Over the weekend, I attended a retreat with the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault. She taught us a form of self-awareness and personal meditation called Centering Prayer. It’s all about letting go of daily distractions and finding new pathways into the heart. The method is simple and yet challenging for most of us. In silence, we simply release any thoughts and come back to our spacious soul. She spoke about the tyranny of thoughts in our lives and how our thinking drives us crazy.
Centering Prayer gives us a way to notice just how often we unconsciously live out of those thoughts. As our hearts become strong and clear through this spiritual practice, we are able to be present to divine goodness within us and are able to live out of our authentic self.
When my stepson was little and we were in the middle of a board game or just outside in the backyard, he would stop, look at us and say: “Isn’t this great?!” with a huge smile on his face. Then he would turn back to his activity. He announced that this moment, right in the middle of whatever we were doing, was splendid. Even though he asked it as a question, he already had answered it with the look on his face.
As I approach a really full week, I am going to stop every once in a while and take a breath and declare “isn’t this great” and see if my face follows.
When I was making a major decision in my life, I had a dramatic dream. I was in prison and somehow I flew out over the thick walls and I saw that the room only had three walls.
This is what a hairpin turn is like in our lives. It is a complete turnaround that allows us to discover that we are not the prisoners that we think we are.
Often we worry about the many things that could happen as we keep facing all that closes us in to other possibilities. When we trust in the goodness of our heart’s intelligence, we can, in faith, turn around and move toward the freedom we seek.