Prayer. It is not a simple word. When defined by Webster it is suggested and summed up that the only meaning is "to plea to a deity, an entreaty, humble request"!? I have to disagree! In my personal opinion and practice, I do not think it is appropriate to pray in the sense of wanting, weather you are religious or not. To squeeze your eyes closed and give a silent beg, I think this is slightly ridiculous and only shows you the empty, desperate feeling of being sad about being without. Sure it is fine to want things and to aspire to have something or someone in your life which you currently do not acquire. Goals are what keep us going! But I suggest to Mr. Webster and to anyone who does not have a regular practice of prayer, to create one and to make it a much more peaceful part of your life.
I know my husband prays almost every single night. I think his prayers, from what he has told me, are more like a giving of thanks, a time for quiet gratitude. I think that is essential to any one's happiness. It is so important to have gratitude for what you have that makes you happy and it also helps us have a direction for what goodness we want to expand and build upon in our lives. Gratitude fills our hearts, minds and bodies with pure paradise.
When flipping through the dictionary to search for my word prayer, I passed a page which held the description explaining the meaning of the word; paradise. (The pages which directed me through the "p" words, had the alphabetical guides at the top of the "paradise" page, listing "panties" to the left and "paradise" to the right and I thought that was hilarious, wanted to share!) Webster defines the meaning of the word paradise as; "a garden, heaven and any place or state of great happiness."
I thought it fitting that the word paradise caught my attention when researching the prayer word. I find it important to define this word as what it means to me. I see prayer as a meditation, a moment of intention for deep peace and will to promote and create even more peace. When I pray I almost always figure out what I am thankful for in general and this is involving me as well as then including the rest of the world. I wrap humanity in love with almost every moment of prayer I practice. I find I feel lost if I have not prayed in a while. I feel like I am wandering and roaming through life with no purpose and this creates depression. When I pray, sometimes I close my eyes and sometimes I do not. Sometimes I am in my car driving. Sometimes I am watching a movie with my child. Sometimes it is in the shower as I wash my hair. Sometimes I set a time to be alone, like in a strictly scheduled meditation practice. Sometimes it is just as I am drifting off to sleep. In my prayers, I often send my love and peace through the atmosphere to who I think might be in need. Often I just send love through the valley of my mind intending this thought to abstractly reach a friend, group or family who might be struggling, often I think of the citizens of a country who are conflicted where there is war, hunger, disease and giant need. But instead of asking or requesting in a way of "please give relief!" Rather, I state or gently demand, "give peace where there is none." Or, "bring love and safety to those who are lonely or scared." And, "allow nourishment and wellness to find those who cannot seem to discover comfort and health." I am not asking God to do this. I am sending an intention that it will simply occur and be so. Strong and repetitive thoughts become reality, I believe, in one way or another.
If you feel at the end of your rope, feel like there is nothing to be grateful for, or feel hopeless in any way, then simply have gratitude for the breath in your body, the beat of your heart. Life is our privileged gift and we need to understand that we may not always GET why we are here and have been presented this offering. But our being here is no accident, in my opinion. We all have a place. We effect things that we do not even realize, sometimes. Just like in this recent season's classic movie 'Its a Wonderful Life,' the main character has no earthly idea of all the lives he has touched and how drastically different the world would be, had he never existed. This could possibly be one of the most important movies of all time, I say! It leads us to have faith and trust in the unknown. It is imperative to trust in the mystery, that there is a place and purpose for YOU.
Relaxation is key to everything. The older I get, the more I find the importance of relaxation. Living consciously and relaxing consciously is the only way to achieve success. Success in any activity you might do from school to work to parenting. Active, intentional relaxation (nice oxymoron there!) is the balance to any effort you put toward anything you DO or involve yourself in. We cannot even enjoy our "off" time if we are not feeling good. And there are so many stressors and distractions in our busy environment today. The best balance for this fast paced, hectic, bill boarded, money hungry, traffic jam society is meditation.
Quiet. Shut down. Stop moving. Feel your simple and involuntary rhythms with breath. Gratitude. Peace. Expanding your relaxation. Stillness in the mind, eyes, body and face. Sitting in the middle of a feeling of love for the world, self and others, for just whatever IS. Enriching tranquility. Promoting rejuvenation and regeneration. Letting awareness and softness come to each and every, single cell in your body. Letting go of the tight grip of wanting control. This is my way of praying. I feel with this very regular practice, I am led on a clear path through life and I can then go forth and contribute only good things to the world all while enjoying my existence. Otherwise we roam, go in sad circles, feel lost, get trapped in multiple dead ends like a dreary maze. So, pray hard, or go roam.
Love from the start and a wink from the heart,