I remember how I first learned to pray.
There were certain types of prayers for certain situations, certain ways I was supposed to address the Divine, a certain order in which I was to ask for blessings, and a certain time and place for certain prayers.
Phew! So many rules to keep up with…
While this way of praying really helped to foster a regular practice, I also found it restrictive.
Not only did I wonder if it was okay to just talk to my higher power any old time about any old thing, I also feared that if I forgot the words and didn’t say things just right my prayers might be considered null and void.
Even though it didn’t *feel* like my Source was all that strict and formal, somewhere I had picked up the message that it was. So I did my best to impress (mostly).
I broke that code in an angry tirade to God at the ripe old age of 6 (as I shared in my last post).
And for a long time after that, I didn’t talk much to the Divine at all.
But little did I know, a part of me was always listening for it...
My spiritual self, buried under a hard shell of self-righteousness, still thrived in moments of silence.
When the world got still, I got still.
I’d steal away from the other kids at camp to explore the nature trails on my own, gazing at giant spiderwebs and sitting in empty outdoor chapels, wondering about life.
In the summertime, I’d swim until my body was exhausted, then float on my back to watch sunset change the sky into a million brilliant colors.
I’d practice playing the flute on windy days to see if the breeze would stop or go with the sound of my song (and wouldn’t you know, it worked!)
Even though I thought God and I weren’t buds anymore… I was having conversations with the Divine in a new way that I didn’t even recognize until much later.
And it was in a way that not only confirmed that we humans have a deep and constant access to a higher Source through the magic of nature, but also that great healing and guidance can be found when we make sure to listen more than we talk...
In my old childhood prayers, I talked. A LOT.
I asked a distant higher power to please bless my loved ones, to please help me be better at (fill-in-the-blank), to please make sure Santa brought me what I wanted for Christmas… and if I got all the things I was asking for, I promised to continue to trying to be a perfect human being.
Harmless, sure... but when I got a bit older and depression, drama or anxiety really set in... I started to bargain my consciousness in an unhealthy way. I begged in shame, “Please get me out of this bad feeling or situation and I’ll never do or think anything bad again”, etc etc..
You know the drill.
I didn’t yet see that as a Divine spark with human thoughts and instincts, I would never be able to eliminate my imperfections or always feel good. That wasn’t the point at all.
It was certainly my job to get reconnected to my Source of healing and wisdom whenever I fell out of alignment with it, but it was never my job to replace, match or impress that Source.
That’s like telling an electrical cord that it has to generate its own electricity before it's worthy enough to be plugged in to the socket.
What a relief! I hate trying to do impossible jobs, don’t you?
But more to the point, I’m telling you this story because of what I’ve learned since devoting my life towards understanding and teaching practical spirituality that works in helping us live our highest and best lives, no matter what we are going through.
And that is, we can more powerfully live a life that our spirit loves when we focus on connecting to our higher Source, with silent gratitude for whatever it has to offer in that moment, instead of asking it for the things we think will make our lives better.
When connected in those quiet moments of meditation, something magical happens.
I’ve even heard folks say they’re afraid of this magic, as if their soul knows how powerfully it can change the way their conscious minds understand reality.
And I get it, really I do.
Because when that connection happens, we have access to a clarity and peace that can wash away all confusion.
And sometimes, staying confused has its pay-offs. Our human intellect and instinct thrive on having problems to solve. That is, until we consciously choose to put our spiritual well-being before all other worldly concerns.
It’s a commitment (a sacred marriage, if you will) to do what it takes to stay clear and connected to what you consider to be your spiritual source… in sickness and health, for better for worse, for richer or poorer.
Because when you’re consciously connected to your higher power to that degree, there’s nothing left to ask for. Healing, joy and inner peace… they just happen.
All that remains is gratitude for the reality of what is and gentle guidance that moves you towards what you really want as an eternal soul living a temporary life.
Source will always guide you to make the most of it in the ways that really count.
I’ve seen this work in my own life many times:
...When I practiced gratitude for my unhealthy body and learned to love it and act accordingly until it became well.
-When I practiced gratitude for my single life until loneliness dissolved away and self-love flourished.
-When I practiced gratitude for an unfavorable job that helped me eliminate debt and save so I could take the leap into my calling full-time.
And the other big thing that came from this new understanding was that, after years of developing my intuition in the hopes that I would navigate life better with it, I realized that unless I’m connected to Source when consulting my intuition, it just guides me in circles (to the things I think I want... not to the ideal things my Source knows I want).
I’ll be talking a bit more about that in the coming weeks...
But for now, I invite you to examine how you’ve been relating to your Source.
Do you see it as an unfriendly, distant energy that you must ask favors and permission from?
Or is it a trusted friend that loves you no matter what and always stands at the ready with guidance, healing and love once you take a conscious moment to open yourself and be grateful for it?
Think of one challenge you’re facing right now… you know, the one you keep bargaining with life and your Source about.
Now, instead of asking for a solution to come, imagine what you might be grateful for (in the present moment) because it’s showing you the way to a solution or change.
Even if you can’t see what it is yet, just keep affirming with gratitude that Source is showing you the way to your soul’s desires.
You may even simply state “Thank You, Source, for showing me the Way…”
That one sentence is enough to move mountains.
This and more, I promise you (if you’re willing to get still, dive deep and do your own spiritual work to see it for yourself).
If you’re ready to get connected on a daily basis and affirm that Source is guiding and protecting you to and through a life that your spirit loves, go ahead and download my free invocation right now.
It’s a great place to start when you want to learn the fine art of affirmational prayer.
May it bring you closer to peace, wisdom, love (and heck, even whatever you want for Christmas (lol!)).
P.S. Don't forget to download your free gratitude prayer before you go back to everyday life. If you're human like me, you're going to need it!
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