Prayer

My Equinox Prayer: Grant Us More Love

Today is the last day of winter. A chapter is ending as we come to the Equinox. This site shows us what the moon looks like at any time... this is right now.  Isn't she beautiful? So full of hope!  (http://aa.usno.navy.mil/imagery/moon)

That doesn't mean it won't still look or feel like winter, sometimes we still feel the impact of the previous life pages, but today the scales tip toward spring as the days begin to outlast the nights. We also have a new super moon and a total solar eclipse today as we head into spring so the message is powerfully consistent: we are moving from darkness to light.

Our story is changing, the pages are turning.  Today, nature whispers loudly that there is new life, birth, light, hope, awakening, emergence, and growth.

Where Do I Need More Light & Love?

For me, there is much power in metaphor. I love taking inspiration from all kinds of places and as I am provoked to look up at the sky and notice what is happening there, I can't not ask myself:

  • "Do I feel pregnant with anything that I want to notice? Am I being called to birth in this season?"
  • "Where do I crave more light-ness in my life?"
  • "What part of my life feels like it's be in hibernation? Is it ready yet to emerge?"
  • "Where do I feel like I'm in the dark? What would welcoming light look like?"
  • "Am I short on hope? Am I low-energy? Am I asleep? What might I learn from the days getting longer now? How can I slowly invite in more hope, energy, and wakefulness?"

Grant Us More Love and Belonging

And it strikes me--as I believe we are living in a world that has far too much loneliness-- that what we all need more of is the feeling of belonging and acceptance.  To feeling really loved and welcomed and wanted. I want that for you, for me, for all of us so very much.

Often when coming out of hibernation, the idea of socializing may exhaust us; much the way that light feels blinding after we've been accustomed to darkness. Often when deciding to courageously connect with someone we feel vulnerable; much the way a brand new sprig must feel when it's popped out of the dirt, having only known what it's like to be a seed.  Often the energy of making new friends feels more painful than fun; much the way it feels to give birth, having only to trust that someday the delivery pains will feel far worth it.

My prayer for you today is that you intentionally choose what you want to wake up to, what you want to plant, what you want to birth.  I pray that you don't feel victim in your life, but fell very much aware that you get to nurture that which matters most, that you get to face the sun and grow, that you get to decide what is planted in your garden.

Don't fear the weeds that will inevitably come-- we don't stop planting just because we know unwanted growth will also happen.  Don't stay in the cave just because it's more familiar and comfortable-- there was a season for survival and now there is season for thriving and growing. Don't keep your eyes closed just because it feels too bright-- just turn those safely closed eyes toward the sun and let it slowly wash over you and entice you out.

And May We Seek Love Above All Else

And above all, let's recognize as we go into this new season that so much of what we chase is really just the stuff that we think will help us feel loved, which is vastly different from simply going straight for love.

We all too often think we'll feel more accepted and loved if we earn more money, have the baby, marry the man, remodel the house, fit into a smaller dress size, or sign the contract.  We attach meaning in our heads that if we can accomplish these things we value then we will feel good enough, safe enough, and worthy enough to be loved.

But there are a thousand examples of people who feel like they belong without the thing you think you need.

You can create way more love in your life without the stuff, the promotions, or the accomplishments that you're tempted to think are connected to the hunger you have.

My prayer for all of us today, as the days lengthen, is to look directly at love and ask, "How can I feel more love?" and go straight for love itself rather than pursuing the paths you only hope will lead there.

As the sun shines, may you feel welcomed and very much a part of our human family. And may love follow you all the days of your life.

Welcome to Spring.

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All women, no matter where you live or what your schedule is like, are welcome to join this CoachingCircle this Spring!

p.s.  I'm opening a virtual CoachingCircle called Closing the Intimacy Gap where I am super excited about working with a group of women to develop the intimacy they are built to experience! We have such capacity for love and deeper longings for community than we currently are experiencing.  I want to teach you the five most powerful actions you can take to deepen your friendships.  If you want to join me on a 12-week coaching journey this April 14-June 30 then request your invitation right here.

 

 

My Prayer for You: Feel Love Even When Insecure

Today when I sat with what I most wanted to say to you... I felt like I just wanted to pray for you. Just pretend I'm lighting a candle of love for you and praying that all those who listen or read these words would feel their spine strengthen as they stand in love. xoxo

To pray for you to feel loved this month....

Particularly as we are in moments where we're often with people but sitting in fear, insecurity, and unmet expectations which makes feeling our connection possible, but not probable if we're showing up with more angst than love.

Perhaps it's at family gatherings where every relationship doesn't feel easy or fulfilling; or perhaps it's with old friends you don't see often and you're tempted to wonder if the time together is worth it; or perhaps it's at a ConnectingCircle where you're walking into a gathering where you don't know anyone; or at a holiday party where it feels shallow and exhausting.

An Audio Version of My Prayer:

My prayer today is for you that you might find love and meaningful connections wherever it is you go.  Whether you feel loved has less to do with who is there and more to do with how you show up.

This prayer is my gift for you: download this 4 minute mp3 and listen to it as a meditation that invites you to breathe deep in the pool of love before breathlessly showing up this season.

Listen to 4-minute prayer for you to feel love

Note: This prayer can be listened to simply by clicking the link and/or downloaded to your computer/phone by selecting the green globe icon in the lower right corner. I spoke it imagining you listening to it before getting out of the car, while you're riding the bus, or right before you leave the house.  May it ground you and go with you, opening up possibilities of you feeling ever more connected and loved. xoxo

A Written Version of My Prayer:

To the God that is Known as Love

This beautiful woman, this daughter, this sister of mine is getting ready to be with people… and that so often can bring up all our insecurities and fears.

I want to say a prayer for her… for her peace that she might walk through any door and greet any person… while never doubting her love and strength and worth.

So let her be here in this moment, fully here, with us.

Let her heart catch up with her body that she might be present.

And not just present, but also available, ready, and willing.

 First, let me thank you for her. She is one of the beautiful hearts in this world willing to be available to love. She won’t do it perfectly all the time, but this is a woman committed to practicing it. I so thank you for that. Bless her in these moments where she’s willing to pause and ground herself.

And now I pray that she be filled with love.

May she take a deep breath and whisper “I am loved, I am loved, I am loved.”

Letting that love wash over her…. I picture her heart beating and growing bigger and bigger as it sends love out through her entire body…. Almost like a color, a color that is flooding her body—

  • Starting in that willing heart—may it be vulnerable and still safe, tender and still strong, receptive and still giving.
  • May it fill her lungs as a prayer that her every breath will choose to breath in love, and breath out fear.
  • As it washes down through her mid-section and fills her stomach may there be peace where others feel nerves.
  • As it pours down through her legs and feet, we take that as a promise that it will go with her wherever she walks.
  • As it stretches out through her arms and hands I beg that she might be Your hands in this place—quick to applaud others, and unafraid to touch.
  • I watch that love go up through her heart and into her head, flowing up through her throat where it leaves a commitment to speak words of affirmation and encouragement… may that same Love fill her mouth with courage to speak with authenticity tonight.
  • May that Love be the lens with which her eyes see… that she might dare to see people the way the Divine sees them… not the way we’re used to measuring people, but with a commitment first to look for evidence as to why they are lovable.
  • As it gushes through her ear canals, may she feel excited to listen for the voices of those around her… and may she have wisdom to hear what isn’t even said.
  • And finally as it lights up her brain… may she be filled with memories of the times that she has been given love and appreciated it… may it invoke her own inner wisdom and remind her that she is safe and she worthy…

I see her body filled with love.

Oh that this woman would deeply know that she has an abundance of it. That she can give Love even before she knows what form it will return to her.

That she will recognize that she can receive it even if, and when, it is given imperfectly by another.

May this love bless the life of this woman who is now choosing to be an agent of love in this world. Might it add joy, depth, and meaning.

As she walks through those doors—the doors where she will undoubtedly bump into humanity—may the holiness of love go before her, with her, and in her. May it trail behind her leaving a blessing around her… that whoever is with her feels their worth, that whoever connects with her feels listed to and attended to, that those who are in her presence feel hope. And may all these gifts be given to her ten-fold… help her see where she can receive, embrace, ask for, be heard, and be seen.

Because we know that prayers begging to become more loving are prayers that will always be answered, we thank you even now that we have this privilege to practice being God made real tonight.

Thank you, thank you, and amen.

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p.s.  I'm leading a call this Sunday, Dec. 7 at 4:30 pm PT/7:30 ET where everyone who holds any loneliness this holiday season is welcome to come and be present... I want to honor it, speak to it, and bless you.... you are so welcome, for free.  Get info here.

The Blessing of Open Hands

I wrote this post last year at Thanksgiving on my former blog and have had many requests for it to be re-posted. So here, GirlFriends, is my Thanksgiving prayer for you: Anyone who hangs out with me for long will frequently hear me use the metaphor of an open hand.

It's a hand gesture where each hand is cupped, palms up. Relaxed in a way, and yet, intentional enough that I could bring water to my lips with those fingers if needed.

The very act of making those open hands has become my own little mantra in life, inviting my heart to reflect the handmade sign. It's how I want to show up in life, especially in my relationships.

 

What Open Hands Are Not For when I see those open hands I am reminded of all that they are and, conversely, all that they are not.

  • If my hands are open, then that means they are not limp, by my side, unwilling, un-noticing, or incapable of being ready to receive.
  • If my hands are open, then that means I am not clinging, fists tight, trying to hold, control, keep or grasp.
  • If my hands are open, then that means I am not palms out, pushing away, putting up walls, resisting, defending, refusing to let life in.
  • If my hands are open, then that means they are not flat and stretched, unable to hold anything of value, refusing to be a safe container for that which is given in my life.
  • If my hands are open, then that means they aren't trying to stretch the fingers ever wider to hold more and more. For they would know that as the fingers spread, so do the gifts begin to seep out like sand through the cracks.

No, I want to step into life with gentle, but firmly cupped hands. Not needing to grab, push, cling, force or refuse. Rather, I show up with a readiness that says I will look for things to hold, people to love, life to relish, moments to enjoy, gifts to appreciate.

What Open Hands Remind Me Open hands remind me that I am deserving of goodness. I am worthy, willing and capable. I refuse to let past rejection, fears, insecurities and previous losses stop me from being ready to receive this time. I value living life fully and I will look for moments to cherish and love.

Open hands remind me that if I give freedom to goodness to land in my life then I also give freedom to see those same gifts fly away. In their own time. I can't not control one and then try to control the other. An airport cannot choose to only accept arrivals and not departures, there are valid times for travel in both directions. I cannot force people to stay here any longer than I can force time to stand still. I cannot manipulate, coerce, charm or trap gifts to last forever.

And should I ever be tempted to close my hand around something, I inevitably have just closed my hand to other gifts as well. Ironic, that the very gesture of trying to keep one thing can be the gesture that prevents other good things.

Sometimes we're so focused on refusing to let go of one thing that we miss the other opportunities. We hold so tight that we suffocate the very breath that we never wanted to lose. With tight hands we squish the bug we were trying to save, melt the chocolate we wanted for later or find fingernail marks in our skin because we clenched too hard. That which we wanted to keep, we lost anyhow. And now our hands are just messy and sore.

Open hands remind me to engage, to not give up, to expect, to hope and to cherish. They teach me to let go, to unclench, to find peace. They offer me moments of joy and loss, inviting me to find contentment in both.

My Open Hands Blessings My open hands invite me to embrace, hug and cherish the people in my life now.

My open hands remind me to feel grateful for those relationships even when they have flown away.

My open hands provide me a visual promise that I anticipate a future filled with more love.

This Thanksgiving, I hold my hands open. Grateful for the blessings. Those blessings that I have now, the ones I have had, and those that are still yet to come.

Happy Thanksgiving GirlFriends.

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On a related subject of gratitude, I am pleased to share with my GirlFriendCircles.com community that over the weekend I signed a book deal with Turner Publishing!  Woo-hoo!  You've been so encouraging on my blog (THANK YOU!) and there is so much more structure, process, examples, inspiration and in-depth teaching around healthy community that I want to provide.  So I'll be busy writing the next six months, with a publication date probably sometime in 2013! Keep cheering me on GirlFriends-- I need it!