Day 27 of 59 Days: "Sincere Prayer"
Day 27: “Sincere Prayer”
May 17, 2019
Original Painting: “Prayer,” Acrylic on Canvas, 24×24, 2/5/2017
When I think of learning to pray, I remember the rote prayers of the Catholic tradition, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and the Guardian Angel Prayer. They are rhythmic and routine, and when I first learned them, were simply words. For many years my prayers were a shopping list of needs, requests and pleas for something more. After all, I know what I need, right?
Sincerity is something that has great power. It is genuine and has a pulse that is palpable to the soul. Finding it, in our culture, is rare. That may sound jaded or pessimistic and true for me. Yet, I have founded it, experienced it and believe I share it. It is more than a skill of presence. It is more than just listening. It is more than words can illustrate. It is a felt experience at the heart level that opens a vulnerability and guarantees you will change. It is like what Mark Nepo writes, “If I dare to hear you, I will feel you like the sun and grow in your direction.” That to me is sincerity and it is prayer.
Much of life is filled with distraction. Many are hungry not to listen, much less hear. I grew up in a house with the television or radio was always on, and it was loud! I lived this way for many years, even marrying men that had to have the noises in the background. I found myself finding a way to listen amongst the noise. Later, I would use this skill in treatment sessions with my clients. I would have the “spa music” on and I would chat with them, creating the distractions needed for the deeper work. I am not the quiet, working in the dark massage therapist. I listen into the noises and hear what is needed from the client’s body and spirit. It creates the warmth, like the flower following the sun. It is prayer. My conversation, behind this noise, is with the Divine, the Universe, or God. I may chat up angels, saints, guides or totems if needed; and none of it is begging in words or telling “Them” what I NEED them to do for this client or for me. It is the dance of listening, of being and of waiting. It is being sincere.
Energy, Chi, or Spirit is a beautiful power. Many paint it as fire because it gives the sensation of heat or warmth. Sincerity is an active Energy, much of what is felt in the pause. This painting, “Prayer” is about that pause. It is the space in between the breath. It is the coming together of people, sharing a moment. It is about the flower turning toward the sun. It is about the active part of listening in stillness. It is about love and presence. It is about releasing control and waiting. It is not an easy place to be, and yet it becomes natural, like my favorite pair of Levis. Yes, I love to wear jeans. I am at home in them. To me, that is what sincerity can be, comfort and naturalness. It is not something to fear or be forced. Prayer is the same, natural, comfortable and sincere.
It has been many years now, since I stepped away from the Catholic traditions. It didn’t feel like my Levis. I find my spiritual practices are a blending of my experiences and study. I find sanctuary in nature and listen to the choirs of the birds. In times of stress and searching for the “right” prayer, I still call on the rhythm of the rote prayers to get me started. I need the distraction of noise, at times, too. I find my sincerity just beyond the noise. How do you experience sincerity? Prayer? Do you turn your face like the flower?
I am forever the pilgrim, seeking transformation from the journey. My way is not always easy, my prayer is that it is sincere. Blessings and peace on your journey.
Beth is a seasoned and experienced bodywork, somatic coach and wellness professional. She is available to present on wellness, bodywork and somatic topics; or individual bodywork and coaching sessions. Bring Beth to your area for workshops, speaking events or team building projects. Personal and business coaching are also services that Beth provides. Consider coaching for individual or small groups/teams. Contact Beth for more information and rates.