Many Blessings

be happy now Dec 13, 2023


Many Blessings

December 12, 2023

Many Blessings to all. I am very grateful for your patience with me and my sporadic schedule this year in posting insights and adding to our tool kits for personal development and transformation.

Recently I have been learning about blessings. How to receive blessings. How to give blessings. The difference between blessings and prayers. The connection between gratitude and feeling blessed. 

So, what is a blessing? I am drawn to the wonderful insight of the great John O'Donohue from his book To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings.

"A blessing is a circle of light drawn around a person to protect, heal, and strengthen. Life is a constant flow of emergence. The beauty of a blessing is its belief that it can affect what unfolds. 

When a blessing is invoked, a window opens in eternal time.

Regardless of how we configure the eternal, the human heart continues to dream of a state of wholeness, a place where everything comes together, where loss will be made good, where blindness will transform into vision, where damage will be made whole, where the clenched question will open in the house of surprise, where the travails of life's journey will enjoy a homecoming. To invoke a blessings is to call some of that wholeness upon a person now." 

How exquisite! This is a selection of the writings in the last chapter, "To Retrieve the Lost Art of Blessing." John O'Donohue goes on to opine that everyone has the power to bestow blessings and perhaps all our smiles and acts of kindness are a form of blessings. I am learning from the masters. 

My objective this month is to share a few blessings -- as they may help heal and support every one of us.

My goal is to embody being a 'hole in a flute." It took me many years to find the deeper meaning in the poem by Hafiz, "A Hole in a Flute,"  from The Gift: Poems by Hafiz, the Great Sufi Master, translations by Daniel Ladinsky.

I am 
A hole in a flute 
That the Christ’s breath moves through – 
Listen to this 
I am the concert 
From the mouth of every 
Singing with the myriad 

I am simply an instrument -- a voice in the chorus of humanity -- sharing blessings that deeply resonate with me. I am both a teacher and a student. I am a curator of meditations, blessings, and best practices to to support people on their unique journey of transformation. In essence, I am 'a hole in a flute.' 

It is my hope the following blessings will touch your hearts and souls as they have mine. Let us honor our struggles, stoke the flame of hope, and move forward to take action to create new adventures.

I have selected 3 Blessings to close out 2023 and welcome in 2024: 

  1.  "For Suffering"  by John O'Donohue.
  2. "Blessing of Hope" by Jan Richardson
  3. "For a New Beginning," by John O'Donohue

First, let us start with a blessing for our struggles, our challenges, and our suffering. Maybe they are struggles from this year, or earlier times, or even worries about the challenges and suffering to come. While our journeys are unique, the experiences of joy and sorrow, pain and suffering, are part of all our lives.  

I will leave space open for this Blessing, "For Suffering" by John O'Donohue, to speak to your heart and soul. I only ask that you read it aloud -- so you can more deeply hear and feel the message.  

May you be blessed in the holy names of those
Who, without knowing it,
Help to carry and lighten your pain. 

May you know serenity
When you are called
To enter the house of suffering.

May a window of light always surprise you.
May you be granted the wisdom
To avoid false resistance;

When suffering knocks on the door of your life,
May you glimpse its eventual gifts.
May you be able to receive the fruits of suffering.

May memory bless and protect you
With the hard earned light of past travail;
To remind you that you have survived before
And though the darkness is now deep,
You will soon see approaching light.

May the grace of time heal your wounds.

May you know that though the storm may rage,
Not a hair of your head will be harmed.

Sit -- or kneel -- with this blessing for a few minutes. Feel the Grace and the Blessing bestowed on each of us. Which lines stay with you? Who could you support by offering this Blessing? 

May you feel safe and feel the gift of grace freely flowing over you.  

Second, let us move on from the healing grace of this Blessing "For Suffering" to a "Blessing of Hope," by Jan Richardson: 

               So may we know

the hope
that is not just
for someday
but for this day—
here, now,
in this moment
that opens to us:

hope not made
of wishes
but of substance,

hope made of sinew
and muscle
and bone,

hope that has breath
and a beating heart,

hope that will not
keep quiet
and be polite,

hope that knows
how to holler
when it is called for,

hope that knows
how to sing
when there seems
little cause,

hope that raises us
from the dead—

not someday
but this day,
every day,
again and
again and

Please read this blessing out loud. Sit with this blessing for a time. What are the lines that resonate with you? Who do you know who might find healing and Hope in this Blessing? May Hope lift you and every one --- this day and every day! 

This third blessing encourages us to move forward from Suffering to Hope and then on to a New Beginning. Let us use this as a Blessing for the New Year to learn and grow from our challenges, with more confidence, trust in ourselves, hope for the future, and awaken our spirit to new adventures. This is a favorite blessing of mine for many years on my journey, "For a New Beginning," by John O'Donohue: 

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

 For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

 It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you. 

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.

 Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

Once  again, I invite you to read this blessing out loud -- to yourself and to another person in your life. Sit with the Blessing. Awaken with renewed confidence and courage to take risks and create new plans for new adventures.

Please consider sending a gift this season -- a gift of Blessings to your family and friends. Share one of these Blessings. Create your own Blessings. Smile. Use your Kindness as a Gift -- an every day Blessing.

As Tiny Tim said in A Christmas Carol By Charles Dickens, "God bless us, Every One."  


Many blessings,  Alison 



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