108 Blessings preview
You are blessed with the ineffable miracle of your own existence.
When you find yourself pushing too hard for things to work out and it's causing you to tense up, stop for a moment — long enough to read this — and become aware of your physical situation: how you're holding your body, how your shoulders and upper back are straining, your lower back stiffening, your breath is moving irregularly and inflamingly and your thoughts are racing through your brain. Do you like the feeling? If not, slow your breath down. Relax your shoulders, let them drop, soften your upper back, soften your face, relax your belly and your lower back.
Then think of what an ineffable miracle your existence is. Not just as an abstract concept — though it's a fine abstract concept to entertain — but as a real flesh and bones reality here and now in this present moment.
Anything more than that — your plans working out, for instance — is a bonus.
Like this, you give a moment's space to life so it can organize itself according to your best interests. Don't be surprised if within even moments of reading this, you suddenly notice things swinging your way again.
You are now blessed with the ineffable miracle of your own existence.
You are blessed with having faith in yourself.
That moment of choice between insinuating yourself into the crowd or pulling away to be with yourself, and the underlying question of whether or not you're missing out by doing so — that urge to dive into the midst of the throng not quite managing to beat the urge to withdraw, inevitably accompanied by five to thirty minutes of asking yourself if you've done the right thing or not — do you ever get that?
Fundamentally it's to do with how much faith you have in the choices you make and even more fundamentally with how much faith you have in the idea that wherever you are is wherever you're meant to be, and that you can't miss out on anything because it all goes on inside you anyway.
Say, 'I have the faith' and carry on as you were.
You are now blessed with having faith in yourself.
You are blessed with the breath of life itself.
You set out on a journey aeons ago and have been out on the road for longer than you can remember, but you can remember home and what it feels like — the omnipresent quality of it, the warmth of it, the feeling that everything, at the profoundest level, is OK - the visceral knowing that the world's your oyster.
Stay in touch by maintaining a constant low level of attention on your breathing no matter what else you're up to at the time* moment by moment — this one for a start. Carry on consciously breathing like this and the world is your oyster.
I was going to say trust me on that one - but don't trust me, trust yourself — and you develop that (self-trust), patiently, through the breathing.
You are now blessed with the breath of life itself.
You are blessed with beginner’s mind.
As well as developing self-trust, it's also vital to train yourself increasingly to notice and appreciate what's around you as if you're a small child seeing it all for the first time — practicing 'beginner's mind', as they call it in Zen circles.
Decide to let every sight, smell, sound and touch fill you with gleeful awe as if you've never experienced anything like it — because in reality you haven't however much you think you may have — then trust yourself to have an unprecedented adventure full of the most magnificent surprises, this very day or night and you will.
You are now blessed with beginner's mind,
and 104 more blessings inside.