I thank the Universe all the time. When we are continually conscious of our connection with Spirit/God/Source/Life/Love, when we are aware that all of us make up All of the All, we are also aware of asking and receiving. One of the ways that I relate with the loving energy that is Spirit/Universe/Life is talking to my angels and guides. It doesn’t matter how you relate, what image you see or may talk to or think of or even imagine. The “Universe” is so much, so incomprehensible, we all find different ways to relate to it.

It’s important, helpful and useful to be aware of the responsiveness of Life. We are meant to ask – and receive in the very same breath. That completes the circle of Life. Everything in Life has an orbit, a cycle, a season. If we feel it’s better or easier to give rather than receive, we are stopping the natural, inherent flow. It’s like trying to stop the next season from happening. I am fond of saying: We are love. We love. We are loved. This is about that circular orbit, that natural and necessary cycle.

We are imbued with the loving energy of Spirit from the get-go. We are Love, just as we are, just as we arrive on this Earth. We are a clear glass of water that just keeps filling, infinitely, as our connection with the Love that is life is continual, unbreakable, and limitless. This Love wants to fill us up. We just need to inhale it with willingness and intention, take an in-spiration, which is taking in-Spirit. As we fill up, that Love will spill over to everyone and everything around us. Just by exhaling, we are circulating that love. Thus, we love.

Another great thing about this filling up and spilling over with love and good feeling (whatever kind of good feeling you are feeling: joy, gratitude, appreciation, awareness of beauty, kindness, love) is that the more we are filled up, the less stuff that is unlike love can come in. There’s no place for it to slide in! We’re full up! The more we spill over, the more any unloving contaminants are swept away in the flow of love and good feeling. Participating in this flow keeps us more balanced, less affected by outside people, conditions and things that may disrupt our equanimity. Being the humans that we are, we often get disrupted. Again, we apply love. We have compassion for our humanity.

As we know, the cycle doesn’t stop there. We need to take our next inhale. And then with our inhale, we take in more Spirit (again, in-Spiration). And because we have been aware and a willing participant in this process, there is more of Spirit to inhale! There is an expansion of Spirit that we have contributed to. In my upcoming book It’s All About Love: Metaphysics Demystified (A Handbook for Life) I talk about how I always feel the Universe says to us: if you don’t breathe me in and feel our connection, and then give back to me, my heart breaks just a little until you remember it’s just as important to receive as to give.

We must inhale to continue living. So if we keep our connection, our oneness in mind, we are continually participating in expanding the Love of the Universe. The Love, like the Universe, Spirit, is infinite and limitless. So it’s always available to us, just for the asking. And of course, as we see, the receiving.

Back to gratitude. I feel Spirit responds to me all the time, instantly. This took a lot of years of practice and willingness to be aware of the process, even though it was always happening. I didn’t realize or remember my oneness, my indivisibility with the Universe. I just felt my aloneness, instead of my all-oneness. I like to say that what I really do in my work is remind people. We just have to remember we are already part of the Love that is flowing through everyone and everything.

When we recognize everything as interconnected (inter-are as Thich Nhat Hanh says) we see the responsiveness of the Universe, of Spirit, to us in so many moments. So I ask for help all the time. What did I do with. . .? What shall I do about this or that? I need help to figure out what to eat, what to wear, what to say. I need to find a parking space. I need help as I wake up in the middle of the night worrying or fearful. I need help going to sleep (I always ask my angel and guides to give me a Reiki treatment as I go to sleep and see their hands gently soothing me – yes, my angels and guides have loving hands). I need help handling this situation, this person. Keep me safe in my travels. Help me take better loving care of myself. Take care of people I love who are going through difficult times. Help me send waves of love to the entire planet.

The Universe doesn’t judge anything as less or more important. Of course, we can send an SOS out to Spirit when it’s imperative we receive an answer NOW. We are always responded to . . . it just may not look like what we wanted or expected. However, what shows up is always moving to the good, and always for our highest good.

So as I get to the office on time, I say to my constant invisible companions: Thank you! As I find that sock or earring that had been misplaced (even if we never find it, it’s only misplaced, not lost in space – unless the fairies are playing games . . . and then it usually shows up in some unlikely place), I say out loud, Thank you! As I finish this post, I say, Thank you! Often I don’t even need to ask, and I receive just what I need – or even better than I could imagine.

All this gratitude is an expression of Love. Our true mission in life, our true work, our true calling, is to circulate Love and good feeling – to ourselves first. Gratitude is a good way to flow this Love, which oils the gears of life, which keeps the cycle flowing smoothly and more effortlessly. Try the science experiment. Some people like a gratitude jar, where you pop in a note about what you are grateful for. It will spill over sooner than you can imagine. I like saying Yes! Thank you! for everything! out loud, all day long – with big, outstretched arms. Or just notice all that the Universe drops in your lap, in response to your asking – or even without your asking. Our Higher Self, as part of the Universe, sees all that we don’t see, all that we need, all that is for our highest good.

I like being thankful for my house, my kitty, my overgrown garden, my irises sending their first shoots up, Spring, the subtle scent of the vine blooming on my side arbor, the Japanese maples and dogwoods leafing out and blooming outside my windows, my family, my car running well, all the wonderful people in my life, my work and my practice, good food and drink . . . and I was especially thankful that I was nudged to put a towel in front of the automatic brew coffee pot . . . because I had neglected to put the lid on the coffee pot. When I came into the kitchen the next morning and found the coffee-soaked towel, and no coffee dripping down the cabinets and floor, I sent up a great big Thank You!

I am thankful for Life, for my spirit, mind and body. I am thankful for everything, all day long. It just feels good. It circulates love and good feeling, to myself first. Then I fill up with that, and spill it over to everyone and everything around me. And of course, all that Love circles back to me, a current or tide even bigger and more expansive, for me to take in again, in an infinite and limitless number of ways.

In all this gratitude, we find grace. There is always grace to be had. We are that Grace, that Love already, inherently. I’ll keep reminding you. With more Love than you can imagine. And you will remember.