This post has references to previous discussions. If you missed them, you may want to go back and check out the first four parts of this series.
So far, in this series, we’ve discussed prayer/affirmations and a sense of ritual (to wake up and focus the mind), and some yoga/Tai Chi (to stretch and invigorate the body). You may recall that in the beginning, we talked about the three parts of you: mind, body, and soul .
The last piece in my morning practice is the best part. My quiet moments are like dessert at the end of a fine meal.
My goal here, is to connect with and spend some time with God. That sounds like a lofty ambition, I know, but it really is simpler than you might think.
You see, the very act of creation can only happen when the creator puts his/herself into the creation. When you make dinner for your family, you put a bit of yourself into it. You add your energy, your time, and your emotions. That’s what makes the food your unique creation.
When God created me, He put a bit of himself into the creation. I carry around a spark of divinity, a sort of signature of the Artist. That spark is my soul. It is the part of me that is perfect. It is made from Love and it is my connection to the Creator.
You might think, “That sounds awesome, but how do I make that connection?”
Here’s the simple part. In the Bible, (Psalms 46:10), God actually says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
I just have to be still. If prayer is me talking to God, then this is the time for me to shut up and listen.
I have two important points I’d like to make here.
First, I am hesitant to use the word meditation here. When most people hear “meditation”, they see this:
It is true that sitting in this (lotus) pose is helpful in centering and grounding the body. However, it is definitely not necessary. In fact, I have never spent any real time in this position because my knees are not yet that flexible. I have found that the most effective posture is the one that does not distract me. Sometimes, I sit cross legged on my yoga mat. Sometimes I lean against my sofa. Sometimes I stay, sprawled out on the floor in the corpse pose.
Most people approach meditation (stillness), with a specific posture because it reminds the body of what is about to happen. I assure you, given the practices of the last thirty minutes, this is not needed. After my altar work, prayer/affirmations, and movement routine, my body is tuned in and waiting for a higher vibration.
Secondly, most people give up on a meditation practice because they find it too hard to “still” the mind. It is indeed a challenge to just not think. Turning off that busy, chattery monkey-mind, takes some practice.
This too, is not as difficult as you might think, if you have the right tools. You may recall, during my yoga/Tai Chi, I am focused on the spaces/movements between the poses. I am training my mind to be still and mindful in that moment. I am thinking about what my body feels like and how it is moving through space. When I go immediately from this mindful movement, into stillness, it is pretty easy to just be focused on this present, quiet moment.
It does take practice and it is sometimes frustrating in the beginning, so I have a trick that might help. I have a small, smooth, round stone that I used to hold in my hand. I would close my eyes and focus on the weight, density, and smoothness of it. Anytime, I caught my mind wandering, I would gently come back to the stone in my hand. True, I’m not thinking about God, I’m thinking about a rock, but here’s the thing. All of my thoughts—even if I was trying to think about God—would just get in the way. I don’t want to listen to my thoughts. I want to just be still and listen. After some practice, it is easier and easier to slip into that dark, quiet space.
God is in the spaces between the thoughts.
I hope I am not making this sound too complicated. If you like, just ignore the last 300 words and understand this.
I have purposely set aside these minutes to be with the One who made me. I don’t do it out of any kind of obligation. I do it because it feels really amazing. It keeps me going. It gives me strength and builds my faith. This is when I relax, let go of every worry, and lean into the arms of my Father. For a few minutes, I am completely stress, worry, care-free. This is me, recharging my soul.
I have a kitchen timer that I set (usually 20 minutes), because it is really easy for me to lose track of time. I tell you, this stuff is like a drug. I am always reluctant to open my eyes. I sure hope I can get you hooked!
Like I said before, my entire morning ritual takes less than an hour and it has made a huge difference in my attitude and my physical energy. I am more focused and clear-headed. I tend to notice the positive in every situation.
If all of this is new to you, first of all, I’m glad you are still with me. Also, I encourage you to try some sort of daily spiritual practice. The things that I do, work for me, but they are only suggestions. Even if you just take a few minutes each day, do something that elevates you, and connects you to that which is higher than yourself. You may be the only one who knows exactly what that thing is.
That’s fine. Consistency is the important thing. Your body will develop muscle/spiritual memory. Your mind and soul will develop habits that can grow beyond your imagination. Find what lights you up and do it every single day.
God bless! Please let me know how it goes or if I can be of any help.
Check back for “Daily Spiritual Practice for Beginners (Part 6: Quick Bedtime Routine)”
I Love you all!