Friday, April 20, 2012

P is for Prayer

Some nights I sleep better than others. I always hope to get a nourishing, restful night of REM goodness, but that isn't always the case. Depending on my dietary intake earlier that day/night, the planetary workings &/or my mental and physical cycles, I may get little or no sleep at all.
But one thing remains consistent in my sleep patterns.
My waking.

In spite of whether or not I wake naturally, by alarm clock, or eek! against my will, 
I do the same thing every day:

I say a little prayer.

As a teen and very young adult, my concept of prayer was a negative, dogmatic one- by default. Having in my youth been exposed to the extremes of those driven by religious fervor, by people influenced by the aeriest-faeriest of bells and whistles and atheistic folks, I was turned off by anything that was not tuned in from within me.

Truth be told:
I was convinced that most people were nuts.

And I was also convinced that prayer was reserved for those individuals who were trying to beg or manipulate natural energies at work. Why would I want any part in that? I witnessed people trying to “pray” the “devil” out, to no avail, because devil is a false concept in the first place. I also witnessed wealthy, educated white people chanting to some Hindu gods for some more of whatever they desired. I even witnessed others denounce the existence of anything beyond their precious intellect and ego... Which sounded like an inside-out prayer to me.

The word prayer is defined as:

prayer |pre(ə)r|
a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship : I'll say a prayer for him | the peace of God is ours through prayer.
( prayers) a religious service, esp. a regular one, at which people gather in order to pray together : 500 people were detained as they attended Friday prayers.
an earnest hope or wish : it is our prayer that the current progress on human rights will be sustained.

My deep, dark, sinking depression had me all bound up inside for far too long. My spirit was thin and choking, I lacked the joyous luster I held so dear and my much-loved activities no longer resulted in an iota of satisfaction anymore.
I tried everything I could think of, I went to therapy, even tried big pharma's pills for a tiny bit, I exercised and changed my diet, talked my friends' ears off, journaled till my hands cramped up, and nothing helped much.

I was convinced that it never would improve.

Being the avid reader that I am, I came across a book that had been popular in my inner circle for over a decade. Most of my friends read it already, and for whatever reason, I never did. I picked up a copy of The Celestine Prophecy from the local book swap. Now, I enjoyed the read, but by no stretch was this book a genius read. Yet something struck a chord within me that resonated off the pages and into my heart.

Awe and Gratitude!

The book brought to light an idea of sending loving, vibrational intentions and appreciation toward the auric field which all living things emanate outward. I speak that language so I felt a symbiotic connection to the message in the book. Having remembered the exit greeting from a{strange and smelly} yoga class I took years prior, I noted that Namaste' is the word used to acknowledge one another.

The light within me honors the light within you.

The Celestine Prophecy made me want to Namaste' outward to all that is and was alive, on a regular basis, for quite some time. And in that gentle, honoring space, including my actively practicing gratitude, I found it easier and easier to let go of my past judgements about what prayer was.

 Namaste', Nature! 

I said prayers to help others heal on all levels, to alleviate pain and suffering in the world, asking for guidance and focus- whatever I saw fit to pray for. Now, the dark clouds did not disappear in a burst of a-ha lightning, but I now understand my part in it, knowing that I have some control over how I react to the murky waters. I rely on my strengths more and more & external influences less and less. I do whatever I need to do to feel grounded and loving. Living intentionally (with love) has become my main focus.

More recently, I use prayer daily to start my day.

Before I even get out of bed, I say a little prayer, sending out my daily intention to the great beyond:

Bless me,
Bless Fletchie,
Bless Everyone I come into contact with today.


So simple, yet sending out a gentle reminder to the universe that I intend to experience blessings, I figure it can only help.


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