Count your blessings – and your toes too

When multiple problems threaten us, we may feel overwhelmed by negative emotions such as self-pity, pessimism and paranoia. Our mind frets about everything that’s gone wrong and everything that may go wrong – and overlooks the many things right in our life.

To correct our imbalanced vision, we need to count our blessings. When we focus on enumerating and elaborating the things right in our life, we start feeling more secure and positive.

At the same time, counting our blessings isn’t meant to be an exercise in utopian fantasizing, where we overlook real dangers and neglect real solutions. If we walk starry-eyed on a crowded road and don’t notice that a heavy person is about to tread on us, our toes will be the casualties. While counting our blessings, we shouldn’t forget to count our toes.

Counting our blessings doesn’t mean closing our eyes to problems – it means opening our eyes to realities bigger than the problems. When guided by spiritual wisdom, counting our blessings raises our vision to the highest reality, Krishna, our greatest well-wisher and ever-present indwelling guide. Meditating on him helps us realize our spiritual connectedness with the omnipotent Supreme. This realization animates us with feelings of security and positivity. We can channel the resulting surge of energy for practical problem solving.

The Gita (08.07) urges Arjuna to constantly think of Krishna. If we cultivate similar disciplined contemplation, we are reminded regularly of our greatest blessing: Krishna’s eternal love for us. Significantly, the same verse also asks Arjuna to fight, thus practically countering the miscreants threatening dharma. According to our vocation and position, we too can tangibly tackle problems.

When we thus learn to count our blessings and our toes, we can become internally and externally resourceful in focusing on the best in life and bringing out our best into life.

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To learn to speak well, learn when not to speak
To be awake is to be aware of our wake
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