Journey of Gratitude– Why? (2.8.0)

Greetings in Love and Light! Welcome to a new year.

Today begins Journey of Gratitude. Let’s go! I’m glad you’re here. I’m glad I’m here. I am already so thankful to be here, with you now, doing this work.

Think and write about why you would like to spend 40 days thinking about, contemplating, and practicing gratitute. Feel free to share with me privately by email, or publicly below.

Why

Back in December, during Journey of Rest, I was having intense waves of gratitude almost daily. I would think about my life, about the support and love that I have, about my relationship with the Great Mystery; I thought about Jesus and what He brought into the world; I thought about being a drop in an infinite ocean, aware of itself, of the ocean, and of its relationship with all the other drops; I would think about how beautiful this life is, the inter-connectivity of everything, and how amazing and wondrous it all is,  and I would (sometimes) just weep with love and joy at how thankful I felt.

At that time, I recognized how gratitude was a doorway for Love. If I didn’t feel Love, I could focus on feeling thankful, and then Love was a breath away.

I thought, “I got this. Journey of Gratitude is going to be so easy. Do I even need a Journey of Gratitude? I just need to stay in this space forever!”

But you know, “this too shall pass”. I usually say that when something is a struggle, but really, it’s true otherwise, as all things are impermanent and changing (until we realize and live our True, eternal selves, anyway).

For the life of me, I have not been able to re-capture that intense feeling of gratitude since around December 23 (right before Christmas). I’m not saying that I haven’t felt thankful. But there’s a difference in mental-practices of gratitude and recognizing things to be thankful for, and the kind of gratitude that overwhelms with emotions of love and joy so much that tears flow.

I think my experiences in December (pre-December 23) were the teaser. “You see? This is what is possible. Are you there yet? No? Keep going.”

So here I am, an ideal in mind as a carrot on a stick, slogging toward it.

I knew I was going to have to write Why today, and I’ve been thinking and thinking about where I’m at with this, juxtaposing my recent loving/joyful gratitude experiences with how I actually feel right here right now.

It would be a cop out to say simply, “I want to work toward that (the ideal, mindlessly following a carrot on a stick). Yeah. It is that, but it’s also more than that.

I want to open my heart to expand in giving and receiving more love.
And gratitude does that.

I want to be of True Service–recognizing and living in the space of knowing what an honor (and responsibility!) it is to serve All in Love.
And gratitude does that.

I want to serve joyfully, inexhaustibly, according to my True, Highest Purpose.
And gratitude does that.

I want to remember my commitment–remember what I really want–which is to continue reaching every day, every hour, every minute with 100% of my being toward Infinite Love and Light.
And…I’m not sure if gratitude does that, but I’m going to treat this like an experiment to find out.

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Tomorrow is the commitment and dedication! Then we start the 40-days of contemplation. Remember with this Journey  to get out your crayons, markers, pencils, and get ready to draw/create. Gratitude is especially pre-disposed toward the right/creative/aesthetic brain.

 

 

 

Golden Rule Specifics -Fulfillment (1.6.19)

Copyright Tam Black 2018
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

May those who seek, help others find;

May those who sorrow, be compassionate;

May those who are lost, light a path for another;

May those who question or doubt, give guidance;

May those who worry, lift the burden of another;

May those who hide, see their own light in the eyes of a stranger;

May you give peace, no matter what.

Sharing

What do you want when you are seeking?

What do you want when you are sad (or lonely)?

What do you want when you are lost?

What do you want when you question or doubt?

What do you want when you worry?

What do you want when you are afraid of revealing yourself?

What do you want always, and forever?

I am not asking these questions rhetorically. Think about your feelings, and what you want in order to relieve that feeling. The examples in the Guiding Thought are meant to be both specific ways that you can act when you are feeling those emotions, and also springboards for you to come up with other ways to give when you are feeling certain emotions.

These are specific examples of the Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

In order to fulfill the Golden Rule, you need to know for yourself what you would want someone to do unto you, so that you can then do that.

Go as deeply as you can into your feeling. Think about where it came from, and when you first started feeling that feeling. What does it relate to? Who was involved? Can you remember feeling that feeling at other points in your life? With other people? What did you want when that emotion was triggered, that you did not get? How did you then respond? Did your response soothe the situation or escalate it?

Most people today do not live by the Golden Rule. Instead, they live by the rule, “Do unto others as you think they have done unto you”. This means: if someone thinks they have been betrayed, they betray; if someone feels put-down, put-upon, or burdened, they treat someone with disdain, cruelty, or disrespect. The overarching theme is, “When I make you feel bad, I feel better”.

But the “feeling better” in this case is not a true feeling better. It’s a band-aid for deeper emotional hurt, a momentary salve to forget how deeply one is wounded.

The true healing comes when you give what you would want to receive. Remember, when you give something you are a) confirming that you already have it b) extending it, growing it, expanding it.

The good news is you can begin small, with people you don’t even know, just to try it out. If you are feeling lonely, and you wish for a true connection, go to the grocery store and give the checkout person a genuine smile; feel it from your heart, and make eye contact. You don’t even need to say anything… or if you say, “have a nice day” (again) feel the words genuinely in your heart, that is enough.

You and other people are not separate–if you are feeling something, then at some level everyone else is, too. You don’t need to know what to say to someone else. You only need to know what you would want to hear and say that.

You heal yourself, when you give to others what you would want to receive. When you heal yourself, you heal the world.

 

Choose -Fulfillment (1.6.8)

Copyright Tam Black 2018
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

My motivation is my choice. My intention is my choice. My will is my choice. In Peace, I listen within for guidance so that my actions are motivated by joy, my intentions are love, and my will is simply to share Joy and Love.

Sharing

Before you go any farther here, consider whether or not you believe in free will. Do you think or believe that human beings can choose how their lives unfold? Or, do you think that there is some ultimate, predetermined plan and humans live a life that is pre-scripted? Get clear for yourself before reading on, so that you may agree or disagree with what I have to say from an informed personal viewpoint.

I believe in free will. I think that we have the ability to direct our thoughts and actions, and, depending on how/where we direct those, we will experience different things, and/or experience things differently. Image result for water forming canyons

And, I also believe in karma, which I will define here as: the effects of those mental and physical actions we have chosen, which leave impressions (like the impression of a fingerprint, or the impression of a gently running water as it moves through rock–even water can carve canyons), which we then re-experience, unless or until we change the thought that created the impression/effect.

Karma is not the same as determinism, but it can be experienced as though it is determinism, when an impression is repeated enough times that it becomes a deeply seated habit, or pattern, like water forming a canyon.

I believe there are thoughts and mental patterns that bring us deeper/higher into Divine Consciousness, and there are thoughts and mental patterns that only enhance our lower self-of-misery, pain, and suffering. I believe every moment we have a choice between these two.

I believe that an excellent use of free will is to direct thoughts and mental patterns to Divine Consciousness. Actually, I’m going to go even further and say, that some days I believe the only proper use of free will is to direct ourselves to Divine Consciousness. But some days that also feels a bit extreme, especially when I am having a particularly hard time keeping my thoughts “up”.

With free will, and the full power of choice, now read the Guiding Thought again.

My motivation is my choice. My intention is my choice. My will is my choice. In Peace, I listen within for guidance so that my actions are motivated by joy, my intentions are love, and my will is simply to share Joy and Love.

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Happy -Fulfillment (1.6.7)

Copyright Tam Black 2018
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

My joy unifies! Accepting my own joy—acknowledging it, sharing it, and expressing it—heals myself and others. To be wholly joyful means to be wholly love…means to be wholly my Self.

 

Sharing

“Be a dynamo of irrepressible Joy!” ~Haidakhan Babaji

I’ve been pretty dang close to living in the reality of this Guiding Thought! I have been oddly happy lately. Oddly both in the quality of the happiness, and in how uncharacteristic it feels (I’m a very serious person, dontcha know).

The quality of the happiness has been what feels like a combination of energy, peace, and good will. Energy: have you ever watched a horse playing in a meadow on a cool morning, after eating breakfast?

Or watched a cat tearing it up, running and jumping all over the house?

Yeah, the energy feels like that, but totally infused with Peace, which adds a subdued, low-key overtone to the Energy. With all the messes in the world (hurricane and its aftermath, political mess, people so hateful and cruel…you know what I’m talking about), I’ve wondered how I can be so peaceful and happy. I should be covered up in worry, and uncertainty, and distrust, and doubt…but I’m not. I see it. I see the destruction. I feel for the people and the animals who were so affected by Florence, by the West Coast fires, by the Volcano…but I am also somehow peaceful about it…the kind of feeling like “all is well; all is as it should be”. If/when you really live from that space and believe that all is well and all is as it should be, there’s no reason to be disturbed or affected by what is going on around you.

Good Will I am loving people lately. Love as in just enjoying every person’s uniqueness; I see so much value in difference, and in everyone…because everyone is different. And because I have this feeling of loving a person just for being who they are, I also feel like I want that love to support and encourage them, just for being.

What I have been finding is that expressing and sharing this Joy, this happiness comes naturally when I really live in that space authentically. I don’t have to do anything to “make it happen”. I just have to continue doing what I am doing to keep the path clear for it to come out.

It is also seems to be naturally healing. People seem drawn to me more lately (I’ve had more lunch “dates” in the past couple months than I have in the previous year!), and I can tell that people gain something unspokenly positive, or uplifting when we interact. Again, it’s not like I am trying to do something, but people seem naturally more at ease (or peace), they smile quickly and easily, we talk, and really connect (not that superficial conversation stuff)… and I feel like all of this has become possible simply because I have been happy.

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  1. Hire me as your Spiritual Coach, you may sign up for a personalized Journey with me Click here for more information. Or I offer 1-on-1 spiritual coaching sessions. This is non-religion specific, and open to everyone, even atheists, though of course we would call something like “self-analysis coach” for a self-identified atheist.
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Fig Tree and Mountain -Abundance (1.5.37)

Copyright Tam Black 2018
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

My consciousness is the gateway through which Divine Love flows, materializing my infinite Supply. I am now conscious of my own Inner Divine Presence—Infinite Love—expressing through me, providing me with the means to be aware, to understand, and to know It as my Self– more and more!

Sharing

For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. (Christian Bible, Mark 11:23, 24)

I was thinking about the fig tree earlier today, (the verse immediately preceding the above, in which Jesus withers the fig tree on command…), and how it relates with abundance.

I am sure I am not the only one to ask, “how does this stuff (Jesus’ miracles) work“? Faith the size of a mustard seed…speaking…believing in one’s heart….believing you have received what you ask for…people puzzle over these, and how they work together (I don’t know of a better phrase), to accomplish such things as Jesus did. What does it take? How did He do it?

As an aside…has anyone ever wondered why Jesus withered the fig tree, instead of asking it to produce figs for him? I mean, if he can feed the thousands on a few loaves and fishes, he can make a fig tree produce figs, right?

One thing I realized, when thinking about the fig tree and the mountain, is that Jesus spoke directly to the fig tree and the mountain. Just like when He raised Lazarus from the dead–he spoke to Lazarus. He did not speak to God; he did not ask God to wither the fig tree; he did not say to his disciples, “ask God to move the mountain for you”; he did not ask God to raise Lazarus. This is a clue that I have never before considered. His directive is to speak, as though commanding, to the person, tree, mountain, or situation.

[Which, BTW, makes me wonder about the loaves and fishes…did he actually command them to multiply, and we just don’t get that side of the story? or was his prayer, and asking for God’s blessing of the loaves and fishes, the vehicle for that miracle?]

Having “no doubt” in the heart comes first–having faith, then the words. I think what actually happens, internally, is that when there is faith, everything else just flows naturally. Faith is the power: it’s the power behind the speaking, it’s the power behind the command; it’s the power to not even have to consider what to say or how to say it. Faith is the knowing confidence that directs words through you, so you don’t even have to think. When you have faith, you don’t need to formulate a command, it just flows out of you, because what you know in your heart (and here’s the kicker) is aligned with the Will of God, and when it flows out of you, it produces the results that you’ve spoken because those results are Divine Will.

And this is how it fits with Journey of Abundance: Aligning the consciousness with Divine Love brings a person closer to the Truth–Divine Will. When that person is aligned with Divine Love and Divine Will, those things materialize easily, naturally, and infinitely.

“I” am the vehicle through which Divine Love and Divine Will flow. This is how I “know” It as my Self–It comes through me, but is not me, but “I” must create the conditions for It to come through me.

 

More than Attitude, ACTION -Abundance (1.5.36)

Copyright Tam Black 2018
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Increasing my thoughts of Love and my attitude of service dispels all fear of lack and limitation. As I serve more people with Love, money and wealth flow abundantly to me. I use money and wealth with love and wisdom to create a life I love through my highest vision.

Sharing

Check. I have been increasing my thoughts of Love and my attitude of service. I mentioned a few days ago about opening my heart; this has meant increasing the love I am able to feel and give–specifically opening my heart and love to God. I’ve also been increasing my attitude of service. I have several ways that I can serve people, and I have been developing and increasing my ideas about how to let people know that I am here to serve.

So here’s the sticking point: It’s easier to develop an attitude of service than it is to serve; what I mean is, “it’s easier said than done”. Please note, I do not mean that it’s difficult to serve people. I love serving people. The problem (I think) is that I am one of those air signs that likes being in my head better than being grounded on the earth (ideas as opposed to action).

I am well able to take action, and I love to take initiative.

The sticking point has to do with what it means to put myself out there–or, to be very clear, it’s what I think it means to put myself out there. It means marketing and “selling”–not things that I have much interest in doing.

Plus, as I mentioned on day 16, Love is great, but it does not pay the bills. And I have yet to reconcile wanting to truly serve with purity, and asking for money for spiritual services.

The point is that the Guiding Thought does not address the very practical leap from Love to money. Don’t get me wrong–the Guiding is correct, there is just a gap that I have yet to cross, and until I do, the Guiding Thought does help me cross it (that’s what the rest of the Journey if for).

So, yes, increasing my thoughts of Love and my attitude of service dispels all fear of lack and limitation. That’s true and correct, but in my current state, I also need more than an attitude of service. I need to serve, in Truth and Purity, and be open, willing, and able to receive money for that service.

And, yes, as I serve more people with Love, money and wealth flow abundantly to me. However, this statement presumes that the service is accompanied by money, in exchange for that service. Until there is a natural and easy exchange of money, as representative of the Love and energy that is exchanged, then at least the money part of the Guiding Thought will not materialize practically.

And, yes, I use money and wealth with love and wisdom to create a life I love through my highest vision. In this context, there is no need for a direct exchange of money for service–I can use any money in the service of my highest vision; it does not need to be directly connected with a service I am providing (and this is how I use my income from my j-o-b). This part of the Guiding Thought simply points out that any money used to create a life I love through my highest vision will be used in such a way to open me to more of that money (I explained how this works on day 4).

I am getting close to getting this. I can feel it.

ALoveMent -Abundance (1.5.33)

Copyright Tam Black 2018
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

I fill my mind and heart with Love, aligning with the Light of Truth. Steadfast and focused on my own Loving Presence, I live in the peace of fulfillment of my own Divine Identity.

Sharing

My Divine Identity is Love. My only real identity is Love.

This is why, when I fill my mind and heart with Love, I am aligning with the Light of Truth: Because Love is the only thing that is real; anything unreal is not Truth, so bringing Love into the mind and heart brings mental and emotional intention to aligning with the Truth through Love.

Here’s one way to think of this (this example presumes that you are not already 100% aligned with Love, and there are imperfections in your life or relationships). Imagine your work life, or your family life, or your relationship with money or your health. Pick just one of these areas.

Now bring to mind all your criticisms of this situation. What rubs you the wrong way? What is confusing? What bothers you? What would you like to change?

Think about this in as detailed a way as possible.

These criticisms represent where you are not aligned with Love in this situation.

Now fill your mind and heart with Love, and imagine the same situation, allowing the Love in your mind and heart to “spill out” into the situation, giving it a nice, soft glow.

You have just aligned your mind and heart in that situation with Love, which allows in the Light of Truth, so that you may see this situation in this new light.

Whether or not you see change in the situation depends on how misaligned from Love you are, and how much/often you align with Love.

Once you get proficient at bringing Love into a situation, you can begin to do it immediately, as the situation is happening–that is when you begin to see results very quickly, as the situation unfolds.

As you practice that–bringing in Love immediately–you begin to understand that Love as your Divine Identity. It is who you are. It is the reality of youand it becomes the only identity you want to cultivate and express.