"Bless Your Heart!"
January 28, 2008
All my life I have heard people use the phrase, “Bless your heart!” Not so much recently, but when I was younger, it seemed like all the older people said it; so much so, in fact, that it lost any real meaning to me. “Bless your heart” was a little like saying, “Hello,” or “Goodbye,” when using the telephone; it was just one of those phrases “old people” used frequently — and automatically, in certain situations.
What is a blessing? And can you really “bless” someone’s heart? And, if you did bless someone’s heart, what did it do; what did it feel like? And why would you do such a thing, anyway? What kid knows the answers to these questions? Most of us are taught that the heart is simply a muscle inside your chest that pumps blood; and a blessing is something you have to say before you eat, or when someone sneezes.
The funny thing about people saying, “Bless your heart,” is that they said it when you did something really nice, or when you got hurt, or when something bad happened to you – and even sometimes when you did something really dumb. All of the different uses only served to further obscure any practical meaning. But, I now know that, whether I am feeling good, or feeling bad, I’d always rather receive a blessing than a curse. It’s always Better to Bless.
A commonly accepted definition of, “Blessing,” is: “to infuse with Divinity, or with one’s hopes.” Blessing seems to be our way of sending love, energy, gratitude, or healing from our heart into something, or someone, that seems to be in need, or somehow worthy or deserving of a gift or demonstration of appreciation or love.
Philosophers and prophets throughout time have focused their greatest wisdom teachings on the faculties and power of the human heart – not as a mere muscle, but as the center of our being. Though unfathomable to most people, our greatest minds have always agreed that the heart, in addition to distributing the “spark of life” throughout our bodies, is very much a living magnet that draws us together with our desires and offers supreme guidance – if only we listen to the “still, quiet voice within.”
According to ancient wisdom teachings, and the latest advances in medical and scientific research, the heart is much more than a muscle. The heart is a “thinking organ,” just like the brain; except the heart doesn’t seem to make the same mistakes in judgment the brain makes. Ancient teachings from every religion and culture on Earth talk about the role of the heart in thinking and believing — in creating your physiology and your experience of life.
“As you believe in your heart, so it is done unto you,” is not simply poetry or scripture; it is advice for creating your own experience. The Institute of HeartMath is a global leader in research on the heart. Researchers at HeartMath have found that, “when you learn how to intentionally shift to a positive emotion, heart rhythms immediately change.” According to HeartMath, “A shift in heart rhythms may not seem important but in fact it creates a favorable cascade of neural, hormonal and biochemical events that benefit the entire body. The stress-reducing effects are both immediate and long lasting.”
It is an established fact that a person on the receiving end of a kind act benefits to a certain degree – emotionally and physically. But it is also a medical fact that the person performing the kind act also benefits from the release of healing, good-mood producing hormones that benefit both health and mood. Even more interesting is the fact that anyone witnessing a kind act experiences the same positive health benefits as the giver and receiver of the kindness.
In addition to the immediate benefits experienced a result of the positive effects of giving, receiving, or witnessing a blessing, there is evidence that harnessing and focusing the power of prayer, as a group, can create even bigger positive changes in the world. Kate Nowak’s Blessing Experiment (www.BetterToBless.com), according to ancient wisdom, and cutting edge medical and scientific research, has the power to change the world by bringing a tremendous number of people together with the common goal of focusing on blessing rather than stressing. Prayer studies have shown that the collective mental energy of a group of people with a common desire had a measurable affect on outcomes – hence the practice of “mass,” and other group prayer practices and rituals. “The family that prays together stays together,” they say; and, “what any two agree on in prayer will surely come to pass.”
Besides the potential effects that can be generated by a group of people praying for the same thing at the same time, a single person praying for the same thing over a period of time will generate measurable results in that person’s life and health. Supporting Kate Nowak’s Blessing Challenge is HeartMath research that reveals the power of sustained positive thinking – and the health benefits it generates.
When you bless someone, there is every reason to believe that something “magical” can happen; prayers are answered and dreams come true – “All things are possible.” But there is no question that, when you bless someone, everyone benefits in a very real and immediate sense. Being in a environment of people experiencing the physiological effects of receiving, giving, or witnessing “Blessings” is a clinically-proven benefit to body, mind, and spirit, and the ideal situation for “creating your reality” “according to your beliefs.”
Whether this positive energy of love and creation is given from one heart to another, or inspired from within in response to the sharing of a blessing, or an act of kindness, there is no doubt that it is always Better to Bless. Bless your Heart!
*To learn more about the power of the heart, and its role in your health, prayers, and experience, visit: HeartMath
*To take the Blessing Challenge, or join the Blessing Experiment, check out Kate Nowak’s site: www.BetterToBless.com