I love God. I love God in the way Rumi speaks of God:
“The Beloved we want is always awake,/and always meets us when we arrange to meet.”
I almost never use the word God when talking about my spiritual life.
I almost never talk about my spiritual life.
It is true, I write about it here on my blog, or at least I almost do:
I talk about the power of listening to bring us into new relationship with ourselves and the world.
This is a spiritual act. I rarely say this.
I rarely talk directly about what the sacred means to me.
Sherry Ruth Anderson and Patricia Hopkins write in their book, The Feminine Face of God:
“And, indeed, we seem to be much more comfortable talking about our sex lives than we are sharing information with each other about how we pray. Perhaps this is because praying may be the most personal and intimate thing we do. To pray is to be vulnerable. And in deep, personal prayer we come to know our vulnerabilities in a way that strips us of all our defenses and pretenses. That which is our very essence calls us into communion with mystery, and this joining is a supremely intimate experience.”
I don’t talk about prayer. I don’t write about prayer. I don’t admit that for me, entering into a receptive listening relationship with the unknown is prayer.
It is. I admit it. I pray.
My prayers are the act of orienting to the unknown, to feeling the love of the Beloved alongside and inside every ache and misunderstanding and confusion.
Almost ten years ago I began a searching prayer when I moved in with myself, alone (one of those maybe this is a just a one night stand but then instead I stayed, with myself, alone, for a long time).
I took the advice of a wise spiritual teacher without even knowing it since I never met her and didn’t hear the advice until later:
“Sit down, shut up, and figure it out yourself.”
As I lived my way into and through this prayer, I wrote. And wrote. And wrote.
The time has come, out of this prayer and writing to make a book. To share my spiritual life.
To talk about it out loud. To let go of thinking my path doesn’t fit with some notion of The Path and instead trust myself, trust the Beloved, and trust that
speaking out loud our truth is an act of creation, regeneration, and love.
“Learning to trust the unfolding of one’s own life is awkward, painful work that often leaves one feeling exposed and vulnerable.”–Sherry Ruth Anderson and Patricia Hopkins, The Feminine Face of God.
I’ve launched a Kickstarter Campaign to make a book and share the prayer of my unknown unfolding in the hopes it speaks to your unknown unfolding. You can listen to me speak about this in the video on the Kickstarter page and you can back this project and help bring this book forth.
Sometimes our life brings us to our knees. Sometimes on our knees we pray.
Sometimes when we are on our knees it is our best opportunity to lie right down on the earth and listen.
Sometimes when we are here it is helpful to have someone listen to us, with us.
I offer this listening through one-on-one sessions by phone and in person.
I’m offering limited sessions this year because–see above–I’m writing a book. But if you are interested in a session with me the best way to book one right now is to back my Kickstarter project at the $100 level and you’ll get a session plus postcards, books, updates.
To see all the pledge levels and rewards click here, scroll down and look to the left hand sidebar.
To learn more about working with me click here.
And since talking about sex is not as scary as talking about prayer, I’ll now admit:
The secret to sex is to approach it as prayer,
to explore the unknown with your beloved while held by the Beloved, and to let go of every belief and idea you have about both sex and prayer (and your beloved/the Beloved).
“When a woman makes the choice to embody spiritual experience in her everyday life, idealizations go out the window. She has to bring in everything—frailties and strengths, doubts and optimism, whatever she longs to conceal and whatever she’d be delighted to flaunt—and live it out.” –Sherry Ruth Anderson and Patricia Hopkins, The Feminine Face of God.
Inquiring into the underbelly of my thoughts—the shame, the shadow, the shortcomings—and living out the repercussions of this listening is also prayer.
Out of a prayer of this kind I wrote a piece about men and women—no, it is about me—that was published this week on my friend Kelly Diels’ blog, Cleavage.
So one more secret shared, I pray.
And you? What are your secrets? What are your prayers?