Blessings are words that spring from the wisdom of the heart, and in speaking them, you magnify the power of the heart. Ashirvad is a simple and yet profound practice in marriage. It begins naturally and effortlessly as an expression of your surging love. Just by saying “I love you,” you are invoking the power of the heart in both yourself and your beloved, and bestowing on them a blessing.

If you are deliberate and intentional in speaking from your heart, blessings become a spiritual practice. You may discover that this simple act increases your feelings of love and respect, as if it were a positive feedback loop. It directs your attention to your deepest, most sincere depths. You can make it a ritual to start everyday with “I love you” and end it with “May you be blessed with good sleep.” You might explore creating your own powerful and uplifting words to your partner.

May all divinity bless us.

May our love guide us to serve and act with wisdom and compassion.

May you be protected and may you be strong, to uplift and bring love to all those whom you meet today.

May the resplendent radiance of the Goddess herself shine through your eyes and illumine all those whom see you today.

May you and I, in our unique ways, act and bring forth the highest blessings for all of humanity and creation.

May you give your precious and unique gifts to all, and may the world be a better place because of your actions today. From this foundation of speaking blessings to one another, you can use the love and abundance in your marriage to uplift the world around you. It can be as mundane as a warm “thank you” and a gracious “you are welcome,” to a more daring acknowledgement of someone’s greatest humanity: their strength, goodness, kindness, radiance, wisdom, or helpfulness.  Appreciating someone’s smile in the midst of some mundane interaction can transform an ordinary moment into an uplifting one. Make it a daily practice, to acknowledge a cashier or a janitor or toll booth operator, or even some poor telemarketer who calls: blow them away with your acknowledgement of their humanity. Words spoken from the heart are powerful, and an uplifting phrase can completely change someone’s day or the course of some event. This is not about impressing their ego or manipulating them for your own ends: you must speak from the love that you are cultivating in your own heart. In doing so, it resonates with and awakens the same space in their heart.

Speaking blessings can become second nature, and you may find that your marriage becomes not only a vehicle for change and goodness in the world, but that you, yourself, are the blessing you offer. Your presence is soothing to someone in distress, you catalyze resolution in a conflict, you inspire insight amid a conundrum, you radiate the light of the heart where there are shadows. Starting with a gesture as simple as saying “I love you,” you build a practice that transforms the world.

Next essay: The Discipline of Sadhana

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