Image by Jill Wellington

November offers us an official Thanksgiving Day—a day to turn our attention to our loved ones and appreciate them; a day to give thanks for all the good in our life we might otherwise not notice or take for granted. But we need not reserve our gratitude for just one day of expression each year. In fact, it’s important for us to feel and express gratitude for our life every day. Gratitude and appreciation for our life, and giving thanks for the good we’ve received, causes us to be aware of the Presence of Goodness in the world, and that awareness enriches our experience of life.

Abraham-Hicks reminds us that “love and appreciation are the same vibration,” the same Divine Energy, the same awareness that Life is Good. Gratitude, when we truly feel it, when it flows straight from our heart, lifts us to a high vibrational altitude in our mind where we are able to experience God within us, the pure positive Divine Source Energy of our Life. God is Love, and our appreciation causes us to become an energetic transmission tower of Love, a broadcasting system of Love, a giver and receiver of Love. When we live in gratitude, Love becomes all we want to be, to feel, to see, to experience, and to express. The poet, Hafiz, wrote: “An awake heart is like a sky that pours light.”

Gratitude lifts us up where we belong, and from that High Holy view we experience our self and life as Love created life to be. Since the Universe of Love is ever-increasing and ever-expanding God’s intention for creation, Love is ever-extending Itself through all Life, including our life. If we were to turn our attention each day to loving those around us (whomever is around us and whomever comes to mind) through the Law of Attraction that matches up vibration, the Love within us would increase, expand and extend so that It would draw to us even more of life to love. If we were to appreciate the good in our life now, and give thanks for it everyday, our appreciation would increase, expand and extend so that it would draw to us even more to appreciate.

The poet, Rumi, wrote: “Be grateful for your life, every detail of it, and your face will shine like a sun, and everyone who sees it will be happy and at peace.” Our awakened feelings of gratitude for every detail of our life not only blesses us, but blesses those around us. We might want to ask our self: “How bright does my gratitude shine? What do I see when I glance in the mirror? Does my face reveal my joy? During the day, do I smile with such radiance that everyone who sees my face is reminded to feel happy and at peace?”

Often we walk around “in our head,” thinking about some past situation or some future event that prevents us from shining in the present moment. When we’re off somewhere else in our mind, we usually have a serious look on our face. Perhaps our brow is creased in concern or contemplation. There isn’t a radiant smile on our face because there’s no one home, present in moment, to shine through our face. We’ve all seen that vacant look in others when it seems that they’ve gone off and left only their body with us. Thich Nhat Hahn said, “Some people live as though they are already dead. There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses.”

We are here to bring the Energetic life inside of us to three-dimensional life in the world—through our body, our words and actions, our relationships, and through every form and expression we focus upon and call our life. It is important for us to ask our self: “What does my focus bring into form and expression in my life?” Abraham-Hicks tells us, “Your life can be as wonderful or as horrible as you allow it to be. It all depends upon the thoughts that you practice, and therein lies the basis of anyone’s success: How much do I practice thoughts that bring me joy and how much do I practice thoughts that bring me pain?” It is important for us to be present right where we are so that we’re aware of what thoughts we’re practicing, and how our thoughts are causing us to feel in that moment. In this way we know what energy is active within us, and we can change our thinking to thoughts that bring joy if we want to or need to.

If you’ve heard the song, “Jump, Jive and Wail,” even if you didn’t understand the words, you likely felt the beat. And, as the rhythm moved through you, you knew that the song was all about singing and dancing, and feeling the joy of being alive. “Jump, jive and wail” can also be about our practicing thoughts that bring us so much joy that we can’t help but to feel, and dance with, the music of our soul. Einstein said, “We are slowed down sound and light waves, a walking bundle of frequencies tuned into the cosmos. We are souls dressed up in sacred biochemical garments, and our bodies are the instruments through which our souls play their music.”

“Jump” can refer to our ability to choose to rise quickly, to jump, to a place in our mind that feels good, no matter what’s going on. It’s that happy place we go to when happiness is all we want to feel. It’s a place of peace and joy within us that is part us and not dependent on outer conditions and situations. That’s why we go there in our mind when we want to get away from outer disturbances.

“Jive” can refer to our ability to feel the joyful rhythm of our soul and move with it, even if our body stays still. The music is always happy and danceable because our soul is never trapped within the human conditions of the world.

“Wail” can refer to the unrestricted, uninhibited utterances of spontaneous joy and satisfaction that come from us in words, songs, and sighs. When we’re on a Divine High of gratitude, what we’re feeling naturally exudes and emanates through us.

Another question we might want to ask our self is: “How much do I practice thoughts that bring me so much joy I feel like jumping, jiving and wailing within me no matter what I’m doing in the world around me? On the other hand, how much do I practice thoughts that bring me so much pain I feel like slumping rather than jumping, and sitting out my life rather than getting out on dance floor, if only in mind, and jiving with my soul? How often do I practice thoughts that cause me so much pain I feel like crying out in grief and suffering rather than singing and sighing in joy and satisfaction?”

We read in the Book of Psalms: “MAKE a joyful noise to the LORD, all you lands.” That means all of us, not just some of us. No one is preordained to be miserable or chosen to suffer. Every life can be as wonderful or as horrible as the one living it allows it to be. Imagine what the world would be like if all we heard were joyful noises in our mind and coming from our lips; joyful noises resounding in our household, spoken by others, and offered through the media; reports and conversations about all the good that happens everyday because mostly good does happen everyday. Abraham-Hicks tells us to imagine a 24-hour news station that gave proportional attention to both positive and negative events that happened each day. And, as we sat and watched this and that good thing occurring, every once-in-while a bit of static, an incoherent blip, would appear representing all the negativity that actually occurred in the world that day.

The world is full of goodness. It is our focus that either calls our attention to it or away from it. It is our practice of thought and our habit of conversation that determines where we focus and makes our life wonderful or horrible. Not everything we see, hear and experience in the world automatically inspires thoughts that bring us joy. But if we’re depending on the world to bring joy to us, while we sit in misery until then, we’re going to have a long wait. And, as we wait, focused on all the painful things in our life and the world around us, we’ll find less and less to feel grateful about, and more and more to complain about, in our life and the world around us.

If the world was responsible for our happiness, we wouldn’t need to practice thoughts that bring us joy. They would come to mind automatically. In fact, they’d come so automatically that we wouldn’t notice the self-directed spiritual being we are, and our power to choose our thoughts would go unpracticed by us. Earth life is a training ground for spiritual masters, not a reform school for sinners. How would we know it is the power of our mind that creates our experience of reality unless we were called upon in our life experiences to use the power of our mind? So often we’re afraid to be hopeful, afraid to feel the pain of failure so we don’t even try to use our mind to practice thoughts that bring us joy. It’s our fear of the pain of unworthiness that keeps us focused on what we don’t want as if we deserve it. Khalil Gibran wrote, “Many of us spend our lives running from feelings, with the mistaken belief that we cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond that pain.”

The beauty of conditions, situations and conversations that momentarily cause us pain or sorrow is that we get to discover we have the power to rise to a higher vibration within us that feels better. We’re never stuck in misery. No one can make us angry, resentful or unhappy but us, and we get to change our mind about how we want to feel anytime we choose to! Right in middle of conditions that seem unchangeable and unenjoyable—like aging, disease, disability, and conflict—every choice for joy we make is a spiritual practice that causes us to become more and more aware we are a spiritual being with the power to choose how we want to experience our life. We can supersede a painful past with any present moment thought that feels better to think. If we’re willing to stop allowing our painful stories to define us, we’ll discover we were never those stories anyway. We have always been the one beyond the pain. We can let go of the low vibration of mental negation that is keeping our good away, and if we do, our good will start flowing into our life instantly. We can take a leap of faith that takes us higher than our fears, and practice thoughts that bring us joy and cause our life to be wonderful.

In the Book of Samuel we read, “And King David sang praises before the LORD with all his might. The daughter of Saul looked down from her window, and when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she was filled with contempt for him.” Not everyone will understand or agreement with our decision to feel joy in a world that doesn’t seem to offer much to be joyful about. But that’s all more reason to jump, jive and wail. Our joy not only calls more joy into our life, but into the world. We can choose to be so grateful for our life, every detail of it, that our face shines like a sun and everyone who sees it feels happy and at peace.