TRIGGER: When hearing or seeing emergency vehicles, such as a fire truck or ambulance, and/ or passing the scene of a car accident.
TOOL: When you see a trauma scene, or when you hear emergency vehicles, say, “I wish you well” or “God bless you, every one.”
Be aware of these people in need, people who started an ordinary day just as you did only to come face-to-face with some sort of unexpected mishap or disaster. Be aware of those who are helping them, those who are witnessing the event, and those family members and professionals affected by these activities in the hours ahead. Shower your goodwill and blessings toward them all.
God Bless Us, Every One
For two consecutive Christmas seasons, I had the good fortune and pleasure of playing Tiny Tim’s mother in A Christmas Carol at a local community theater. As Mrs. Bob Cratchit, I blamed Scrooge’s miserly ways for the hard times that had befallen my family. So when Bob proposed a toast to Mr. Scrooge as the “founder of the feast,” I huffed the line, “Why should we drink the health of such a stingy, unfeeling man?”
Why indeed? But I relent for Bob’s sake, and so in the spirit of the day, we toast to his health. In this moment, Tiny Tim lifts a small glass, raises his hand high, and offers his famous toast: “God bless us, every one!” Each night, the audience predictably let out a collective, sympathetic sigh.
Open Your Heart: Bless Us All, Every One
Tiny Tim is a good-natured, kindhearted, and generous spirit. He doesn’t bemoan his crippled leg. He isn’t angry at Mr. Scrooge for working his father to the bone, all for a pittance. Tiny Tim doesn’t discriminate between those who “deserve” a blessing and those who don’t. He just opens his little heart and blesses us all, every one.
How often are we as generous as Tiny Tim? Isn’t it easy to get stuck in our routines, our agendas, and our quick-paced schedules — so much so that we close our hearts to tragedies happening all around us?
Have you ever encountered a traffic jam from an accident and, even as you saw the ambulance speeding to the scene, thought, Oh great — now I’m going to be late! I know that I have, though I’m not proud of such self-serving sentiments. The poor person about to be placed in an ambulance was no doubt going to be even later.
Stretch Your Heart A Little Wider
The next time you encounter a speeding emergency vehicle of any kind, use it as an opportunity to stretch your heart a little wider. Use it to get out of your own myopic perspective and imagine the struggles of all the people connected with this unexpected event.
Cultivating A Little More Inner Peace
PURPOSE: Whenever we open our hearts to those around us, we cultivate a little more inner peace in our lives. Compassion not only reduces our stress, it leads to peacefulness.
©2011. All rights reserved.
Publisher: The Berkley Publishing Group,
an imprint of The Penguin Group. www.us.penguingroup.com
This article was excerpted with permission from the book:
Shortcuts to Inner Peace: 70 Simple Paths to Everyday Serenity
by Ashley Davis Bush.
It can be a challenge to reach a calm and relaxed mindset, especially in our modern world. But in Shortcuts to Inner Peace, Ashley Davis Bush helps readers learn how to hit the pause button amidst the chaos with a spirit of mindfulness-linking fast, easy, and restorative respites to ordinary everyday activities.
About the Author
Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and grief counselor in private practice in Epping, New Hampshire. She is the author of several self-help books: Transcending Loss , Claim Your Inner Grown-up and Shortcuts to Inner Peace: 70 Simple Paths to Everyday Serenity. Her work focuses on coping with losses, searching for meaning, maximizing one’s potential, finding inner peace, and navigating transitions. Ashley shares her thoughts monthly in her newsletter, Still Waters: Tools and Resources for Living Deeply. She facilitates two online grief support groups, one for grievers on www.facebook.com/transcendingloss and one for finding inner peace www.facebook.com/shortcutstoinnerpeace. Visit her website at: http://www.ashleydavisbush.com