“Closer I am”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 37

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
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.


What do you love? What brings you joy? What is it that you need to accept within yourself that will allow you to express that quality/characteristic that brings you joy? Or are you doing it already? What is unique and original within you? What do you do with that?  Who are you?

In a way, today’s Guiding Thought is really about honesty. It’s about being deeply, truly, honestly your Self. It’s about releasing anything that prevents you from expressing your Self. It’s about the simple pleasure of knowing who you are (acknowledging), and sharing that part of you that only you contribute to the whole.

How close are you? How close are you to your Self? How much Truth do you tell yourself? How much Truth do you live?

For me, it feels like I have spent a lifetime uncovering, discovering, and striving to live as my real Self (that’s probably because I have…).   It started when I was around 9, with Plato’s quote of the Oracle at Delphi, “Know Thyself”. It progressed to Shakespeare’ s “This above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst then not be false to any man.” One of my favorite books as a pre-teen was The Real Me by Betty Miles; in college I studied identity politics, authenticity, and alienation (among other things); after college I (basically, for all intents and purposes) “dropped out” of society to “find myself” (I know, it’s cliché, but that’s what I did—it worked!).

And here I am, doing Journeys, which I LOVE, which are unique to me, which I share, which bring me great joy.

And still I feel like I have so far to go, so much to learn about myself, so much to discover, so much to share.

The bucket is never full. Every drop matters, but the bucket is never full. There is always more to do! More to learn! More to share! Despite how far I go, how far I feel I have come, I look ahead and see how far I have yet to go.

Even though this might sound a bit defeatist, it’s not! It’s inspiring! It’s motivating!

To experience your Self as infinite, take an inner- step in every direction! How long will that take? FOREVER. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

“Pea-Shooter v. Iceberg”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 34

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

My Self wills only to extend itself. Extending, sharing, and creating as Divine Love, through Divine Mind, is my sole (soul) purpose. My Self knows its fullness in Divine Love and wills only to liberate me to fulfill my purpose and my joy.


I think one reason that I am able to do “this work” and be honest about my doubts, skepticism, “negative” experiences, or struggles, is because at a deeper (much deeper) level, I feel assured that those doubtful, skeptical, “negative”  thoughts or struggles have absolutely no “real” basis. In other words, at that very deep level, I trust the Truth of Love, which cannot be diminished in any way, especially by my small doubts, etc.

For example, when I read the Guiding Thought, some part of my always knows that it gets at a Truth stronger than anything I can overcome or vanquish. My doubts, my insecurities, my small thoughts about me in my little life are like trying to chip away at an iceberg with a pea-shooter. It just won’t happen.

I’m safe. I can’t assail the Truth. There is nothing that I can do to the Truth which will overcome the Truth.

Since I am safe, I might as well just be honest. I might as well take hard looks. I might as well ask questions. I might as well throw every doubt, negative thought, worry, anxiety at the iceberg of Truth. Truth is not going to go anywhere. It’s not going to be impacted by my mushy pellets.

The only thing that will happen is that I will open myself to the Truth to teach me of itself.

Why is that? In using my pellet gun against the iceberg, I willingly expose what is going on within myself.

Or, to switch metaphors: I willingly open my hidden-places to transformation. I shine the flashlight in my own darkness.

You see, Knowing the Truth is as simple as allowing Truth’s light to shine within you. When you keep things hidden, you keep out the light. The hidden becomes less scary to face, when there is assurance that Divine Love is always with you. Divine Love always cares. Divine Love loves you always. Confident in this, I can willingly, at my own pace, in my own time, with my own intensity, shine the light, learn the Truth, reveal the Truth within me. Better that I do it willingly, of my own accord, because Divine Love will bring me to the Light. Better I use my choice, my free will to begin to approach Divine Love within me, to begin to allow Divine Love to be the Truth within me.  Better that I use my free will to go willingly; I can’t change the course of an iceberg, might as well join it or it will pull me in and carry me with it whether I like it or not.

“Getting There: Fulfilled and Free”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 04

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

 My Self wills only to extend itself. Extending, sharing, and creating as Divine Love, through Divine Mind, is my sole purpose. My Self knows its fullness in Divine Love and wills only to liberate me to fulfill my purpose and my joy.



If you remember from Journey of Abundance, I was working with the thoughts

ALL in All

All is Love

ALL in All is Love is ALL in All.

Another way to think about this is simply, “God is All; God is Love”. Sometimes it’s easier (more accessible), for me to think of “God”, sometimes I am more comfortable with “All”. Recently, I’ve learned a new, deeper meaning of another option, the word “Ishwara”, which I may also use: “In the Yoga Sutras, the word for God is Ishwara: the Lord, Ruler, Master, or Controller, possessing the powers of omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience.” (Om Yoga Meditation, Its Theory and Practice, Abbott George Burke, location 93, Kindle edition).

This concept (God-ALL-Love), however you want to formulate it for yourself, has become somewhat of a foundation, for me on this Journey.

If God is ALL, then I am part of God. If God is ALL, then my Self is a Self of God. Everything I do is God; everything I think is God; every interaction is God…Everything is God.

>>brief aside< You know by now that I’ve been working on surrender/trust/letting go/living God’s Will. There is a phrase from A Course in Miracles that I have used in this regard, “I need do nothing”, which has helped me to relax into allowing the activity of God.  In today’s context, I have changed this thought to “God does everything”. This removes the emphasis on “I” and places it on God. If God is ALL, then God does do everything. It’s become another way for me to release, let go, surrender my mind to the activity of God. <

Everything is God. Now, look again at the Guiding Thought with this in mind:

My Self which is One with God

 wills only to extend itself . God wills to extend; God is extending through me!

 Extending, sharing, and creating as Divine Love, because God is within me, this is the activity of God, through me….

through Divine Mind, which is already God’s mind, within me….

is my sole purpose. Because this is the ONLY purpose God has, which is also my purpose, because of my Oneness with God.

My Self knows its fullness in Divine Love of course it does! My Self Knows itself as God, and God’s Divine Love.

and wills only to liberate me …this is all God Wants for all of us, to Know our Selves as Divine Expression, in which we are One with God,  fulfilled and free.

to fulfill my purpose and my joy. Because the purpose of Life is to remember our Life in God, which is the only life of Joy.

Do you see how, when you begin to think of God as or in everything, the perspective shifts just that little bit, to actually see the activity of God in All, including within yourself?

“Are we what we do, or are we what we think? ”: Journey of Abundance 2.0 – Day 37

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
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!


It’s Sunday and I’ve been working hard today, and I started early. I hope you are enjoying a long weekend with good food and family/friends!  (and not working hard, like me!).

Are we what we do, or are we what we think?

In his book Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now, Gordon Livingston says these two things (at different points):

  • Nearly every human action is in some way an expression of how we think about ourselves.
  • We are what we do. We are not what we think, or what we say, or how we feel. We are what we do.

In other words…We are what we do, which is (nearly) a direct effect of how we think (about ourselves).

Isn’t that pretty close to saying “we are what we think”? What do you think about this?

One of the main points of doing these 40-day Consciousness Journeys is to raise the quality of my thoughts, so that I can have a better quality of life. In other words: to change my physical reality through having “better” thoughts. This would certainly correspond with thoughts affecting actions. The better I think about myself, the better my actions toward myself, the better I would treat myself, the better choices I would make, the more good I would allow into my life.

But does this make who I am? What defines “me”? Who is doing the defining? Do I define myself? Do my thoughts define me?

My consciousness is how I think about myself, myself in relation to others, even how I think about others in relation to me. My consciousness is the filter for the definitions for “who I am”.

But I was defined before “I” existed. All “I” can do is open my consciousness to the fullness of who I AM.

“Peace be with you”: Journey of Abundance 2.0 – Day 15

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
Designed for susanwithpearls.com


Guiding Thought

Your Inner Divine Love Presence Knows what you need or desire before you do. It is constantly providing you with ideas, material goods, situations, and interactions to fulfill all your needs and desires. Relax! and allow the Presence Within to supply you with everything you need.


Today was a day for relaxing! A day for trust! A day for feeling good! A day for joy and satisfaction and simply being. I hope you have had a peaceful, relaxing day full of that natural communication with Self/Spirit, which simply carries you buoyantly through your day, through your life.

As you know, there are ways to communicate with Self/Spirit that are not verbal or mental. I have been so relaxed and in the peace of the moment all day that I wanted to continue it through the doing of the Journey—contemplation (thinking) would have taken me out of the flow.

Since I have the option of communicating with Self/Spirit through my coloring, I chose that today.

In my picture, I am relaxed with all my needs fulfilled. I am in a beautiful place, surrounded by beauty, with the perfect head/back rest, showered with sunlight. I am so thankful for this. I feel so much gratitude for all my needs being met, for feeling so at peace, so comfortable, surrounded by beauty…all I can do is thank God, thank Spirit, thank Self/soul/the Divine/the ALL that IS that surrounds me and contributes to my being. The blue from my heart is this thankfulness. I can’t tell you how calm and peaceful and right it all feels.

I wish for you an amazing, peaceful, trusting, relaxing day. If you didn’t have one as I did today, I wish it for you right now, or tomorrow, or when it is right and perfect for you (every day!!). Peace be with you, now and always.


Lost in Translation: Journey of Abundance 2.0 – Day 05

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

My Inner Divine Love Presence Knows what I need or desire before I do. It is constantly providing me with ideas, material goods, situations, and interactions to fulfill all my needs and desires. I relax and allow the Presence Within to supply me with everything I need.



So far in my coloring, squares have represented the “unknown” material goods, situations, and interactions that Divine Source sends my way. I wonder how that relates to my picture today? I did not make a conscious decision about what the squares represent today, as I have other days. I did not intend for them to represent material goods, situations, or interactions. In fact, if I was intending anything, it was that the squares represent what Divine Love Knows I need or desire.

Hmmmm. Maybe that does make sense symbolically. If squares in previous pictures have represented Divine “outcomes” in my life, then it makes sense that in Divine Mind, those outcomes could be represented in the same way. There a singular perfection for my life, for everything and anything material or physical. The squares today represent that singular pattern for perfection which Divine Mind holds just for me.

Journey of Abundance 2.0 - Day 05 Susan Billmaier for susanwithpearls
Journey of Abundance 2.0 – Day 05
Susan Billmaier for susanwithpearls

It flows to me, through me, and out into my life (the light blue “bar” represents the threshold of relaxing). The flow comes through me, as I relax, and then shows up as a celebration! That’s what the stars and bursts and streamers are…a celebration.

Because…(and this was big today)…because Divine Mind is constantly providing me with ideas, material goods, situations, and interactions to fulfill all my needs and desires.

The importance of this:

If Divine Mind is constantly providing me with ideas, material goods, situations, and interactions to fulfill all my needs and desires, then my needs and desires are constantly being met.

If my needs and desires are constantly being met, then every situation I encounter, every material thing I have or receive, every person, event, situation is something that fulfills a need or desire.

I am constantly fulfilled. Constantly, constantly, constantly. This is the activity of Divine Mind. This is the way of Divine Love Presence.

You mean the bubbles on my screensaver are fulfilling a need or desire? YES.

You mean rush hour traffic fulfills a need or desire? YES.

You mean these fluorescent lights fulfill a need or desire? YES.

Why don’t we recognize these things as fulfilling a need or desire? Why do we think they are contrary to our nature, to our desires? Because Divine Mind fulfills ALL our needs or desires—conscious, subconscious, known or unknown. It gives us what we ask for, so what do I ask for that a bubble screensaver, traffic, or lights is the answer? What am I seeking? For what am I asking, that these are the answer?

This is why it’s important to

  • Get clear
  • Surrender to Divine Will
  • Find and remove obstacles, illusions, obfuscations

When  we can align ourselves perfectly with the pattern of perfection Divine Mind holds just for us, we will recognize everything as a gift, everything as the perfect fulfillment in our lives.

“Mind Moving”: Journey of Healing 2.0 – Day 15

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Your own Loving Presence is your personal connection with Divine Mind. Attuned to your own Loving Presence, Know yourself as Whole and Holy. As you feel your Inner Unity, Know: this is all you want; you have found all you seek.


I’ve been working with a big idea lately. The idea is that anything I want, or anything I want to feel or be, already exists. It is. Somewhere. Even if it’s not here, in my conscious awareness, it exists. All I have to do is move my mind to it. It is there, in Divine Mind.

This is a bit like a tool I have used called the Behavioral Barometer, by One Brain. On the barometer, there are words on one side of the paper that correspond to a feeling. I find the word that most closely describes what I am feeling, and I repeat a dozen or more times, out loud, “I feel >blank<”. Today the “right” word was unimportant

I feel unimportant. I feel unimportant. I feel unimportant. I feel unimportant. I feel unimportant. I feel unimportant. I feel unimportant. I feel unimportant. I feel unimportant. I feel unimportant. I feel unimportant. I feel unimportant.

Feelings flow through me. Feelings are not me, they are not who I am. I can feel without claiming the feeling as an identity, getting bogged down in it, or being overwhelmed by it. “To feel is to heal”, as the saying goes. Feelings need to be acknowledged. Feelings need to be expressed. Sometimes just saying the words is enough to release the feeling.

Once the feeling is released, there is a corresponding word on the other side of the barometer, to “fill in” the space (the neural connections), where that feeling just vacated. That word today was Unified. So I repeated, “I AM Unified”. This statement is used to claim the quality (Unified) as a State of Being: in other words, proclaiming, this is Who I Am.

I AM Unified. I AM Unified. I AM Unified. I AM Unified. I AM Unified. I AM Unified. I AM Unified. I AM Unified. I AM Unified. I AM Unified. I AM Unified. I AM Unified. I AM Unified. I AM Unified. I AM Unified. I AM Unified.

Being Unified, or being in the State of Being Unified, already exists in Divine Mind. Thus, thinking this thought I AM Unified confirms to my mind the Truth, unlike saying I feel unimportant, which is passing, and not something that even exists in Divine Mind.

When you tell yourself, tell your mind, the Truth, you move your mind that much closer to what already exists, to the Truth of You. This is becoming Being and Being becoming.

ANY time you feel weak, or unimportant, threatened or unacceptable, unloved or rejected, KNOW none of that is True. You are an amazing, loved, appreciated, invigorating, creative, caring, essential, protected, purposeful person.

Know that.

Acknowledge your feeling. Then move your mind to what already exists: the Truth of YOU. You are all you seek.

I love you for you, for the Truth of you, for all you are, all you are becoming, all you give, all you seek, all you do, all you strive for, all you love, all within you, just You.  Thank you for being.

A Journey of Fulfillment: Afterword

I use terms like “simmering” and “stewing” a lot when referring to my thinking process. To me, they thoroughly sum up what is going on in my head: in cooking, simmering and stewing take items and cook them down, condensing them, allowing the flavors to blend, so that the final product is full of complexity and nuances of combinations of flavors integrated together. The finished dish is more than each individual ingredient, the flavors contributing separately, but coming together to form something completely different.

40-day Consciousness Journeys work in a similar way on my consciousness. There is input (each of the guiding thoughts), that has an individual impact or “flavor”, which then interacts with all of the other input. When simmered, they mix together to achieve a nuanced complexity that is absent from the individual pieces and only present after some time of co-mingling.

This is why I wait at least a week before trying to put it all together. And even now, I don’t think I am done cooking.

I’m not kidding about the subtleties and nuances, either. More than anything, I just feel different. More than any other Journey, so far, I feel like this one has worked mostly within my subconscious and energetic bodies—those areas that are just below the surface, where I can sense a shift and change, but not put words or identifiers to it.

If I had to guess, I would say the shift has grown out of the whole conversation with myself on day 16 in which I realized I needed to relax.

Relax. As in: let go, stop trying to control, predict, designate, pre-conceive. Relax. As in: Have faith, feel your higher purpose, work with your Self, rather than with yourself. Relax. As in: Trust. Trust what is; trust love; trust that the infinite intelligence at work from the microcosm to the macrocosm supports the perfection of my little life.

I have had some astounding realizations and interactions this past week—all a product of relaxing (as I have interpreted them).

First, I had a conversation with friend in which I said these words (which I had not pre-thought), “It’s about the Law of Attraction…but most people conceive the Law of Attraction to be, ‘I want THIS; manifest NOW!’ Instead, I want not to pre-determine what the ‘this’ is—I want to attract whatever is, whatever is highest, whatever divine is and simply allow THAT to manifest.”

Then, while doing some online research, I found a book and some mantras that I had never come across before. I started listening to the mantras right away, intending to just let them seep in slowly. One just blasted me, though. It says,

“As with all things in the Universes,

True Joy can only come from Deep Self-Realization;

Awareness and Love of the Other

Can only come from Deep reflective Self-Love.

And the Essence of All Living

Comes when one lets go of one’s life, needs, goals, and path.”

That last line was like a bugle waking me up, saying: “You need to just forget about what you think your path is. You don’t know.” In addition, the second line resonated with the beginning of what I had written at the beginning of the Journey: I intended True Joy, the Joy that is beyond the physical/mental/emotional, a Joy that is real and everlasting. I felt like this book and these mantras were helping me to shift into what I really want. I felt assured I was on the right path (whatever that is).

Then, while doing Si va na ta, I realized I do not do anything for the sake of itself. Nothing is “an end unto itself.” In other words, everything I do means something in addition to what it is. I don’t just do stuff. Everything has a meaning, a purpose that I bring to it, usually with full awareness. In fact, I try to bring as much as I can to every action; I bring as many layers as I can—mental (japa/mantra), emotional (awareness), physical (the action whatever it may be), spiritual (tuning in to the energy). I tried (yesterday) to just do stuff without bringing meaning and purpose to it. I tried just doing the dishes for the sake of doing the dishes, rather than as an act of service; I tried painting without having mantras running through my head; I tried interacting with people without bringing caring, giving, sharing to the interaction.

My day felt all wrong, I felt impatient, frustrated… until I let myself be myself again, until I relaxed into my Self.  It was what I have talked about before, about needing to compare/contrast actions and attitudes to see what works, what feels right, and then making a new choice—for me, making a choice for evolving into something better.

When I let myself be my Self again, that is, when I chose to allow myself to be caring, giving, sharing, involved, attentive, loving, etc. I again got a “message of re-assurance” (although, I do not know if there was a direct cause-effect relationship here).

A stranger, who I just started talking with, talked about the history of Christianity and about reading scripture in the original Greek and Hebrew. He said, “When you read it in its original language, you have to throw out everything American Christianity teaches.” I found out he is working on his Master’s Degree in History of Religions; he talked about how one little grammatical mark can change an entire meaning, and many translations did not take that into account, and therefore were faulty translations. He talked about Jesus preaching against the Pharisees and the Sadducees; he talked about trusting God, walking in Faith, knowing he was always exactly where he needed to be.

Out of the blue, this wonderful conversation happened. It was an interaction of connection, sharing, expanding, growth, and enthusiasm for being in the Divine Flow. And it was a message for me to trust, to have faith, to be open to Love, to continue to follow the voice that only my third ear hears.

In the past week, all of the ingredients of my Fulfillment Stew condensed into a few interactions and realizations. Trust my Divine Self. Trust that I am on the right path. Meet life with Love, openness, trust, listening, and acceptance. And most of all, relax.

The stew is in the pot. I think it still needs to simmer…for months, perhaps years. But when it’s done, it will be oh so Filling!




Waking Up to Life (Again and Again). A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 40

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

I am light. My body is light. I am free. I know my fulfillment: I feel it rise within me, expand out from me.



I was thinking about the metaphor of waking up as it applies to spiritual consciousness, this morning as I was waking up in my physical body.

We all know what it means to wake from sleep. We can talk about waking up in terms of being “jolted awake,” about being “rudely awakened,” about being “half awake (or half asleep),” or “barely awake.”

We know what it feels like to wake up well-rested or wake up restlessly.

Some of us wake up slowly, and barely feel alert after 24 ounces of our favorite caffeinated beverage; sometimes we bounce out of bed, rejuvenated with no other inducement than the joy of life.

Sometimes we wake up, but want to go right back to sleep. Sometimes we lie there in a half-dream state, neither asleep nor awake for lengths of time.

Sometimes we are awakened by someone else, a noise outside, by an alarm, a pet, a bug, by being too cold, being too hot, having a pain in our shoulder or hip, by having too many worries.

Sometimes we just wake up with no stimulus, no apparent reason.

But the point is…unless we are dead, we ultimately wake up. So too, it is, with our spiritual consciousness. All of the language applied to a physical waking up can be applied to the waking up of spiritual consciousness.

Everyone is just waking up, and doing it in different ways, at different speeds, with different methods, different prompts, agitators, stimuli—some internal and invited, some external and unwelcome.

I like to think that every stimulus enters into our consciousness for the purpose of our inner awakening and ultimately for the awakening of All into spiritual consciousness—a consciousness of Love and Unity.

Sometimes a spiritual prompt can come as a jolt (like a near death experience) or an unexpected (perhaps unwelcome) surprise (an illness, the loss of a job, an unexpected pregnancy). Sometimes they are slow and steady, like relationships—especially relationships with parents and family. Sometimes they are aspects of experience that ebb and flow, like learning how to be responsible with money, learning to take care of another person, learning about health and well-being.

We do not, however, experience life in nice, neat little compartments. It’s not like I leave my health and well-being while I take care of money, nor am I suddenly out of a relationship just because I have entered the office where I work. Every moment, ALL aspects of life experience are with us. We may experience circumstances in linear time, but in our minds, everything is there every moment—the house, the relationships, the parents, the money, the health; those things don’t just go away when we are someplace else.

Similarly, spiritual consciousness does not just go away after I have done my little contemplation/meditation.

Waking up means bringing the meditation—the feeling of Fulfillment—into life experiences. Expanding spiritual consciousness is very practical. It means maintaining an attitude of Love, Peace, and Unity (or Forgiveness and Healing, where I am not yet awakened to Love, Peace, and Unity) into relationships, situations, and circumstances. It means being aware of the effects of my thoughts on situations that are not immediately happening (they don’t just go away). It means bringing an attitude of awakening to every situation, allowing it to work on me, to give me the gift of waking me up—even if it is a rude awakening.

I am at the end of this 40-day Journey, and I feel like I am only just now waking up. That’s what happens sometimes. Each 40-day Journey lifts me, but then it’s up to me to integrate the effects. With each integration, I start anew, waking up a little bit more…then I start over.

Thank you for joining me. I’ll be taking about a 7 day break while I do some thinking/integrating, and will be publishing some final thoughts on the journey in about a week. Feel free to email me or comment with your discoveries, insights, or experiences on this journey. I’d love to hear from you.

May you be Joyfully Fulfilled while you continue to awaken!



Worth Every Minute. A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 39

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

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 we all give peace, no matter what.



I felt such gratitude this morning. It poured out of me, washed over me, seemingly emanated from me. I didn’t think about it; I didn’t ask for it or conjure it; I wasn’t trying to feel grateful; I didn’t invoke it. It just happened. I thanked God for everything I could think of, and more just kept coming. All of life was included in my gratitude.

The words of my friend Sean Reagan came to mind (paraphrased): “We practice to be lifted; the practices lift us.”

Spontaneous gratitude, joy, and love are one of the reasons I do these practices—all my practices. Through the doubt or the struggle or the questioning, the practices work on me, work with me, work through me. They change me, they change my mind; they lift me to a new understanding, and thus to a new experience.

Sometimes it takes moments, sometimes, days, sometimes weeks. It depends on the idea, and how resistant I am, and how much “stuff” is in my way.

But I just keep plodding, learning, clearing, inviting, allowing, and accepting while focusing on the Truth of Oneness or Love or Unity. These things lead me. And they never fail. My Joy increases. My Love increases. My desire for your Love and Joy to increase increases.

Yes, you were included in my gratitude this morning. Thank you for being here.

Spiritual work has deeply practical value. What is more valuable than experiencing joy, knowing peace, or loving your neighbor? Especially when it just shows up out of the blue? It’s the best reward, the best motivation. Loving life, loving being here, loving people, is the only thing that gives meaning to all of my activity.

Results don’t “just happen”. Results are for a reason, a reason that is created through focus and attention. Where is your focus and attention? What are your results?

Knowing Love in my whole being and not just as a concept, an idea, or a desire is worth every minute of practice.

May you Know Peace.

May you Know Joy.

May you experience Oneness with all you meet today and every day.

May Love descend upon you and fill you with the Joy of its being.

May all that is beautiful enter your life experience.

May you experience the perfection of Divine Harmony.

May all you encounter reflect a Celebration of Life.