The other day I read this post in the Courage to Create blog by Ollin Morales. I have included several parts of the article below plus my own comments occasionally.
Exercises To Help You Recognize The Blessings In Your Life“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
Today, I want to give you some more exercises that can help you recognize your many blessings.
1. Turn The Mundane Into A BlessingTake 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 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. See how you can take the mundane and recognize it as a blessing?
2. See Nature As A BlessingGo to a place where you are surrounded by nature. A beach, the mountains, the woods, a park, etc. (your backyard). Spend 15-30 minutes there recognizing the blessing that is nature.
3. Tell Your Loved Ones That They Are A Blessing In Your LifeRecall 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 your 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 LeftIf 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 LifeRecognize 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.
7. Look Within And Discover Your Many “Internal” BlessingsWhy 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 (or your weaknesses), 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. The ability to feel love is a blessing we all have no matter where we come from. 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 BlessingTake 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.
You might want to write down all the blessings you’ve noticed so far so that the blessings stay powerfully entrenched in your mind. (I feel this is very important especially in the beginning of the process)
___________________________If you are not giving thanks each day for all of the blessings in your life, give some of these exercises a try and see if it doesn’t make you feel just a little better about life.