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by Rev Donna Baranyay

"Today I live in the quiet, joyous expectations of good." - Ernest Holmes

This year I am writing my gratitude blog from Goodlettsville, TN. My brother moved here during the summer, and we are enjoying our Thanksgiving holiday at his new home. Gratitude is a spiritual practice that I find incredibly meaningful – not just this time of the year but always. Being grateful reminds me of the importance of looking for the good in life, giving thanks for those who are in our lives, and remembering all who are missing from our table this year for any reasons.

We have been gifted the power of choice. We get to choose if we are going to look through the lens of good or of something other than good. It’s like when we buy a car and then see tons of cars on the road with either the same color or the same make and model of the car we just bought. I often find myself thinking “I had no idea the car I bought was so popular” but in reality there are no more cars like mine on the road than there were before – I am just sensitive to it and paying more attention than I was prior to owning my new car. How many times are we reminded that what we pay attention to we attract more of? I choose to live in the expectation of good. I may have to practice patience as my good unfolds or I may be invited to shift my perception of what my good is in some particular areas. I expect good in my life in all areas and I do my best to not outline what it must look like. That is a powerful spiritual practice especially when I catch myself trying to tell the Divine exactly how I want to experience my good. Am I the only one who does this…hmmm I wonder…

“The Universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you already are.” - Rumi

Gratefulness is a state of mind from which I am reminded of the power of the Divine. The Divine is always working in our favor if we trust It and allow It to unfold in our lives. It’s so easy for me at times to forget that God is in the midst of everything and just slow down and trust. Life takes us on different journeys, some we wanted to experience and others that we most often would prefer not to be on. In the midst of all of this is God. A life steeped in gratitude can and does bring about that which we deeply desire. Expressing gratitude can also assist us in seeing something that we might have missed otherwise.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

What if we tried a little experiment? I invite you to write down three things that you are grateful for as part of your spiritual practice. Let’s see if there is a shift in your life, experiences, your attitude, and your relationship with the Divine within you…

I am truly grateful for all my friends and family. You all make a difference in my life by reminding me what is truly important. Life is a gift, one that I cherish and am grateful for everyday. Blessings and namaste...


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