For today’s Weekend World-Changer Homework, I’m going to use a word that’s pretty laden with implications. Stick with me, though; you know I can’t resist erring on the side of using too many words to explain myself, and I promise that this one’s no different.
This weekend, for your Weekend World-Changer Homework, I want you to pray.
That’s right: pray.
Now here’s where I might make some friends, and here’s where I might lose some readers, and it’s ok either way: I do not care, even one little bit, to whom you are praying; nor do I care, not even one little bit, whether there’s a “whom” at all. I don’t care if you call it “praying” or “meditating” or “wishing on a wishing well” or “talking to myself while the dog gives me confused looks”. I don’t care if you do it out loud or silently or if you write it down on a piece of paper or in a blog. I don’t care if there’s a ritual involved, or a sacred space, or if it’s just you and some intentions in the middle of the grocery store aisle; I don’t care if you use a set script or just wing it. I don’t care if you pray for yourself or pray for someone else; I don’t care what you pray for; I don’t care what you pray about; I don’t care if it’s big and cosmic (think “world peace”) or small and trivial (think “please help the team win this weekend”).
At the very core of it, it’s all the same: it’s an act where you sit down (or stand, or kneel, or whatever works best for you), crystallize your desires and needs and hopes and fears, and push ’em out into the universe, trusting that someone, somewhere (and remember, “you yourself, in your living room” totally counts as “someone, somewhere”) is going to handle them. It makes you think all the way through what it is that you really want, and that act alone can point you toward the correct path for achieving whatever your deepest desires really are. You can call it “divine inspiration” or “divine intervention” or “my Eureka moment”; all paths toward the Truth are equally valid, in my opinion.
And prayer (I’m going to keep using that word as a sort of shorthand; feel free to substitute whatever verb in your world is most appropriate–we’re just aiming for “focusing your intent, and then being open to follow whatever guidance/inspiration/lightbulb moment you receive/hear/notice/experience as a result”) does a magnificent job of resetting your internal thought processes. If you are praying for peace, really focusing on it, do you not find yourself in a more peaceful place, kinda by default? If you’re praying for strength, your inner armies start amassing themselves, simply because that’s where your mind and heart are looking. If you’re praying for willpower to avoid eating that cookie, then voila!–you’re too busy praying to eat the cookie, and your wish is granted. Easy-peasy.
Now, the downside of this plan is that we have to be open to the possibility that our prayer will get a “No” or a “Not right now” answer, or a “Yes” but in a flavor you’re not expecting. When Dad was in the hospital, for example, dozens of people prayed more or less constantly for his full and speedy recovery, and we lost him anyway; but in retrospect, the man had fought heart disease and strokes for 25 years, and there comes a point when you have to acknowledge that it’s just mean to pray for him to keep living in pain simply because you don’t want to say goodbye yet. So all the folks who were praying for him to “get well soon” got a pretty definite “No” response; but in a certain way, all the prayers for him to “get out of the hospital soon” or “get to go home soon” got a “Yes” answer–just not in the way we all had in mind at the time. And that’s ok too; part of praying is trusting that the answer you receive will be the most appropriate one, whether you can see that at the time or not.
So give it a test-drive. They say that prayer changes things, and really, now is as good a time as any to put that to the test. Think about what you really need, at the very core of your being, and ask for it.
You never know: the Universe might have more blessings in store for you than you can even imagine…and you only have to ask.