Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper: Feeling Blessed
“To be awake is to be alive.” — Henry David Thoreau
There are some days when thinking gives way to feeling. This is one of those days for me.
Today, I am getting out of my head and into my heart. Why? Because my heart feels full. I feel grateful. I feel hopeful. I feel blessed.
This morning, I wanted to share with you a poem I recently wrote called “Blessed.” It’s called that because it’s how I’ve been feeling.
Now, I haven’t always felt this way. Even when people told me I was blessed, I didn’t always feel it, even though I knew intellectually that I was lucky and fortunate in my life. I’ve had to feel my way into feeling blessed. It’s taken time. It’s taken practice. I had to get there on my own.
So, if you woke up this morning feeling down — or feeling anything but blessed — trust me, I get it. I know it can be hard to feel blessed if you’re working paycheck to paycheck, if you’re fighting to put food on the table, if you’re getting over a break-up, if you’re battling a sickness, etc. Life can throw a lot of things our way that make us feel anything but blessed. I know some people in the Midwest may not be feeling blessed after the tornadoes and floods, but I hope they have had moments where a total stranger’s generosity has made them feel blessed in recent days.
I’ve learned along the way that feelings come and go. One thing that’s always helped me when I’ve woken up feeling down about life is to put my hand over my heart, take several deep breaths, and honor the feeling. Then, I ask it to leave.
So today, my wish for you is that you can take a step away from thinking and step into feeling. Ease your way into it. Feel your way into feeling blessed. I share my poem in hopes that it will help you get there.
Every day I tell myself I’m blessed
Blessed by God
Blessed by grace
Blessed by love
My life hasn’t unfolded exactly as I imagined
I’ll bet you feel the same
My life has more jagged edges and more unpleasantries than I care to admit
I’ll bet the same goes for you
Yet, I know when I sit looking at my tree
I am blessed
Not everyone my age gets to my age
Not everyone knows the love I’ve known or the heartbreak I’ve felt
But still, I know I’m blessed
Maybe not in ways I imagined
But in ways that I can feel
I’m blessed by the sun on my face
I’m blessed by the presence of my children at my table
I’m blessed by a few good friends who tell me that I’m a blessing in their lives
I didn’t always believe I was a blessing
Far from it
I wore a cloak of being too much
Too exhausting, too talkative, too relentless, too everything
I wore the cloak of shame that comes from feeling ashamed
On this fine summer day
I know I’m blessed
I know it because I’ve decided it to be true
I’ve decided, and perhaps you will too, to be a blessing
I smile at the thought
I smile at the truth
As should you
Like you, I’m blessed by God
Blessed by grace
Blessed by love
Blessed by you.
Dear God, thank you for the blessings in my life. Thank you for my family, my friends, and the wonder and beauty of nature and all that surrounds me. Amen.
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INSPIRING VIEWS ABOVE THE NOISE
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Want to Find Old-Fashioned Love For Yourself? LGBTQ Advocate Matt Jacobi Has Some Advice.
We recognize LGBT Pride Month with this essay from SP columnist Matt Jacobi, who finally married the love of his life recently after 12 years of waiting. Matt reminds you why you should never give up on finding an old-fashioned romance.
Experiencing Pain or Difficulty? Author John O’Donohue Reminds You That Change Will Come.
In an excerpt from his book “To Bless the Space Between Us,” the late great Irish teacher and poet John O’Donohue reminds us that as sure as winter turns to spring, life situations do change.
Want to Redefine Your Outlook on Aging? Read this Exclusive Q&A with Author Louise Aronson.
In this exclusive Sunday Paper Q & A, physician and award-winning author Louise Aronson (“ELDERHOOD”) offers an empathetic look at a vital, but often disparaged, stage of life.
NEWS ABOVE THE NOISE
1. Architects of Change of the Week
This week, we recognize the students of Chapel Hill High School in North Carolina as our Architects of Change of the Week. These young students took it upon themselves to graciously raise money and send veterans back to Normandy for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.
2. News You Should Know
A recent Yale University study found that individuals carrying a gene variant linked to dementia who also maintained a positive attitude were 50 percent less likely to develop the disorder.
3. News You Can Use
Beware: a new study says that drinking bottled water can double the microplastic particles In your body.
4. News You May Have Missed
Well, this is a smart way of thinking: New Zealand is prioritizing the happiness and well-being of its citizens over economic progress in its new national budget.
5. News for Your Mental Health
From Greater Good Magazine, new research suggests that thinking about the future—a process known as prospection—can help us lead more generous and fulfilled lives.
6. Yippee! Moment of the Week
Good for him! After four decades, David Carter, a Texas homeless man, is returning to college to finish his degree.
THE SUNDAY PAPER IS A PROUD PARTNER OF THE WOMEN’S ALZHEIMER’S MOVEMENT
Want to Participate in a Fun Challenge For Brain Health? #TagaBrain!
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Health Awareness Month, so we’re using this as a moment to celebrate the brains we love most! Watch the video above from WAM founder Maria Shriver, and then head over to Instagram to participate in our #tagabrain campaign! All you have to do is pick someone whose brain you love, record a video explaining why you love them, and tag them in the video.
THE SUNDAY DINNER CLUB
The Sunday Dinner Club: We’re all about igniting conversations, and no better place to do that than at your dinner table. We’re here to help you get started.
This Week’s Conversation Starter: Go around the table and discuss some of the blessings in your own lives.
A Recipe For Your Dinner: This brain-healthy recipe for Lime Glazed Salmon is from our recipe content partner Healthy Brains at the Cleveland Clinic.
A SUNDAY REFLECTION
I love this inspirational reflection by popular poet and author of “Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom For A Better Life” Cleo Wade. Cleo reminds us to stop focusing on others and to root for yourself.
SHOP THAT “SUNDAY FEELING”
Visit the shop on MariaShriver.com to get Maria’s book “I’ve Been Thinking,” her coloring book for Alzheimer’s “Color Your Mind,” the Maria candle, Rivet Revolution bracelets benefiting The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, and more!
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