Wednesday, November 22, 2017


I love the very specific felt-sense surrounding the holiday of Thanksgiving. For me it has little to do with eating or parades, and nothing to do multiple football games. There is energy around and permeating it that I have grown to deeply relish. It wasn’t always so. It used to be the precursor to the far more elaborate Christmas season. Symbolically, the Macy’s parade said it all: get through Thanksgiving and on to Santa!

The Thanksgiving energy that is so precious to me now is the result of some very specific practices. I have shared many of these practices with the church that I now lead. I have for the past three years invited those interested into an experience I call the “Grat-I-Challenge.” There are seven practices that I invite our congregation to engage in, practices that have literally created new grooves in my consciousness over the years. I do not only engage in these during November. I do intensify them during this season. They are very specific ways of expressing gratitude not only to others but also to ourselves.

During November I contact at least one person per day to directly express how much they mean to me. I call, write, or email. I put my thankfulness into words, and I make sure I am heard.

I keep a daily gratitude journal, something I have done all year for many years.

I make multiple donations to organizations that mean something to me. I do that in the name of others, and at least once as a way of honoring myself.

I give added attention everyday actively looking for things in life to thank. This is by no means limited to people. I thank birds, trees, bodies of water, lattes, whatever. It feels fantastic to me, and I know it energetically touches whatever I am blessing.

I also specifically look for the blessing I know is contained within every challenge. Because of Grace, everything is God-permeated. Nothing happens outside of Source. In that recognition I thank in advance the inherent blessing in everything that happens. I thank the Good that is bound to appear.

These are some of the ways I turn Thanksgiving into Thanks-Living! I am committed to live IN a state of thankfulness. Gratitude as context. Blessing as a state of being. When I am spiritually awake I am grateful. It is a perfect barometer.

And so it is from this place of inner Thanks-Living that I wish you a most rich and profound Thanksgiving holiday. Be sure to take a moment during it and thank yourself for being yourself. You are a precious gift of life to life. There is only one of you. I am grateful for our connection.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


For the past three years here at the church I serve I have invited people to join me in what I call a month long Grat-I-Challenge. We begin on November 1st , and the invitation is to engage seven different practices, most daily, that will heighten the awareness and experience of gratitude. As I write this blog it is the eighth day of the month and I already feel a palpable and vital increased aliveness within me as a result of these practices. I have kept a daily gratitude journal for many years. I make it a consistent practice to look for the good in every challenge. These are two facets of the Grat-I-Challenge which certainly are not new to me. It does seem, however, that when I am especially and intentionally ensconced in what I like to call Thanks-Living my days are Lighter and my energy more co-creatively focused.

So it reaffirms in my awareness that living in conscious relationship to gratitude, to appreciation, to blessing, to praise is not something that is reserved for one day or one month of the year. Every day is a day for thanks-living. Every day is a day in which I get to consciously look for the goodness and the blessings that I know are constantly surrounding me. Every day is a day to express gratefulness to those around me. Gratefulness not only for things they may do but for simply being who they are. Praising raises the vibration of everything around me because first it raises my own energetic frequency.

I always have a chance and a choice of how to respond to what is happening. It may not seem that way at times. Because we have functioning reptilian brains we all get triggered. We all have times when the internal seas are rough. We all have preferences that are not met. These are the times for me when I need to go deeply into my heart-center, breathe very consciously, and make the switch from content to context. From my Deeper Self I can appreciate that life is unfolding perfectly even when it seems out of control and my personal demands are not being met. I do not pretend to like what is. When I am not concealed in pretense I can expand into a context that attunes to my Higher Self, accepts what is as it is, and then appreciate the greater flow of life that I allow through my acceptance to move through me.

This too shall pass. When I am living from context and from a spacious appreciation I know beyond preference or programming that this too shall pass. This includes what I prefer as well as what I resist. In contextual appreciation it is a wondrous passing show that I can fully engage yet not be trapped in. This too shall pass, and, it is all for good. Two Truths that keep me centered and atone. I appreciate that I am here to appreciate in the sense of becoming more. As I bless what is I am blessed for certain.

I so appreciate you reading my musings, whether you agree with me or not. I appreciate you whether I know you or not. I appreciate that we have this perhaps momentary connection within a shared humanity. I appreciate you for being you.