So many of us wait for the “big things” in life before we allow ourselves true joy. When the bills are paid, we’ll be happy. When we get a new job. When we find a relationship. When we have “X” in the bank. When our body is healed. When our kids / spouses / parents / coworkers treat us better, or treat themselves better. There are a million reasons for putting off happiness, many of them very socially acceptable and very understandable.

However the angels have taught me a different way to live – to seek happiness in every small moment that we can, and to ask myself, “How can I love myself more right now?” or if I am feeling full and able, “How can I share more love with the world at this very moment?”

I’ve been working really hard with this Internet show and I love it! However I also know I need to keep in balance so last weekend I scheduled a few days off. I went up to Sedona to see my friend Summer Bacon channel. I visited friends, and I was SO excited to wake up Saturday morning for my annual hike to see the fall color in the forest! I look forward to this day every year, and even more so to the glorious pictures I am able to capture. It is a photographer’s paradise!

Life had other plans! I woke up Saturday and it was pouring rain in Sedona. I had a moment of discouragement but quickly shifted my thoughts. I focused on the beauty of the rain and prayed for the weather to clear while enjoying the crisp, damp autumn air. I got in the car while it was still raining, intending as I drove that the skies would clear. Sure enough, as I pulled into the parking lot of the trail, the rain stopped. Even without the sunshine I knew it would be wonderful! I was so excited. Overcast days create a different kind of softer beauty.

Two feet into the hike I turned my camera on and discovered it had suddenly stopped working. No amount of resets worked. The battery was fine. The memory card was fine. The electronics had simply malfunctioned. I started feeling very sad, but suddenly remembered that one of my angels had given me the thought to toss my very old camera into the backpack. It works… sometimes. So even though 3 mega-pixels feels somewhat primitive by today’s standards, I decided to be happy that I had a camera that was functioning at least part time! Having released my expectations for a glorious sunny day and a working camera, I was able to enjoy the beauty of the forest that was still dripping dry, and scented with mother nature’s perfume of wet pine and moist earth.

More seriously, I pulled my back in early August chopping up a tree that a storm blew over. For ten weeks following, I had little to no feeling in my left hand at best, and most times it was in screaming pain. I had to sleep sitting up so I could stand it for several weeks. And while I channel miracle healings for others I wasn’t quite able to find that energy for myself.

Nonetheless, life didn’t stop. I focused on every good thing I could focus on, and in those moments when I felt love, I didn’t feel pain. When I focused on my clients I didn’t feel pain. When I focused on the beauty of nature I didn’t feel pain. When I took an 8 mile hike I felt a little but not nearly so much. And miraculously, one day after I decided I was ready for a miracle, I gazed and allowed the energy to run through me like a river, and had the sudden inclination to stretch and twist a certain peculiar way. My back popped back into place, and instantly there was relief!

So even when things aren’t right in your life, or when life does not meet your expectations, love is everywhere. There are wonderful things to enjoy in every moment, even when we have to search for them. Why is it a splinter can ruin our day and yet the sunshine and brilliant fall foliage does not fill us with such absolute delight that we remain ecstatic? I think we have been trained to focus on what is not working. As we retrain ourselves to focus on what is beautiful, good, and true, we find the joy that is there all along. We realize that the entire universe is making love to us!… Not in some human sense, but rather in the sense that glorious Life itself offers us its best for the taking.

So while it may not be easy to shift your focus, try it. I think of it as exercising my mind. This week see if you can do your best to acknowledge your feelings first, because we must give love even to those sad and upset parts of ourselves, but then, instead of wallowing in our pain and problems, seek out the silver lining; seek out the good; seek out the simple pleasures.

The scent of a beautiful rose once turned my entire life around during a very dark time. It reminded me of all that was beautiful on this earth. And in that instant, a doorway opened up for God to reach in and work with my heart.

Your portal to love might be a cup of coffee, a sunset, a smile on a child, a dog, the feel of grass under your feet, dark chocolate, a delicious pumpkin soup, the chill in the air… love is everywhere. Consciously allow yourself to slow down and enjoy life’s pleasures this week, even if they seem tiny and insignificant. No loving moment is ever wasted, the angels remind us. In fact these moments are pure gold.

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