At this juncture, it seems as if we are all surrounded by strife, upheaval and a fair amount of fear.  Our world seems like an uncertain place right now.  Covid cases are soaring, many people are resistant to the very measures needed to keep everyone safe and the United States is awash in political chaos. Seems about right for 2020, doesn’t it? Keeping our chins up has become a decision that must be made over and over as the news continues to dismay and disgust.
We cannot forget that we are also surrounded by hope, promise and remarkable gifts of compassion.   While they may not be as visible as the bad news imparted by social media and news outlets, they none the less exist and inspire.  And let us not forget that where Light shines, it multiplies.
We here in the United States are about to celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday that has a questionable past but nonetheless represents an opportunity for people to gather in gratitude for life’s blessings.  This year the concept of gathering has become a flashpoint. Many will continue to gather, in spite of the surging cases of Covid and safety recommendations, and many others will spend holidays apart from loved ones, in isolation for safety’s sake, but hearts made sore by the separation.
As Thanksgiving approaches,  I have found myself giving a great deal of thought to gratitude.  And so I am told:
Rejoice in gratitude for it leads the way.  It opens doors within your self and in your external world.  Most importantly, you must know that gratitude is first cousin to love.  Love cannot exist without it.
Gratitude facilitates healing and Wholing.  Immerse yourselves in it, let your hearts well up and overflow with gratitude.
Gratitude is essential to your spiritual growth.
Gratitude serves to clear blockages, as it opens closed and shuttered places within.
Gratitude allows human vibration to rise. It increases your ability to connect heart to heart with others.
Gratitude affects the energy of others, allowing them to experience an expansion of their own heart fields. 
Gratitude creates illumination from within, setting your energy field alight.
Do you begin to see how closely aligned gratitude is with love? Do you begin to understand why?  We ask you to explore these thoughts and seek their similarity in your own hearts. We cannot stress how important this is as you move through this time of transmutation.  In every moment of time/space, there is reason for gratitude. Let this be your walking, breathing mantra and allow thanksgiving to be who you are with every breath.
The passage through which you travel will not last forever, no matter the hardship entailed.  This journey is necessary to facilitate the upcoming birth and transformation of your world. Eliminating that which does not work or is hurtful is essential. This clearing of space within creates room for the heart to expand. 
Gratitude is not an emotion; it is a state of being, like unto grace. Breathe it into your heart, your very center and allow it to fill every cell of your being so that you become gratitude in every breathing moment.
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(This offering may seem familiar to some of you. I published it last year but was firmly redirected from what I had thought to write for this upcoming week to this one instead. Did some updating and was directed to add some portions.)
This week I wanted to take the opportunity to speak to all you directly from my heart to yours. We are entering the holiday season for many of us, which, as we all know can be equal parts stress and joy, especially this year.  I urge you, once again, to put self-care at the top of your list of “to do’s”, along with staying safe and healthy.  It has never been as important as it is right now.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this column, and for the emails and messages you send me.  You mean the world to me, and fill my heart with gratitude.

***This guidance column was written by Jan Finley for TheCosmicPath.com. It may be shared freely, but only when the author’s name and website are included.

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