We have all experienced them. Those days. Those crappy days where almost as soon as you wake up you know, you just know, that it’s going to be a rough one. You stub your toe on the way to the bathroom. The bowl of cheerios tips over — after you had added in the milk of course. You open your inbox to a cruel client complaint. The bank account is not where it should be, coffee scorches your freshly pressed white shirt, your cell phone is low on batteries, you are low on batteries, and your supervisor springs a last minute mandatory after work meeting and so you have to call your mom and ask her to pick up the kids from school…again.
Yup. Those days where nothing goes right and the only law that seems to hold is Murphy’s. Or maybe it is more subtle. Maybe sales this month haven’t been where they should be and you are feeling…pinched, pale, listless, desperate, and cheap all at the same time And you catch yourself in the mirror, stepping into the shower, walking in the front door thinking…why me? Why now? Why can’t it be easier? Why the crappy luck/day/week/year/life?
There is a magic formula to make moments like this disappear in the proverbial poof! I am going to give it to you…are you ready?
Stand In Love and Start with Prayer.
Make this your priority. When we stand in love we stop the blame game. When we stand in love we press pause on the inner conflict of the hour. When we stand in love we stop asking what can I GET and we start considering what we can GIVE. Standing in love allows us to possess, for a moment, the aerial bird’s eye view. In this way of seeing our problems are not insignificant but they are put into their proper context — and they almost always appear much smaller than what we initially thought.
And then there is prayer. Five minutes. Thirty minutes. Om Shanti Om. The Shema. Lord hear our prayer. We all come from the Goddess. Silence. Or one of my personal faves — told to me by a doctor whose good friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer…Dear God, what the hell? Don’t wait until it is the right time/vibe/moment because if you do you will wait forever. Most mornings at my house involve a cup of coffee on the swing, keeping one eye on the kiddo and one eye on the sky as I sing out my prayers and praise — it doesn’t look “spiritual” but that does not matter. I can tell you with 100% assurance that the days I pray are better, brighter, and flow with more grace than the days I don’t. Is everything perfect on those days? Hardly. Does it make a difference? Oh yes.
Prayer is an offering. You lay yourself out, warts and all, before your understanding/vision of the divine. You step into time out of time, into a numinous space where wholeness and holiness become one.
Prayer is a habit. You have to do it repeatedly, just like a sitting meditation. Some days you will feel it move through you enlightening and enlivening your being and other days it will feel like rote words falling from your lips. Get up the next day and do it again. Praying gives you a discreet opportunity to whisper or heap blessings onto those you love, those you are related to, your friends, and yes, even perfect strangers. Blessings sent equal blessings received. Prayer inspires generosity. It takes us out of our ego selves for a moment and reminds us that we are connected, dependent, divine, so very small, and so very full of life. It re-acquaints us with all that we do have, possess, can do and points out that others would give anything to walk in our shoes. It encourages us to be generous with others, and you know what happens then? We are generous with ourselves and those around us, those we love. Art helps! There are many beautiful images that you can focus on to help yourself get into a prayerful state of mind. The orthodox understanding of an icon is a sacred image which can create a window or a doorway to the divine — so allow yourself to consider what images do that for you.
Don’t know how to start? Sit quietly. Sway to your own heart beat, or stand and dance before the Lord like King David. Circle with three friends or let your cat sleep on your lap while you stroke her head. Pray out loud, quietly, or sit in silence. There is no wrong way to pray.