I grew up Jewish in a non-religious family with a dad who believed God was for stupid people, and a favorite grandma who concurred. Prayer was not something we turned to in my family.
Yet, as I grew into my own independence as an adult, I found myself in so much pain and confusion around the reality of life that I found myself looking for a church, and ultimately turning to prayer.
The synchronicities that led me to find the church that changed my life — Agape International Spiritual Center — were shocking to my system, especially back at a time when I didn’t have any idea about the “5D/spirit world”.
And, those synchronicities probably saved my life.
I was extremely lonely, and had zero tools for understanding where I had gone wrong.
I had followed all the rules, won all the games I was taught to play — marriage, babies, 6-figure job as an associate at top 100 AMLaw firm — and, yet, there I was at not quite 30, and I couldn’t imagine living the rest of my life so alone.
I recognize now that even back then, before I knew how to pray, I was praying.
My heart was longing for something other than the life I had.
I let myself feel the pain and confusion, fully.
I didn’t numb with drugs or alcohol. I would find my way to addiction later in life, when I forgot the power of prayer and the beauty of longing, but back then when my kids were little and I was new in my adulthood, I just felt it all.
And even though I didn’t know it at the time, that longing and the pain of the loneliness became a living prayer that was so strong that it pulled everything I was dreaming of into my life.
My own business.
The right teachers.
But I didn’t really know how to pray.
In the beginning of my connection with prayer, I really only used it when I was at my wit’s end, and had nowhere else to turn … my prayers would come amidst tears, and wailing, and would sound something like “please help me, I can’t do this. I need your help. Show me the way. I’m lost and need guidance.”
Over the years, though, I’ve found more ways to pray.
Prayer through visualization, imagination, and the possibility of a life worth living.
These days, everyone is doing it … mindfulness, meditation, manifestation.
You’ve surely heard of it, maybe you even believe in it, and use it yourself.
It’s not weird or on the fringe or even “new age” anymore.
Collectively, we are waking up to recognize that there is support for us beyond what we can see, and that accessing that support begins with closing our eyes, seeing a vision of the future we want to create, and making ourselves available for support.
And, if you haven’t gotten there yet, but you are feeling the pain of loneliness, or longing, or even using addiction to numb those feelings out, I want to invite you into a conscious practice of prayer, rather than letting Life force you into it because you’ve created a reality where there is nowhere else to go.
Force or choice.
We either choose, or Life will force it upon us.
Illness. Relational crises. Financial crisis. These are the ways Life shows us when we do not choose to live into our soul’s calling.
Before you get forced, I invite you to pray.
Whether you are already at the place of needing to beg for help, or you are still in a place of comfort, but have gotten out of practice, I invite you to pray.
I’m speaking this to you from a place where I can feel myself at the edge. A precipice moment, a turning point … I either get back into my daily practice of meditation (proactive prayer in action), 30 minutes minimum in the morning and night, or I will find myself back to the painful place of beseeching God for help as a result of any number of crises that are just right there waiting to come my way, if I don’t keep being willing to envision the life and legacy I do want, and then moving into the discomfort of taking the actions to create it, step by step.
Holy moly, my mind is sure certain that I should just stay where I am. Stop stretching so darn much, and just be happy right here.
Right before I walked away from everything I created ten years ago, I remember hearing a coach say “if you aren’t growing, you’re dying” and upon hearing it, I said to myself “I don’t want to grow anymore, so I’ll just die, I guess.”
Then, I did just that. I threw up my hands, and walked away, thinking that would be the easier path. I’m done growing. Kill me now.
And, there is so much to be said for dying before you die.
As Eckhart Tolle and many other masters have made clear, we must die before we die, if we want to not allow the fear of death to drive our every decision.
And, I can assure you that having ego death forced onto me was not the easier path by any means. Sure, I LOVED my year at the farm in so many ways. And that year forced me into prayer in a way I had never been forced before.
But one of my greatest learnings from that time is that I don’t want to have to be forced into death when I can choose a truly easier path — I can choose to die before I die, gently, lovingly, and with ease and grace.
I can close my eyes, and for 30 minutes at a time, let myself die to the outside world, and while there in the void, pray through visioning the life and legacy I desire to create.
So that’s what I’m doing … I’m praying. I’m asking for guidance. I’m envisioning this life of love, and connection, and multi-generations coming together, and growing food, and living on land, and getting in water together, with people I love.
Then, I’m letting Life show me the way.
As a result, I’m being stretched. Life is asking me to show up more, bigger, and to bring the wisdom of the past twenty years out in a deeper way.
And, I’m listening.
In service to the listening and what I’m hearing is next, I signed the contract to rent out a retreat center here in CO this summer, for a week of what I’m envisioning as Soulful Summer Camp with 44 souls ready for more clarity, connection and commitment to all of Life (official title is Commit: the Next Level of Your Soul’s Calling), where we will come together to pray and leave with a deeper commitment to ourselves, each other and all of Life.
This Commitment is bringing up all of my “stuff” — all of my reasons to not do it, to not take the risk, to not get in person, to not face my intimacy fears (more on these fears soon).
But that’s not what’s true.
What’s true is that I’m Committed. I’m going to die before I die. I’m willing to risk it all. And, I’m going to share it all with you, each step of the way.
Tonight, in Eyes Wide Open: the Membership is our Mistressclass for May, and I’ll be talking about the Power of Commitment. If you are part of the Membership, I’ll see you there.
Otherwise, stay tuned here and you’ll get bits and pieces of what’s coming through over the coming weeks.