The year is half over and it’s time for a bit of reflection. (We usually save this for the end of the year, but why keep on a path another six months if a slight course correction now could help?) I’ve been thinking of the declaration we made at the beginning of this year: this year is a year of transformation! And I defined transformation as something that happens on this plane. It’s visible and measurable. There’s no faking it.
Since I know how quickly six months can go, I’m already getting a bit panicky: will it be obvious that I’ve transfromed? Will I live up to my own declaration? Since it’s on “this plane”, I won’t be able to do any “spin” on this one. My transformation will be worn on my sleeve. Or not. Luckily for me, I’m starting to see transformation. The church is certainly changing with growth and new programs starting all the time (and the church is a big part of me, so I can count that as some of “my” transformation).
And I’m changing as well. Little aches and pains that have been maddeningly chronic are beginning to budge. I just turned sixty last month and found a surprising amount of “stuff” I had around that, including the idea of limitation and deterioration. But instead of experiencing that, I’m experiencing true transformation of a positive sort. It’s caught me by surprise so I had to ask myself, “What’s happening here?”
What’s happeing is daily spiritual practice. I’ve always done certain spiritual practices on a daily basis (gratitude, tithing, seeing the God in everything and everyone are all spiritual practices) but I never did spiritual mind treatment (our form of affirmative prayer) on a daily basis. Since the beginning of this year, I have been strictly daily. I have a wonderful prayer partner and we never let the day end without praying together, as challenging as that may be on some days. We pray for each other’s concerns, for everyone at Woodland Chapel, and for our own “stuff”. The stuff I have been most focused on this year has been these creeping, chronic physical aches and pains.
At first nothing seems to change. I can affirm my physical perfection as often as I want and it’s still a pain to get up those stairs. Then, “suddenly”, I actually am feeling that perfection. I actually am getting up those stairs like the little engine that can. There’s a growing certainty that one day I’ll wake up and think, “Gee, I remember when I used to have problems with this. I’d completely forgotten.” The problem will just slip away in the night.
None of this comes as a big shock to me. Rev. Marcia Sutton, my mentor, always says, “Prayer changes things.” It’s as simple as that. Prayer takes so many of our principles and puts them all to work at the same time: it’s about faith and belief (and it’s done unto you as you believe); it’s about focusing on your health instead of your ailments (and what you focus on, that’s what grows); it’s about attracting what you are (BE energy and you attract even more of it). So while it may never be a shock to see the principles at work, it’s always a delight. And it’s always something to feel grateful for.
So this month, at the half-way mark of the year of transformation, I’m talking about tools that will help us make that transformation; the principles, affirmations, and meditation. (there will be a big healthy dose of prayer in with the “principles”!) One part of our prayer that comes up everyday is giving thanks for this philosophy, these principles that are so powerful and can be used by absolutely anyone. I know that it’s the dailyness of this spiritual practice that is making the difference this time. It seems like a small thing, but it’s huge. Jesus tells a parable of a faithful servant who worked consistently on his minor task. His master told him, “Because you have been faithful in these few things, I will make you master over many.” If we can be faithful in the few things, the few spiritual practices we can do every day, we can become master over all, over all the things we want to transform in our lives. Love, Rev. Mary