By Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

Excerpted from The Quest 

“Fake it until you make it” may sound like the wrong approach when sincerely trying to turn your life around. Yet, it’s not really bad advice. When we “fake it,” when we force ourselves to consistently think in a certain way and consistently “pretend” we are feeling certain emotions, our minds will eventually begin to accept these thoughts.

By consciously acting “as if,” we are creating new neural pathways, new ways for the brain to think. This can then change our feelings and behavior, which of course means we are changing our lives.

If, for example, we were to consciously think in a loving rather than spiteful way of someone we resent, over time our hard feelings would eventually soften and be replaced by feelings of love. If we “fake” feelings of love with enough willingness and consistency, in time we really will love. The innate divine love that had been suppressed is then given permission to express itself.

This technique works especially well with thanksgiving, because our words represent our feelings. Words of thanksgiving, whether faked or real, represent feelings of gratitude, trust, and faith. They represent feelings that everything will be all right, and they open us up to receive the good already waiting for us.

When we give thanks, we are really giving our blessing. Like sunflowers turning toward the sun, giving thanks turns our hearts toward our good.

We know the power of thanksgiving on a human, emotional plane. We all like to be appreciated and thanked. It motivates us and opens us up to do better.

On a spiritual plane, when we are sincerely thankful to God for the good we have and the good in store for us, thanksgiving takes on an even more attracting power. Like a powerful magnet, thanksgiving attracts our good to us.

     1.  The obvious tactic is to ask you to list the things for which you are thankful. We won’t disappoint you! On separate index cards, write out seven things that you are thankful for—one to a card. For example: I thank You, God, for my health.

     2.  On seven other index cards, write out seven separate things for which you would like to be thankful. (Be sure to write them out as if they were already true.) For example: If you would like to be thankful for a better relationship with your mate, write out: “I thank You, God, for a wonderful marriage.”

     3.  Every day this week, take a card from each group (Activity 1 and 2) and repeat your statements as many times during the day as you think about it.

     4.  Each day this week take some time to sit quietly and connect with the feelings of thanksgiving deep within you. Lead into your quiet time by whispering, “Thank You, God” several times. When you are finished with these moments  of stillness, say aloud “Thank You, God.

The Quest In every human heart there exists the hope of connecting with "something more." Tucked away deep within us, a part of us has always sought—yearned for—that connection.

The Quest opens the way for that connection. It presents eternal truths in a contemporary and very personal way. Whether you are just beginning your own individual quest or desire a deeper spiritual understanding, this guidebook and the accompanying activity book, Adventures on the Quest, will lead you with warmth and practicality through the pilgrimage of your soul.