September 1, 2010

* Spiritual Practice and what I am learning ..

Do you have some sort a 'spiritual practice'?  A walk, a prayer, meditation, a little ponder?  Something which centers and grounds?

Without really realizing it, over the past few years, I have developed a spiritual practice I could no longer live without.  It begins my day.  It centers me.  Collects all my scattered energy and brings it back into my core.  It involves coffee!  I know, I know!  However, it is a big part of it.  It's about ritual, and routine.  I'm not big on routine, however, it certainly has become part of my spiritual practice.  Allow me to explain.

I arise between 6:30 and 7:00 am.  It's quiet and peaceful.  I do not turn on any music or other noise pollution like a TV or radio.  I no longer watch the news and haven't for years.  I plug in the kettle and prepare my french press with the best coffee I can find, fresh ground.  I continue with readying myself for the day.  By the time I am finished that process (I'm finding it takes longer as I age - or perhaps I'm just not in such a huge rush), the coffee is done to perfection.  The aroma fills the air.

My favorite chair beckons.  I sit with my current spiritual book sipping coffee and soaking up the words.  If I'm tired, I crawl back into bed and prop myself up on the six deliciously decadent down pillows I treasure for their comfort.  It feels so luxurious.  Currently, I coming to the end of "Infinite Possibilities", The Art of Living Your Dreams, by Mike Dooley. When I finish reading for the morning, I pick up Julia Cameron's "Prayers to the Great Creator" or Michael Leunigs "When I Talk to You".  I simply allow the book to fall open where it wishes, absorb the words like a protein drink and fill my body mind and spirit with all that goodness.  Then for just a few moments I sit quietly.  Then I set my intentions for the day.  My intentions are a new part of my Spiritual Practice.  Baby Steps.  Sometimes I use white light and visualization which is part of my training as a Clinical Hypnotherapist.   It works beautifully for me.  As I continue to cull my old belief systems, throwing out the ones which no longer serve me, keeping and making new ones which benefit me for the greater good,  this morning ritual becomes an integral part of my day.

I'm finding if I don't begin my day in this manner, I can and do feel somewhat discombobulated.  It's become a incredible way to begin each day anew.  Allowing the old to fall away and bringing myself into the present moment.

I'd like to share a passage from Mike Dooleys' book.  Over the past year, I have learned so much about 'choices'.  That's what it's all about.  Hope you enjoy this.

How do I deal with all the uncertainties in my life?

"By trusting the 'unknown'. (I'm finding trusting involves letting go of all fear and banishing my critic from the building.)  After all, it's the wellspring of all things including every wonderful thing that's ever happened or that will ever happen to you.  The unknown is your friend, made of divine intelligence, home of infinite possibilities.

Whenever you don't know what lies around the corner, you can choose to be frightened or happy about it, and whichever you choose will affect, influence, and even decide those mysterious moments to come.  Also remember that just because you can't see something wonderful with your eyes or detect it with your physical senses doesn't mean it's not there.  Always, just beyond your physical senses, the Universe churns with all its magic and miracles.  It's not just sitting there on idle; it's in the middle of orchestrating your life.  Right now, because of your natural-born inclination to thrive, things are happening invisibly - things you can be happily looking forward to - so start looking.  Every wonderful thought that you've ever thought is now busy at work, looking to fit itself into your life.

To judge the progress of our lives strictly by using our physical senses means we're not looking within to define who we are and where we're going.  It means, instead, that we're looking at mirages for meaning.  This is life's ultimate test - to see without looking, to hear without listening, to know without going, and to be without becoming.  How?  By confidently unleashing the power of your imagination into the unknown, into the cast net of invisible principles and understanding that wonderful results are inevitable.

Getting in touch with the Universe starts with just being quiet and following your feelings.  Really, it's about getting in touch with yourself, because you are your own point of contact with the Universe.  Spend some time totally relaxing every day breathing deeply, and leting your mind wander anywhere it likes without rules.  Give some exclusive time to yourself just feeling and thinking whatever your like, and forget trying to be spiritual.  Just be yourself.

Do something - anything.  Take action.  Be the shift.  Stop waiting for it.  It's not enough to claim that life is wonderful, to see it's beauty, and to spin dreams that may one day come true all by themselves.  They won't.  Join a club, take a class, ask for a promotion, move across town, adopt a pet, volunteer, mingle, network.  Dare yourself, challenge yourself, engage in the magic of life."

The following quote is an important one for me.  I am making progress.  This belief system not only sits correctly in my intellectual self, it has fallen down to a soul level.  I am now able to begin to practice it.  Baby steps!

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be.  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It's not just in some of us.  It is in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."  ~ Marianne Williamson 


  1. Donna, I admire you so much and enjoyed your spiritual practice and words of wisdom.

    I do have a similar routine which started when our children were small. Before anyone was up I would fix my coffee and read the paper and plan my day.

    I still do that and actually miss it when my routine is broken due to house guests or whatever.

    My reading comes in the evening as I sit in bed, the day is ending and I enjoy more Carolyn time.

    I'm still painting today (mop boards and door frames).

  2. A great way to begin our day, Carolyn! You, my dear, are going to be stiff and sore. All that bending and kneeling to paint the mop boards. Will you be finished today? It will feel lovely and fresh.

  3. Donna, this is so interesting and I have been thinking a lot about these things lately. I have a practice similar to yours - it involves cappuccino! Mid-morning, I take a break from what I am working on, no matter what, make my cappuccino and a treat, take my journals and inspirational books and sometimes my ipod and head outside to my deck. It is my favorite part of the day and, like Carolyn, I HATE if I have to miss it. I spend some time quietly and then do whatever writing or reading calls to me that day. I also like to spend some time meditating outside with a glass of wine in the evening.
    I have a very skeptical mind and, while in general I agree with the principles you have mentioned here, I sometimes struggle to really accept. I also struggle with the balance between making things happen and being content with what I already have. There is a fine line there somewhere and I don't always know where it is!
    A clinical hypnotherapist?? Wow - who knew?? I would love to hear all about that sometime!
    Thanks so much for your wisdom and support on my blog. I really am OK with how things are unfolding and I think I have a new retreat participant!

  4. I know just what you mean about the 'doubt' and wanting to make things happen. It took a very long time for everything to drop down to cellular level for me, Patty. I've been really interested in this since 1986 - and yes, practicing. I got a lot of it on an intellectual level first - then things would happen and I would move forward in baby steps. It's totally 'dropped down' now. Not saying I understand a whole bunch - I don't. Oh, how lovely it would be to have a long conversation. Actually, the clinical hypnotherapy changed my life in many ways in the spiritual area. So happy you have another participant!! It will all come together. xx