MMP: Testing, testing: 1, 2, 3 …

by Rebecca A. Watson on May 12, 2014

in 30 day challenge, habits, Just Be, Monday Morning Pages, multitasking

When I was working at a newspaper in Minneapolis, one of my coworkers would often ask me to pray for things she wanted and needed. Her kids, getting into the classes she wanted next semester, all sorts of stuff. She would always tell people, “Her prayers work. Seriously!”

I was kind of proud of this fact. You think it would have launched me on this 30-day challenge of adding prayer to my spiritual practice much sooner. But no. I didn’t listen to her, the human being sitting one desk away from me for more than a year.

I waited for a blog post to drill it into my head. And as I read through my journals, this seems to be a trend: It takes me a few tries to get the messages that the Universe is trying to tell me.

In 2012:

I was doing my spells last night and the Universe told me that all of my hopes and spells will come to be if I accept myself for who I am. Self-love and acceptance is key.

OK so maybe I got the messages. But it took me a few tries to actually put them into practice. I didn’t actively start practicing self-love through action until my challenge last month.

heart hands sky

And it has been frickin’ amazing.

So far prayer has been going really well for me. But one thing I didn’t really think about was the listening part. I guess I’d always let the Universe speak through me in my writing. It didn’t occur to me that if I shut up once in a while that maybe the messages would be clearer and resonate more quickly.

Here’s another example of something that took me about a year to actively start practicing. In 2012 I was going through some serious mental purging — psychic surgery if you will. I wrote this:

You’re using the wrong tools. You need more water, but you need something else. You need to SWEAT. I need to keep getting that old stuff outta me, and I’m just feeling like this one is more out of my brain, like I cannot think my way through this one. Exactly.

I got part of the message. The sweating bit. This was around the time I started P90X (for those who haven’t heard of it, it’s an insane home workout video series), but if you peruse my journals, I am constantly doing exactly what wasn’t going to help: Thinking my way through it. And it (along with other nasty habits) made me crazy.

I’d read a little about mindfulness for years, but it seemed like such an impossible thing for me. I’m Type-A. I have a bazillion ideas and plans and goals and to-do lists and things running through my brain, and I really believed at the time that that was what kept life all together for me — these thoughts.

Then I started to meditate. Wait, back up a tiny bit. Then I quit drinking. And my brain felt even more chaotic, so then I needed to meditate. And I’d happened to meet Tanya around that time, who introduced me to a form of guided meditation that worked for me. Thank you Universe. Got the message this time. Loud and clear.

Now there's a brilliant plan.

Now there’s a brilliant plan.

In 2013:

I’m crabby. I guess I just need to be more present. I think I need to do my [guided meditation] too. That’d probably really help …

Before I started meditation, being present was just a phrase. I wanted to Just Be, I would say, but then I never would. I’d make lists while I Skyped with friends. I’d knit while I watched movies. I always did two things (or more) at once and sometimes my brain would still be planning the next thing I’d do after.

It was waiting to hear about Sante’s potential job and our possible move to Europe that taught me what real presence was.

We both want this, to try something new, to have an adventure. Just help me to be patient and enjoy the journey. I’m really looking forward to hearing from [recruiter] BUT I must learn to live NOW.

I am planting my garden. I am still enjoying life as it is now. I am buying things from the store and signing up for races. I am making the most of life now. I’m even worrying about gophers in the garden.

Working with my meditation practice is really helping. And of course living in my life now. Signing up for classes, committing to camping all keep me here in this life I live.

We’d had opportunities to move before. And each time I would start planning for it as if it were already happening. I didn’t plant a garden the year before. I stopped making plans with friends. And when we didn’t end up going, I was crushed in a way that could’ve easily been avoided had I just stayed present. But of course, it took me a few tries to get the message AND actually implement it into my life.

This is why I am so excited about May’s challenge. The first day I started praying, I didn’t really know how I’d do it. I guess I wanted a format. An agenda of sorts. I thought, first I’ll express gratitude. And then I’ll ask for the things I want for myself and others.

After I finished I opened my eyes and the Universe said to me, “Wait, that’s it? You mean I don’t get to talk in this conversation of ours?”

blindfold game

Sorry. Didn’t realize you were there.

And thus began my listening, which of course I probably couldn’t have done if I hadn’t learned to be present. So, while I sit here and give myself a hard time for not getting the message right away — the one my friend and coworker had been telling me for so long — it probably happened just as it was supposed to.

I’m just thrilled to be along for the ride. This time around I’ll take my fingers out of my ears, which is fantastic because I need my hands free to write.

Wondering what this Monday Morning Pages thing is all about? Read how it started. Or check out all the archives.

 Photo Credits: Steve Shorrock

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Momma Bee May 12, 2014 at 6:05 pm

I love this…. I have been hearing the same thing. Just listen, be patient, pray and things will happen. You have to be present to notice too, that the prayers might not be answered in the way you asked but it happens sometimes and you don’t even realize it.

Great post!

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Rebecca A. Watson May 15, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Thanks for stopping by Momma Bee 🙂 Totally true about being present to notice that things may not be answered exactly how you want, but probably for the better.

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