November, 2011: GIVING & RECEIVING AUTHENTIC APPRECIATION!

As with everything in Life, it it's automatic, mindlessly offered out of habit, obligation and familiarity, it doesn't quite signal authenticity. Being real is being who and what I spiritually Am and this has become probably the most important aspect of reshaping and refining my personality. In this creative process, this frequently shows up when I'm on the receiving end. Someone gives me a gift or a compliment and I feel awkward...my tendency sometimes is to look around and see who's behind me that this person is addressing. And, that's when, to overcome my own discomfort, I hear an 'off centered' familiar, "Thank you, how sweet, or aren't you kind" or some other banality that doesn't really ring true to my own ears. And, since we are all connected in the Oneness of Life Itself, I know this is somehow known at some level by the person before me.

This isn't an endorsement of 'letting it all emotionally and nauseatingly hang out.' Rather it is a suggestion that authenticity can be appropriately experienced at all times. We are always at choice, so it's always up to us how we decide to respond in all matters. Why can't I say what I mean and mean what I say? There is nothing whatever wrong about admitting one's feeling of resistance in the area of receiving. For many of us, it has been a case of, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" and therefore this is shared human dilemma. A developing consciousness cultivates what is interiorly required to let someone know you are both deeply touched by their thoughtfulness and feel as if maybe you don't fully deserve it. By communicating this unabashedly, we are making huge strides in teaching the people in our world more spiritually artful ways of 'getting to know myself, through getting to know you.'

The Course in Miracles reminds us that giving and receiving are one in Truth...two ends of the same stick...reciprocal actions intertwined one with the other. To experience freedom of expression, I realize this is where I can play the game of Life for bigger stakes. Being aware of giving my unique gifts, means I Am equally receptive to recognizing that you have gifts to give also...and sometimes they are extended to me. We're all in this Divine Loop of Circulation together. Thanksgiving is really about seeing the Law of Giving and Receiving in action. So that your contribution of sweet potato pie shares the spotlight with my green salad and veggies, and someone else's stuffing is exquisitely woven into the turkey. Pumpkin pie and delicious desserts emerge as yet another aspect of the entire splendid masterpiece. So, we take a deep breath and when it comes our turn at the table to say what we're grateful for, we know it is authentically about giving thanks for God being God, as everyone and everything that shows up as One Divinely Orchestrated and Momentous reason to be appreciative!

AWARENESS CONTEMPLATION:
Following your meditation, silent contemplative and prayerful time of conscious communion, take pen to journal. Ask yourself, "What does being grateful really mean to me." When you feel complete in seeing your answer, continue the inner exploration by filling in the sentence, "In my new understanding of what gratitude means to me, here's what I feel genuinely grateful for/about today."

AFFIRMATIVE PRAYER:
As I take a moment to 'be still and know' God Is, I Am, I see the world around me though softer eyes of appreciation and compassionate perception. I Am so grateful for breathing in and giving out Life, for my thinking mind, active body and Infinite Soul. I marvel at the Divine creativity that is in, through and all around me and I take a sacred vow. I dedicate myself to looking through the 'I' of my God Self at a world that is ripe with possibility and potential. I let go of seeing with limited sight bound by probability and previous experience. I now free myself and Life Itself to show up as a glimmering Essence of Potential Power, poised to be used for good by means of me. And, so I give thanks for God becoming more of Itself as me, as all, as everything that is...And that's the way it really is!