Be kind, generous, understanding, loving, forgiving and non-judgemental. Now more than ever is the time to live, think and act in this way towards all, including and perhaps most importantly, ourselves. I think we can all agree that there are a lot of events occurring around the world that influence our lives and sense of well-being. This influence, while not always apparent, does impact our interactions with others and the way we think, speak and act towards ourselves.  These influences come in the form of  natural disasters that seem to be occurring at an ever-increasing rate or the economic and social issues for which there appears to be no near term end in sight. Wars are being fought and long-standing governments are being toppled.  Or they can be closer to home as a job situation, health concern, family matters or relationship challenges.  We have a tendency to become overwhelmed by these events and feel like there is nothing we can do, every thing is out of our control, we are at the mercy of what life throws at us. And while we experience the influence of  these events on our lives we don’t fully realize or accept the influence we have on the world around us as a result of our response to life. Our thoughts, words and actions directly impact everything around us.    

Yet in the midst of this apparent chaos and uncertainty is opportunity, the opportunity to create (allow) and experience peace, joy, happiness, love and prosperity. So how do we create or allow these states of being to be our lived experience, to be who we are? I suggest it begins with gratitude.  Gratitude with its special, magical qualities.  When we express gratitude for all that we have in our lives we are in essence saying to the Universe, “Give me more of this. Give me more for which I can continue expressing gratitude.”  Furthermore, when expressing gratitude we are incapable of expressing angry, sadness, fear or disappointment. We are incapable of feeling unworthy or unloved. We are present and more fully in the moment. We let go of thoughts we have been holding of lack in our lives or those of being the victim. We open ourselves to the goodness that life has and continues to bestow upon us. 

When expressing gratitude, heartfelt gratitude, we feel loved, appreciated and worthy. We are in the moment of that expression and therefore at peace. When we feel loved, appreciated and worthy (all of which we are) we invite more of it into our lives and thereby experience it.

 Some reading this might say their life is heading in a direction that gives them nothing for which to be grateful. Nothing seems to be working as they would like it to, everything is happening to them and is out of their control. First I would suggest that a change in perspective from “what is happening to me” to one of what is “happening for me” would be of great benefit.  Look at what life is presenting now, in this moment, that you might continue to grow and evolve?  What opportunity is life presenting now that you might become more of who you are in the process of becoming?  Know that whatever is happening in your life now, even though the appearance might be otherwise,  is always for your benefit. Be grateful for what life offers you, regardless of the form it takes. I also suggest you examine your relationship with, and beliefs about, the Universe, Life, Spirit or GOD, whatever term you feel comfortable applying. Do you believe it wants you to be happy, healthy and well, or do you believe it wants you to struggle and suffer?   

There will still be some that say or think there is nothing for which to be grateful. Life hasn’t always been what they hoped, dreamed or expected it would be, and yet it has.  Consider two of the many gifts with which we have all been endowed, imagination and free will choice. The gift of imagination provides the opportunity to create, first in our minds, whatever we most want to experience.  The only limits we have to what we can imagine are the ones we place on ourselves. The caveat here is that although imagination provides the opportunity to create what we most desire it also provides just as easily the opportunity to create what we don’t want to experience.  This now begs the question as to why someone would create experiences they don’t want to have?  This is a question that only the person asking can answer.  A suggestion is to monitor your thoughts, feelings and subsequent actions and take notice of the correlation to your experiences.  

Next we have the gift of choice.  The gift of choice is exercised on two levels, first in original thought and then in the actions we take. We have the ability to choose what it is we think about.  We can choose to think about the life we truly desire to experience or we can choose to think about our concerns, worries and fears.   We can then make choices that bring about whatever it is we have most held in thought. We can easily see where we spend most of our time in thought by whether we are experiencing more of our desires or more of our fears. When we examine our use of these gifts it is easy to see that we are active participants in the creative process that results in our lived experience.

Regardless of what has happened before or is happening now we can always choose otherwise. We can imagine a different experience and make choices that bring it about.  There is always a choice that can be made that will change our circumstances and most certainly our outcome. And sometimes the choice that is in our highest and best good is simply the choice to see something from a new perspective.

“Knowing that we always have a choice is very empowering.  Once empowered everything and anything is possible”

This writing began with how now more than ever is the time to be kind, generous, understanding, loving and non-judgemental. It has since evolved into a brief overview of gratitude and the power of thought and choice. I will bring this full circle, as is the way of life, by stating that our thoughts about ourselves and others, and the heart-felt choices we make, can and will create the world we all desire. It is our expressions of kindness, generosity, understanding, love, forgiveness and  non-judgement that is the invitation for these expressions to be returned upon us. 
Life does come full circle and we stand as one in the center of it all.

Until next time,

Jim

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