I just started praying again. As much as I’m teaching about the “spiritual” realm, I have a very cynical, “Doubting Thomas” side. Sometimes that’s needed to cut through a lot of the spiritual b.s. but sometimes that closes me off from the magic.
I’m on the computer a lot with my work. I never realized how much admin work I have to do to run this yoga “business” but my love for teaching is what keeps me from abandoning it.
I know a lot of times my grumpiness is just due to the mental jargon swirling in my head. And as much as I practice asana, meditation, and pranayama, sometimes teaching, singing, dancing, or praying is what truly gets me out of my head.
I was really sick last week. I think part of my sickness was a spiritual disconnect. Interesting how all I want is to be connected and then there’s this other side of me who fiercely clings to the disconnect. Last week, I got a message (from my “team/guides”), when I finally was able to get out of bed, to rebuild my altar. Funny how when I first started on the path how sincere I was. After time, I lost my sincerity a bit and my brother’s illness and then death is what reconnected me. And then I got a little lazy again.
So I rebuilt my altar. And all I did after was a 5 minute prayer. Really simple. And I felt the surge of energy, of magic, of inner peace that I was missing. And I realized that’s all I need to do. Pray for 3-5 minutes every day. I have a 5 minute rule with everything. I can do something for 5 minutes every day – I can commit to that. If I go longer, fine. But 5 minutes is always doable. I know that if I make it any longer, I’ll avoid it. But 5 minutes is nothing.
So now I catch myself praying in front of my altar 3 or 4x/day. Sometimes I’m there for 25 minutes. I’ve also given myself permission to not follow anyone’s rules. I do it “my” way. I’m finding that I start with gratitude – to the earth, the planets, the elements, the spirits, ancestors, angels, ascended masters. Each time it’s different. It’s a prayer of presence. This afternoon, as the wind was blowing, the plants wrapped around me, and the insects chirping, I thanked their presence. I like to offer bright good-smelling flowers. There’s an abundance of those here in Bali and I have frangipani in my yard. I also offer tobacco and burn sage, or cedar, or sweetgrass, or palo santo. I always feel like I’m guided with exactly what to share.
My altar contains my favorite things – certain crystal, gems, and stones I’ve carried – some for 15 years. Pictures of beings who inspire and support me. Gifts from those I carry deep in my heart. Feathers from eagles and condors.
I’ve shifted my prayer these days to gratitude. I sing now. I play my flute, shake my rattles…whatever feels necessary. I light a candle. It’s so quick – I can feel the surge of connection so quickly. And most of my prayers are of thanks –and also any offerings to others. I’ve stopped praying for myself so much. Usually there’s one little request – but I notice that I have less requests the more I connect and give thanks.
I like this power we all have. To settle ourselves down. Today I finally sat down and felt inside of my heart. I didn’t realize I hadn’t been listening to it. Somehow I’ve calmed myself down over the past week and could feel it again. It was beautiful. I was able to say I love you. I realize that’s my heartbreak. Deep down I love everything. Everyone. Everyone I’ve met. That there’s God even in the darkest places. In my heart meditation I felt like I zoomed through my life, through all the dark hellish places and I felt love there. And I felt gratitude for it. And I realized that I am – that we are all – sitting in this river of life. A cliché for a reason – the river- water. I’ve been beating myself up for choices, for leaving, for staying. For not knowing. And suddenly I saw myself, how it really is. That I can’t help but be changed. That none of us can stop this. That deep down, even in the deepest pain, there’s this love. That’s our blood, that’s our heartbeat. And now I offer gratitude. Usually this kind of writing or feeling – I would roll my eyes at. But I sat myself down today a few times. I paused. And now I remember.