“The more you pay attention, the more you will see blessings throughout each day.”
-attributed to someone very wise but name unknown
I love the quote above because it really describes the essence of my daily practice. I try to stay present and just be awake (as much as I can stand :-)) in order to see and enjoy the blessings (and/or miracles) unfold in front of me.
Here’s my simple practice, usually. I try to not become overly concerned with ritual or order. Whatever happens on this morning will be, and it will be enough. I start my day in a practical-and-not-so-deeply spiritual manner – a pot of hot black coffee. This helps me “awaken” my mind and body into a receptive state. I allow a bit of time to drink up and do a little bit of low-power-multi-tasking – consuming 30-60 minutes of the news, either watching the local or national broadcast or reading a newsfeed online. This practice is often received by others with a reaction like “you do WHAT? The news is such as downer!” but I absolutely choose to do this so that I can connect with the world. My practice comes from scripture, Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” A non-scriptural version often quoted is, “Be in this world but not of it.” For me, it’s important to connect into the world because almost every newsworthy story is either an expression of love or a call for love. By connecting to this stream of information, I can begin to set my intentions for the day, not only for myself but also where healing, prayer and celebration are needed.
When it is right, I move into and through a few daily readings that I have at my side, the Daily Word, Daily Fillmore, Alan Cohen (A Deep Breath of Life and A Daily Dose of Sanity) and Daily Om are a few of my favorites. I always find bits of wisdom from this short time reading the writings of others. Now is the time when I relax and become attuned and aligned with Source, present with whatever is. I gently speak (audibly or not) my intentions. I tune into whatever is coming to me. Usually there are periods of distracted thought and I bless and release them to go where they need to go. This period of connection with the Divine can be a few, several or many minutes. I accept interruptions (phone, dog, garbage truck or whatever) because it’s just part of the day.
I’ve taken up a lot of space describing this first bit of time in my day but find it to be a good way to align and center myself for whatever comes. That being said, I do not get to do my practice every day. Sometimes I miss it completely and sometimes I do only a part. I am okay with this because it’s all practice and that practice, leads me towards a more meaningful and purposeful life, day by day, moment to moment. Missing here and there is okay. My intention remains intact.
So even with all this foundational work, as my day unfolds, I experience thoughts and feelings across the emotional gamut: peace, joy, wholeness, love, abundance, envy, anger, fear, superiority and unworthiness. The first five are okay. They are the blessings that my spiritual practice allows me to see more readily, more clearly. But what about and why are the last five in my life? It’s because I have this thing called the human experience. I still have hot buttons; I still remember and carry childhood scars. These thoughts, feelings and emotions are part of my journey too. They are reminders for me of the spiritual work still ahead. The REAL change for me is that, through my spiritual practice, I easily become AWARE of these hot buttons and scars from my past, and the awareness alone is enough for my consciousness to shift away from getting more “wound up” to dismantling what it is that I no longer need in my life. I find that the longer I keep to my practice the better I become at being aware and focused on what brings me joy and allows my joy to radiate outward.
One final thought. . . as we go throughout our days, be as present as possible in the moment. It is in the moment that peace, love and joy are found.
So my fellow Truth-seekers, keep in mind that:
Being at Peace with yourself and with others leads to
Being in Love with yourself and others, and together these lead to
Living a Life filled with Joy.