When’s the last time you felt blessed? If it’s been a while, you may need to tap into your blessings. For actor and producer-turned-pastor Kel Mitchell, taking time to count his blessings is a daily practice that starts pretty much from the moment he wakes up.
“I get up in the morning, praise God, I keep my family in prayer, myself in prayer, and then I work out,” says Mitchell, a self-described “fitness guy.”
In his book Blessed Mode: 90 Days To Level Up Your Faith, Mitchell encourages readers to implement their own kind of gratitude practice, because he believes that when you feel blessed, you’re well on your way to having a good day. Mitchell’s 90-day guide is complete with personal reflections, scriptures and prayers as well as action steps and assignments to bring your blessings to the foreground.
For Mitchell, gratitude begins when you begin to acknowledge how blessed you already are, without having to do anything to earn it or bring it about. Every day that you’re fortunate enough to wake up is cause for celebration and should have you waking up with a smile, offers Mitchell.
With that understanding in place, his book offers exercises like doing an online search for the Sounds of Blackness song “I Believe” and taking a moment to listen to its intentional and uplifting message. Another exercise is holding a plank for as long as you can to bring about the awareness that when you are weak, your spiritual foundation will keep you strong.
Studies show that feeling blessed, or exercising gratitude, is good for your health, and Mitchell contends that just as we work at being physically fit, we can build gratitude over time, day by day. Feeling blessed requires consistency and commitment, but Mitchell believes that if you put in the work, you can reap the benefits in a short period of time—90 days in fact. “I created Blessed Mode because I wanted to show people that this is an everyday thing…You have to retrain yourself,” says Mitchell. “Everything is learned. Just as a negative pattern can be learned, a positive pattern can be learned.”
To some, Mitchell may seem like an unlikely motivational teacher, but the 43-year-old former Nickelodeon child star who brought loads of laughter during his time on the hit show All That says he’s always known that his career could be the perfect conduit to help—and bless—others.
In order to do that, Mitchell had to be honest about his own struggle. Although he found himself landing popular television shows and movies, a series of bad habits and toxic relationships ultimately spurred Mitchell’s battle with depression—a period he characterizes as one of the darkest and lowest in his life. Determined to take control and change things around, Mitchell embarked on a spiritual journey that shifted his perspective.
“I started to change things in my life that were not of God,” he says. “As I prayed for guidance, God started to remove toxic people and things, showing me the proper path forward. It has made me stronger and taught me to keep my joy no matter what is going on, and to enjoy every moment. I wrote Blessed Mode to help others to not give up.”