Inner Being, our true Self that lives only in the now, that we are able to fearlessly move forward in this human experience guided by our Divinity. But, unless we decide to let bygones be bygones, whether it’s a health condition, relationship challenge, or the negative opinions we held in 2021about the opinions others held in 2021, unless we finally say goodbye to days gone by and let old patterns of negative thoughts and conversations be a thing of past, our mind won’t be still enough for us see our Divine reflection. Shunryu Suzuki wrote, “Nothing outside yourself can cause you any trouble. You yourself make the waves in your mind. If you leave your mind as it is, it will become calm.” And, out of that calmness YOU will arise as only YOU can!
We need to get familiar with the One within us that never judges by appearances and always knows everything is working out for us, and allow the fullness of our Divinity to guide us this year so our experiences can truly be new. We read in A Course in Miracles, “ I am one Self, united with my Creator, at one with every aspect of creation, and limitless in power and in peace.” That one Self is within each of us, and yet none of us experiences that Self in exactly the same way. In our human expression we want others to understand us and see life as we do. But no one can see life exactly as YOU do. You are created to express God as only YOU can, and to experience your oneness with all of creation as you do it.
Each of us is unlimited in power and peace to express the one Self we share uniquely through our self awareness. Wherever we are in any moment is our entry point. But we must use our power over our mind to bring our mind into a peaceful state, a mental stillness that allows us to find our Self, and be our Self, wherever we are. It is a powerful thing to live with the awareness that the Source Energy that creates worlds created us and is supporting us in our unique expression of the one Self. When we know with clarity who we are, we’ll see evidence of that Truth all around us manifesting as every good thing we desire to experience this year and in the years to come. That’s what we came for, to see our Inner Divinity take form and expression in this human environment.
Our Divine Impulse while we are in the world is to express God as Only we can, a diverse human within Divine unity. These words by American poet, Mary Oliver, beautifully reflect a powerful intention to live as the one Self fully and freely on earth until one’s earth days are complete. She wrote, “When it’s over, I want to say: All my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”
God is all there is all the time, everywhere, and within every condition and situation of this human experience, no matter what the condition or situation may be. The Spiritual Truth about all life in the Universe, including yours and mine, is unchangeable. Nothing about our spirituality changes no matter what appears to be going on. The Universe, and every living being within It, is now and forever the holy creation of God’s Love. Nothing in the world can change God. Nothing that happens in the world can alter God’s Love. In the Book of Hebrew we read, “Christ (God’s Beloved) is the same yesterday and today and forever.” God’s unshakeable, immovable Love remains forever present in you and me, and in everything we see no matter how unlike God some things may appear to be at times.
Ken Wilber wrote, “There is nothing but God, nothing but the Spirit in every direction, and not a grain of sand nor a grain of dust is more or less Spirit than any other.” Nothing—not covid, not cancer, not any human condition or situation—has the power to make any of us less Spirit than we are, even for a moment. Our Divinity doesn’t come and go according to the situations and conditions in our life because there is nothing but God in every direction of our life. God loves us eternally, and therefore no matter what may appear in our life at any time, there are gifts of Love for us to receive in the midst of whatever is happening.
The situations in our life won’t change by analyzing why they happen, by trying to figure out why someone doesn’t love us or isn’t nice to us, or why we’re having a financial challenge, or why we’re experiencing illness. Analysis causes paralysis as far as healing goes because it keeps us focused on outer conditions and limits our awareness of what can be to the appearances of what’s already happened. We could say we can only navigate our Divinity in positive ways through this human environment by using our Divine Guidance System, our holy intuition. Anytime we’re angry, resentful or fearful because something has happened in our life, or to a loved one, we’re unable to feel the reassurance of our Spirit, and the free-flow of Love that is caring for us and guiding us.
Acceptance of what’s happening in our life without resistance, without fighting against whatever it is, opens us to the Love and guidance of our Inner Being that always knows it’s all good right where we are. Acceptance removes doubt and we become more certain that Love will guide us through. As we remember who we truly are, we’re not afraid of navigating through rough waters. We feel Love guiding us from a more tranquil place within us. Accepting what comes with the awareness that what happens in our human experience has no power to change our Divinity empowers us not only to get through any situation or condition, but to grow in spiritual awareness and expand in spiritual self-expression because of it.
As we open our mind and heart to Love’s love for us, we begin to look within me for the gifts Love is offering to us within every condition and situation. We become clear that that each Divine gift is answering a call from us for a deeper relationship with our Inner Being. We resist the good we’ve asked for whenever we’re focused on thoughts and appearances that disagree with what we want to experience.
How do we know if we’re going with the holy flow of Universal Love’s givingness or we’re mentally resisting our good? It seems so simple, but it’s not always easy to remember. What doesn’t feel good to focus on, what doesn’t feel good to think about, doesn’t feel good because it isn’t good for us. It keeps our cork submerged, stuck in the muck of fear and limitation rather than floating freely on the joyous Ocean of Love. Good feels good to focus on, good feels good to think about, because it’s good for us. Positive thoughts let our cork float in the high, happy, healing vibrations of life where it is easier for us to navigate as the Divine Being we are no matter what the human circumstances may be.
But there is such a strong, Divinely natural desire within all of us to feel our unity with each other that we often join with others who have suffered in this life as a way of experiencing our oneness. Abraham-Hicks tells us that some people write music about heartbreak and books about traumas and tragedy because that is a big audience, and appears to make a bigger connection with others than songs and books about happiness. There even seems to be a camaraderie among those who have experienced covid, either in their own body or through the experience of a loved one. Our deeper desire to connect with each other seems to make us want to share the details of symptoms. That is why it is vital for us to be aware that our sympathetic conversations of commiseration inadvertently perpetuate the very conditions in this world that none of us desires to experience again. We need to be willing to let past experiences go, no matter how dramatic or compelling those experiences may be, or how curious others may be about them. If we’ve prayed to manifest the Truth of our Divinity, we must live in the here and now of answered prayer. Abraham-Hicks tells us, “That was then, this is now. Don’t talk about it anymore. There’s no point in beating the drum of anything you don’t want to repeat.”
“Trending” is a popular term these days. Thirty years ago, before the development of social networks, it usually referred to what was happening in the stock market or in the field of medicine, or to a sudden increase in the popularity of something that was causing more and more people to focus on it. Such trends were described in newspapers without controversy, and reported by anchormen without opinions. With the addition of Social Media “trending” means a lot more. Social Networks have created a whole new platform in which trending topics can be talked about by anyone and everyone, and influenced solely by opinions. A trending topic is something that is hot news or hot conversation within the general public. It’s something everyone seems to be talking about and everyone has an opinion about. On Twitter when a word, phrase or hashtag has been used multiple times, for whatever reason, it becomes a trending topic. Twitter even has section “Trends for you” combines the most popular words and phrases with whatever Twitter thinks you’ll have an interest in.
We’re told that we should be interested in trending topics; that we should be aware of what’s being talked about, and join in the conversation because following trending topics, and giving our opinion, gives us a personal voice and a greater connection with others. But if we want to be a deliberate creator of our own experiences in this earth life, we need to tend to our own trend. We’re always trending in either a positive or negative direction through the vibration of our thoughts. But we’re not always paying attention to, or tending to, what we’re focused on. We can’t trend in a positive direction that is inspired from within us if we’re following the negative trends of the world. Joining in opinions and conversations of anger, opposition and conflict keeps us focused on the situations in front of us. Negative thoughts cause us to dwell in the lower vibrations of fear that cause more negativity to trend in our experience. Positive thoughts cause us to trend upward into the high healing vibrations of joy, love, gratitude, peace, and well being.
We tend to our mental and emotional trend by becoming aware of how our thoughts and conversations are causing us to feel. We tend to our trend by noticing how much of our mental vibration we offer to our Divinity in each moment, no matter what may be going on, and how much we offer to what we see in front of us that might be appearing as sickness, sorrow, lack, limitation, conflict, or confusion. The more we focus on a challenge, the more we tend to trend toward similar challenges. But, if we’re paying attention, and tending to how our thoughts are trending by noticing how we’re feeling, we can catch a thought that is causing a downward trend in the very moment we’re thinking it. In this way we can change it before it takes us in a direction we don’t want to go.
Complaining about what’s going on in this seemingly crazy world may seem logical, and even justified. But it won’t give us a new trend, or a new view in 2022. If we’ve been waiting for a fixed point on the calendar, hoping that it will bring about something new for us and world, it’s time for us to realize that the fixed point that will change things isn’t on the calendar, it’s within us. What trends in 2022 is up to each of us and what we decide to focus on and talk about. Nothing can be new until we see it that way.
Papaji said, “You are always free, but your attention is elsewhere. Just turn your attention to your Being and away from impermanent objects. What you are, is always Here.” If we want 2022 to be new for us, if we want to experience more peace of mind and more freedom to love, we must get in sync with the well-being of our Inner Being and stop living in fear. Who we are is always Here, always present within us no matter what may be happening in this human experience. We align with our Inner Divine by practicing feeling good, and by following the Guidance of Love within us no matter what may be trending in the world.
Tending to our mental and emotional trend allows us to be pulled by Love towards our well-being, not pushed around by fear. There is a peace that comes to our mind, and a serenity that settles in our heart, whenever we follow our Divine Guidance, even if no one else seems to be trending our way. When we’re in sync with our Divinity we are following the trend of Love. And, that trend is the trend that will change the world and make it new.
The beauty of December, with its Holy Season celebrating Christ’s birth on Earth through Jesus, is that it gives us the perfect opportunity to remember that the same Christ can be birthed through us too. All Life is Divine. The whole Universe is the Offspring of God, His One Creation, His Perfect Son. The Light of Christ, filled with God’s Holy Love for all creation, is the Life Force within all that exists, including us. We can deny It, we can ignore It, but we can’t live without It. Jesus was the great example, not the great exception, and as we get a better understanding of our true Self we, too, can live as Christ on Earth.
We read in A Course in Miracles, “In his complete identification with the Christ, the perfect Son of God, Jesus became what all of you must be.” Jesus did his part in bringing Christ Light into the world. That Light was so powerful way back then that It still shines today! But now it’s our turn to join that Light and become what we truly must be. The only difference between us and Christ Jesus is that he knew who he was and he lived that Truth undistracted by the world of appearances. If this world is to be transformed, it can only be transformed by the renewing of our mind.
The world needs Christ personified and active as much today as it did 2,000 years ago. We reverently celebrate the birth of Jesus today because we want the Christ Light that came forth through his birth to dissipate the darkness that seems to have fallen over the Earth today. But it’s up to each of us to be the Light Bearer. Christ isn’t going to pop into the world from somewhere else, or pop into our mind without invitation. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, “You need to realize that you are scintillating light. You are not just a piece of flesh, bones and blood. You are light. When you understand this, then you will be free from whatever emotional turbulences you have. Serenity will dawn in you and you will get a better understanding of yourself.” Unless we invite the Christ in us to live through us, unless we let that Mind that was in Christ Jesus come alive in our mind, it won’t be possible for us to find Christ anywhere else. The second coming is our coming out party. No one can live the Christ in us, for us.
In The Way of the Heart we read, “You were birthed for greatness. You were birthed to shine forth such light into this world that the world remembers that light is true and darkness is illusion.” As Jesus walked the Earth, his awareness that he was the embodiment of Christ, God’s perfect creation, enabled him to see God’s perfection in the world around him. In his full acceptance of his Sonship with God, and his oneness with all of creation, Christ Jesus caused the shadowy forms, bodies of illness, and the crazy and insane of his day to disappear. Such is the Nature of Light and Its effect upon darkness. Jesus didn’t fight the darkness. His Light caused it to disappear. The world hasn’t gotten any less shadowy, less infected, or less crazy in last that past 2,000 years! It is our time to shine by remembering light is true and darkness is illusion. Such a memory keeps us from fighting the darkness. It keeps us from focusing on what we don’t want and talking to each other about what we don’t like. There is no record of Jesus having conversations with others about his fears he might catch any of the diseases that in those days, so many around him were dripping with. He wasn’t fooled by the appearance of sickness. There is no record of his speaking of the difficulty in forgiving the angry, unloving behaviors of others that were often directed his way. As far as we know he didn’t get all wrapped up in the politics of the day, though he was constantly being accused of breaking the law. He didn’t buy into the limitations that claimed God’s children could ever go unclothed and unfed. The Light of Christ shined so freely and brightly through Jesus because he was without fear, judgment and discrimination. His mind was clear, his words carried healing vibrations, and his actions were the very Presence of Love and Peace.
German writer and statesman, Goethe, wrote: “A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.” We may want to ask our self, “How does life look to me? What does life reflect back to me about the content of my heart?” Does much of life seem yucky to us? Do we find much of life distasteful these days with so many disagreeable people and behaviors everywhere? When life seems yucky, we spend a lot of time watching our step so we don’t step in anything “unsavory.” We’re all about negative prevention rather than positive attention. When life seems yucky to us we lose our appetite for life. We’re not enthusiastic or interested in learning something new. There is a famous quote from the Broadway play and movie, “Auntie Mame” that goes, “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” Are we starving for something good to enrich our life, but insisting on focusing on the negative stuff? A mind filled with problems brings mental malnutrition. We miss the yummy goodies available to us in every moment of life because we’re not looking for them.
Nisargadatta Maharaj said, “First realize that your world is only a reflection of yourself, and then stop finding fault with the reflection.” That’s like blaming the mirror when we don’t like how we look! Everything we criticize in the world comes from the point of view we carry in our heart, and only we can change what we see. The good news is that when we decide to be more joyful than judgmental, more loving than fearful, and more peaceful than argumentative, life seems yummy and we can’t wait to partake of its richness. We bring enthusiasm to whatever we do. We attract people and events that are delicious to experience. Our individual life is so full and rich we don’t have the time or interest to criticize the preferences of others.
We could say, as Abraham-Hicks does, that rather than life being like a banquet where there are only some choices available to us, life is more like a buffet or smorgasbord where tons of choices are available to us. As we know, a good buffet has lots of things we like to eat, and plenty that we don’t like to eat. But we don’t get frustrated that there are things we don’t want to eat staring at us from the buffet table. We don’t feel compelled to put what we don’t want on our plate. We don’t worry the unwanted food might touch our food. And, we don’t look on the plates of those standing in the buffet line with us and say “eeew” if they choose something we don’t like. We just happily mind our own business and choose what we prefer. The Universe of thought is like an unlimited buffet offering to us an opportunity to choose anything to think about that seems truly delicious to us. We’re never forced to think a yucky thought, a tasteless thought, or an unpalatable thought. We’re always at choice. And since choices for individual thought are unlimited for everyone, and everyone is free to choose, surely there are going to be preferences of thought that others choose that we wouldn’t. But rather than our just happily minding own business, and choosing what we prefer with a “to each his own” attitude, somewhere along the line we’ve confused our preferences with “the only right way.”
What if there were only one color (our favorite), or only one song (our favorite too), or only one type of art and it was the type we prefer? If we were all the same in our human expression—indistinguishable rather than diversified, carbon copies rather than unique reflections of individuality—as much as we think we’d like everyone to be just like us, we’d be bored. We stimulate one another through our diversity, and it is through our choice to follow our own individual preferences, no matter what anyone else thinks or does, that we become aware of our power as a deliberate unique creator of our life. We get to choose the things we like, the thoughts that feel good when we think them, the words that feel good when we say them, and the actions that feel good when we do them. But we can’t exercise our freedom when we’re busy trying to limit the freedom of others.
To fight against each other is to forget that only light is true and darkness is illusion, and in that forgetting we lose sight of the Christ in us and in those around us. Bondage to illusion is yucky. Freedom from illusion is yummy! When we have no desire for anyone to do anything our way, life becomes deliciously free because we’re letting that Mind be in us that was also in Christ Jesus. The Christ Light that lives in us right now, whether we let It shine or not, is the same Radiant Light of Christ that shined so brightly through Jesus as he walked the Earth. We are all children of the Light birthed for greatness, created to create the good, holy and beautiful. We’re free, if we choose to be, to live a delicious life filled with tasty thoughts, sweet words and luscious activities. Papaji said, “You are Happiness. You are Peace. You are Freedom. Be kind to yourself. Open your heart and simply be.” Then, like Jesus, we will become who we must be. The Light of Christ within us will see the Light of Christ in all others, and the world through us will be healed.
As the Thanksgiving month of November ends and we enter into the month of December, let us choose to carry with us a greater awareness of the power and importance of our practicing gratitude and appreciation for our life everyday, and not just on Thanksgiving Day. Every morning we can choose to take time as the sun rises, or as we rise, and say “thank you” for the gift of another day of Earth life. We can decide to take time to stop and smell the roses that bloom all year round in a mind that is filled with happy thoughts and the fragrance of beautiful ideas. We can pause to watch the sunset each evening with gratitude for a day well spent, whether we were housebound or out in the world. But most important of all we can decide to stop and be fully present right where we are, wherever we are—whether we’re alone, or with family, friends, coworkers, or strangers—and no matter what may be going on in that moment we’ll look for something to be grateful for.
Abraham-Hicks tells us, “Look for good things about where you are, and in your state of appreciation you’ll lift all self-imposed limitations (and all limitations are self-imposed) and free yourself for the receiving of wonderful things.” Some moments in our life are so obviously filled with wonderful things that it makes it easy for us to be grateful. Other moments maybe not-so-much. That’s when we need to take a deep breath, and a deeper look, to remind our self that how we respond to life is our choice. Every moment is worth appreciating because we’re alive within it to appreciate it!
It is important for us to be aware of the Powerful Presence of the Universal Law of Attraction. Why? Because It is the organizational Law of the Universe that matches energies with similar energies, including our own. It’s the Law of “like attracts like.” It makes what goes around, come around in our life. The Science of Mind tells us that the Law of Attraction contains all subjective tendencies, i.e., all unseen energies of desire and belief, that are bound to attract. It responds to thought vibrations and causes the forms and expressions to manifest in life. Nothing takes form anywhere without It, including in our life. It matches the vibration of our thoughts with the vibration of similar thoughts. Our thoughts become one with those thoughts, and as those thoughts become one with us they occupy our mind.
Ever notice when you start focusing on a certain thought, positive or negative, more thoughts similar to it come to mind? Maybe you’re thinking appreciatively about some person or event, and then more pleasant thoughts come mind about other people and happy events you’ve experienced. That’s the Law of Attraction in action! When our mind is filled and running over with appreciation, we have a sense of well-being and a good feeling about what might occur in our life next. On the other hand, maybe we’re thinking angry and resentful thoughts about someone or some situation, and then more unpleasant thoughts come to mind about other people and other negative experiences. That, too, is the Law of Attraction in action! And when our mind is filled and running over with anger and resentment, we have a sense of uneasiness and a bad feeling about what might occur in our life next.
The thoughts we focus on repeatedly, positive or negative, become our habits of thought, and our habits of thought become our belief system about life. Our belief system about life gains momentum in our mind with every thought we think, and causes our life to go in a certain direction where certain things happen as our thoughts take form and expression in our life. If we’re practicing appreciation for life every day that’s good news! Gratitude will gain energetic momentum in our life and we’ll attract and be attracted to more to be grateful for-
The Japanese Buddhist priest and writer, Dogen Zenji, wrote, “Continuous practice, day after day, is the most appropriate way of expressing gratitude. This means that you practice continuously without wasting a single day of your life. Why is it so important? Your life today is the outcome of the continuous practice of the past.” Our life today is the outcome of our continuous practice of past thoughts. Whether we’ve been thinking thoughts of gratitude or resentment, peace or anger, health or sickness, happiness or sadness, positivity or negativity, we’ve created our life today. Whatever we’re thinking right now is likely similar to what we were thinking a moment ago because our past thoughts set the tone for today’s thoughts. And, because our thoughts go forth and multiply, they gain momentum in our mind so that the thoughts we think today will likely become what we experience tomorrow.
But we can always change mind. Our thoughts don’t need to occur automatically. They can occur deliberately. Every day, if we want to, we get to consciously choose what we’ll think about. Can we afford the “luxury” of a negative thought, an ungracious thought, a resentful thought? That depends on how long we want to indulge in that thought. We can indulge in it just long enough to acknowledge that it’s there so we can let it go. But if we choose to dwell on a negative thought for long, it is will gain momentum in us and attract more and more people, events, situations, and conditions just like it.
Ever been told you were “full of it”? We’re usually told we’re full of something when we say or do something unpleasing to someone else. For example, when I was growing up, my mother used tell me, whenever I was feeling confident and verbally expressive, that I was “full of myself.” I could tell it wasn’t a good thing, especially when she added that I needed to “get over myself.” It didn’t take long for me to learn that being full of myself was not pleasing, and that thought gained momentum in my life. I tried as many ways as I could to be full of something else, to get over myself and be full of somebody else—someone more acceptable, more pleasing, and more lovable. I practiced for so long that even into my early adult years I had no confidence in myself because I didn’t know who I was.
Like it or not, we live in a Universe in which we communicate with It, and each other, through vibration, through energy, or through “the ethers,” as The Science of Mind describes it. Even before words, even without words, we are communicating how we feel about our self, others and life. We can talk a good show or we can hold our tongue until we’re blue in the face. We can be shy or appear aggressive. But whatever fearful emotional energy is alive in us will ooze out of us, unseen but not unfelt by us and others. There is no way to confine the energy of our emotions or to hold onto the vibration our thoughts emit. With every thought we proclaim what we believe to be true about our self and life, and the Universe acknowledges it and responds to it.
Abraham-Hicks tells us, “Whatever you are thinking about is literally like planning a future event. When you are worrying, you’re planning. When you are appreciating, you’re planning. What are you planning?” If we’re not planning a celebration of life with our thoughts right now, and if we’re not happy with the direction our life seems to be going, we can change our life’s direction by changing our thinking about our self and who we are. Life doesn’t happen to us, WE happen in life. The habit of our thoughts, and the energy aura they create around us, become our mood and attitude, and who we are being in the world. How is your mood and attitude? Usually when we say someone is “moody,” we mean grouchy or negatively moody. But moody is moody. We can choose to be an optimistically moody person, a moody person who is joyful most of time.
We are all here to be all we can be, but how much we can express depends on who we believe we are. We read in The Science of Mind, “It is the self-knowing mind alone that constitutes reality, personality and individuality. It is the Image of God, the essence of Sonship…Without choice, volition and will there would be no channel through which the ideas of God could be expressed.” If we’re ever going to discover our true Self we need to look where who we are began, within us. The Spiritual Teacher, Matt Kahn, defines the word “me” as Magnified Energy. Unless we begin to authentically be our self, in ways that feel real to us, we won’t discover our Magnified Energy, the Self that is the reality, personality and individuality made in the Image of God. Now, that’s a Self we want to express, not “get over.”
The word “xi” in Chinese means “to be fond of, to like, to enjoy, to be happy, to feel pleased, delighted and glad.” It’s a good thing to be “full of” because when we’re full of xi, we’re full of our Divine Self. When we’re grateful for our life and appreciate being our self in it, we feel connected to our intuition and inner guidance, our Divine Self. We’re not looking for someone to tell us who we are, how to live, or how to behave and respond in any moment. When we feel connected to our intuition, we trust the choices we make because we trust the Divine Self that we are. When we know our choices come from Divine Guidance, we understand it is never our right to try to infringe upon the Divine Guidance of anyone else. We’re not looking to control the choices anyone makes just so we’ll feel better, safer, or more peaceful
When we live each day grateful for the ease of happy moments, and thankful for the lessons we learn about our freedom to choose in difficult moments, when we lay our head down to sleep, we find we experience a night’s rest feeling blessed. When we’re full of xi, we’re unconcerned about tomorrow because we know that what comes next will be the outcome of our gratitude today. We trust tomorrow will bring more into our life to be fond of, to like, to enjoy, to be happy about, and for which we feel pleased, delighted and glad.
Let us choose to allow the Image of God in our heart to express as our reality, personality and individuality, so that right where we are, we are a blessing to the world. The prayer below was spoken by Spiritual Master, Mooji:
Bless you, bless you, bless you.
Wherever you may be in this world.
Whatever your situation.
There is a place beyond all of this.
And the amazing thing – there is no distance.
My humble prayer is this:
May peace and true love,
compassion and wisdom,
become contagious again on this planet.
It begins inside each one’s heart.
Let it be your heart. Start there.
This coming Thursday is officially Thanksgiving Day, and even though Thanksgiving seems to have lost its decorative emphasis these days, and there are no catchy songs associated with it, still it has managed to squeeze its way into our life between Halloween ghosts and Christmas Santas, and continue to hold significance for many of us.
But often because we want everyone we’re planning to spend Thanksgiving Day with to have a good time, we get caught up ahead of time in the fuss and concern of planning the Holiday celebration. Whether we’re preparing the whole meal or just bringing our special dish to share, often our preparation is filled with anxiety, and even resentment, especially if someone else isn’t bringing their traditional dish or doing their part to help out. By the time Thanksgiving Day arrives we’re feeling more stressed than blessed, and more grumpy than grateful! By the time we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, we’re so exhausted by the all commotion that preceded it’s difficult for us to remember what the day is all about. We’ve forgotten to focus on appreciating our loved ones and feeling gratitude for the good in our life.
That’s why the daily practice of feeling the high vibrations of gratitude, appreciation, and giving thanks is so important. We begin to feel the positive energy that fills us whenever we’re feeling grateful, so that when a day like Thanksgiving Day is dedicated to giving thanks, we’re ready! We’re ready for a full day of being grateful right where we are, wherever we are; a full day of appreciating everyone we’re with, no matter who we’re with or what they may be saying or doing. If we allow it to be, Thanksgiving Day can feel like Holy Celebration it is intended to be: the glorification and magnification of Gratitude.
Melodie Beattie, author of Codependent no more, wrote: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” Gratitude is a powerful thing because it causes us to perceive life from an awareness of our Divinity. Abraham-Hicks reminds us, “Love and appreciation are same vibration.” And, because God is love, gratitude causes us to rise in our awareness of life and consciously connect with the God within us.
In the Book of Matthew we read, “For where your treasure is, there is your heart also.” Where are we looking for our treasure, within us or to the world? Are we consciously on an inner journey of the heart? Is it our intention to feel our Oneness with all of creation and discover more and more of the one we’re created to be? Or are we on a solely human path of separation, looking to the world to tell us who we are and to give us what we need? Whatever is important to us, whatever we value, we treasure. Whatever thoughts we practice in our mind is where our heart is also.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, “Heaven or hell is your state of mind. If the mind is in difficulty then hell is right here. For a free mind, there’s always bliss. It’s always heaven.” We could say X marks the spot where we’re either standing in heaven or hell. A spiritual journey will expand our heart and increase our awareness that all we need wherever we stand is already within us. Such a state of mind brings us freedom and joy. A solely human journey will break our heart and keep us living unaware that the world can’t give to us what is already within us. Such state of mind imprisons us and causes us to live in lack and neediness.
Eckhart Tolle tells the story of a beggar sitting on a box by the side of the road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by the beggar, and the beggar mumbled, mechanically, while holding out his old baseball cap, “Spare some change?” The stranger said, ”I have nothing to give you” and then asked: “What’s that you’re sitting on?” “Nothing,” the beggar replied, “just an old box. I’ve been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.” “Ever looked inside?” the stranger asked. “No” the beggar said, “What’s the point? There’s nothing in there.” “Have a look inside,” the stranger insisted. So the beggar managed to pry open the lid, and with astonishment and elation he discovered that the box was filled with gold.
In the Book of Luke we read, “For nothing is concealed that will not become evident, nor anything hidden that will not be known & come to light.” This Earth life isn’t a game of hide and seek. It’s about getting up off our assets and using our treasures. Our treasure isn’t hidden, but we do have to know where to look for it so that it can come to light from our heart to our mind and into our life.
If we’re looking to the world to give us scraps of pleasure and satisfaction, or for validation, security and love, whatever we experience won’t fulfill us as a spiritual being. Success that seems to come from outside of us causes fear within us. It causes us to be selfish and jealous, and to take and possess rather than give. We’re here to give our treasure to the world, not to find something to keep and hold onto for dear life in it. If we want to know what we treasure, and where our heart is focused, Abraham-Hicks reminds us that what we’re living is the evidence of what we’re thinking and feeling, every single time.
No thoughts are concealed that won’t become evident as our life because whether we’re standing in a crowd or standing alone in our kitchen, X marks the spot where we’re communicating with the Universe through the vibrational energy we’re emitting with our thoughts. And, because the Universal Law of Attraction is all about energy and vibration, It knows where our heart is and where our treasure lies. It receives our vibration and answers it, no questions asked, with things that match it. Our life lets us know whether we’re standing in heaven or hell; whether we’re treasuring our identity as Divinity and looking within us for the peace, joy, love, and abundant good we desire to experience, or we’re looking to the world and blaming those within it when they do not (because they cannot) provide our treasures for us.
When we decided to come into human form, we carried our own treasure map with us, drawn by the hand of God. A Course in Miracles tells us that it was drawn with everlasting Love. The X on that map not only told us where to find our treasure, but included the words, “You are here,” so we wouldn’t get lost on our adventure in the world. But instead of following our own map, we often look at everyone else’s map to see where they’re going. We may look at the map of someone who appears to be succeeding in the world and try to follow their map believing the X on their map marks the spot where our treasure is also. Or we may look at those who appear (to us) to be going the wrong way because they’re not behaving in the way we think they should, and so we insist that they follow our map. But the X that is on our map belongs only to us. It is the X the Universe sees, the X that marks the Presence of God in us.
Speaking as our Divinity, The Way of the Heart tells us, “I am already That which I seek. While this body lasts, I will allow it to be a communication device that extends the treasure of perfect Love, perfect safety, and perfect peace to all who enter my house. And, my house is my field of energy, the expanse of my presence.” Our true treasure is the radiant joy of Being our true self, and the deep unshakable peace and well-being that comes with it. The treasure within us not only includes all those things we want to experience in our human adventure, but infinitely greater treasure than anything the world can offer.
Are we sitting on our assets like a beggar asking the world to “spare some change?” Are we looking outside of us hoping to fill our emptiness when all that we want is right there already? The lyrics of the song, “It’s Already There,” tell us, “You spend your days hoping/You spend your nights wishing/You’re always feeling something is missing/Can’t you see?/Don’t you know?/You don’t have so far to go/It’s already there what you’re looking for/It’s already there don’t have to search anymore/Open your eyes/believe that it’s true/It’s already there inside of you.”
Gratitude is the key that opens the holy treasure chest within us. When we’re grateful to be alive, when we appreciate all the good we already have, the Universe demonstrates to us that Life is good, “every time” and all the time. Our treasures are endless because they flow from the Infinite Source within us. When our heart is filled with Gratitude, we feel good vibes within us and that feeling extends to those around us, to those who enter our house, our field of energy, the expanse of our presence. We experience the good vibes that cause good health and help others to heal. We emit good vibes that cause good relationships and happy encounters. X marks the spot where our good comes to us and through us.
Present moment awareness, free of past regrets and future concerns, marks the spot of the joyful radiant Being that is our true Self. Right where we are, wherever we are, is the spot where the love, light, joy, laughter, peace, hope, and beauty of creation expresses through us. In other words, “X marks the spot” where Christ is revealed through us.