Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.
- Mohandas Gandhi
Still filled with Catholic guilt? Not quite sure how to make this connection with the Divine as a willing adult participant? Take time to communicate with a spirit that beckons you, whether it be Buddha, Jesus, or Elvis. Come to a comfortable place, carve out some time, and get into position. Prepare by lighting a candle, fasting, ringing a bell, or bowing to your altar – whatever resonates for you. Try a cross-legged seated pose, kneel near a window, or simply lie still on your bed. Create your own ritual. Find your own way to pray – it’s your party. Begin the prayer by singing, reading, reciting a favorite quote, or lowering your head. Express gratitude. Ask for courage. Send good thoughts to others. Seek solace. Share your thoughts. It’s like journal writing aloud. Finish with a bow, an “amen,” a ring of the bell, or by blowing out the candle. Voilà, you’ve had your own prayer party. Rinse and repeat as needed.
The way I combat those not-so-positive voices is with affirmations – short, pithy, positive statements made in the present tense. You may ask, “Really, I’m supposed to say things like ‘I am beautiful,’ ‘I can do anything,’ ‘I am a successful writer’?” Indeed you are!
There is a whole café built around affirmations in the San Francisco Bay Area called Café Gratitude. Every item on the menu is an affirmation. It’s inspiring just to place an order. I’m a big fan of their “I am bold.” If you’re in the area, why not try their “I am happy” or “I am peaceful”? Rather than simply ordering vegan nachos or pizza, the café ensures that you will take a moment to repeat a positive affirmation. Customers are asked: “What are you grateful for today?”
Next time self-doubt comes for a visit, ignore it and instead start your day, meeting, or event on a positive note by reciting the mantra “I can do anything” and watching what transpires. Your mind will quickly catch up with your mouth.
Next: Meditation and more