Blessings are like golden threads that reweave your tattered soul and connect you to the gifts all around.
Keep a blessings journal—page after page of blessings you've experienced or offered over many years. Some years, you'll fill pages; other years, you may not feel as blessed, but it will increase your awareness of the smallest blessing—enough rain, a year of good health, a freezer full of home-made soup. Begin to compose your own blessing for the day, a loved one, or a special event. Offer it to your family and community. My favorite inspiration is John O'Donohue's book To Bless the Space Between Us.
We all want to be happy and in a state of joy and well-being.
Make your own map to joy: Write the word happiness in the middle of a large piece of paper. Write what and who makes you happy and why, branching out from the center. List people, places, creative activities, food, spirituality, music, beauty, holding a baby or an animal, reading poetry, attending a funny film, or exercise. How do these things connect? Keep coming back to your map and add to it with insights, a collage, or drawings. Naming your happiness can be as much a spiritual practice as an insight into your lived values, like taking an environmental inventory of your life.
Meditation is a time to simply let go of thoughts and focus your awareness.
Begin a simple practice of daily meditation or prayer. Sit still in a comfortable place, close your eyes, take notice of your breath, and bring your thoughts into your body. You might imagine a rosebud opening, petal by petal, into full bloom; this is who you are right now. Offer a prayer above you, behind you, below you, and all around you. Feel it go into your heart and carry it with you throughout your day.
Traditionally, the Sabbath is a day of rest, a time to reconnect to the sacred in your life and give thanks.
Choose a day for your own Sabbath to rest and connect to beauty and your own spirit. You might choose an hour each day or a few minutes throughout your day for a Sabbath. I have friends who set bells on their computer or phone to randomly go off so they will stop and breathe consciously. Take a nap or sleep in; it's the best and simplest thing you can do for your health! Find your own joie de vivre. Choose a staycation, enjoying your home and community. Maybe you'll take a break from a consumer- based culture, choosing a simpler life or moving toward a life that's more sacred.
Simplicity means being natural and easy to understand.
When has simplicity enriched you? Where are places in your own life you could simplify and gain more time and space? Whether it's your schedule, your closet, your desk, or how you cook or garden, it can probably be simplified to gain more time, beauty, or relaxation. Even cleaning out a drawer can bring clarity and simplicity. Look at the video The Story of Stuff on YouTube and the Web site www.storyofstuff .orgfor more insights. Practice saying, "What I have is enough!"
Vocation comes from vocare—"to call," to hear your calling, your life's work, your soul purpose on Earth.
In your journal, reflect on your life as if from your deathbed. What are you happiest about? What do you feel are your greatest accomplishments? Who have you loved and who has loved you? Are there any regrets? Is there anything missing you wish you could have done? What do you want to be remembered for? Write that down and reflect on it. A life review is an ancient way to get to the core of your life while you are healthy, like a good gardener reflects on which seeds to water and which to weed. Take steps toward finding and following your calling.
Get more inspirational tips on how to cultivate your inner gardener, artist, lover and spirit-weaver in Elizabeth Murray's beautiful road map to a better life! Order it today from your favorite retailer:
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