Prayer Journey to My Happy Place

Today, after a couple of days of rain, and several weeks of absence, I returned to my "happy place," the river, that invited me nearly a decade ago, to begin this journey of writing, of growing, and transforming.

Today, a new month begins.

Today, is the first day of that month.

Today, my thoughts are elsewhere - with a dear friend who manifested a new home by the sea, and today - it is hers...

Today, I think of the importance of manifesting dreams, of taking care of ourselves, and of having at least one happy place to go to.

Today, I reflect on all that the season of Advent invites us to do and to become, drawing us more deeply into a time of preparation and waiting. Indeed, there is so much to prepare for on so many levels of our lives.

Today, we begin the last month of this year. It has been a difficult year for me personally, punctuated by the most contentious Presidential election in memory, and dare I say - even in our history as a nation. Some rejoice at the outcome, while others have been plunged into despair and uncertainty. Polarization and division are its fruits, as well as uncertainty as we tread uncharted terrain.

Today, I cannot do anything but look forward to tomorrow...

I did not consciously intend to take a break from my writing this blog, but I did. I took nearly a year long break from a lot of things as I searched for answers and a new sense of direction and course for my life.

Today, I am very cognizant of the winds of change coming and needing to fortify myself and take refuge in my practices.

And so I went down to the river and prayed. Out loud. So many prayers - for so many people and situations: affirmations, prayers of healing - of supplication, of forgiveness and reconciliation - and prayers for guidance and illumination. From my heart poured out a veritable Litany and Psalter of prayers!

I came down to the river to pray and to reflect. To ask for blessings and healing for others. And to marinate recent insights.

I have also been thinking of several conversations and readings which have converged into one seamless garment of important realizations for me:

There is no life without challenge. We all have our own unique crosses to bear.

And it is in these places and experiences that we are most invited to grow.

We either make choices to grow and become most fully whom we are meant to be, or we do not. The choice is ours. And ONLY ours.

We are not responsible for anyone's salvation but our own.

It does not matter who we are, what we do - or what beliefs we espouse. 

There is no perfect religion, or political system, or over-arching philosophy or practice for everyone.

It only matters what we learn from all of the life experiences that we are given, and how we respond to our challenges to grow.

It is not about reaching a destination in this lifetime.

It is instead, about how the journey unfolds.

There is ultimately no right and no wrong in this life - but only how much love we put into the doing, and the giving.

It is not always about changing the people or the circumstances around us - but in learning how to become less reactive to it all.

And it is the challenges we are given that enable us to become less reactive.

It is in becoming less reactive that we are truly shown our practice.

It is not about making ourselves heard or making a big splash - but about greeting all of life's offerings with balance, mindfulness, and equipoise.

It is not about doing great things - it is about doing little things with great love.

It is about making a difference - by embodying compassion.

And these Lessons are never over!

So these are the insights that I brought to the river to marinate and internalize.

I began and ended my sojourn to my happy place at the river this morning with this prayer by Tosha Silver, the amazing author of Outrageous Openness and Change Me Prayers. A dear friend recently printed and framed it for my birthday, and I brought the frame with me to the river. I prayed it. Deeply. Fervently. And out loud:

"Divine Beloved, Change Me into someone
who can give with complete ease and abundance,
knowing You are the unlimited Source of All.

Let me be an easy open conduit for Your prosperity.
Let me trust that all of my own needs are
always met in amazing ways
and it is safe to give freely as my heart guides me.

And equally, please Change Me into someone
who can feel wildly open to receiving.
Let me know my own value, beauty and
worthiness without question.
Let me allow others the supreme pleasure of giving to me.
Let me feel worthy to receive in every possible way.

And let me extend kindness to all who need,
feeling compassion and understanding
in even the hardest situations.

Change me into One who can fully love, forgive
and accept myself... so I may carry your Light
without restriction.

Let everything that needs to go, go.
Let everything that needs to come, come.
I am utterly Your own.

You are Me.
I am You.
We are One.

All is well.




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