Ordinarily I write one post a day in the December Plan. But today’s post on who really needs forgiveness has caused many a tear. These are good tears. These tears are little messages bobbing up from your soul saying, “Yes, oh yes. Please forgive yourself. There is so much ahead of us, so much beauty, so much potential, so much joy, but as long as you have this gaping hole in your heart, you can’t see all that good. And because you can’t see it, you probably can’t have it. So, yes, darling one, please forgive yourself. Because the truth is you are so much more beautiful than you can ever know.”
I’ve struggled mightily with this idea of not being enough. And for a very long time. I wrote this prayer, “Enough,” back in the early nineties, well before my divorce. The words still resonate today. To me, they sound like long slow deep vibrations from a bell that has been ringing for a very very long time. I am ready to stop clanging the bell of “not enough.” I’m going to say this prayer one more time today. Out loud. With vigor. I’m going to feel it in my bones and know that it is true. From this day forward, I am enough. I am more than enough.
Here. I think this prayer is for you, too.
A Prayer of Abundance (copyright Janet Conner 2009)
Dear God of the universe,
creator of all life, hear me.
This one prays.
In the mirror.
In the reflection that bounces from me to the world and back again,
there is a circle, a circle of sadness.
I am not enough.
They see “not enough.”
Therefore, I am not enough,
not good enough
not enough of something
not strong enough, perhaps
not smart enough, for sure
not handsome enough
not pretty enough
not wealthy enough, never wealthy enough
not fast enough
not clever enough
not tough enough,
but too tough sometimes and that makes me
not kind enough
something not enough
many things not enough.
Perhaps it doesn’t matter what.
The specific fault is irrelevant.
I don’t have to name it.
It’s enough just to know that I’m not enough
of whatever it is I’m not enough of.
Do You understand this, God?
Seems a bit convoluted, I know.
But circles are circles.
And everywhere I turn,
there are more of them.
If I look at my work – I’m not good enough
and, of course, they see I’m not good enough.
Therefore, I’m not.
And doesn’t my “success” just prove it.
If I look at my family – I’m not loving enough.
They know I could love them more.
Just look at our tensions
and You’ll see that I’m right:
I’m not loving enough.
If I look in the mirror – I’m not pretty enough.
There it is for the world to see:
blemishes, imperfections, crooked teeth, blotchy skin, ridiculous hair, flaccid muscles.
I think I’ll stop now.
But You see. Well, I see.
I’m not pretty enough.
If I look in my checkbook – I’m not rich enough.
Doesn’t take a banker to see I don’t earn enough.
Perhaps if I worked harder, smarter, faster, better…something,
I’d be better off.
But there it is: I’m not rich enough.
I could continue, but I need to move on.
There are things to do, people to see, problems to solve.
And I’m not organized enough to get it all done.
So I have to get going.
But first, I need to ask You this question. It’s important.
Why did You put me here if I’m not enough?
Why didn’t You make me pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough?
You could have, You know.
Even now, You could do it in a single breath:
Ask and poof, I am beautiful
Ask and poof, I am wealthy
Ask and I’m smart
Ask and I’m wanted
Ask and I’m wise
Ask and I’m…
What do I want?
What do I really want?
Want beyond wanting?
Need beyond needing?
What is the hole that must be filled?
Love…I guess. Yes, Love. That’s it, isn’t it?
If I had Love – enough Love – I would be blessed.
If I had Love – the right Love – I would be joyous.
If I had perfect Love, pure Love – Your Love – I would be healed.
That’s what I ask for, dear God.
That’s what I want.
Love is what I need.
Starting here. With me. Just me.
Fill me with the Love of the angels.
Build a bridge of Love across my doubts and fears.
Pour Love all around me
in my eyes, my mouth, my heart and my mind.
It feels good, this Love,
warm and calm and easy.
It has no ambition, but it won’t stay still.
It needs nothing, yet it sets my heart in motion.
This Love is peaceful, yet yearns to spread.
It oozes out of me and fills the room.
It swims out of the room and fills the house.
It radiates out of the house and seeks the world.
I guess it is enough, isn’t it!
Enough for me.
Enough for now.
Enough for always and ever.
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Prayer is such an interesting phenomenon. It alters your vibration. It lifts your heart and lightens your load. You know all this instinctively from your personal experiences with prayer. But if, when you began to pray today, someone was there attaching EEG, EKG and other brain and body measurement tools to your head and chest, you’d see the effects of prayer right there before your eyes on the printouts and screens. You’d see your heart rate slowing down and your breathing deepen. You’d watch as your too-fast beta brain waves slow down and shift into alpha, maybe even theta. You might not see immediate results in your outer world–that is, whatever you are requesting might not manifest right away–but you would definitely see the immediate results in your inner physical world. (And don’t worry about that outer world manifestation. It’s coming.)
If you want to explore the impact of prayer on all realms–physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual–read Larry Dossey, starting with the book that woke the world to measurable power of prayer, Healing Words. No has written more prolifically on the power of prayer. There’s Prayer is Good Medicine and Reinventing Medicine and his latest, The Power of Premonitions.
But even if we didn’t have all this scientific substantiation, most of us on the planet would still acknowledge that prayer works. Mysteriously, perhaps. Erratically, perhaps. But it works. And that’s where our focus is this December. We want prayer that works–prayer that magnetically attracts the 2010 we want.
The best prayer, the most powerful prayer, is the one that comes up from the wellspring of your soul. Yes, yes, I know that spiritual and religious cultures have many gorgeous and deeply powerful prayers. But there’s something truly magical about writing your own prayer. Coming from your life, your situation, your emotions, your needs, your dreams, youur fears, and your purpose, your words will have a power when you speak them that words written by others somehow don’t have. Remember from Day 4: you are your own priest.
It’s really quite easy. Just sit down and have a conversation with your wise loving Voice. Talk about what’s important. Talk about why you’re writing this prayer and what you hope it will accomplish. Then, from the soul level, ask for your December Prayer. Write fast. No thinking, no editing, no judging. Just write. I started talking two mornings ago with my Voice about how important partnership is to me and as I wrote I realized that’s what next year is all about for me. Once I focused in on partnership, I felt ready to ask for my December Prayer.
Here it is. Read it if you like. But be sure to write your own. When you speak your own prayer, the words will resonate from your toes to your scalp and your prayer will change your vibration. Plus, I’m pretty sure, your angels will be laughing and applauding.
Janet’s December Plan Prayer
“Today, dear God, I declare my commitment to live in partnership. I am rich in partnerships. Michael protects me. Gabriel sends the words. Spirit guides me. My spiritual community loves and supports me. Now, I step forward into my magical 2010 year as a partner calling forth my perfect partners: speaking partners, teaching partners, writing partners, learning partners, publishing partners, publicity and administration partners, and my life partner—all the partners I need to live the life I’m here to live.
In return, I commit to be the partner they are looking for—present, active, generous, creative, helpful, kind, and grateful. I share my bounty and together we do great and meaningful work that blesses and heals many, many souls.
Thank you for this past year of learning and growing. It is my foundation for my new year of Magic and Joy. Thank you, God. Thank you, God. Thank you, God. I am so blessed. I am so blessed. I am so blessed.”
So now, what do you do with your December Prayer? Well, I say mine every evening as I light my candle on my December Plan Altar (aka, the sofa lamp table).
Tomorrow we’ll talk about what you want in 2010 and how to incorporate those desires into your December Plan. But for today, write your magical prayer calling in your magical year. Isn’t this fun!
I love Sundays. But they are no longer days of rest. Thanks to the success of Writing Down Your Soul, I’m often booked as a guest speaker or workshop leader at a New Thought church somewhere in the country. Sunday, I’ve been rather surprised to discover, is a work day.
So when I wake on a Sunday knowing I don’t have to be anywhere, I am one happy girl. I make my glorious French Press coffee and curl up in my reading chair with the New York Times. I can — and do — sit there for hours.
Well, three weeks ago, I had the opportunity to have one of those slow, lazy Sundays. But Rev Greg Barrette was speaking at First Unity in St Petersburg on soul development. I felt I needed to be there. But OH! the chair was calling and the coffee so good. But you know — and you know that you know — when you really must heed your guidance. And my guidance was quite clear and quite persistent that I better get in the car. So an hour later, I walked into Greg’s workshop. And I am so grateful, so very grateful.
In the course of his talk, Greg mentioned the term “visual prayer.” I stopped taking notes and stared at him. My gut told me that those two words mattered. Visual prayer. What a glorious idea. A thing, a drawing, a something that is a prayer. I am madly in love with words, but this idea of a picture of prayer, this really called to me.
A couple sentences later, I realized that Greg was talking about a vision board, something I’ve done for the last few years. But this year, I just did not feel the urge to make one. I didn’t know why, because I know they are powerful, but I just didn’t want those cut-out pictures in my office. Not this year. So here it is September, and I still have no visual image for my goals and dreams for this year.
I loved the workshop and I loved meeting Greg. As I drove home, the traffic came to a halt on Curlew Road in Palm Harbor. A traffic jam on a summer Sunday afternoon is a rare and strange thing in my neck of the woods. But I decided not to stress about it. When I was teaching my son to drive and we ran into a traffic jam, I’d tell him to relax. Consider the possibility, I’d say, that you are being protected and just sit patiently.
My own words came back to me. If it were true for him, it must be true for me. There’s a reason I’m not moving. What is it? I looked around. Slowly. Consciously. Fully. And there to my right was a house with an unusual address placque. The address numerals were surrounded by a large metal circle with 8 metal lines outside the circle. The instant my eyes fell on it, I knew, THIS was the perfect symbol for my visual prayer. I came home and wrote about it and drew a few samples. But I felt something was missing.
Today, a facebook friend, Wendi Brown, posted a link to this gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous video of a sacred geometry mandala created by Charles Gilchrist.
Have you ever wondered what the term “sacred geometry” meant? How about “visual prayer?” THIS is visual prayer. I’ve watched it five times and I’ll watch it five more. Then, I’m going to make my own mandala, my own visual prayer. I’m so in love with this idea of Visual Prayer. When I finish it, I’ll post it. But for now, what I’d love to know, is what kind of Visual Prayer do you “say?”
In Follow Up, the fourth step in Writing Down Your Soul, I talk about several ways to confirm or clarify your guidance. One of my favorites is to pay attention to the messages that come through animals. (p 183-185)
I was raised strict Catholic. Trust me, no nun or priest ever mentioned animals as vehicles for divine guidance. But in 1992, I took a Women’s Spiritual Empowerment class from Charlotte Starfire and my eyes were forever opened to the constant stream of messages in the air and on the land coming to me (and to everyone) in the form of animals.
Charlotte learned about the medicine, or healing messages, of animals from Sun Bear, the great Native American shaman and teacher. Since Charlotte’s class, I’ve kept my Medicine Cards close at hand and turned to them often to understand why a snake crossed my path or an osprey died a few feet from my door. I love my beautiful animal messengers and I welcome their messages.
But last night at 5:00 AM I got a new messenger and I didn’t love it at all. I was awakened by a cockroach crawling across my forehead. Instinctively, I threw it across the room and sat up in horror. I turned on the lights and pursued that thing for thirty minutes. I simply could not fall back asleep with a cockroach somewhere in my bedroom. This is Florida, and I know roaches are everywhere, but thanks to my pest control company, there’s never been a moving one in my bedroom before.
Well, this morning, when I did my deep soul writing, I asked, “What’s with the bug? If I perceive your divine messages in other more delightful animals, don’t I have to recognize the message this creature delivered, too?” It took me a few pages of writing to get the message. The bug had been on my forehead, my third eye, the seat of my knowing. So it was letting me know that I had bugs in my thinking, bugs in my programming.
And of course, it was right. I’ve been wracked with fear lately, fear about finances and fear about my son’s well-being. I desparately need to debug my programming.
“How do I do that?” I wrote. And the answer instantly appeared: “Ask the cards.” But this time, instead of going to the Medicine Cards, I went to a new deck my publicist, Jennifer Hill Robenalt, gave me when I met her in Austin: The Answer is Simple by Sonia Choquette. I love these cards. And they are, as the name implies, incredibly easy to use.
So I took a deep breath and prayerfully asked my question: “How do I debug my programming? How do I get the fear out?”
I drew three cards and laughed at the answer — and yes, it’s simple, clear and simple:
1. Say Thank You.
Suspend your fears long enough to recognize and appreciate those who are helping you. I recognized immediately that I’d been taking the small army of people who love me and my book for granted.
2. Reclaim Your Art
I didn’t even have to read this to know the answer: get back to my creativity, my writing, my love, my joy.
3. Say Yes
“The ego gets fearful…it waits until it’s absolutely sure that it will be safe before it acts. The trouble with this approach to life is the ego never feels safe, so it never acts, it reacts…. Don’t allow the ego to hold you back from the gorgeous opportunities in front of you. Take a chance and trust life as it unfolds.”
The cards perfectly diagnosed the fear “bugs” in my programming and showed me three simple steps to take to get de-bugged. I’m on it right now: I am grateful, I am writing, and I joyfully say YES! to my life’s purpose.
And so, I have to say once more to all my messengers, from the majestic birds to the creepy bugs, thank you for your words and your wisdom, your guidance and your grace. I see you. I hear you. And I learn from you. I am so blessed. And thank you to Sonia Choquette for her fabulous cards.
I am not special or unique. The animals are talking to all of us all the time. Consider this: What animal is delivering a message to you right now? What’s the animal? What’s the message? And what are you going to do with your message?
If you’ve ever heard me speak about Writing Down Your Soul, you know that the magic happens in and through and with the theta brain wave state. I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise, but your conscious mind is useless. Unless you’re making dinner or filling the tank with gas or doing something else that requires conscious attention, it isn’t much help. To build a soul-directed, joy-filled, purpose-driven life, you gotta slip into theta as often as you can. Including–or especially–at night.
So, you won’t be surprised to hear that I was awakened in the middle of the night with a reminder: “Nice post, Janet, but you forgot something important about Lenox/Malcolm X Blvd. Tell them about the churches.”
Of course. I remember. I remember looking to the left and right and up and down and being floored by the beauty and size and variety of the houses of worship–one more jaw-droppingly gorgeous than the next. I saw traditional mainline Christian churches with stained glass windows that begged you to step inside. I saw Jewish temples behind ornate iron gates. I think I saw a Christian Science church with those classic pillars. And I’m pretty sure I saw something that said LDS. I remember being surprised to find LDS in Harlem. And I saw lots of store front churches with names that shouted: Get Your Salvation Here! On any given block between 116th and 125th, there were at least three churches.
So what, you ask.
So what? That’s a big clue to how you get to your Life Around the Corner. Maybe the biggest clue. Pray. Ask for help. Get out of your conscious, worry-filled, useless mind and access the universe of guidance and support that is everywhere around you.
Want to see the wonders of Malcolm X Blvd exactly where I was walking? Look at this glorious slide show. This is why God created Google, I think. I can’t believe how effortlessly this exquisite tour of the exact blocks I walked fell into my hands this morning. I know it’s for you!
But you don’t have to be on Malcolm X Blvd to find divine assistance. Or even in a church. Although, it’s lovely to sit in the cool dark of your favorite church or temple or shrine, you can commune with heaven anywhere and anytime.
My favorite shrine is St Michael’s in Tarpon Springs, and lord knows, I get amazing guidance sitting there, but day in and day out the Voice guides me sitting right here in my “writing chapel” (aka my office, aka my third bedroom).
However you pray–in a pew or in your yard, or sitting in your writing chair–the reminder is to simply do it. To connect. To ask for help. You are not alone. Heaven wants you to reach your Life Around the Corner. And it is reaching out to help you. Reach back.
So tell me, how do you reach back?
Obediently I crawled around on the floor, following directions. I pulled the PC off its shelf, identified wires, unplugged the old, and plugged in the new. As we worked, I described how everything looked–and sounded. The new UPS emitted a soft “beep beep beep.” “It’s fine,” he said.
Well, two days later the computer flipped off while I was typing. A few days later, I walked in to a blue screen. A week later it happened again. “There’s something wrong!” I screamed at my poor computer guy. “Bad UPS,” he said.
I called the manufacturer. A very nice, very calm, very patient guy said, “I can help you.” I didn’t want help. I wanted a new UPS, but I crawled on the floor, followed directions, pulled out the PC, identified wires and plugs. “Hear that beep beep beep?” he said. That means the battery is not connected.
Turns out there’s an enormous battery inside the UPS. You have to connect one red wire inside the UPS to that battery. One red wire. But without that connection, you’ve got no juice.
THAT, I thought, is the perfect description of prayer. No connection. No juice. And the whole time your soul is sighing: beep beep beep, help help help.
My UPS is now connected to its battery. And I had a nice reminder to get back to my foundational practice. A practice that even I, a teacher of such things, can easily misplace. Too busy, too upset, too scared, too…whatever.
But I’d received an incredibly simple lesson: No connection. No juice.
I love the way Spirit talks to me. Even through my UPS. I connected that red wire, thanked the technician, hung up, and sat right down in my writing chair.
“Hello,” I wrote, “I need some juice.”