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InuYasha is a wonderful Japanese animated series from the late 90’s.  It is one of my favorites of the genre.  I always enjoy stories with a band of interesting characters on a quest.  Add some history and maybe a little romance (or sexual tension) and I’m hooked.  Sprinkle in some positive messages and I am a lifelong fan.  I don’t believe it’s unusual, in Eastern cultures, to infuse even animated TV shows with a message or two.  But being a Western girl, I do not hold such high expectations.

As the story of InuYasha goes, in Feudal Japan, there’s a fight over a sacred jewel.  In the battle, the jewel is shattered and chards strewn all over the country.  It is our hero’s mission to find and repair the sacred jewel.

InuYasha is a sort of boy/dog, half demon, half human.  Kagome, his main partner and sometimes love interest, is a school girl from the present day who fell down the well in her grandfather’s shrine and ended up in the middle of all this.  She seems to be the future incarnation of the girl that InuYasha once loved and then battled for the jewel.  Kagome must return now and then for exams or celebrations with her family. Along the way they gather others to help them.  A beautiful woman who is a very capable demon slayer, with an adorable cat who can grow large enough to carry several people on her back and fly them wherever they need to go.  Then there’s the lecherous monk who is always asking women to have his baby.  He often fights with blessings and has a hole in his hand which can suck in everything in his path as if it were the eye of a hurricane.  There’s also a very young demon who can change himself into all kinds of shapes.

But the heart of it is the jewel chards.  Even a sliver can give the person amazing powers.  A forest demon they meet along the way (who fancies Kagome) has a small piece in his leg and it allows him to run super fast.

What I draw from this is that in everything is a chard of the sacred jewel that is special and magical.  Going through life with this idea we can see through even negative experiences to the jewel chard within.  What is the lesson?  What is glittering in the center?

True with people, too.  What if everyone had a shard of the jewel in them?  Can you find that good within them? Discover the jewel chard in everything that happens and you will soon be giving thanks for it all!

Gratitude is powerful stuff. It can transform anything it touches. Anything. In addition, it is always with you.

It doesn’t matter how sad, mad, hurt, scared, lonely or nervous. There is nothing a drop or two of gratitude can’t ease.  In situations most people would call intolerable, others have found the sliver of gratitude and often been able to pull themselves back, even from the darkest times.

Its truly magical power is its accessibility.  It’s never farther away than your next thought.  All you have to do to turn it on is rest your mind into one grateful thought.  Just one.

There is no one I know who couldn’t, with a moment’s thought, rattle off countless things to be grateful for.  Being alive is a start.  Breathing. Standing or sitting. Listening or speaking. Most of the people I know, wherever they are, no matter what they’re doing, they can look around and find something to warm their hearts.

Discovering how many things you can be grateful for is a delightful game with a huge payoff. Just thinking of music, sunshine, fresh water, abundant food, computer and/or smart phone, friends, family, pets, a nice home to live in, children . . . you can feel your mood lifting immediately!

I saw a documentary on the Dust Bowl.  Those people lived in constant dust, always had difficulty breathing and soon found it was killing their youngest family members.  How much we have to be grateful for with our myriad of  “mod cons” like showers and multi-layered windows, fresh air outside our doors, refrigerators.

As I take a look around me, I can see my computer, colorful pens, water, some more time ahead to write, gifts from friends, pictures of loved ones, tons of paper, pretty candles, phone numbers for all kinds of people I can reach out to.  As my eyes and mind sweep over the sundry items around me, my spirit is lightened, my mood is brighter.  Just like magic.

But even in tougher times, when I’m weary or frustrated, scared or sad, if I can just seek the jewel in everything.  Find the one thing.  At least I have _____.  There’s almost always something.  The more I can find, the more there is to find.  One thing leads to another and before I know it, I have a lapful of gratitudes!  Just the act of seeking can help see your way clear of the negative and drowning emotions.  As if we’ve just tapped our heart lightly with a wand.

As this Holiday season winds down I urge you to remember to notice all you have to be grateful for and feel its magic working in you.

I’ve been reading this book, “Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting,” by Lynn Grabhorn.  Though I’m moving through it slowly, I’m enjoying it.  I like the way she talks so plainly, so almost casually about things.  I think that’s why I like it so much and why she gets me motivated to carry out her simple ideas.

Lynn says that the instant you start to feel bad, you change your thoughts.  No matter what it is, if you don’t have to act that second, shut it off!  Find something, anything else that feels better.  It might just be a tiny bit better, but that’s something to build on.  Stay with the better feeling thoughts as long as you can.  I like to use my favorite things list when this happens to me – the smell of salt water, sun on my face, vacation, Johnny Depp. . .   Like a sweet on your tongue, a cool breeze when you’re hot, putting down a heavy burden and feeling relief, this can change your mood entirely. All you have to do is let go of the distressing thought.

Right away, you need to put some healing salve on the wound. Talk to yourself, gently.  Remind yourself that it’s okay, you can handle it.  All will be well.  Give yourself a hug if you can, or the touch of a hand.  Just as a good friend or parent would do.  Smooth it on, get rid of the sting.

Immediately, switch from the soft love to the tough love. Speak frankly (she suggests out loud, but to yourself, if you need to).  I tell myself that being freaked out about this isn’t going to make it go away, or get me what I want.  It does me no good to sit and stew about it. I have to stop doing that now and not look back.  I’ll be better able to handle it without all that nasty stuff hanging around me.

You close by slipping directly into thoughts about what you do want.  Lynn’s all about generating and cooking those feelings.  Those are the magical ones which will bring what you want to you.

This is a good practice because, in time, you can do it in just a few minutes.  I like that she agrees with me that time spent on the bad feelings does nothing for you, nothing to help the situation.  Even if it requires you make some tough decisions or take some difficult action, you’ll do it far easier and more effectively if you get yourself into that calm state of good feelings.

So, all you need to do is remember the path:
1) Immediately find a better thought.
2) Then, give yourself some good love to heal.
3) Shift into talking honestly about the futility of staying in that negative state.
4) Slip gracefully into the good feelings about what you do want.
5) Be in a calmer state to take care of whatever is in front of you.

Lynn ties it up well:  “Just remember, however fast your Want comes is directly related to how fast (and how permanently) you can switch your focus OFF what is keeping you in a negative vibration, and ON where you want to go. No matter how dire your circumstances may seem at the moment, it is not permanently glued to you. You just have to decide what you want in  place of your problem, then provide the Feel Good frequency that will give it birth.”

I wanted to go to a concert a good distance from my home.  I could take the train to get there, but wasn’t keen on doing that at 11 or 12 at night. So, I needed a ride home.  A week before the show, a friend told me she’d be happy to give me a ride.  But the night before the show it was looking like it wasn’t going to happen.  Still, there was hope.  By the next morning, the ride had fallen through.  What was I going to do?  It would be hard to find another ride this late in the game.

At the very last minute, the perfect ride (there and back) materialized.  The weather, which was supposed to be cool and rainy, turned out sunny and 70. I even got to eat at one of my favorite restaurants!

It all came together, I believe through this process:

1)  Decide what you really want.  In other words, set an intention.  I could’ve stayed home, but I decided I really wanted to go this concert. If I had been too ambiguous about this, it might not have worked so well.  Sometimes I may say I want to do something, but I’m not fully clear on it.

2)  State the reasons why.  As I went over this, I saw what the important features were –eating at the restaurant, hearing the performance, seeing some friends and contacts.  It fueled me and solidified my desire.

3)  Imagine yourself having it, being with it.  Being able to see myself there, smiling at good friends, eating good food, enjoying the concert, made it more real for me.  If I could see it, maybe it could happen.  As in all attraction, it helps very much if you can generate a good, strong feeling around it.

4)  Expect a Miracle.  This means acting as if it will happen.  Through the morning of the concert, I did as planned just in case.  I set my sites on that miracle and was determined to be ready if the opportunity arose.

5)  Let it go.  This may be the hardest step.  After all that build up, you need to allow yourself to be okay if it doesn’t happen.  Make a plan B and be comfortable with it.  Find the benefits in doing the alternative.  I resigned myself to the fact that I might well be staying home and looked to see what I was going to do instead.  I thought about how it might be a better thing if I stayed home.  I could get some things done, rest, make phone calls . . .  The more you can let go of needing plan A to happen, the more you open to the possibility.

Can you imagine all the things you could do, how magical your life would seem if you did this all the time?  I’m going to try it next on healing a relationship which could surely use a miracle.

I believe in miracles!

Wishing is one of those magical tools we all carry with us all the time.  Thanks to our imagination, there is no limit to what we can wish for.

Wishing helps you to create an intention. When you can articulate what you wish, you’ve set in motion all kinds of possibilities. You’re now clear on what you want so you can be more open to look for it.

The hopin’ part is a little more tricky, however.  Wishes work best when they are accompanied by loose and happy feelings.  If you need it too much, if you add angst to the equation, you could block it from happening, keep yourself from spotting it.

The best way to be is open and willing. You might be able to recite the features: carbon fiber brakes, flappy paddle gear box, rear wheel drive, CD player, Sat Nav, etc.  If you’re too hung up on these things, you might miss a great opportunity to get the fast car you really want.  It’s helpful to know about the features you want, but even better to know what you want them for.  Discovering the essence of what you want; like a fast car.

Then, the toughest part (at least for me) is to be completely open to it.  To believe it’s possible for me to have the thing I’m wishing for.  As they say in “Creating Money,” you need to be ready to wear it.  Can you slip your arm into it and embrace it?

So many of us say we want something, but can’t actually imagine ourselves having it.  I run into that a lot.  I wish big and then I start to think, “But I never get things like that.  It’s too perfect.”

Balderdash!  I need to chase those thoughts away.  How will I get something perfect if I don’t believe I deserve it, that I can have it?

That open, willingness to embrace it, to really have it in your life is the magic spell, which attracts your wish right to you.

Be careful, though, not to stop the flow once it comes.  Sometimes wishes can come fast and furious. That’s when it’s a good idea to take a breath and open even wider.  Allow yourself to have even more, knowing you can take it all in.

I wish for lots of marvelous things to come to all of us.  And wide open arms to catch them all!

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