"We become what we think about." ~ Earl Nightingale

Welcome to Sacred Ruminations

I hope you'll look around & leave comments
then visit me at my new blog ...

Giraffe Journal

and/or website ... Labyrinth Journal
both self-hosted at WordPress
where I publish as myself
rather than under a

I've not had much time for posting or blog visits, but if you're interested I hope you'll find time to check out my new blog, Giraffe Journal or my Labyrinth Journal website ... both self hosted at WordPress.

Thanks for your visit and have a delightful day ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday - On Prayer and Transformation

As a child, my parents taught us to say "Grace" before meals and to recite prayers before bedtime. My favorite was not "Now I lay me down to sleep" but rather ...

"Jesus tender shepherd hear me.
Bless this little child tonight.
Through the darkness be thou near me.
Keep me safe 'til morning light."

At the age of 44 ... when I found myself alone at night in the house (except for my 2 year old Keeshond-Terrier mix pup) for the first time ever (after my husband of 21 years decided he didn't wish to be married any longer and left), I cried myself to sleep nightly for months ... reciting this simple childhood prayer over and over ... substituting the words "aging woman" for "little child" ... and as I type this now I'm startled by the lump in my throat & the tears threatening to over take me as if I'm reliving this difficult time in my life here and now.

Interestingly my writing buddy called just as I finished typing the previous sentence and we've been chatting for about an hour. I'm grateful for the interruption & interaction with her (allowing me to recenter myself) and the "verbal hugs" she always leaves me with at the end of our weekly calls. Hopefully I'm ready to continue writing and publishing this post before Molly and I go for an afternoon walk together. Last week I shared a couple of prayers that I find personally meaningful and helpful. Today I intend to provide a context for them after the fact.

I opened this post with this story from my past because I'm vividly aware that no one ever taught me how to pray ... until I encountered Marianne Williamson's lectures, tapes, and books. Each time I have attended one of her lectures, she uses a variation of the "visualization" that follows (and that appears at the beginning of ILLUMINATA) entitled:


"I see in my mind a little ball of golden light.
I watch this light as it begins to grow larger and larger,
until now it covers the entire inner vision of my mind.
I see within this light a beautiful temple.
I see a garden that surrounds the temple
and a body of water that flows through the garden.
I see that the inside of the temple is lit by this
same beautiful golden light, and I am here,
For I have been drawn here by the power
and in the presence of God.
I dedicate my days and my relationships
and experiences to You.
May Your Spirit, which is within me,
so guide my thoughts, my feelings,
and my perceptions of all things
That I might grow into a happier,
more peaceful, more loving human being.
Illumine my mind, illumine my life.

I'm grateful for the example of her plain yet familiar prayers that seem like conversations with God, and I return to her words even now when I need a kick-start for my own prayerful meditations.

In ILLUMINATA Ms. Williamson writes of a "Spiritual Renaissance" occurring in the world, and she encourages each of us to seek "daily renewal" through prayer & meditation as a means of "cultivating a sense of the sacred" so that we might be "transformed" in such a way than we can in turn be spiritually ready to "transform the world" ... suggesting we take into account the following principles:

1. Invite God's spirit into every situation, which means to ask for the highest level of thought, guidance, and unfoldment to occur for all concerned.
2. Ask God to remove from your mind all thoughts that are not of Him.
3. Ask God to show you the love and innocence within all people.
4. Ask that only God's purposes be served in every situation.
5. Be honest. Be humble. Be serious.

... and she concludes by suggesting that we remember always that "God is not our judge, but our healer."

If, as many have come to believe, we're on the cusp of a significant evolutionary change ... and if our individual minds create not only our own reality but also a collective reality ... then might we not be wise to at least consider the possibility that Marianne Williamson is correct when she writes:

"...we may be ready to take responsibility for the world by taking more seriously our individual contributions to it. Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one."
And so .. on this Sacred Life Sunday, I choose to express my gratitude to each and every one of us engaged in "personal transformation" ... As we each honor our discomfort and shed the oppressive weight of cultural nonsense, may we each respect ourselves (and one another) enough to equally honor what we know within ... allowing our hearts to lead the way to becoming who we are truly meant to be.

"You have two types of energy. One is physical; the other is mental and spiritual. The latter is by far the more important, for from your mind you can draw vast power and strength in time of need." Napoleon Hill

Blessed be ... and so it is!


thailandchani said...

Amen! :) Seriously though.. this is very well stated and it is important to remember that what we think is important - and what we choose to validate in our own minds matters.

The Dream said...

Thank you for sharing about your real emotions here. Is it not amazing how others can come in at precisely the right moment and help us to re-center? I am sorry to read of your loss - divorce is a loss, even under the best of circumstances (as mine was). You are sacred; you are loved.
Marianne Williamson SO rocks!

storyteller said...

Chani – Thank you. I strive to remind myself of this truth regularly and am inspired by others who apply it in their lives.

Dream – Hmmm … it’s certainly not easy for me to reveal myself in this manner, but I’m taking baby steps when I can. If Jan hadn’t called just at that moment, I might have dumped the post and gone for a walk with Molly without finishing it. I'm glad I didn't. Thank you for your encouragement and support Yes … Marianne Williamson definitely rocks!!!

Hugs and blessings to you both!

Karen said...

I think that so many of us are quick to think that working on ourselves is selfish, that we shouldn't "waste" time on personal healing when there are so many other tasks to do, people to take care of, and so on.

This is SO not true!! When we heal ourselves, we heal a part of the world, and that benefits everyone!

I feel a sense of awe, to read what you've shared about yourself, and your feelings concerning your divorce. But also, awe in how far you've come. You seem so calm and centered now--you really are an inspiration!

storyteller said...

Karen – I couldn’t agree more that taking care of and/or working on ourselves isn’t selfish at all. I strongly agree with you that doing so not only benefits us but also “heals a part of the world” and “benefits everyone” in a myriad of ways. I do feel calm and centered now most of the time, but I’ve been divorced almost as many years as I was married. Typing this … I can almost divide my life in thirds to this point in time. I was 23 when I married … 44 when he left and 47 when the divorce was final … and I’ll be 63 in 5 days. If I let myself consider fourths (or even fifths) instead, I could anticipate what the next 20+ (or even more) years might hold in store for me. Now THAT’S worth some journal time after I return from walking Molly.
Hugs and blessings,

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

storyteller, I got a lump in my throat too reading about the change to your childhood prayer. I find myself repeating bits from my childhood when I am in crisis to help me through too. I don't think I ever learned to pray either. I will have to mull some more over what you wrote...

storyteller said...

MPJ - Your comment caused me to revisit my post ... and (not surprisingly) … it produced the same results in me today. If Jan hadn't called at that moment, I might never have finished and/or published it. Actually … if there weren't supportive comments here now, I might dump it after the fact. I suspect that getting comfortable with sharing bits of myself in this way is a process I'll be working through for a while ... but if I don't quit, I can't fail. Right? Right!
Hugs and blessings,