How To Pray

“You don’t have to throw your bare knees to the cold stone floor at you bedside”, she said.

“There are other ways to pray. Just sit comfortable, close your eyes, be still and call on God(dess) to be with you. When you feel a deep sense of peace come over you, when you feel your heart fill with love, when your feel the room is full of light, then you know that God(dess) is with you.”

Then came the next instruction.

“When you pray, you don’t need to plead, beg, lament in distress or recite the words of a prayer that you were taught in childhood like a limerick. You simply open up a conversation as if you’re talking with a beloved friend or guardian. Ask for guidance. Share your hopes. Offer gratitude for your blessings. Simple be in the presence of holiness for a little while. And then listen…”

She told me that God(dess) doesn’t always answer in words, but most often with a knowing in your heart. The answer may not come today, but trust that your answer and a way forward will be revealed in the days to come. Perhaps you may not even get an answer. Instead, you will wake up to find your situation has been healed and all is on the mend.

She was my spiritual instruction teacher, a compassionate and somewhat unconventional nun named after a rose. I was 16 when I decided to start taking classes with her and she taught me this form of meditative prayer. For a year, I spent my Friday afternoons with her, learning about the church, spirituality, angels, the lives of saints and seemingly simple yet life-changing life skills like how to pray and meditate. While I’ve long let go of the limiting beliefs and ways of orthodox religion and opened up to a broader perception of spirituality, both prayer and meditation have remained a central part of my personal spiritual practice.

Sometimes I wonder why I did that. Why did I choose to offer my Friday afternoons up to learn about spirituality when I could have been hanging out with my friends and getting up to teenage mischief? The only answer I can think of is that it must have been what my soul needed in the midst of my unsettled home life. I followed what my wild essence called me to. These classes gave be the kind of grounding and hope that the adults in my life where unable to give me at the time. Learning how to pray in this manner offered healing for my wounds and inspiration in times when I felt jaded.

Just as there are a thousand ways to draw the sun, there are many ways to pray too.  Is the journey of a feather falling quietly and then landing softly on the Earth not a prayer? What about the way withering sunflowers bow their heads in soulful prayer, surrendering to the beauty of falling apart?

Sometimes a prayer means saying “please help me”, crying yourself to sleep and then waking up with the courage to face another day. And sometimes a prayer is as small a gesture as opening up the conservation to say “thank you” and then listening long enough to hear the response “you are welcome”.

I doesn’t matter who you prayer to. We each need to remain open to what resonates best with our own inner being.

How do you pray?


“each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.”

~ Mary Oliver, Morning Poem

When You Are Here

There is no chill in the breeze this morning, only the heat of the early sun beating down. It seems like a good day to wear a dress. My garden is ablaze with wild morning light and it’s too warm for the jersey I’m wearing. It’s early for this kind of weather, yet here we are.

The bamboo chimes sway slightly. They offer gentle notes of music…tinkle, tinkle, tinkle… There’s a sense of anticipation in the air, the one you get when you know that something wonderful is about to happen. Somewhere inside me dormant wild seeds are bursting back to life. Winter slowed me down, lulling parts of my into a deep slumber. Now I feel a revival taking place within.

Something about the light, the breeze and the sweet chiming sounds makes me wonder things. Like what it will be like when you are here?

You, my dear child, son, daughter…or both.

I think of you often. I feel your spirit around me too. I love you already. But I want to know, what will it be like to see you, feel you, hold you and know you in the flesh?

Will you squeal with delight when we walk out into the garden, saluting the sun, collecting herbs and giving thanks to Mother Earth, to the Goddess? Will you love the feel of wet grass under your feet?

And your hands, those tiny precious hands. I see them in my mind’s eye all the time. I imagine them kneading with me, scattering flour on the kitchen floor and leaving little imprints in the dough when we bake our weekly loaf.

These thoughts stir whirls of joy in my heart. They give me hope. I know that you will come when you are ready. Being patient isn’t easy, but yes, I must not lose faith.

I came across a quote by Nancy Levin yesterday that says: “Honour the space between no longer and not yet.”

I took it to heart. While I want you to be here more than anything, you are not yet. In the meantime, I need to remember to honour this space in-between, to accept it as it is. I need to stop seeing it as an eternal waiting room of separateness and instead cultivate wholeness, softness and the right kind of readiness to receive you into. I need to focus on cultivating the kinds of qualities that allow me to become wild mother I want to be to you. 

That is what I will do. Something tells me that the more I peace find in this space between, the sooner the day will come when I awake up to discover that the ‘not yet’ is the present and there you will be in my arms. Until then, I carry you in my heart.


To Those Who Wish to be…

…Wild Mothers.

A few months ago, I came across a piece called Oneness, an excerpt from The Tao of Motherhood (by Vimala McClure and Sue Patton Thoele).

 It says:

“You and your child come from

One and journey toward One.

You are essentially the same.”

Reading it moved me, shifted my perspective and got me wondering – what if my child is already with me, in oneness, and not separate from my experience in the way I perceive it? Isn’t that how we manifest things metaphysically – by visualising them as real to draw them closer to us?

It says:

 “The bond is oneness, and cannot be broken.”

I copied it into my journal to keep it close to my heart. And when I read it, I say a prayer for the wisdom to release illusions of separation from my child and for the strength to focus instead on being united in oneness. This renews my hope and gives me the sense that my child is coming soon.

It says:

“When doubt and uncertainty arise,

return to this simple truth.

Be in oneness, and the illusion of separateness dies.

Be still and allow unity to be returned.”

(Click here to read the full excerpt on Oneness)

Happy Mother’s day to you all. And to those who wish to be – I pray that the Goddess blesses you with the child that you dream of.

mother mary