Let’s Count Our Blessings, Shall We?

Just about everyone who has ever flown in a commercial jet has
probably, every now and then, given at least a passing thought
to the unthinkable: their plane blowing up or falling out of the
sky. Especially after 9/11.

Fortunately, it almost never happens. In fact, plane crashes are
exceedingly rare, especially in proportion to the thousands of
flights that occur each day.

But for the 239 people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, it
did. And, as I’m writing this now, no one has any idea yet about
how it happened. Plenty of hypotheses, but no real evidence or
indication yet.

I feel for the poor souls who have been lost, merely because
they were on that flight. I feel for the families, friends and
coworkers of those who have been lost. I can only imagine how
terrible the waiting must be.

This one struck home for me. I’m a reformed road warrior and have
traveled all over the U.S., Latin America, Europe, and Asia for
both work and pleasure.

I’ve flown out of Kuala Lumpur on that exact same flight path.

At the time, I was heading home after a stint in Asia. Even
though I had a long trip ahead of me, I was looking forward to
seeing my family and sleeping in my own bed.

I imagine many of the travelers on Flight 370 were doing the
same thing – heading home after a business trip. Or they were
heading out on business, or to go visit family.

Would that there were some good answers as to why tragedies like
this happen, but there are not.

All we can do is feel for those who are lost, say a prayer for
their loved ones, and then count our blessings.

No matter what your present circumstances – even if you’re going
through a difficult time in your life – bless your present
circumstances and be thankful that you are alive.

This practice of blessing is an ancient, but rarely taught,
success principal. Its roots go back to early Biblical teachings,
as well as ancient success teachings in various cultures including
ancient Egypt and Babylonia.

In fact, the art of blessing has been called “the ancient secret
for happy living”.

The ancients felt that a blessing carried great power to do good.
Blessing is a powerful way to bring forth the good in any
situation, condition, or person.

Jesus taught to judge not according to appearances, but to judge
according to “right judgement” – that is, seeing the good and
thereby bringing out the best in a condition or person.

This runs counter to the way most of us are wired. I mean, its
easy to bless and give thanks for the good things in life. And
it’s important to do so.

But it’s much more difficult to bless the so-called “bad” things
in life. Whether we’re facing a challenging situation, financial
lack, a health problem, an irritating co-worker, a crappy boss,
misbehaving kids, feeling lonely….

Whatever the challenge may be, we tend to want to complain about
it, to dwell on the negative, and to put ourselves down for
being victim to it. We see the negative (as we perceive it) in
others and dwell on that, instead of seeing the whole person
and the potential within that fellow human being.

Well, I can vouch that there’s a better way. Not that I’ve
mastered this or anything – I’ve still got a long way to go.
But I can tell you that anytime I have faced a big challenge,
when I’ve complained and whined and fretted about it, it’s
just become worse (“worster and worster” as my son puts it).

On the other hand, when I have taken the time to step back,
take a deep breath, and bless the situation, it has almost always
become better. And even when I haven’t seen any substantial,
immediate change, I’ve FELT BETTER about the situation – which
is very empowering.

A great application of this principle is in the area of your
health. You may be dissatisfied with where you’re at right
now in terms of your fitness, your weight, or dealing with an
acute or chronic health condition.

You may have been cursing the situation, your bad luck, your
inability to successfully deal with it, and on and on.

Stop that right now! Place a moratorium on cursing and
complaining. It doesn’t help you solve your problem, and
it sure doesn’t make you feel better. All it does is mire
you, mentally and emotionally, in the bad circumstance or
situation.

Try this instead: bless the situation. Bless yourself. Give
thanks for the testing and the trying time, because you
know it is making you better, stronger, and more capable.

As you bless the situation, basically acknowledge the good
you know will come out of it: the improvement that is on its
way; the important lesson learned which will serve you well
in the future; the goodness you are coaxing out of it.

In other words, take things as they are, but establish the
positive expectation of how things will be.

Here’s a personal example: I’ve been candid about my own
struggles with my weight at different times of my life,
as well as my struggles with asthma.

At times I’ve been pretty hard on myself: condemning myself
for letting my weight creep up; for allowing myself to get out
of shape; for procrastinating on a true effort to exercise
and eat better so I could get to a healthier weight.

You know, it’s OK to be honest with yourself and give yourself
a little kick in the booty once in awhile.

But putting yourself down, criticizing and condemning does no
good at all. It doesn’t empower you to improve the situation.
it only drives you down.

In retrospect, I can clearly see that when I made true progress,
re-invested in my health and fitness regimen, lost the weight
and got in great shape….only happened AFTER I stopped
condemning myself, accepted where I was, and turned my thoughts
and my emotions to the good I knew could come out of the situation.

Part of the good I have realized has been compassion and
empathy for other people.

I’m not one of those super skinny, airbrushed fitness trainers
or models you see on book and magazine covers. I’m a real
person who has struggled with weight and health issues! So I
can definitely relate and have compassion for others who are
in the same boat.

If your mind has been trained to criticize, you may not always
wish to bless and behold the good. It can be a challenge to make
the shift – AND stick to it! But as you persist in training your
thoughts to bless, it becomes easier. And as you see happy
results in your life, you’ll realize your efforts are worthwhile.

Don’t underestimate the power of blessing! It’s a simple but
powerful way to release great good into your life. It can work
to improve every area of your life, if you’ll just give it a
try.

You Can Do It!

Karen_signature

“Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!”
www.BestBreathingExercises.com

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2014

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