A Not So Common Prayer

common prayer

“A Green Prayer” by Muller Davis

 

A few years ago, while walking around the streets of Santa Fe, New Mexico, I glanced over and this piece of art caught my eye. I was drawn to it. The simplicity of it. The colors: green for Life and Nature, a hint of yellow for Happiness. The prayerful hands, the serene, closed eyes, and the head ever so slightly bowed in prayer.

I flipped it over and read the title: “A Green Prayer.” Next, I glanced down at the artist’s name: Muller Davis.  Green—my last name.  Davis—my son’s first name. A HAPPY, PEACEFUL feeling overcame me. Sold!

Right before going into the hospital for a bi-lateral mastectomy (following a breast cancer diagnosis), my “Sisters” on so many levels held a sacred evening of love for me and my family. There were many beautiful rituals performed that evening, which wove together to present a complete ceremony, marking the healing journey I had just begun. One of the rituals was a prayer circle. Going around the circle, one at a time, each person offered up a one to two word prayer for me (presented below). As each person said their prayer, I looked them in the eye, felt their love and sincerity, accepted their profound gift and blessing, and offered gratitude.

As the last person spoke, I realized that their prayers made up “A Green Prayer”…not your common prayer, but a visual prayer that appeared to me in a piece of art. With their heartfelt words, my Sister-Friends had embodied the same simple, beautiful, circular flow the artist had portrayed in the piece of art I’d been so drawn to. And once again, I felt Happy. Peaceful.

My prayer for you today is this: May you feel the sense of happiness and peace in your life that you so deserve. Claim it…even if yours doesn’t look like a common prayer…CLAIM IT.

Here are their prayers:

 

Susan:  Comfort

Christian:  Trust Life

Brady:  Trust

Davis:  Confidence

Anne:  Agape

Kathleen M.:  Happiness

Janna:  Wasah

Robin:  Admiration

Jo:  Bravery

Tracy:  Love

Alice:  Light and Healing

Amy:  No Chemo

Kathleen Z.:  Perfection
Jessica:  Divine Light

Nancy:  Letting Go

Kathy:  In The Moment

Alison:  NOW

 And so it is.  Amen.

Don’t Fix Me. Bear Witness, See Me

“Maybe the job of a mother is not to shelter but to bear witness as a child hits full force… and then to cushion the fall when it’s over.”

Every now and then, I catch myself reading a piece of fiction, following along in the story, enjoying the ride, and WHAM! I’m stopped by the author’s words in such a way that the story falls to the side and in front of me lies the mystery of an unfolding lesson. Jolted awake in such a way, my hand automatically reaches out for the highlighter on the nightstand beside me, before I’m aware of its movement.

There is a lesson to explore. Perhaps about me as the child I was, or me as the mother and woman I am today. Most definitely a lesson about human nature.

As I read the above thought, which came from the mind of Mariah, the protagonist in Jodi Picoult’s book, Keeping Faith, I was reminded of my mother, with a similar first name: Mari.

Growing up, Mari did not bear witness. No. She swooped in and rescued, protected, anything she could so her children would not feel pain. She was (and still is) a woman of action. Similar to many mothers of that generation, as well as many I know today. Truth be told, I’m sure I do the same thing with my boys more often than I’d like to admit.

As mothers, as friends, as one human to another, isn’t that our tendency? To want to fix, to rescue, to give unsolicited advice, to share our story in response to another’s pain, in an effort to connect and offer our help? Isn’t it our nature to want to show our support? All the while, holding the best of intentions, hoping upon hope that at the end of the conversation, we will have massaged it out sufficiently that our beloved’s pain would be eased?

But, what if we try something new? What if we choose to bear witness to another? Meet them where they stand, honor who they are and what their story is in that moment, and SEE them with no attempt to fix or to solve?

“To bear witness: to show by your existence that something is true.”

I must admit, this isn’t easy to do. And in all honesty, it’s not always appropriate either. But I’ll also share that in a raw moment, when what you need most is to be seen and heard, when another bears witness to you, to your experience, it’s one of the most sacred gifts you’ll ever receive.

And yes, sometimes after bearing witness to another, there comes the time to then “…cushion the fall when it’s over.” How incredibly strong and empowered the person must feel knowing that they tried and someone was there to attest to their brave act! After the trial, did you feel it was a success? Great! You have someone there to celebrate with you! Did you feel it was a failure? Great! You have someone there to celebrate YOU and your strength, your resilience, your tenacity!

Under the right circumstances, bearing witness to another is a kind, gentle, loving act. And a tough one, too. When I get it right, and it’s with no small effort on my part, but when I manage to get it right with my children, I feel as if Grace has been modeled.

During this week, find it within yourself to bear witness to another. It doesn’t require any words. It doesn’t require any overt gesture. It only requires your presence for another. “To show by your existence that something is true.”  Be present for another and see them. Love and trust yourself. Love and trust the process.

glass half full

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Do you know someone who could benefit from tapping in to more love and trust? Don’t be shy, please share this with them. You never know, this might be just the thing they’ve been searching for! And now…please allow me to share my boys with you. Love, Leslie

glass half full

Bearing Witness to Fun (Life)

Bearing Witness to the Musician (Life)

Bearing Witness to the Recovery (Life)

Bearing Witness to the Patient (Life)

Bearing Witness to Hard Work/Project Completion (Life)

CDG, Rubix Cube

Bearing Witness to Tenacity and Patience (Life)

CGD, Sprite Science project

Bearing Witness to Creativity (Life)

Bearing Witness to Post-Vacation Exhaustion (Life)

D and C, brotherly love

Bearing Witness to Brotherly Love (Life)

D and C, Miami

Bearing Witness to Young Men Sharing (Life)

DBG, with Libby

Bearing Witness to a Boy and His Dog (Life)

D, with devices

Bearing Witness to Device Overload (Life)

Bearing Witness to the Artist (Life)

Reconnect With Yourself

Does the title of today’s post speak to you? Maybe. Or do you find it to be on the airy-fairy, hippy-dippy side?  Maybe. Feel free to place any label on today’s article that you want, but please stop the habit of labeling yourself. And especially stop using the categories/labels of good and bad, right and wrong, with yourself.

Today is Father’s Day…which reminds me of the time following the passing of my step-father two and a half years ago. For weeks I didn’t much want to write. Or read. Or talk. Or play with my dog. Or engage with my family. I remember having such a horrible sore throat I didn’t even want to sip my cuppa tea. Luckily, I had the flu, so I got an easy-out on all of it.

Yet an old, nagging habit wanted to label my mood, my lack of energy, my sadness with the words: bad and wrong. Those are bad characteristics, wrong tendencies. I was extremely critical of myself for not being more productive, not returning phone calls faster, not immediately writing thank-you notes to those special friends who sent flowers to Dad’s funeral. And the deluge of rain we were experiencing didn’t help.

What did help, was remembering that nothing is ever completely wrong. Walking through our foyer to my office, I often glance over at the stopped grandfather clock and think, Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Reconnect With Yourself

Good. Bad. Right. Wrong. The Buddhist nun Pema Chodron sums it up best:

We could learn to stop when the sun goes down and when the sun comes up. We could learn to listen to the wind; we could learn to notice that it’s raining or snowing or hailing or calm. We could reconnect with the weather that is ourselves, and we could realize that it’s sad. The sadder it is, and the vaster it is, the more our heart opens. We can stop thinking that good practice is when it’s smooth and calm, and bad practice is when it’s rough and dark. If we can hold it all in our hearts, then we can make a proper cup of tea.”

reconnect with yourself

The tea that Chodron speaks of here is not simply tea one sips, it is the tea that provides sustenance to the soul.

Love yourself enough today to provide a quiet space for sustenance to enter your soul. Or a loud space. Or a dancing, jumping space. Or a crying space. No labels, categories, or judgement, just allow as you reconnect with yourself.

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Do you know someone who could benefit from tapping in to more love and trust? Don’t be shy, please share. You never know, this might be just the thing they’ve been searching for!

There is a whole community of people sharing, learning, and growing together on Love, Trust & Pixie Dust. Come grow with us. Click here and join in on the conversation.  

In love and trust,
Leslie

P.S. Happy Father’s Day today!

Related Posts:  No Such Thing as Goodbye

Release Yourself From Emptiness

45 Hopes, Dreams and Secrets

hopes and dreams

1. I hope to one day treat time as a friend and stop trying to beat it, trick it, morph it, or curse it.

2. I hope for a strong, steady, peaceful heartbeat until the end/beginning.

3. I hope to have more and more Forrest Gump in me with each passing day.

4. I hope to be filled with the happiness of a Pug and the sweet, good-natured-ness of a Lab.

5. I hope to allow my heart to swell, even when my mind wants it to constrict.

6. I hope to always have the desire to get up after I stumble.

7. I hope to be my own light.

8. I hope to recognize when others are the light and give them thanks.

9. I hope to find a feeling of comfort even in the uncomfortable.

10. I hope to see the rainbow before, during, and after the rain. Before, during and after the dawn. Before, during, and after the dark.

11. I hope as my body ages, my mind remains sharp.

12. I hope to declutter my life as I declutter our house.

13. I hope to learn how to feel an inward smile, even underneath whatever tears or pain lurk, even in my sleep.

14. I hope to realize my dreams.

15. I hope to never stop hoping. I believe hope is the opposite of fear, so this one is very important to me. 

hopes and dreams

16. I dream of leaping onto the back of a jaguar and riding nowhere. For hours.

17. I dream of wandering in a field of books growing from vines.

18. I dream of flying with weightless, iridescent wings with the softest yellow and pink hues.

19. I dream I am a bee, buzzing with one, singular rhythm with my hive.

20. I dream I inhabit the veins of an oak leaf, and can tap into the pulse of my roots.

21. I dream of walking the halls of my high school completely bald and accepted.

22. I dream of starring in my own movie, smiling as I sit in the theater as on-lookers laugh, cry, whoop and boo. 

23. I dream of bobbing in and out of a cloud.

24. I dream I am a lightning-bug flying outside the window of my 7-year old human self, blinking a message in morse code to that little girl. Dot, dash, dot, dot, dash, dash, dash, dot, dot, dot, dash, dot: LOVE.

25. I dream of watching the astonished faces of my loved ones as they tune-in to their unique super-power. Then, watching their faces fade to one of serene knowing…realizing they had known it all along.

26. I dream I am a sugar cube being placed on a child’s tongue, dissolving, and feeling the rush of joy. 

27. I dream of being mist in the Congo. Nothing more.

28. I dream I am feeling. Not that I am feeling something, like a verb “to feel,” but I AM feeling…as if feeling were a noun.

29. I dream I am a glob of green paint. Each time the painter dips his paintbrush in me and touches me to the canvas, I feel the thrill of knowing I am becoming.

30. I dream you are a blue glob of paint. You just joined. You invite purple. She invites black. He invites orange. Soon we are swirled around together, breathing in one another. With the smell of paint still filling my nostrils, I wake and wonder how racism still exists.   

hopes and dreams

31. I secretly believe our culture has hit a level of over-the-top that feels gross to me…in all of our excesses and indulgences.

32. I secretly have more OCD tendencies than I allow others to see.

33. I secretly have girl-crushes from time to time. 

34. As much as I love and adore my family, most of the time I secretly prefer to be alone with my dog.

35. I am secretly more afraid of success than failure.

36. I secretly knew the diagnosis would come back as breast cancer before the doctor officially delivered the news.

37. I secretly believe that if I’m not being productive, I am unworthy.

38. I secretly procrastinate by obsessively moving things around on my calendar. While I’m doing it I tell myself in the long-run I’m setting myself up to be more organized, therefore more productive. However, as I’m saying it, I know I’m just wasting time. 

39. I secretly feel more beautiful after breast cancer. Maybe even because of it.

40. I am secretly over-the-moon when I think of how fortunate I am to be my own best friend. Yet at the same time, I am confused how I allow that very same person to hijack my peace.

41. Although I do not enjoy being sick, I am secretly happy when I catch a cold because it gives me an excuse to rest.

42. Having a firm knowing that all of life’s answers are inside me, I secretly wonder if I will ever stop seeking.

43. I secretly believe that the only place heaven and hell exist are within me.

44. I secretly wish I were smarter.

45. I secretly wonder if nothing matters, or if everything does.

glass half full

Hopes, dreams, secrets—they all start within me. Yours all start within you. Today, on my 45th birthday, I wanted to share 45 of my hopes, dreams, and secrets with you. As I contemplated each one, I could feel myself growing—especially with the secrets—each secret made me squirm to admit out loud. So why do it? I believe it’s through our sharing that we are able to learn and grow. Grow more into who we were put on the Earth to be. Grow free. 

There is a whole community of people sharing, learning, and growing together on Love, Trust & Pixie Dust. Come grow with us. Click here and share ONE hope, dream, or secret with us. Or share MORE. Go deep, keep it light, it doesn’t matter, just come join in on the love, trust and pixie dust.

Love,

Leslie 

I realize today’s message was a little different from the norm here, but you never know, it might be just the thing someone in your circle of friends is meant to experience today, so please forward to a friend. Thank you!