Prayer is our way of connecting with God, Great Spirit, Goddess. Our way of connecting with the depths of our gratitude and the heights of our dreams. I typically work with blessing prayers, love prayers and action prayers. The last one is the one most of us are familiar with. These are prayers for something: help, healing, intercession. They include prayers for protection, direction and courage. All of these require an action to come to us and they often assume a posture of helplessness or inability to do something. Perhaps of surrendering to a greater force.
With blessing prayers we simply step into a feeling of receiving blessings and connect with God on that. We feel our gratitude for all that we are blessed with in this moment and send it out to Great Spirit as if blowing a bubble skyward. Love prayers are also more "felt" prayers. Moments in your life where you are so filled with a feeling of being loved or love of some other that you simply can't help but send that love out to the world around you. For me, the "other" is often a beautiful sunset or a glistening ocean surface, love prayers wash over me often when I am in nature.
In my early years, I was taught to pray for something with my words and my brain. The best pastors, Sunday school teachers, and adults I had mentioned praying for it with all my heart. I have since learned a different way to pray. When a shaman prays, they become the action they are praying. The American author, Gregg Braden, describes going out into nature to pray for rain with an indigenous shaman. They arrive at the perfect prayer spot and the shaman prays rain. He doesn't pray for rain. He prays rain. The whole thing takes only a few minutes. Later the shaman would explain to Gregg that he saw the rain, he felt the rain falling around him and on him, he smelled the rain in the air, he heard the rain hitting the ground... He prayed rain as if it were truly happening in that moment. In a way, he brought it into this plane of existence, this reality. He made it possible by making it possible. By feeling the experience fully and completely, he brought it out of the field of possibilities where it was just waiting to be realized.
This way of praying takes a quantum leap on your part. It first positions it as a possibility, acknowledging that all things are possible. Second it lets you experience what that realized possibility feels like right now in this moment, removing all doubt because you can experience it. Third it speaks to the multiverse in a vibration that comes from belief that everything is possible and you are tuned-in and ready to co-create that reality with the help of the Goddess. That level of connection to Source is what is needed to pray.
So the next time you are praying for healing, don't just say "God please heal my broken ankle." Instead, sit quietly, connect with Great Spirit and feel your ankle healed. See yourself at the next doctor visit looking at an X-Ray that shows a perfectly healed bone. Feel yourself out for a run, the wind in your hair, the blood coursing through your veins as that ankle supports your every step.
There is a quantum leap between praying for healing and praying healed. Reach out into the Field and pull that which you know you can have into this reality. Become what you are praying. Co-create with Great Spirit from a place of divine fullness and possibility rather than a place of defeat and helplessness. Pray rain don't pray for rain.
There is often still an aspect of surrender in this type of prayer. You have to surrender to the action completely. Surrender your doubts, your fears, your feelings of not actually deserving it. You have to surrender the timeframe that you are trying to put on it, it won't happen in a week or in a month, it has happened and is happening in this moment. Surrender waiting for it and become it.
Sometimes there is a larger plan at work and our desire to control things blocks us from flowing with that. If you lost an arm or a leg in an accident and you pray healed thinking that it means you will regrow your lost limb, you are trying to control the process. Your limb probably won't grow back, maybe it will, but you will be healed. Pray yourself as whole and you will be whole. It might come in a way that surprises you, but it will come. Give it a try!
When I was a child, I was afraid of bridges. My family camped a lot and often we would hike hills and trails in far away places in deep forests with rivers and ravines. Inevitably there would be a bridge across a gap that we would need to cross. They always, always looked unsafe to me. They looked rickety or creaky or just plain dangerous. I never liked the idea of being suspended in the air and I was terribly afraid I would slip through cracks or open sides and fall to my death. Funny thing is, now bridges are all I build. So how did that happen? How did I go from “big as you can imagine” fear to “this is what I love?”
I recently caught myself thinking that I live the shamanic way every day. And I paused there and I asked myself, so what does that mean? To me, it is centered in walking two worlds simultaneously. I’ve always got one foot in this world, this very physical "real" world. And I have another foot in the spirit realm in the world of potential and of complete connection and oneness with all things. So I started to explore what that means and how I might possibly explain that to people. I recognized that I am often hiding that part of me, afraid people will think I'm crazy.
I'm starting a series of video chats or podcasts, I'm calling "Truth About Me." Things I wouldn't talk about in the grocery store line. Truths that are personal and intimate, honest and raw, unedited and real. I'll talk about parts of me that are beautiful and challenging. It's all part of my work to be more visible and more vulnerable, to open to this community authentically. In doing this, I hope to encourage you to look into some of your own truths.
In this first one, I share how I was loved for what I did as a child and not necessarily for who I was. It motivated me to get straight A's in school and throughout my whole life, so it isn't all bad, it's just a Truth About Me.
I was going to compose a professional letter about growth and transition. I was composing it in my head for days and it sounded pretty good. I planned on giving rational explanations for why I am doing what I'm doing--something that made sound business sense and thanked all the right people for their help and support. It had a professional tone and used professional impersonal language.
Then I picked up the journal that sits next to my bead, a beautiful notebook with a sleeping tree and bright full moon, a gift from a woman I met while facilitating a workshop in Canada. That dreaming tree in the night and hauntingly beautiful moon just wouldn't let me play it safe. I flipped through the total of four entries--that's all just four. Each and every one of them is connected to why I am doing this.
I see meditation less as an emptying out of myself and more as a filling up with Self and the present moment. Becoming so engrossed in Now that thoughts of other things just slide away. Thoughts will always come, that’s how the mind works. The practice is getting comfortable with allowing them to come and letting them float away without getting transfixed or hooked. Isn't that the practice for so many things in life?
For the past 17 years my family has been going away for the holiday season. This trip has evolved into one of my sacred times. It’s here that I escape the holiday frenzy and recharge for the new year. No matter what you are celebrating, December is a difficult time. High anxiety is matched by high expectations for happiness and joy. You may feel closer to your loved ones as they gather around the home or you may feel even further removed and alone. The stores are filled with people buying just to buy. I wonder at the wastefulness of plastic shopping bags, miles of wrapping paper, and holiday cards that will likely end up in a landfill. Everyone seems to be trying to fit in more frivolity as they schedule back-to-back parties and dinners.
It has taken me a little while to get this posted, but here is a little musing I wrote up on the way home from the Celebrate Your Life weekend in October. The jars aren't an idea original to me. I think I picked it up from Gaia Wisdom School and Dakota Earth Cloud Walker. It's a great visual reminder of how blessed my life is...
I’m sitting at the Phoenix airport waiting for a flight home after an amazing weekend listening to world class spiritual leaders and coming into heart resonance with other beautiful souls. I’m happy to be going home. Excited to bring this feeling and these science-based spiritual concepts to my life and my community.
Yesterday during a coaching session a new spirit guide came in. She was so real, I could see her, feel her, smell her, and hear her voice. It was as if she was right next to me. Spirit guides aren’t always this visceral for me. Sometimes there is just a knowing or I hear them, but every once in a while they come in fully-formed. Later in a meditation a young wounded version of myself came forward. She was taken by the new guide and held and washed and cared for; she was loved. Together, it all made perfect sense. I felt so lucky to have this wonderful new guide in my life, and so happy that she could help with this wounded child in me. The guide was the personification of a caring non-mother mother-figure - a devoted nanny of sorts. About four hours later the doubts crept in.
It's morning in my home, everyone is still in bed and I am awake quietly enjoying my morning coffee. While the creative juices are flowing, I want to take a minute to talk about how important it is to take a break. To give yourself the day off or even just twenty minutes off. Sometimes all I can manage is 5 minutes – but either way, no matter how much time you can fit in or how little—take a break.