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AUTHOR: JEFF FERRANNINI

Rising Above Darkness

It is hard to escape the angry headlines. Over 100,000 people have died so far due to the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, George Floyd murdered in public view by a Minneapolis police officer in broad day light. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was filmed by a cell phone camera, kneelling on the neck of George Floyd while he was handcuffed and face down on the city street as three fellow police officers stood by and people on the street pleaded for George’s life to be spared. Mr Floyd’s dying words were, “I Can’t Breathe”.  The government of Hong Kong is being brought under the shadow of mainland China, despite the promise of  two countries, two governments, when the British handed over rule of Hong Kong to China in 1997. The death toll from Covid-19 shows African American communities are being hit the hardest, along with senior nursing home facilities.

Wearing a face mask has become a political issue. Democrats urge people to follow the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines and wear a mask when outside the home. Republicans consider it a fundamental right not to have to wear one and that Covid-19 is all a hoax cooked up by the Democrats to make the President look bad. Self quarantining, social distancing, and closing stores, bars, movie theaters, and sports arenas are seen as a move to limit people’s freedom instead of being a temporary inconvenience that protects the lives of the elderly and the medically at risk. People who hold the view that the pandemic and Covid-19 is a hoax created by the Democrats are defying safe distancing orders and dying from the virus. It just seems like the bad news won’t stop coming. So what do we do in this time so reminiscent of the the “Chicken Little” children’s story, where the main character keeps frantically yelling,  “The sky is falling, the sky is falling”, after having been hit on the head by a acorn?

Well for one thing, I can take a deep breath right now and be thankful, for even the smallest of reasons. Maybe that I don’t have the coronavirus, or as Elton John once sang, “I’m still standing” or that I can take a deep breath at all. Yes, I got up today and was able to take a deep breath when I opened my eyes and did not fight for each and every breath or be hooked up to a ventilator to breathe. Maybe we need to take a lesson from James Brown when he urged us all to, “get on the good foot”. A good place to start is to make a list of five reasons to be thankful/grateful for where I am in my life right now. These items can range from really big to super small, like my grandparents are fine and healthy, to I’m so glad no new pimples have appeared on my face today. A simple but important reason for gratitude, so obvious a lot of people don’t recognize it is… I have enough food to eat. How about adding I also enjoy the food that is on my plate daily. So many people in our United States and around the world, don’t have this daily blessing. Be grateful that you do.

I have been doing a gratitude list every night before I go to bed for over ten years. What I find as a  result, is it tends to refocus my mind. When I wake up in the morning, some part of my subconscious is programmed to look for reasons to be grateful during my daily journey. It has been said, you receive what you choose to focus on.  I focus on the very best of what life has to offer, look for the good in others and await expectantly for the good coming my way. Don’t underestimate the value received from someone’s warming smile that comes for no good reason. Be thankful for the little critter who darted in front of my car, causing me to slam on the brakes, scampered away unharmed and no one rear-ended me. The sun was shining today, which allowed me to take a walk around my neighborhood, wearing only a t-shirt,  shorts, and sandals. It doesn’t take much to compile a list of reasons to be grateful each and every day. I believe wholeheartedly I am the better for doing so and go into each new day searching for my ever unfolding newest blessing. I know in the back of my mind is the constant question, “Where is the next item for me to record in my gratitude list today?”

It seems to me, life is willing to give me whatever it is I want, but first I must know what it is am seeking. Sounds simple and it is. When I bring my focus to bear,  it creates a magnetic pull that allows me to attract what I desire into my life. Does this happen instantaneously? I know for me it does not. It takes constant and considerable focus in order to bring my desire into my material reality. Think about it, I always have a choice. I can believe the sky is falling and live my life in constant fear or I can choose that I live in an abundant Universe which only wants to give me the best of everything. My every action, every encounter, and every journey are all blessing me in some way. Every day is moving me towards the desire I state as wanting in my life and begun to feel deeply it is already taking shape, and is currently manifested as fully living within the confines of my heart.

Living life with joy in my heart each and every day, despite my present circumstances, gives me something to focus on which lifts me and those around me. I believe a positive focus lifts me into a higher vibration frequency and brings the good I desire into my life, with “grace and ease”. Each day I look for evidence of this positive focus bringing about new blessings. I take note as these new blessings show up and record the blessings I receive in my gratitude journal.

Some people are early risers and others are night owls. It doesn’t matter which one you are, what matters is that you are consistent when noting the blessings that have come your way each day. Just pick a time to consistently record your blessings, whether before getting out of bed in the morning or at bedtime before sleep. Having gratitude fills my heart for the small stuff as well as the large and of course, helps me to take note of completely unexpected coincidences. Each new blessing list reinforces my daily focus to look for new and unexpected blessings flowing my way. My job is to record each and every blessing right here in my heart and of course in my gratitude journal as well.

When I am consistently looking for reasons to be grateful, I find the headlines don’t tend to blow me off course as quickly or as easily as they once did. Now to be clear, I’m not saying I don’t feel the pain and suffering of our world, I do, but I am much more hopeful and don’t let those feelings weigh me down or keep me from pursuing the desires of my heart. Somehow I am filled with an inner knowing that despite the dark and ominous headlines, the truth is that I live in a loving and prosperous Universe which wants to bless me daily in unexpected ways.

Each day I extend my love and help whenever I can. It is always my choice to rise above the darkness and keep moving towards the light. Won’t you join me? If so, sometime today or even right now take out a sheet of paper and feel into your heart and reflect on five items you are grateful for. Simply tell yourself, how blessed you already are, despite whatever appearances your current environment shows you to the contrary. Train yourself to see beauty amidst garbage. In time the garbage will lessen and the beauty will be what blooms in an ever abundant garden of joyful blessings. Have you said a blessing of gratitude over your meal today? You could start there. You always have a choice… focus on darkness or the light? Chose light and be grateful you did!

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