Name your Blessings One by One Posted on 25 Nov 16:10
I count my blessings instead of sheep. Invariably, I nod off with blessings left to number. Lucky girl. Of course I never stop to imagine that the act of counting blessings could actually be altering my brain chemistry, but it’s true. Gratitude can also retrieve us from despair and apathy’s obstinate grip. Truth is, gratitude is one of our most powerful emotions.
So how do we become more adept at tapping into the powerful emotion of gratitude? Here’s a valid exercise you should give a try—it comes from Angeles Arrien’s The Four Fold Way. The spirit in which you perform the task will make a difference in the outcome for sure, but start from wherever you are. Review the events of your day for fifteen minutes every evening. Ask yourself three questions and write your answers in a journal. The earth won’t quake when you read the questions, but that’s the point I suppose. Here are the three prompts: What surprised me today? What moved or touched me today? And what inspired me today?
So here goes…what surprised me today? I had more than one surprise actually, which can make for a grand day out. My favorite startle today was the sound of extremely loud laughter outside of our atly office. I recognized it immediately as my teenage daughters’ strain—there was no mistaking it. It was laughter from the belly and it was uninhibited. When they bounded through the door, I said “shhhh.” My boss came out of his office, despite feeling under the (rainy) weather, wearing an honest smile. He said, “don’t say shhhh, we need more of that around here.” I’ll count him long before sheep.
What moved or touched me today? I have a friend who played football in the NFL. He suffered 12 concussions, and he’s had 2 brain surgeries. He’s a brilliant guy, but his brain gets scrambled sometimes. We had a conversation today—he asked me about a difficulty I’m currently going through. My answers to his questions were rather limited but laced with tired hope. At one point in our conversation, he put his head in his hands and said nothing. Then he looked up at me with big, sincere tears streaming down his face and said, “I’m so sorry you have to go through this.” His compassion stunned me. It touched me deeply. I guess we don’t need to understand completely to listen, and to ultimately love.
Certainly not least, but last here, what inspired me? This post. It’s important to recognize the meaningful moments. It’s important to count our blessings, one by one.