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Why I Pray

source PinterestDuring prayer, when I go beyond life’s chatter and listen for the voice within that says ‘Be still and know that I Am God’ I fall into love and release attachment… to anything and everything. Through the process of connecting with the vastness of God’s power and love throughout the universe as well as in every fiber of my being, I fully let go and relax.

If I forget to pray, I lose my equanimity and can become grasping and desirous of outcomes. These lower energies are felt in my shoulders and stomach as tight muscles and tension, concern or worry, or even excitement and anticipation. Left undirected and untrained, my mind wanders and generates passionate reactions over this and that, with emotions as unstable as sand beneath my feet.

But when I carve out time to sit and be still, to quiet my thoughts and go deeply within, everything in my life benefits. The time I spend in prayer and meditation grants me a sense of stability that speaks to me of ‘building my house on a rock’.

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” ~unknown

source PinterestDeepak Chopra shared in an interview that there has not been a quarrel in his family for decades. He has worked on and mastered his inner calm and remains unflustered by outer events. I admire that and work towards it. Whether I am driving in traffic (often a button for me) or preparing a meal for many people, I endeavor to bring the results of my daily prayers to the task. A sense of non-attachment is what I am learning, and from which I have discovered tremendous calm.

As one who used to live amidst perfectionist tendencies, learning to release outcomes has improved my life. I still make lists to help me stay on track. I still plan ahead because it helps set me up for success. And I still visualize the best and highest outcome, yet I now include the phrase ‘this or something better’ and turn it over to God.

Putting it all in God’s hands makes me feel safer than when I used to strive to be in control. Having been on my own from a young age, taking care of all I could was an essential skill. However now it no longer serves but rather limits my true freedom. I’ve learned that when I forget to pray and attempt to control things, events, and people around me, deep within I feel unsafe.

For example, driving alone to attend an evening workshop across the city can generate feelings of fear if I’m only operating from my logical human awareness. I attempt to be in control and know everything: where to park and will it be well-lit; how early should I get there to get a close spot; can I walk out with a crowd to remain safe on the way back to my car; is my car fully gassed up; battery charged on the cell phone; and someone knows where I’m going and when I will return home?
Certainly all these steps help ensure security but they do not help me FEEL any safer. Only prayer helps me feel safe and secure. It is in acknowledging I control nothing that I notice the solid rock beneath me. It is in letting go of my human attachment to control that I truly feel safe. I embrace my trust and celebrate my faith in the One who controls everything.

faith is courageMatthew 7:24-27 NIV ~ Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

This is what prayer and meditation does for me. It is the rock beneath my feet and the awareness that I am truly safe.

Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE

 

Brave Enough To Be Who You Are

“We need to have the courage to claim our spiritual identity in the midst of a world afraid of light. We don’t need to flaunt our spirituality, argue about it, or attack anyone who does not see or agree with it; we just need to live it. The path of mastery does not require us to convince anyone else of anything; it simply asks us to remember who we are and be it.” ~Alan Cohen, Dare To Be Yourself

“There is only one journey. Going inside yourself.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,

The soul that rises with us, our life’s star,

Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar;

Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory do we come

From God, who is our home.

~William Wordsworth

Interconnectedness

O God, we are one with You. You have made us one with You. You have taught us that if we are open to one another, You dwell in us. Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection. O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept You, and we thank You, and we adore You, and we love You with our whole being, because our being is Your being, our spirit is rooted in Your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes You present in the world, and which makes You witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious. Amen.
~Thomas Merton, his prayer from an informal address delivered in Calcutta, India, October 1968 [source]

 

Be An Instrument of Peace

Daily prayer work creates a context for the transformation of who we are and what we do. Every morning we ask to be made new. Every evening we take stock of how well we did this day, where we rose up in glory and where we stumbled and fell. It’s very powerful to go over the events of our day mentally, as honestly as we can. God is not our judge but our Healer. ~Marianne Williamson, Illuminata

Rather than calling down Creation to fulfill our needs and desires, we must uplift our needs and desires so that Creation itself may be fulfilled.

~Ann Mortifee, In Love With The Mystery

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Please feel free to save, print, and share my two posters! These three incredible photographs are from a wordless board of wildlife and nature I’ve created here. Or visit it anytime by clicking Pinterest in my sidebar, and then select the ‘Nature ~ beauty beyond words’ icon once at my Pinterest page. I only have a few boards so you’ll see it quickly. You don’t have to be a member to view, but you will need to close the pop-up offerings to join (a few times per visit if not logged in). I find this album to be jaw-droppingly beautiful, and it speaks to me of God. May it inspire and brighten your heart as well, and may we all cherish ourselves and this world enough to take time, make time, to pray. Let us endeavor to be peaceful and have faith. Namaste

Have Faith that we will have Peace

Some people are filled by compassion and a desire to do good, and some simply don’t think anything’s going to make a difference.

~Meryl Streep

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[Clicking on the panel of images opens the slideshow for larger viewing, saving, and sharing. Namaste]

Perfection is my enemy

On our human level we may at times get tangled up in our erroneous attempts to be ‘perfect’. Striving for perfection usually generates needless stress and ends up weighing us down and dimming our light. I feel this song affirms our Truth, beyond the inevitable scrapes, bruises and dents from life. Beyond perfection, we are, and always will be, magnificent to our Higher Spirit.

While the first words of this song are “At twenty years of age” (and it’s been a long time since I could say that) it speaks to the very core of my heart. I joyously sing along and my ‘inner twenty-year-old’ celebrates this song frequently by enjoying it with a refreshing Dance Break! I hope you will enjoy Francesca’s poetry set to her upbeat music and please feel free to print the lyrics I’ve included.

We are truly uplifted as we acknowledge how loved we are, right here and right now. Our life is safe in God’s hands, and perched on His shoulders how gloriously we can see!

Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE
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Thanks to video creator Skylar Petersen! Well done.

 

Free To Be Me

Glorious Greys

Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we have the eyes to see them. ~ John Ruskin

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micro snowflakesOn this half way point, this vernal equinox, the planet is poised between black and white, darkness and light, teaching the lesson of the bountiful beauty to be discovered amidst the shades of grey.

“Thank You God for this day.” My daily prayer, a mantra of sorts, is something I say a lot. Often aloud and definitely daily.

Thank You God for this day.

Today where I live it sure doesn’t look or feel like the first day of spring as the calendar indicates. The sky is filled with wet spring snow. Angled sharply with bursts of wind, it stings the face and causes treacherous driving. As I drove the lad to work this morning (the transit service to his work is awful) and the grey sky pelted at the world, all I could see was the beauty. Gorgeous shades of grey.

As you know I believe in practice. Everything gets easier with practice. We have to keep at things, and they will get easier. Because I say Thank You God often, I live mostly in a state of gratitude.

snowy branchDuring today’s commute, all I could see was my blessings. How lucky my son and I are to be travelling safe and warm in this car. I am thankful for excellent tires and the great condition my husband keeps this car in. I give a prayer of thanks for my husband. And just look at all the other good drivers, paying attention and signaling like I do. And the colour, oh the gorgeous shades of grey everywhere! The misty effect the blowing snow gives to the very air as it moves and undulates is breathtakingly beautiful. To actually see the air the way we can with falling snow is really a kind of a miracle.

So rather than view it as awful, and what ‘shouldn’t’ be happening, I feel so much better when I tune into a sense of celebration in my heart for this moment. Now. I am thankful for the beauty and blessings of this life and I feel, at times, like I see priceless, incredible gifts everywhere I look. Joy is contagious and I want you to catch it with me!

See the soft shades of grey and the undulating shapes in the wind-driven snow and sleet. Come back indoors and give thanks for the shelter. Give thanks for scarves. Get back in your car and give thanks for the security of being able to drive somewhere warm, and indeed back home as well. Make some tea and give thanks for that.

lovely shades of greyI’m not saying I don’t wish spring would arrive and get blooming. I’m suggesting that we look for and find the beauty right here, in every moment. Every day is the most beautiful day of the year, up to this point, don’t you agree? We are lucky to be here today, and this is the weather today comes with. I choose to see the beauty now (even if I would rather see blooming bulbs in my gardens).

Do not allow yourself to feel crestfallen if the first day of Spring blows in like a lion, whipping snow around and keeping bulbs and buds sleeping.

Let’s say it aloud together:

Thank You God for this day.

And thank you for the gloriously gorgeous greys.

Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE

 

Visit my Pinterest board of “Nature ~ beauty beyond words” to see this owl, and more.
http://www.pinterest.com/Ginas4PEACE/nature-%7E-beauty-beyond-words/

Both the macro flakes and snowy branch images are from this board by Trudy Tarasoff on Pinterest with images of winter and I love what she wrote: “Snow ~ I live in a part of Canada that can experience up to 7 months of snow. Some people curse the white stuff. I, however, think that it is beautiful. These photos are testimony to that beauty.” Thank you Trudy! 
http://www.pinterest.com/tlt55/snow/

In celebrating greys, one of my favourite bloggers came to mind. When I revisited, once again this incredible post reverberated through my soul. If you have seen it already, perhaps visit again. And if not I am certain you will be uplifted and mesmerized by the beauty this talented artist captures. Thank you Sriram. You bless us with your wise poetic heart and skillful eye.
http://sriramjanak.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/mind-seeing/

And lastly, if you are indeed craving a sight of spring please click link to visit my other blog’s post for today. It’s a collection of bright and cheerful photographs of spring decor to celebrate its arrival if only in our hearts. Springing For Joy 

Give Peace A Chance

Maybe it’s not about trying to fix something broken. Maybe it’s about starting over and creating something better.

Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step.

Trust and Hold to Hope

We must be humble enough to admit that we do not see very far down the road, and confident enough to acknowledge that there is One with us who does see the right direction for us. If we are willing to trust the Divine Lighting Technician to show us our way, one step at a time, we are apt to appreciate our journey more and enjoy the adventure of following the path set before us – one light at a time. ~ Alan Cohen, Dare To Be Yourself

faith anchors

Luke 1:37 ESV ~ For nothing will be impossible with God.

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For larger individual images visit my Pinterest board on Faith by clicking sidebar button or here.

Finding Solace

Psalm 27:1
 NIV ~ The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?

consolation large

“It’s been proven that the thoughts we choose

have everything to do with our emotions.

I can tell you that a commitment to feeling good

can take away a stomach ache, fear, depression, sadness,

anxiety – you name it. Any stress signal is

a way of alerting you to say the five magic words:

I want to feel good.

This is your intention to be tranquil and stress free,

and it’s a way of connecting to spirit.”

Wayne Dyer, Seven Secrets of a Joyful Life

Life Is Eternal

“Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.” ~ Rossiter W. Raymond

after the star angels 2

My post from last year on this day of my mother’s passing:

http://professionsforpeace.com/2013/03/01/march-forward-and-release-grief/

Image sources that could be located:
stars light can be seen years after it has died
angels are friends in high places
butterfly: this chapter is amazing

Quiet Understanding

Psalm 147:3 NKJV ~ He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

“We become truly compassionate when we are wise enough to remain inwardly detached from the melodrama of life. True detachment is the ability to allow everything and everyone to be where they are and who they are. It is an ability to remain centered and grounded whether our advice or offering is received or rejected. Detachment is not indifference to the feelings or sufferings of others. It is the quiet understanding that everything is unfolding exactly as it should.” ~ Ann Mortifee, In Love With The Mystery