As I reflect on the tradition of Thanksgiving, I am reminded that Thanksgiving needs to take place every day, and every single moment of each day. Maybe that's what mindful meditation is all about... remembering to be grateful and appreciative for every single thing in every moment. Like what, you say?
We can start by being grateful for every breath which gives us life. We can give thanks for the magnificence of our body which transports us, transforms the raw materials we eat into energy, etc. We can feel wonder at the magic of the blessings of each day... food to eat, loving beings around us, the possibility of creating the life that we dream of.
Do you have a dream? Be thankful for the imagination that helps you envision that reality, and be grateful that your dream will come true in as much as you are willing to believe in it.
'Yes, but', I hear. It seems, that even as we express gratitude, that little babbler inside says, 'yes, but...' If I express gratitude for my body, it says, 'yes, but' it is not as healthy or as in shape as it 'should' be... If I give thanks for the food I eat, it says, 'yes but' it is grown with chemicals.. When I say I'm grateful for the loving beings around me, my little babbler says, 'yes but' they're not always loving… And so on and so forth.
Upon reflection, I see that the 'yes but' comes from the ego. And even though we have given the ego a 'bum rap' it really is there for a divine purpose — as with everything and everyone we encounter in our journey of life.
The ego's 'yes but' reminds us that as Divine beings (or children of a beneficent Universe or Loving Father, if you prefer) we can aspire to greater heights than we now have attained. The 'yes but' reminds us that we need not settle for what we have attracted so far, but that we can indeed look forward to creating heaven on earth. So, when I express my gratitude and hear 'yes but', I realize that it is not putting down or diminishing in any way my appreciation at the bounty of the Universe. It is simply pointing me towards the next step.
We as humans never seem to be satisfied. Maybe that is the inner prodding of Spirit guiding us to rediscover our perfection and to recreate the Eden that was provided for us all. We might consider that we are indeed blessed, and that we don't even know the best of it. We have unlimited resources and treasures at our beck and call, and to reach them we simply need to open the door and walk through to the other side.
What is the other side? That is the side where we have absolute faith and trust that whatever we desire (from a Higher perspective) is provided for us. It is the knowledge that we are safe... that there is no need to worry, no need to fear. We simply need to do our best, to live our life with the best of intentions towards ourselves and all living things, and we will be "reimbursed" in kind through the Law of Cause and Effect.
Take time to be grateful first thing in the morning... count your blessings. And then repeat the process often during the day, and at least once again before going to sleep. Give thanks for the love in your life, the support, the blessings, even the small blessings. Thank the Universe, thank Life, thank the Sun for its energy and light, thank the trees for their supply of oxygen, thank your car for transporting you ('yes, but' the pollution), give thanks that electric cars are becoming a reality. There is so much to be grateful for. We simply need to change our focus from what we don't have, to being grateful for what we do have, and the miracles of life will reveal themselves to us.
So in this time of Thanksgiving, focus on what you have and what you desire, not what you don't have and what you don't want. Remember that what you focus on expands — so if you focus on crime, lack, cataclysm, you can expect more of that to affect you directly.
I have found it much more productive and peace-enhancing to focus on love, peace, healing, prosperity, and all those good things... and I can see that my world is getting much more loving, peaceful, abundant, and happy. And if the 'yes but' is saying that's selfish and unrealistic, on the contrary. The more you focus on love and healing, the more love and healing there will be, not only in your life, but in the lives of the people you meet, and in the whole world.
We can create a better world... It starts with each one of us. "Think positive" is more than a slogan, it is a way of life. So choose your thoughts, your attitudes, your words carefully. They are the seeds for your tomorrows, and for the tomorrows of the world around you. Have a "great full" month.
Love to you All! Thanks for being here!
The Last Lecture
by Randy Pausch.
In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form.
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com