All different cultures perform ritual acts of blessings, but it does not have to take place in a religious gathering or be performed by a religious leader. How comfortable are you with giving a blessing? Have you ever received a blessing from a family member or a friend?
Since before biblical times, people have given blessings from their deathbeds (called benedictions), over their food at mealtimes, and to friends or family members who are getting ready to travel. Blessings were a regular part of daily life for many. If you have ever received words of blessing from another, you know how good it feels! It shifts something energetically inside of you as both the receiver and the giver.
I just finished reading Barbara Brown’s book An Altar in the World. I loved her last chapter on blessings. She talks about how you can say a blessing over anything or anyone and how transforming it can be. For example, have you ever said a blessing over something or someone that you don’t like?
Try it right now. Try blessing that insect or critter that won’t leave you alone. You may find that once you say words of love over it, that it shifts your attitude toward it. Do you feel more kindness, compassion, or even just acceptance for it? Watch what happens when you choose to say a blessing over an annoying neighbor or family member who you are having trouble forgiving. If you say it daily (they don’t have to know), you are allowing your heart room to do the work it wants to do….which is to love.
If you find that you are anxious about certain places, why not bless them? Many people have tried house blessings. It does not have to be anything fancy. You could light candles or incense in each room and say a blessing over the activities done in that room. Remember to bless the doorways so that all will enter and leave there covered in goodness. I have a house blessing from John Donahue’s book, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings, hanging on the wall in my entrance way.
And finally don’t forget to bless yourself! One day, a youtube video popped up in my stream that spoke blessings over my life. I listened and recited it every morning for a couple of weeks. Sometimes I go back to it when I feel down or anxious. Not everything in it applies to me but it opened up areas that I hadn’t even thought of. Now I am creating my own blessing to record for myself.
I would love to hear some blessings that have worked for you in the comments below!