Friday, February 29, 2008

Everyday Grace

I got this in email this morning, and coincidentally my Simple Abundance thing for today was about asking for grace every morning ("enough grace for today")


At the beginning of the day, the mind is most open to receive new impressions. One of the most important things we can do is to take full responsibility for the power of the morning.

If you want to have a nonmiraculous day, I suggest that newspaper and caffeine form the crux of your morning regimen. Listen to the morning news while you’re in the shower, read the headlines as you are walking out the door, make sure you’re keeping tabs on everything: the wars, the economy, the gossip, the natural disasters…But if you want the day ahead to be full of miracles, then spend some time each morning with God.

Most of us wouldn’t think of beginning our day without washing the accumulated dirt from the day before off our bodies. Yet far too often we go out into the day without similarly cleansing our minds. And our minds carry more pollution than our bodies, for they carry not only our own toxicity but that of the entire world. We carry the fear, anxiety, stress, and pain not just of our own lives, but of our families, our nation, and millions all over the planet.

Our greatest weakness is the weakness of an undisciplined mind. We need not let fear steal the morning; we can consciously choose not to allow our minds to be programmed by the worldly viewpoint that dominates the earth. We can set our day upon another course. Each of us has an inner room where we can visit to be cleansed of fear-based thoughts and feelings. This room, the holy of holies, is a sanctuary of spiritual light. The light is not a metaphor, but rather an actual energy of mystical vibration. When we begin our morning within it, the mind receives a radiance that illumines our thinking as we go through our day.

Imagine yourself sitting in a perfect, comfortable spot for meditation. It might be a chair in your bedroom or living room. It is a place of relative quiet and calm, where you go on a regular basis to find the peace that only God can give. You have come to realize that this time of rest, in its stillness and peace, is beneficent to both your mind and body. Here you come to surrender to God, using a prayer or mantra to move beyond the frantic and overwhelming thoughts that stalk us night and day. You are making your daily pilgrimage home, where your life will be renewed.

While the power of such quiet time can be profoundly healing, we often resist it fiercely. We have scores of reasons why we don’t have time to meditate: "The kids have to get off to school…I have to go to work…My partner wants to be with me…I have early appointments…," and the list goes on. Yet none of those excuses would be used to avoid taking a shower or getting dressed. It would be ludicrous to say, "I’m just too busy. I had to give up showers." And yet "busy-ness" is a common excuse for why we do not take the time, or give the time, to meet regularly with God.


Every morning, visualize and pray for divine right order: If you are a teacher, for instance, bear witness with your inner eye to an angel, or Jesus, or Buddha, wrapping his arms around every child in your class, then allow your mind to hold that image for five minutes or more. See God’s Light around your coworkers, your neighbors, your children, your spouse. Whatever it is you will be doing with your day – whatever your workplace or activity – consciously bless the people you’ll meet, as well as those you don’t even know. Remember to include those you don’t like as well as those you do. Allow yourself to imagine, while in a prayerful, meditative state, the life you most long to experience. Then bless that image, and surround it with light.

Now you can leave the house smiling, because you’ve placed your future in the hands of God."

LOTS more here: Everyday Grace, by Marianne Williamson

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