Prayer had long been something I did in a moment of terror... "Please God, I promise if you do this then I will do/not do that". Sound familiar? I left organised religion in my early teens when I was already disillusioned enough to no longer believe that there was a benevolent Old Man up there in that vast sky looking out for me. For one the Bible was scant on the theory of evolution (and I was one of those kids... why, how, who) and two who was I to warrant attention from him out of the billions here on earth who surely deserved it more. Added to that was my experience, already at that tender age, that many who went to church for a couple of hours on a Sunday sure didn't practise what they preached for the rest of the week and I didn't want to be a part of that!
Whilst I knew something was missing from my life I wasn't prepared to re-enter organised religion to find it. So I moved through my 20s and 30s lacking in faith but still not sure how to reconnect with the Divine in a way that would bring me peace without feeling like I was selling out for something I didn't really believe in but felt I had to.
Over the last seven or so years I have found myself drawn more and more towards a establishing a practise of prayer, or devotion as I call it, that had meaning for me. Meditation, although not easy, has now become an almost daily practise, with this being the first year that I notice when I am skipping days and itch to get back to my cushion. My on/off practise of gratitude (I try to do it daily but yeah, life...) is also a form of prayer. Receiving with thanks and giving without expectations are all prayer. And what has now become a daily habit of noting my Devotion for the day, thanks to Danielle LaPorte's Desire Mapping process, has brought me the closest I have been to daily prayer since I was a very young child.
For me Devotion isn't about believing in SOMEONE, it is about believing in MYSELF. In my enoughness and worthiness of good things by being just as I am. That there isn't a hidden agenda of criteria that I have to meet to be loved. When you find your connection to the Spirit, Divine Feminine, God - whatever it is you are comfortable calling it, then you will realise faith is an inside job every day and whatever form of prayer you practise it is always good enough.
PAUL HENRY (1959 - )
(Choice of Stephanie Dale)
Silent as cutting hair falling
and elevated by cushions
in the barber's rotating chair
this seven-year-old begins to see
a different boy in the mirror,
glances up, suspiciously,
like a painter checking for symmetry,
The scissors round a bend
behind a blushing ear.
And when the crime's done,
when the sun lies in its ashes,
a new child rises
out of the blond, unswept curls,
the suddenly serious chair
that last year was a roundabout.
All the way back to the car
a stranger picks himself out
in a glass-veiled identity parade.
Turning a corner
his hand slips from mine
like a final, forgotten strand
snipped from its lock.