Did your mother or grandmother ever tell you to ‘count your blessings’? We may have shrugged off such homegrown advice in our youth, but neuroscience today is affirming much of the wisdom bestowed upon us from simpler times.
To count your blessings is to practice the art of gratitude – a simple spiritual discipline with profound implications for our total health and well-being.
Gratitude is the art of paying attention to the many blessings and graces that are bestowed upon us daily – the fall of golden light through the trees, the satisfaction of a job well done, the shared laughter of friends, the feeling of a soft rug under our feet.
Gratitude teaches us to notice the blessings in our life and to receive them and all they have to offer.
Gratitude directs our entire being towards health. It is not going too far to say that our bodies listen to our thoughts. Paying attention to the simple things in our life boosts our immune system and promotes health and healing.
Gratitude makes us emotionally resilient and mentally supple, better able to deal with the challenges of life.
Gratitude is not a shallow happiness and does not require an inauthentic Pollyanna take on the world. It is a simple re-orientation that allows us to face fully into both the joy and sorrow of life, whilst becoming increasingly aware of the inherent goodness and love at the heart of the universe.
We invite you to develop the discipline of gratitude in your life – to become aware of the many gifts that surround you.
We invite you to practice a daily ritual of remembering and recording your blessings in this journal.
Embracing a daily ritual of counting our blessings redirects our mind and our sub-conscious to pay attention to the simple things in life.
Find a quiet space
Create or claim a quiet corner of your home where you can spend ten minutes writing in your Bestow Blessings journal. You may like to light a candle and sit at the table after the kids have all gone to bed. You may have a favourite armchair you can relax in with a cup of tea. Perhaps your Bestow Blessings journal will live on your bed-side table so you can write in it each night before you turn out the light. It doesn’t matter where – just find a space to claim for your own for ten minutes each day.
Think back over your day
Think back through the events of your day and your internal responses to them. You could ask yourself, Where did I receive nourishment? Where did I give nourishment? When did I feel loved? When did I feel encouraged? What did I enjoy today? What beauty did I notice? Who helped me today?
Write down three blessings
Write down three blessings you have noticed during your day. Allow yourself to take time with each blessing. Allow the memory of it, the feeling of it, to fill your awareness.
Counting our blessings allows us to return to the moments of grace we may have missed in our busyness – allowing their impact to deepen and integrate into our being.
Gratitude practiced over time helps you become more mindful during the day. More and more you notice those ‘joy moments’ as they happen.
May you enjoy the many everyday blessings you discover and record in your Bestow Blessings Journal!
In gratitude, Janine