Astronomer and Cosmologist, Carl Sagan, once said, “If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” And, in a way we do. We invent the universe we experience. Or rather we re-invent the Original Universe of Creation in our mind according to specifications based on what we believe to be true about our self and the nature world around us. And, sure enough, what we imagine life to be in our mind is what we experience as our life in world.

Ancient Wisdom, Biblical Caution, and New Thought Discernment all tell us the same thing: Life, as we know it and experience it, is the product of our thoughts and imagination. In other words, It is done unto us as we believe. How often do we forget that’s true? How often do we wish it wasn’t true? How often do we claim it isn’t true?

If we spend most of our days saying ”no thank you” to life, we use our powerfully creative mental and emotional energy to re-invent a Universe in which to be unthankful, and the Universe of our invention will give us a whole lot more reasons not to be grateful each day. It is done unto us as we believe whether we believe life is beautiful, or we believe life sucks in specific ways or in general. That is why our feeling thankful for our life every day changes our experience of life.

So, how do we leave our list of complaints against our self, others and life behind? First of all we’ve got to want to leave it behind. Let’s face it, often our stories are so juicy and filled with such drama, and they occupy so much of our time and take up so much space in our mind, it’s tough to let them go. After all who would we be without our stories?

It’s a good question that only an empty mind can answer. We must be willing to be a beginner every single morning. Every dawn is a new opportunity for us to start from scratch and invent a whole new Universe in which to experience and express our self in Joy.

We might want to ask our self: What is the picture in my head of what life is supposed to be? How do I invent the world I see each morning? Do I pause and feel grateful for the gift of a new day I’ve never seen before? Am I ready to let the moments of the day surprise me with good? In other words, is my mind open with childlike innocence because I know there is so much more goodness in life for me to discover than I’ve already seen?

Or does each day begin in the same old way with the same old pictures in my head—negative recollections from yesterday and thoughts of blame and regret—that become my fears, concerns, worries, and expectations for the day ahead? Do I pack up my troubles in “an old kit bag” labeled “no longer useful,” so I can (as the WWII song goes) “smile, smile, smile”? Or do I take my troubles with me to sort through all day long and share with others? It’s been said bad days are really bad moments we choose to nurse all day long. And those bad days become a lifetime of bad experiences in a Universe of our own invention.

While we’re busy pointing to all the reasons we’ve invented for not feeling grateful for our life, we miss the beautiful moments the Universe of Joy is providing for us (provided we choose to look and see them). Our mind is a powerful thing. Unloving, unforgiving thoughts and images in our mind block the warmth of love from our experience and the light of forgiveness from our awareness (and everyday looks like yesterday).

We can’t see God anywhere, while judging anyone or anything as unlike God. The pure in heart see God everywhere because they are willing to give up yesterday’s stories in order to be a beginner each morning and live in the innocence of a new day.