Thanksgiving has been one of the few constants in my life. The people around the table have changed over the years. The places have changed. Even the menu has changed a bit over time as so many of us have significantly reduced sugar and now eat gluten free. What remains constant is the joy that I feel in sharing with friends and family, in preparing food that will delight, and in setting a table that makes my dear ones feel Divine. Love is the constant.

As I go deeper into the mystery and travel farther through time in this lifetime, I have pondered the fact that I’ve lost many people in my life, not so much to death, but to growth. Some have gone kindly, simply veering off along their own path. Others have left unkindly. In some cases, I’ve been glad for the change. In others I’ve grieved.

Over the past few years my perspective and experience of these comings and goings has shifted dramatically. “All beings are windows into the Divine,” the angels have taught me. “If one window shuts, another will open. You can find the Divine, the love, the bliss, the true Beloved in all of creation, Ann.” The angels are right. I have. I do.

I feel the grass beneath my feet and fall in love with the softness of the greater Self. I watch the pinkish clouds turn glorious gold then white in the sunrise and I feel the pleasure of God witnessing its own brilliance through “my” eyes. I scrub a dish and in a moment of Presence, feel the sponge loving the dish through its service. The Divine is everywhere, in everything, in you and me and even in those we aren’t so fond of… There are no exceptions.

Can I maintain this focus all the time yet? No, not yet 🙂 I’m still human! However, the more I make it a practice to drop into my heart and feel love, then to look at life through love’s eyes, the more I see nothing but love trying to rise up – as surely as a spring bubbles up through the earth to reveal its nourishing waters.

How I feel gratitude is shifting too. I used to be thankful for things as if I was granted favors by an external God. Now when I feel appreciation, it is more often a sense of pure joy in knowing I Am the Infinite experiencing itself… and so are you. And what an amazing, exquisite experience it is when you know yourself to be unbounded energy getting to experience itself as a cup of warm tea, a fragrant rose, or a pair of comfy socks! What an incredible joy to see your deepest Self looking back at you in the eyes of those you love, and to know that even in the eyes of those you do not like, this love lives patiently, lying in wait for the moment it is allowed to surface.

I look at creation and smile. In moments of spiritual lucidity, I see my Self. I feel as if I am in costume, the Divine masked as Ann, looking at itself masked as well in all of creation. The rose and I have a secret. We are One, connected indelibly by the Ocean of Love that sources us all.

And while this isn’t a traditional Thanksgiving letter, perhaps we can all tap in a little more deeply into that sense of appreciation that bubbles up from the Divine when we allow love to rise up within us and witness its glorious self in all that we see, touch, taste, hear, and smell.

The scent of the Thanksgiving dinner baking in the oven is Divine Love. The sweet potatoes are Divine sweetness. The people around your table are embodiments of this love… whether they know it, act it, or not. The autumn leaves are fabric in the cloak of the Divine… All is love.

Witness, feel, enjoy, and give thanks for the experience of witnessing your Self in all creation. You may just well up with tears as you feel God’s overwhelming love and appreciation for being able to experience Itself within you.

Here are some pointers to help you experience your true Self…

1. Take time to witness Love around you

When you have a few minutes, find time to be in silence. Simply become present. Look intensely at everything around you. Tell yourself. This is love in the form of my yard, my furniture, the cars on the road, the people. Imagine that love – pure light and energy – is shaped into all these beings and things.

Bear witness to, and acknowledge the countless forms of love and the boundless ways life offers its love to you.

2. Take time to witness or feel Love in yourself

Look into your own eyes in the mirror. You are looking into an endless Ocean of Presence and love. What lives behind those eyes is the love that sources universe, rising up within you.

Breathe. You are feeling the movement of the Source dancing with itself in every cell in your body – light moving through life within you.

Pray, “Dear Divine Source, let me see the light of your love rising up within me. Let me feel your love rising up within me. Let me experience Your Presence with me.”

Truly, sincerely ask for this, and then quietly watch your own eyes. Feel your breath moving throughout your body. Move past judgment into silent Presence… and then feel the heart of God beating within yours.

3. Take time for self-appreciation

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, take an hour or two and spend the entire time, contemplating your life. From the earliest memories focus on all there is to appreciate about your life, your tenacity, your grace, your love, your intelligence, etc.

Appreciate the fact that you kerned to walk and tie your own shoes. You made it through school even if you were shy. You fell in love or survived loss. You got sick but you healed, or at least chose to live in spite of it. You have grown.

List – either mentally, or on paper – every achievement in your life that comes to mind, great and small. Take time to feel proud of all you have achieved, then pray with thanksgiving, “Thank you dear Divine Source for living through me and in me.”

I pray often, “Dear God help me be the best Me We Can BE.” I give thanks for all you on this journey. Your hearts and lights inspire me to keep growing and going onward. Your stories of finding deeper self love, self awareness, and joy delight me.

The farther I go and the more I grow, the more I know… that your success is mine, and mine is yours. I give thanks for the beautiful experience of living in this human form, experiencing life as an individual even as we collectively spiral into a deeper and more intimate dance with Life and the Love that we all truly are.

Happy Thanksgiving dear Lights of Love. I treasure you.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

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