“There is so much blessing and beauty near us that is destined for us, and yet it cannot enter our lives because we are not ready to receive it. The handle is on the inside of the door, only we can open it.”
- John O’ Donahue
On Monday I announced that this week would be a week of blessings on Courage 2 Create.
I explained what I meant by “blessings” and gave you an exercise to help you practice recognizing your blessings—a practice that I knew would radically transform the way you look at your writing and your life.
Today, I want to give you some more exercises that can help you recognize your many blessings.
10 Exercises To Help You Recognize The Blessings In Your Life
1. Turn The Mundane Into A Blessing
Take the most mundane and uninteresting part of your day, and bring it into focus and awareness.
Let’s pretend you are doing this exercise when you are in traffic:
Become very present. Hear the sounds, smell the smells, feel the steering wheel beneath your fingertips. Then, start to look for the blessings around you. Recognize the paved road. The lights, the signposts, the crosswalks—recognize that all these things were specifically designed by a stranger you never knew to keep you safe and out of harms way. How blessed you are that someone put them there for you. Think of all the other drivers: you may notice that the majority of them are trying really hard to drive safely so that a crash doesn’t happen. We often focus just on the bad drivers, or on the drivers who cause car accidents, but if we are really pay attention, most drivers are actually very careful and cautious—and just as afraid as you are of those crazy accident-prone drivers! What a blessing these other drivers are to you.
See how you can take the mundane and recognize it as a blessing?
2. See Nature As A Blessing
Go to a place where you are surrounded by nature. A beach, the mountains, the woods, a park, etc.. Spend 15-30 minutes there recognizing the blessing that is nature.
3. Tell Your Loved Ones That They Are A Blessing In Your Life
Recall all the people who have been very kind and helpful to you. Can you take some time today to tell some of these people that they are a blessing in you life? Send an email, call them, or tell them in person. You will be amazed at how much you will transform their day when you tell someone you care about that you consider them a blessing.
4. Meditate On “Overlooked Blessings”
When on a break, think about the fact that there are many blessings in your life you are not currently aware of. Then, take some effort to recognize them.
Usually, it doesn’t take more than a few moments before a huge revelation comes across you, and you realize how silly you’ve been for cursing your life, when life has really been very good to you.
5. Recognize That Even When Everything Is Going Wrong You Still Have ONE Blessing Left
If you are in a really difficult spot and you cannot see any blessings in your life, then please focus on your breath and realize that, despite everything, your breath is still a blessing.
The fact that you are alive is the greatest blessing of all.
6. Recognize That You Are A Blessing In Someone Else’s Life
Recognize that you are a blessing in someone else’s life.
Then, pay attention to the little things they do to make this clear to you. They may not say it to you right out, but a hug, a kiss, a note—something is carrying the message to you that you are a blessing to them. Recognize that they are trying to show you that you are a blessing in their life. Even complete strangers may be sending you this message, but you have been overlooking it. Don’t overlook it anymore. Recognize that they see you as a blessing. Then, see them as a blessing in return.
7. Look Within And Discover Your Many “Internal” Blessings
Why lying down in your bed, or in your bathtub, scan every part of your body. Scan every bone, organ, muscle, and tissue, too. Recognize that each part of you is a blessing. Forget what you consider to be your “deformities” or “scars” or “ugly” features, and simply focus on their mere existence.
After you go through each of your organs, please make sure to take some time to rest on the heart. You may become overwhelmed with emotion when you recognize what a blessing your heart is. The ability to feel love is a blessing we all have no matter where we come from. Even if we have a broken heart, we can still recognize the blessing that, at one time, we knew what love felt like. Recognize what a blessing it is to have such a huge range of emotions to experience life with.
8. Recognize Your Five Senses As A Blessing
Take a moment to pay attention to the five senses. Recognize what a blessing it is to be able to see, to hear, to touch, to taste, and to smell. Recognize the blessing of your “intuitive” sense—that gut feeling that some call “the sixth sense.” If you are missing one or more senses, recognize the blessing it is that you still have the others.
9. Stay Steadfast In Your Blessings
Towards the end of Blessings Week, you might forget to recognize your blessings, or you may feel that there is a part of you that thinks this whole “blessings week thing” is cheesy, stupid, cliché, overly sentimental, annoying, a waste of time, laughable, or something that only “spiritual” or “religious people” do.
Acknowledge this as resistance to the transformative power that Blessings Week is now unleashing in your life, and keep on with your Blessings Week anyway.
You might want to write down all the blessings you’ve noticed so far so that the blessings stay powerfully entrenched in your mind.
If you feel yourself running out of things to bless, or are exhausted by the new flow of positive energy and joy that is entering your life, it may help you to recognize how far you’ve come in just one week. The one blessing you had at the beginning of the week has now increased one hundred fold. Rest in that powerful gap for a moment, and then return to Blessings Week when you are ready.
10. Give The Gift of “Blessings Week” To Someone Else
Finally, give the gift of Blessings Week to others. If you did it right, you may have realized that this step took care of itself: when you bless others, they, with lighting speed, bless you in return and suddenly they are off on their own Blessings Week (and you never even suggested it to them—Ha!)
Witness the power of living in blessings. Recognize that living in blessings is the first step toward really transforming your life and your writing for the better.
much “I love Blessings Week!”