Why not give yourself a mini challenge today? Pause in the middle of whatever task you are doing, and mentally list five blessings in your life. Do this five times throughout the day, with five different blessings each time, and you will have amassed a whole bucket-load of blessings to be grateful for and to remember when times get tough. Here are a few of my blessings for today. Have a wonderful week. I would love to hear some of your blessings! Anita. 😊🎄❤
Twenty centuries ago, a young couple is turned away when they ask for help and shelter for the night. She is heavily pregnant and eventually gives birth to her child in a stable. We will come to know the child as the God-realized avatar that is Jesus-Christ. Fast-forward to 2018. A young girl (from a country torn apart by war or environmental catastrophe) witnesses her home, her family, her world as she knows it, decimated. Will she find help and shelter?
“What place is this, where blossoms cry in pain, dripping sorrowful nectar, an indelible stain, on my bleeding heart?” from poem In the Garden, by Anita Neilson.
Our world can often appear tragic, unkind and inhumane. Isn’t it all the more important that we turn our focus to all the positives, to every act of kindness and compassion which happens day by day, minute by minute, second by second. Then we can reimagine our world as the precious place it is. We can rediscover our place in humanity by making sure there is room at our inn, in our heart-space.
Let’s leave aside our judgement of how others choose, or are forced, to live their life and drop a few coins in the begging bowl of the homeless woman on the street; let’s offer help in any way we can to our fellow human beings, be that in thoughts, words, or acts. If we are blessed enough to be relatively wealthy in comparison with those who are struggling in our communities, well what use is wealth if not shared with others? Let’s make it our mission to find out what charity projects are running this Christmas and to contribute to them. It could be our local newspaper organising a Christmas Dinner in a Box to be distributed to vulnerable families. It could be a local children’s charity asking for donations of a new set of pyjamas and a toy for those children in disadvantaged families. It could be welcoming an elderly lonely person into our home for Christmas Dinner. Let’s look into our hearts. What would we buy for our own child or grandchild? Can we find it in our hearts to extend this love to other local families?
I was reminded this weekend about family and about why God gives us family and then (so cruelly it seems) takes them away from us in death. I believe He gives us the joy of family so that we may experience all the different kinds of love He offers – parental, filial, romantic, children and so on. In taking loved ones away from us, He wants us to learn to extend the love we feel for family out towards the wider world, so that eventually we will learn that all the world’s peoples are our family. We should not differentiate between anyone, regardless of race, colour, creed, gender and so on.
Can we find it in our hearts to open wide the doors of our inn(er) heart centre to welcome others and give them shelter, materially, emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually. Have a wonderful week. Much love to all. Anita.🙂🙏
Fed up with the usual Advent Calendar? Cheap chocolate shapes behind doors that are infuriatingly cumbersome to open? Here’s my gift to you – the alternative (free) 2018 Advent Calendar! No bad chocolate to sicken your palate, but plenty of practical tips to spend a wholly more spiritual advent season.
Aah! The Prayer of St. Francis. I love it. 🙏 It sums up how to live a good life really by helping others rather than focusing on ourselves. It’s Winter here in Scotland and Mother Nature’s chilly, icy grip has been tightening throughout the month of December. I woke up this morning in my cosy, warm bed with warm gas-fuelled radiators heating the whole of our home. Boy, was I grateful for the gift of heat when I peeked out of the blinds to see the frosty field opposite, the driveway twinkling its icy warning and the early-morning dog walkers’ breath rising like comical chimneys skyward.
So grateful was I for all my blessings this morning. I am every morning anyway, but I was especially thankful today for:
- a warm, safe, secure home;
- a strong body and mind to allow me to thrive in this physical world;
- people who love and care about me;
- a growing compassion for others arising out of moments of personal suffering.
Yesterday, I noticed the horses in the field, wearing their winter blankets, happily munching away on the remnants of grass. Someone had been thinking of their comfort, their basic need to be warm in a cold climate.
It got me thinking of the cold snap of weather and of those people who don’t have a warm home or enough warm clothing. So, I rummaged through my wardrobe and looked out some warm clothes (knitwear, hats, scarves, coats and so on) to donate to our local homeless charity. It’s just a little thing, but it’s all the little things added together which bring big changes, isn’t it? No act of kindness is ever too small in my book.
This morning I asked God, “How can I help people today?” When we blog, it’s one way of helping people, by sharing our thoughts and ideas on how we can make a big difference with lots of small things. If you live in a cold climate and are blessed to have safety, security and warmth but don’t have any items of clothing to donate, you could perhaps think about one of the following:
- donate your time (in prayer or meditation, sending out good positive energy to those in need);
- donate your time by helping out for an hour at a local food bank or homeless charity;
- make a financial donation to a local or global cause that resonates with you. Any amount, however small, is gratefully received and always makes a difference.
I’m not writing this post to make you or I feel guilty about our blessings in life. And if you think you don’t have any blessings, you’re not thinking hard or smart enough! This morning, I felt I was given a little Divine nudge to do something for others, so I thought I’d share this with you. Please like and share this post if you agree. God bless you. Namaste! Anita😊
A few of my fb friends took part in a short Kindness challenge in November. Here are some of the AOK (acts of kindness) which we did. It’s true that in numbers we are stronger, for you always get ideas you hadn’t thought of yourself! Have a lovely week all.