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.