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Step 1:  Love yourself, love each other, and love the Divine Everything (however you conceive of it). 

Step 1 gets expressed in all sorts of different ways.  We may encapsulate it with ideas like “It’s all Good… We are One… In God/Love/Faith all things are possible…”  It’s the Golden Rule and the hope that if we adhere to it, everything will work out fine.  We may think of this in terms of spiritual principles or philosophical ideals, or not.  It might be wrapped up in religious beliefs, or art, or science, or simply a matter of what we value and care about in life.  Either way, it’s a perfect first step:  To consider our own being in relationship with the rest of the universe.

Step 2 (to Infinity):  Practice Step 1 forever.

Practice it not as some kind of surefire all-purpose answer, however. Practice it, rather, as the beginning of a lifetime of discovery and ever-opening inquiry.  Question the generalized application of ideals, because sometimes they’ll turn out to be simplistic and incomplete, and a whole new angle will need to be explored for them to be useful or effective.  Cultivate a willingness to question everything, especially the things we think we know for sure; otherwise we become boors.  Explore identity and relationship in every shadowy corner, through every experience, positive and negative, that we encounter.  Work through setbacks, grief, and loss. Work it when working it feels good and also when it doesn’t.  Try to keep our hearts open even when it hurts.  Try to remember that we’re all growing and deepening, becoming more ourselves all the while.  

Step 3:  If ever you think you’ve mastered Step 1, get off your high horse and go back to Step 2

Again and again and again.  Amen.

I was thinking I probably ought to do a more explicitly Thanksgiving-y message this week, but this is what I’ve got on my mind: these three steps.  Three simple steps to mindful living and enlightenment, to our own inspiration and empowerment, to creating together a world of harmony and beauty.  

And maybe it is about gratitude after all, because I am indeed so thankful for the opportunity to do this with you.  Step 3 — rinse and repeat… forever. 

Have a beautiful holiday, everyone!  XO, Drew

© 2018 Drew Groves

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