One of my hero’s in life was once an impoverished little girl in the backwoods of Mississippi who didn’t have indoor plumbing until she was almost a teenager. When she was a little girl, her grandma took her out in the side yard to teach her how to hang the washing on the clothes line, something grandma assured her she would need to know how to do. From somewhere deep inside that little with the funny name, she knew that as much as she loved and respected her precious grandma, she would not be hanging laundry on a clothesline in Mississippi. And indeed, Oprah Winfrey never did. She intuited that she was born for more, and she was somehow going to tap in to that inspiration, and let it guide her to the path she was called to follow. She met many obstacles along the way, hurtles that have stopped other people with perhaps less disadvantages before them. Yet she kept moving forward, and the world is a better place for the contributions this remarkable woman has made. Countless lives have been touched, and she is a wayshower for multiple generations. She transcended boundaries that leave an open way for millions more to follow. And perhaps key to the philosophy that has led to so much achievement is a sense of gratitude and appreciation that seems to have been innate in her from the earliest of years.
One of my favorite Oprah quotes is “If you focus on what you have, you’ll always have more. If you focus on what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.” We scientifically know that energy always flows where attention goes. Whatever we focus on expands in our experience. I have come to know in my own life that it is not only the WHAT of our focus that is important. Yes, focus energizes. But HOW we focus is the factor that determines what the energizing effect will be. If we look at and thus energize an appearance in our life, believing that it is a solid reality to be fought, we will actually get more of what we are fighting against. The resistance is a strange attractor that assures the continuation of whatever we are fighting. Bringing a heartful Presence to an appearance has a radically different effect. When we can view the world and its appearances through the lens of the spiritual heart, a deeper wisdom is activated and a transformative power is unleashed. Having the intention to see beyond mere appearances graces us with insight and vision. The heart has no need of doing battle, because in the heart is the Knowingness that all things are ultimately in service of the greater whole. The underlying atmosphere within the heart is a deep and abiding appreciation. It is grateful at a level that transcends the mind and its dualistic programming. It beholds life as a sacred emergence that isn’t logical or linear. It doesn’t look for what is missing, for what is in need of fixing, or for what needs to be cast out. The wisdom of the heart takes in the depth and the breadth of a constant spiraling of consciousness being played out in form. It is all for good, even those appearances that trigger our most aberrant reactions. It is all an out picturing of Law, and as we awaken more to the mechanics of creation, we will more skillfully create our world as a reflection of Who we are at the deepest level.
And so at this time of Thanksgiving, we look on not only what we have, but at Who we are In the heart of the Beloved. We focus our heartful attention on that, and it expands in our experience. We Presence and we compassion the tendency to look at what we don’t have, and in that merciful inner atmosphere, we make a different choice. We recognize and we celebrate the physics of our attention, and we consciously utilize a felt-sense appreciation as the energetic of conscious co-creation. Beholding our inner worlds and the outer realms with a Presencing, appreciative embrace has a transformative and powerful effect. We live in a container of thanksgiving and gratitude, and this lens calls forth the goodness and the beauty that are indeed ever-present. We include all of life, and in our choice to fight or reject nothing, it is all used for the highest of our Soulful emergence. And whether we hang laundry on a clothesline in Mississippi, run a billion dollar Media Empire, or lead a quiet and unassuming life of simplicity and service, we will know that our grateful hearts have left a legacy of love for generations to come.
Look at what you have and what you are, and be grateful indeed.