Morning Rituals. How many?

Morning Rituals at Daybreak

Morning Rituals

Morning rituals are, literally, an everyday occurrence. Many would think that a ritual is spiritual and a routine is just a repeated behavior. Like a routine, a ritual is repeated. And we can give our routines plenty of spiritual energy.

Do you have spiritual rituals? Are they attached to your morning? A University of Connecticut research study found that people are “most spiritual” in the morning. A total of 2,439 people in the US took two surveys each day for two weeks between November 2013 and May 2015. The results pointed out that respondents feel more spiritually alert and connected immediately after arising. (Note: the survey also found that individuals felt greater spirituality while listening to music, reading or exercising, as well as while praying or meditating.)

I’ve always been a (very) early riser, even written about daybreak before. In the last year, as I have increased my morning rituals in number, I’ve begun to get out of bed earlier…and earlier.

I find the hours pre-dawn through and beyond the sun’s rise nothing but good. I find them soothing and exciting, calming and motivating, mystical and earthbound. My rituals involve many, maybe most!, of the usual practices. Actually, there can be as many morning rituals as we want there to be. We can create whatever rituals satisfy our spiritual yearnings.

However, there are a very common several. Enter “spiritual morning ritual” in Google and you a long listing of websites with numbers. 6 Morning Rituals…7 …The Morning Rituals of 10 ….11 …5 Morning Rituals.

And the majority of them mention at least one of these specific rituals:

I’ve perused a number of the listed sites. I offer you these:

It is your morning. It’s the start of your every day and can be as fulfilling as you want it to be. For me, a few rituals help insure that fulfillment.

I’d love to hear of your morning rituals.

Prayer to the Morning Rituals

Good Morning, God, and thank you that it is!
Thank you for allowing me to know that every day
turns a new page in this glorious life.
I am eager to learn from you any ways,
any songs or dances or rituals of any sort
that add to my day’s good start.
You bless us with day break and its flow
into the day filled with activity and energy.
You fill us with the joy of waking up fresh and ready
for each day.
Thank you, God, for giving us tiny ways to celebrate,
to recognize, to accept the blessings each morning signs.
Blessed by the Christ Spirit within us, we say thank you!
And so it is. Amen.

Love and blessings,
Tim

14 September 2017

Posted on September 14, 2017 at 5:08 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Affirmation, Commitment, Energy, Happiness, Joy, Life, meditation, Prayer · Tagged with: , , , , ,

Hurricane Prayers

Hurricane Prayers for Harvey

Hurricane Prayers for Harvey

Between Harvey and Irma is the perfect time for Hurricane Prayers. So little time, just two weeks. And between Irma and Harvey is the perfect space for Hurricane Prayers. So little space, in the scheme of the Universe. No matter how many prayers we’ve said since Harvey first became a threat, since Harvey came ashore with record-breaking damages, another prayer won’t hurt.

Let’s rephrase that, another prayer will only help.

My circuit of praying began when Harvey was beginning to threaten from just inside the Gulf of Mexico. Then I prayed that it would weaken, become nothing more than a heavy rainstorm. As it neared landfall and even picked up strength and danger, I prayed that it would follow the most favorable (read, least destructive) path. We learned of the destruction of Rockport and Port Aransas, TX (where we’d spent four days three weeks before), and I prayed for quick return to normalcy for people in those two towns. Then it turned and paid Houston and Beaumont unwelcome visits with several days of incessant rain, and I prayed that the rain would end and the water would subside as fast as Divine Order ordered.

Hurricane Prayers for Irma

Hurricane Prayers for Irma

And now we’re between Harvey and Irma. At this moment, pummeling Puerto Rico and threatening the southern tip of Florida.

So now’s the time and we’re in the space to pray for what has happened, to pray for what may be ahead. Hurricane Prayers. And, yes, they are prayers for the hurricanes.

Like so many, many others I prayed ‘against’ Hurricane Harvey and it may seem it was to no avail. I don’t see it that way. That house pictured above with water to the roof is my brother’s, just outside of Beaumont. He called as I began to write this. They’d gotten into the house yesterday; all the water had drained away. His first words were, “We were crying last week; we’re happy this week. Life is a wonderful thing!” The water hadn’t gotten to their second floor. Although they’d not moved everything upstairs before they left by boat, a great deal was saved. They’d prayed and felt their prayers were answered.

So now I’m praying for the recovery, the replenishing of homes and lives of everyone who experienced loss because of Harvey. I claim that’s a prayer for Harvey, for returning to our wonderful life despite the destruction.

Now, too, I’m praying for the power of Irma and the path of Irma. Like before, I’m praying for it to expend its energy, for it to take the least harmful path, for it to spin and blow itself into just heavy rain and gusting wind.

Hurricane Prayers

Powerful Creator of Nature,
the damage of Hurricane Harvey remains
and will for a long time being removed from our sight.
We welcome the chance to affirm our certainty
that it will be removed, that life as we knew and loved it
will return with even greater peace and joy.
We thank you that no matter how much we lost, how much
we suffered, it was no more.
Maker of Winds, we charge our prayers with energy and intensity
and faith as we proclaim that Irma spend herself
perhaps in record time.
If it be your Divine Order, she may take the path of least destruction,
blow winds that do the minimum of damage,
drop rain that runs quickly, harmlessly into the oceans.
Pilot of All That Happens and All That Is,
we praise your power and the beauty of its expression
even while we affirm that we view its strength
and not feel its hostility.
So it is. And so we thank you, God.

Love and blessings,

Tim

 

6 September 2017

Posted on September 7, 2017 at 5:00 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Affirmation, Happiness, Home, Inner Peace, Life, Peace, Prayer, Strength · Tagged with: , , , , ,

Procrastination? Praycrastination instead!

Procrastination? Praycrastination!

Procrastination? Praycrastination!

Procrastination is putting off doing something. Most of the time it is an escape or an avoidance of something we do not want to do.

But that’s not entirely to the mark. It’s not exactly that we don’t want to do what we’re pushing away. More often, say psychologists and behavior researchers, our procrastination results from our not wanting the side effects of the doing.

There is also a negative spiral in this. Not feeling especially good about ourselves can cause procrastination. When we avoid doing something we create one more reason not to feel good about ourself. A study in 2012 by Fuscia Sirois made these two findings

To the several self-help actions recommended (here, here, and here), I add the one that works best for me: praycrastination.

From its Latin origins, “procrastination means “belonging to tomorrow” or “deferred until tomorrow”. I sort of stretch “praycrastination” to mean “pray tomorrow right now. Don’t wait. Right now.”

Spelled out, here’s why praycrastination works:

Here are several ways to let praycrastination work for you:

The Praycrastination Prayer

Dear God of Doing,
I am grateful you give me the power
and the ability to do.
It feels good and makes me glad
that I get things done.
I know relief when I let go of anything
I have put off doing
and when I look forward to the next chance
to do.
Thank you, God, I am that I may do.
And so it is. Amen.

Love and blessings,
Tim

16 August 2017

Posted on August 16, 2017 at 5:40 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Prayer

Understanding God. Impossible.

Understanding God is impossible.

When I first read that, I was bummed. Thomas Keating‘s actual statement is: “God isn’t something you can understand.”

I have spent a whole lot of time and energy trying to figure out the what, how, and so many why’s about God. That bummed. Hard to accept that I can’t understand God. I didn’t want all my effort to seem like a waste. My human mind wanted to understand my relationship with God. My ego thought I needed to understand logically, rationally that we are Oneness rather than a two-party partnership. That same ego didn’t take kindly to the announcement that understanding God is impossible.

At the same time, my heart (I think) felt pretty relieved. It is sort of like when the teacher says you have to read the lesson but there won’t be any test. I enjoy the reading and the pondering and the questioning, all those efforts. However, they haven’t turned up answers that make much sense to my human-being-logical-mind-and-ego. Keating’s statement gave me some freedom. The freedom of trying to make it all make sense in and to my human mind/ego. The freedom of no test.

Understanding God...impossible

Understanding sanderling

Cindy and I recently spent 4 beautiful days on the Texas Gulf Coast. Once beach-ensconced, I easily allowed myself to let go completely of my work responsibilities. I knew the power of my e-mail auto-response. It informed workmates I’d not read their messages until my return on Monday. I loved the freedom of non-worry about tasks to be completed, reports to be prepared, meetings to be scheduled. That would happen as it should when I got back to work.

I was experiencing the power of letting go. The more I watched children dig in the sand for no purpose other than to dig, the more fully I let go. The more I saw sanderlings scurry along the waterline with endless energy, the more easily I released. And as I heard the waves spilling on top of one another, the more I realized the “humanness” and the limitations of striving to understand.

I realized the freedom of not needing to understand the waves or the birds or the children. Or God. The more I am working to understand, the more dualism, separation I am insisting upon.

It seems a bit ironic that allowing myself to not understand God makes faith much easier to understand. Faith is holding true to that which is beyond understanding and for which we need not achieve understanding. Ironic and wonderfully fulfilling.

A Prayer That We Not Understand

God beyond Understanding,
that’s tough to take at first.
Our love of all the beauty and majesty and miracle
of your creation spurs our curiosity of everything
that makes it possible.
The human mind, so logical, wants to know
your what and how and especially your why’s.
The answer is allowing thoughts to release and let go of asking.
The satisfaction is to savor the beauty, the power, and the glory
of all that is from you, is you.
It is enough to know you are and thus are we.
It is enough to know our Oneness.
And so it is. And so we let it be. Amen.

Love and blessings,
Tim

11 August 2017

Posted on August 14, 2017 at 4:47 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Authenticity, Faith, God, Power, Prayer · Tagged with: ,