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?

sunflowers

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

Advertisements

Surviving your Darkest Moments – 5 Ways to Raise Your Vibration and Connect with Your Spirit When Times Are Tough

How do you get through the darkest moments of your life? 

The moments when your heart is breaking, hope is shattered and every part of your being is aching. The moments when you’d swear the Universe has abandoned you and that the light at the end of the tunnel is nowhere in sight.

Do you know the kind of moments I am talking about?

The ones where not matter how much everyone around you tells you to be positive, that everything is working out for the best and to keep calling on Heaven for help – you just can’t hear the guidance, feel the love or see a way out….

Have you been in this place?

Whether through a breakdown because of a job that you hate, the tragic loss of love one, the end of a long-term relationship, or whatever the nature of the persona crisis is – How did you get through it?

Most people have been there at one point or another – experienced a dark night of the soul. I certainly have had my fair share of dark spells. A particular experience that comes to mind is when I went through rough patch about a year ago. I was becoming increasing unhappy at my last job and when a personal crisis was added to the mix, I felt was though I was suffocating. I didn’t know how I was going to get through each day. I was confused and naturally, since I dropped into my ego and fixated on everything that was going wrong, I wasn’t hearing messages from guides/angels very clearly.The world becomes a pretty lonely place when that happens.

When I reached my breaking point, I realized that I needed to find a way to disassociate from the drama. So I devised a personal survival plan which involved spending time each day connecting with my spirit, surrounding myself with things that made my heart beat faster and making more time to do things that brought me joy.
I thought I’d share some of my lessons. Here five things that helped me get through it all:

1. Surrender, Release and Breathe
Surrendering is a humbling experience. In moments when you feel stuck or when you have little control over what is happening, then it’s probably the best thing that you can do for yourself. Surrender your situation to the Universe and trust that all is working out for your highest good. Each time I felt overwhelmed, I would take a deep breath and surrender whatever I was feeling or experiencing to God. This forced me to stay present and live from one breath to the next.

2. Writing to Heal
Writing is therapeutic. It is a good way to reflect on your thoughts and purge your emotions. I began doing the 3 Morning Pages exercise from The Artist Way as part of my survival plan. I woke up 15 minutes earlier each morning to journal. It was the most cathartic process. I felt so much lighter and ready to start the day after doing the morning pages. Some days I purged. Surprisingly, although I waited for storms to populate the pages – gusts of emotion, clouds of anger and rain showers of tears and hurt, these storms were few. My journal pages often reflected light back at me. My inner guidance surfaced like a bright moon in the dark sky. Spirit revealed both hidden aspects of my soul and what was important.

3. Spiritual Practice Routine 
Our meditation and spiritual practices usually get disrupted when times are tough. Yet, this is when we need to stick with them the most. Having a meditation routine keeps you grounded in your centre and connected to the Divine. Make time to meditate, clear your chakras, do yoga, journal, read inspiring or insightful passages or whatever else helps you find peace, even if it is only for 10 minutes. If things are overwhelming work, then it might be worthwhile to take a 5 minutes or so during a break to escape to a quite place and centre yourself.

4. Candles, Colour and Crystals
Lighting candles has a calming effect. The energy of the little flames is comforting somehow. During a particularly challenging time a year ago, every day when I got home from work, I lit some candles and my aromatherapy oil burner, took out my watercolours and painted mandalas. I would get lost in the colours as I painted. I did this everyday for a 2 week period and looked forward to getting home each day. Working with colours, especially through art therapy, is a wonderful way to raise your vibration. The light yellows, pinks and warm oranges are uplifting, while the greens and blues are soothing. I also carried Rose quartz around with me and would rub my fingers over it and focus on my breathing whenever I felt out of sorts. Crystal energy is powerfully healing.

5. Spend time in Nature
Spending time in nature is an easy way to raise your vibration and reconnect with your spirit. Nature is therefore a powerful tool that can help us heal, not just physically, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Spend time in nature as often as you can. Go out and get some sun, spend time in the garden or try spending an afternoon at a lake or dam just watching life go by. Go on nature hikes, forest walks, wild life safaris or go bird watching. Take walks on the beach. When we are grounded in nature, it becomes easier for us to connect with our Angels and our Spirit Guides so that we are better able to receive messages and guidance.

Above all, it is also important to remind yourself that you are a perfect, whole and complete child of God. All is already taken. Focus on energy of Love and allow it to expand and flow to all of the areas of your life that need healing.

Understand Your True Nature

“You are a Divine Immortal Being – a precious child of the Universe. Your primary purpose on Earth is to recognize your true nature as a Spiritual Creative Being.” ~ Sonia Choquette

As Sonia Choquette, Dr. Wayne Dyer and many other spiritual teachers have said – Your essential nature is powerful, infinite and Divine. It is magical and profound. When we arrive on this Earthly plane as a baby, everyone is in awe of our perfection and beauty. We are showered with love, acceptance and there is nothing that we need to do to prove our worth that anyone.

As we grow, this changes. Many of us become conditioned, brainwashed and groomed to forget who and what we are. So we start to identify with the ego. The ego creates stories about who it thinks we are. In the end you believe these lies, learn to hate yourself, belittle yourself and diminish your sense of self worth. You feel that you are imperfect and deeply flawed. Nothing you do is worthy and ending up striving to live up to a false idea of what perfection is, just so that you can justify the space that you take up. You feel that your mere existence is an inconvenience to the world. So to make ourselves feel better, we try even harder, still never feeling good enough. The ego fights to maintain control over your so that you remain fearful, unhappy and disconnected from your Divine nature.

Losing touch with your true nature is a common challenge that light workers face. When this happens, you feel lost, alone and abandoned by the Universe. That feeling of disconnection is a harrowing experience for most of us. Although the ego would have you believe otherwise, the truth is that, although you have grown and changed in many ways, nothing has changed about your true nature. You are still just as perfect, lovable and worthy right now as you were the day that you were born. Your intelligent, unlimited and creative spirit still dwells within you. The only thing that has changed is the way that you have learnt to think about yourself. And all that separates you from embodying the Divine expression of the Universe that you truly are is the belief that you are not Divine.

Sometimes we engage in a battle to tame the ego, which in itself ends up entrapping us in the ego. While some teachers encourage fighting to overcome the ego, others teach a much gentler approach. That is to bless the ego with love, handle it with kindness and to observe its antics with a light heart and humour. I find this gentle approach to be very effective for me personally. Deepening your spiritual practise and spending more time in meditation, in a state of peace, harmony and joy allow you to be better acquainted with your essential nature. As you do so, you are also better able to distinguish between the voice of the ego and the loving wisdom of your soul.

Connecting you a space of love is one of the greatest indicates of being aligned to our true nature. When we feel love, we are experiencing being with our heart and soul, and not with our head. Your Divine nature, your essence, your soul and the Mysteries of the Universe are all here in this moment. They have never left you. You just need to be more aware of it.