Prayer for Me

Prayer for me has changed recently. I no longer view prayer as a form of work wherein I petition God for blessings I need for me, my friends, or my family. I don’t believe God reserves special blessings, gifts, or healings for those who are bold enough to ask, or for those who obediently keep his commands.

Furthermore, I don’t believe that the righteous are entitled to more blessings than the wicked. Primarily because I do not believe children of God can be wicked for I believe we are all divine beings with infinite possibilities. Yes, there are evil acts, but children of God are not evil. Individuals who commit evil acts are hurting and hurting people hurt others in attempts to meet their unmet needs. Children of God who are hurting need help and lots of love. Punishment doesn’t rehabilitate for hate cannot drive out hate, only love and light can do that. And God, like the sun, does not withhold his love and light from any of his children. Some may choose to live in a cave and claim that the world is a cold, dark place, but their reality isn’t God’s reality for God happily shines his love and light down upon all his creations. We are free to live in or out of the cave. Honoring the Divine is a gift we give ourselves, but to think that God’s goodness is conditional upon our behavior is to make God ungracious. My God blesses all because of who He is not because of who we are. His benevolence isn’t based upon our actions.

But I digress, back to prayer. Prayer for me now is silent communion. As I sit silently, I rarely feel the need to speak, primarily because I no longer see God as a great genie in the sky who simply exists to grant my every wish. Additionally, I no longer view God as the Great dispenser of death, punishment, and doom. For me, God is a power that I can always access. When I am connected with God all things are possible for God is all powerful. When I am disconnected from God I feel weak and powerless. Yes, I fear and I doubt when I disconnect from the divine.

This belief about God means that there is nothing that I need that He hasn’t already granted, and everything else that I feel I need is already on its way. Prayer for me consists of reminding myself of this realization. When I pray in this way, I no longer feel the need to ask for gifts, blessings, healings, or miracles for me, my family, or my friends. Instead, I sit quietly and go within for it is within this silent stillness that I touch the infinite and receive the calm assurance that everything will be all right. I feel powerful and at peace. Words, in such a setting, are unnecessary, and frankly, feel quite trite. Instead of speaking, I open my heart and allow the gratitude to gush. Sometimes it spills out in audible gasps of adoration, joy, and awe. And, oftentimes, this silent stirring of my soul causes the tears to flow.

As you can see, prayer for me is a private communion. I am finding it particularly painful to pray publicly. It doesn’t feel like prayer. It feels exhibitionist–a pointless perfunctory performance.  If God is not a genie in the sky, who exists to fulfill our every wish, then why do we continually go before him petitioning that he “bestow his spirit with us,” or that he “bless us with health,” or that he “help us go throughout our various activities in safety?” God is already doing all these things. By asking him to do it aren’t we backhandedly suggesting that he is somehow some miserly withholder? Do you really believe that God only blesses you with safety if you petition him for it? I don’t. Do you really believe that God will allow Lindsay to die from cancer if we don’t pray fervently? I don’t. Do you really believe that God will withhold peace, happiness, and joy if we don’t ask him to bless us with it? I don’t. And that is why I find it completely unfitting to beg God for blessings.

Come out of your cave dear one. Come sit silently in the sun and bask in the peace, graciousness, and goodness of God for he is shining it down upon His inhabitants in great abundance. Go within and you will find the divine. You will find that all you seek has already been given and already exists within. You are divine. You are connected to God and because of your connection you already have everything you need–and anything you feel is lacking is always already on its way. This, my friends, is prayer for me now!

Glorious God Realizations

I think one of the most glorious God realizations I have had is that God is not some Heavenly Being who hordes “goodies” and dispenses them according to our behavior.  Nope, God is a benevolent giver of all good gifts, he pours them forth abundantly upon all his children, unconditionally, irrespective of their behavior. In fact, God loves and blesses all his creations for GOD IS LOVE. Anyone who says differently simply doesn’t understand.  They must have been taught that God loves his obedient children more than his disobedient children and that he will punish the sinners and withhold blessings till they bring their lives in line with His commands. Naturally, anyone taught to believe in this punitive type of God–one who views their struggles as “sins” that make them unworthy till they repent–would feel “unlovable” and “separate” from the love of God. But we know that there is “nothing that can separate us from the love of God.” NOTHING.

We don’t have to be “obedient” to secure God’s pleasure and blessings. God loves us regardless of our behavior because God is love. There is nothing we can do that will change who he is and his character. We must rid ourselves of erroneous notions. Believe that you are loved. Believe that commandments exist to ensure happiness not to punish. I’d imagine it’s more difficult to feel Spirit moving in you and others when you are inebriated or drugged up. Just like it’s hard for the hangry to be happy when they’re hungry. It seems entirely possible that it would be hard to feel of worth when you prostitute yourself and profane. Anytime you breach your integrity you will feel dissonance. This dissonance is a result of disconnecting from your divine center. Mastering your appetites and passions–so they aren’t your masters– allows you to stay connected to Spirit. Again, it’s hard to tune into higher spiritual frequencies when we are out of sync with the divine within.

So, I guess I just want to express my gratitude for the glorious God realizations I’ve been given. God is love, always. What am I then when I am loving?

Between You and God

I love Mother Teresa! She is one of my heroes. Today, I was pondering this quote:

In the final analysis, it is all between you and God . . .

I love this quote so much because it’s a powerful reminder of whose business we should be about, and of that which we should be concerned. Who cares what others think about our decisions and our beliefs. Ultimately, we will be judged on the “content of our character,” not our religious affiliations, color of our skin, our gender, our socio-economic status, etc. Who we are and what we have become is what matters in the end.

When we concern ourselves with the opinion of God, and not the opinion of men, we cannot go wrong. God is love. Therefore we are God when we love.

Furthermore, God loves us no matter what. In fact, there is nothing we can ever do that will separate us from the love of God. His love is always there. We only feel separated when we forget to connect with him. Spencer W. Kimball always said if you are feeling distant from God, “Who moved?” God isn’t ever moving away from us. Closing the distance is up to us. And I like to think of it even different than that because I believe God will feel after us. He doesn’t let us run away from him (yes, we can’t get very far from Him) for His love follows us wherever we go “for he causeth his son (sun) to shine on the good and the bad,” so really we just have to turn and face Him for He is always right there. Maya Angelou always says, “Wherever you go, there you are.” Well, I like to apply that quote to God, “Wherever you go, there He/She/They are.”

It’s really hard for me nowadays to just refer to a loving Heavenly Father and only use the pronoun Him. If I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and blesses me, surely I have a Mother in Heaven who is equally involved. If not, why would I ever aspire–as a woman–to be a God someday? So I can play a quiet, passive, supportive role? Sorry, woman has been playing the quiet, passive, supportive role for centuries here on planet earth. I’ve enjoyed seeing her impressive strides forward to equality. Great gains have been made, but there are still miles to go before she sleeps. It’s an amazing time to be alive and to be a woman. Never before have we had so many rights, privileges, and opportunities. I thrill to think what the future holds for my daughters and my son.

Alas, I diverged as the point of my post today is to free yourself from the good and bad opinion of others and instead focus on the opinion of God. ‘Tis the Divine that matters most and it never was between you and them, it always has and will be between you and God.

God’s Goods are Great

God’s goods are great That’s right! God is SO good and the good’s he delivers are so great! I have been thinking a lot lately about how God is the great giver of all good gifts and how he answers prayers in mysterious ways. The answers, gifts, and goods always come in incredible ways. The scriptures talk about how God answers in his own time and in his own way. I have found this to be true. I have also found that we are not left bereft of music as he orchestrates his Divine Plans. In fact, he blesses our senses with soothing symphonies all along till that climactic crescendo–the moment He opens the windows of Heaven and pours out his blessings upon us in such abundance that we don’t have room enough to receive. The bounty takes our breath away and we sit in awe, spellbound by majesty, magnificence, and beauty of it all.

There was a time when I tried to be the maestro. I thought I knew just what needed to be done to Divinely direct the symphonies of my life. I’ve learned now that I don’t know nearly as much about music and Divine Orchestration as the Master. I’ve learned to let God do the conducting and to sit back and enjoy the unfolding.

I read this quote this morning that really spoke to me:

God always gives his best to those who leave the choice to him.

To me, that means being content to allow God the time and space to answer in his way and in his time. It’s always better this way for I’ve discovered through personal experience that when God does finally deliver, he delivers big time! His gifts are so much greater than we can ever even imagine. I remember feeling this way when I met Matt. He was–and is–so much more than I ever could have even hoped for. I was praying to meet a righteous dude. Who knew that I’d not only find a righteous dude, but one I’m attracted to, who enjoys being active, working hard, playing hard, and praying hard. He is my #1 fan and inspires me to be and do better. I love him and am grateful for him. I still marvel that God brought such an incredibly perfect fit into my life in his time and his way. I’m grateful for his Divine Orchestration, his timing, his music, and his plan every single day.

Just recently, I had another instance where God answered my prayers in a remarkable, his own time, kind of way. I had been praying for the ability to simplify my life. I have been feeling for several years that my work-life balance was out of balance. I loved my work (KickFire), but it felt like it was taking over my life. I was just starting to create some sanity and sacred space when Tyler was diagnosed with brain cancer. Life, which was already crazy busy, became exceedingly worse. I honestly never thought I could get more slammed, until I did. I worked hard to get things back under wraps and I told myself that once I had things reigned back in, I was really going to be done with the insanity. The crisis was past and then, in the Lord’s perfect timing, an incredible job opportunity appeared. It was completely unexpected and totally out of nowhere. It was something that I never before would have entertained, but because of Tyler’s mishap, and work becoming even crazier, I was open to the idea.

The seed was planted and as I thought about the possibilities of leaving my own business to help build someone else’s the thought became delicious to me. I could see it all so clearly now as the perfect answer to my prayers. It wasn’t the way I would have solved my work-life balance problem, it was a solution far beyond my imagination at the time. The position, opportunity, and compensation are all incredible. God’s goods are great! And his Divine Orchestrations are music to my ears. I’m grateful for his conducting and that he didn’t leave me bereft of music while he led me toward the climactic crescendo. I’ll never tire of his soothing symphonies and the ways He leads me, guides me, and walks beside me. Thank you for your great goods God!

How May I Serve

There are two ways we can go through life. We can constantly ask, “What’s in it for me?” or “How may I serve?”

I’ve been guilty of both and I’ll tell you that when I remember to approach life with the latter attitude, I’m enthused. And I literally cannot think of a better way to describe how I feel when I’m serving others or thinking about how I can best serve others than “enthusiastic.” Check out the origin and etymology of the word enthusiasm:

from en- + theos god

To me, en theos means to have God within. It comes from  the Greek enthousiasmos, from enthousiazein to be inspired

And what is really cool is that when we are inspired, we are in-spirit. Approaching life from the posit of “How may I serve?” puts us in touch with the Divine. We acknowledge the god within and the god in others. We live by–and are directed by–spirit.

When we ask, “what’s in it for me?” we are operating from ego. We simply serve ourselves, and many times at the expense of others. This position creates division and separates us from the whole of humanity. We are meant to be one. When we are one, we are Gods.

When we put others first, the universe conspires to put us first. Essentially, when we serve others, the universe serves us. This is a universal truth.  I meditate daily to condition my natural response to always be “How may I serve?” instead of “What’s in it for me?” I am well on my way to rewiring my brain so that I always operate from a place of abundance. The world is abundant. There is enough to spare and to share. I have been blessed with talents. I’d be a terrible steward if I didn’t share my abundance most generously.

Everything You Need

What if you already have everything you need? And what if what you felt you lacked was already on its way or what if what you felt you lacked you didn’t really need?

I believe that we always have everything we need. If we needed more in that moment, we’d have it. The Universe and God are good like that. They withhold nothing from us. It is only our perceptions of need and lack that deceive and mislead. When we feel discontent it’s because there is a disconnect. The best cure for feeling discontent is to stop focusing on what it is you feel you lack and instead start focusing on everything you already have.

When you practice gratitude your vision expands. The very act of adding up your many blessings shifts your focus to an entirely different division wherein your blessings appear to multiply. This phenomenon isn’t magical or mysterious. It’s actually quite natural to see what you are looking for.  Focus on lack, you’ll see it. Shift your focus to your blessings and your eyes will be opened to the abundance you already possess. Your blessings aren’t magically multiplying. They were always there and you are finally focused on seeing them. This connection to God and abundance causes contentment. And what is happiness but contentment?

There is power in realizing that you always already have everything you need. This realization will free you from worry, stress, and discontent. The next time you are feeling as if you lack something or need something, stop and count your blessings. Start with the fact that you already have everything you need or else you wouldn’t be alive. You are breathing, your heart is beating, you probably have family or friends, you most likely aren’t starving and you probably have a roof over your head or a warm place to sleep. Sure you may need more money (everyone thinks they do), or you may be experiencing ill-health (everyone gets sick at some time or another) but right now, at this moment, you are fine because you are alive!

Breathe. Count your blessings. Remember that God is good and is vested in you. He will provide for your every need when you need it most. He wants you to be happy as much as he wants you to learn, develop and grow. He will ensure you have everything you need to do all three. Happiness, however, is something he can’t give you for you must learn how to choose happiness. You must learn that happiness has nothing to do with circumstance but rather is a byproduct of content. When you learn to see that you always already have everything you need and that whatever you feel you may currently lack–if you really need it–is already on its way, then you will stop worrying and instead you’ll trust in and connect with that very Being who governs and supplies light and life to all His creations.

Don’t disconnect through discontent. Claim happiness now through contentment and connection. Gratitude is the fastest way to multiply your blessings.

Squeezing an Orange

Loved the idea Dr. Dyer conveyed today about squeezing an orange. A woman called into his daily radio show all concerned about her upcoming trip home. Her parents vex her and she sought advice on how not to let them pull her strings. She was so worried that they would bring out the worst in her.

Dr. Dyer explained what I’m going to call The Parable of Squeezing Oranges.

What do you get when you squeeze an orange? It’s impossible to get grape juice. It’s impossible to get grapefruit juice. If you squeeze an orange you get orange juice.

The same is true with people. If you are a loving, kind person, when someone squeezes you, they should get loving kindness. If they get something other than orange juice when they squeeze you, you aren’t an orange.

Here this woman was worried about how her parents would bring out the worst in her and Dr. Dyer so lovingly explained that her parents were only squeezing out what she was. If she wasn’t full of craziness, her parents wouldn’t be able to squeeze that out of her.

This concept reminds me of C.S. Lewis’ teaching about rats in the cellar. If you want to know if there are rats in a cellar you won’t find them when you are in bustling about in the cellar lights on. You are going to discover rats in the cellar when you take them by surprise. You’ve got to fling open the door when they are least prepared.

If oranges are love, then I want to produce orange juice when squeezed.

Which leads me to believe that if God is love, he can’t produce anything but love when squeezed. Which means I can never do anything to produce anything but love from Him. Which means He loves me no matter what. Whew, that’s a relief. There goes a whole lot of pressure.

squeeze an orange

the juice is sweet

squeeze my God

the love runs deep

squeeze myself

what do you see?

loving-kindness?

or bitter seeds?

The title to this poem shall be God is Love

Wanting More

Wanting More is a topic near and dear to my heart right now. Here’s why:

Dr. Dyer was discussing the merits of wanting for others more of what you want for yourself. At the time I heard it I was trying to think of ways to help Tyler and his family stay afloat while also keeping KickFire afloat. I was feeling a little concerned about how to manage both–and do right by all– when Wayne imparted what I’m now calling, the wisdom of wanting more.

It was comforting to know that in my moment of crisis I wasn’t only looking out for my backside. I was pleased that I truly had an innate desire to make sure everyone was provided for and okay. But in my heart of heart, I couldn’t yet claim that I was the type of person who was wanting more for others that which I wanted for myself. I was just wanting everything to be okay.

In fact, I had moments where all I wanted to do was walk–no, run–away. It would be so easy for me to close up shop and have all of this no longer be my problem. But thankfully, the Good Lord, God, Universe, Spirit, or [insert your spiritual superpower semantics here], helped keep me feeling invested. He still helps me daily carry the burden. Had I to shoulder this burden alone, crushed I’d be already. God, friends, family, my entire KickFire Crew, and most importantly my faith, continues to pull me through–they always do.

And so this idea that I can want for others that which I want for myself–wanting it even more for them than I want it for me–meaning I don’t just want Rebecca and her family to also be provided for, but that I want them to be provided for as much as I want it for myself and then I add a dash, or a lump, or a full-fledge cup of even more wanting for them.

Yes, I also have a need for security, but I want it as much and now a little–no a lot–more for her than I want it even more for me. . . now that there is something. Something I want to strive for because it really wasn’t something I had even before considered.  When I heard Dr. Dyer speak about what I’m now calling the wisdom of wanting more, it hit me dead center. I knew it was true and what I wanted, not only for Rebecca’s security but for also for who I wanted to be. I, Janelle Page, want to be that type of person who wants more for others that of which I want for myself.

I’ve before heard the saying, “want more for others than you want for yourself,” and it isn’t nearly as powerful as wanting for others that which you want for yourself–to such a degree that you want to see them get what you want for yourself as much, and even more, than you want it for you.

It’s definitely the higher law and a beautiful companion to Jesus’ teaching:

Do unto others as you would have done unto you

The universe smiles upon those who want for others as much as and more so as they want for themselves. I always loved Zig Ziglar’s saying:

You can have anything in the world you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.

Perhaps we can apply the wisdom of wanting more principle to Zig’s teaching too and say:

You can have anything in the world you want if you first help enough other people get what you want.

Birds of Prey

Yesterday and today I had a cool experience with birds of prey. I was on my Sunday stroll and saw a deer. Deer are a sign between God and me–literally. One day when I was hiking up in Nordic Valley, I asked God to send me our traditional deer sign. You see whenever I’m hiking, or out and about meditating, God lets me know he’s near using deer, monarch butterflies, and yellow-breasted finches. It’s something I’ve come to count on. So this day in Nordic Valley I was nearing the conclusion of my hike and hadn’t yet seen any deer. So I mentioned the fact to Heavenly Father and asked him for a sign that he was near. I continued along my path only to look up and see this sign:

God’s cleverness made me laugh–the sign of the deer! I smiled at the Heavens as I loudly proclaimed: “Touché.” I kept right on running and that’s when something even more remarkable happened. I looked up and but 10 yards in front of me a beautiful doe and her fawn bounded across the street. I stopped and watched in total awe. How does one even begin to convey the wonder and goodness of God?

So yesterday as I was walking, deep in thought, you can imagine my delight as a deer caught my sight. It was in a pasture on the polygamist plantation. I wasn’t looking for it nor expecting it, God was simply letting me know that he was here and near.

I immediately tuned into my surroundings and discovered among the many chirping birds, the cry of a hawk. I tried to discover its location and couldn’t till it cried aloud again. It was sitting atop a nearby tree.  I closed my eyes and tried to get the spirit to make it fly. I knew spirit could do it as they often use animals to communicate with us. But try as I might, I couldn’t get spirit to make the bird fly. So I concentrated my mental powers further, meditating more intently. And that’s when spirit taught me that animals cannot be coerced. They are simply mediums and they must be willing participants. Most of the time, they will go and do, happily, but since spirit wasn’t the bird and simply was asking the bird to fly and then the bird gets to decide. . . this particular bird wasn’t willing. In fact, spirit let me know that birds of prey can be a little more difficult to work with than other birds. I found that fascinating and it did make perfect sense to me. I felt as if Spirit said to me, “walk on and hold on.” My feeling was confirmed as I opened my eyes and saw this sign:

It made me smile and it convinced me to once again start walking. And that’s when it happened. . . after I had moved along about 20 yards I saw a huge hawk fly overhead. The sighting sent chills up and down my spine and caused my bones to quake like Aspen trees–all feelings that have special meaning for it’s one of the ways spirit lets me know its near and guiding me.

And so that’s my little Sunday story about spirit and birds of prey, but oh, lest I forget, this morning as I was working out, we saw a huge bird atop a light pole. We ran over to get a closer look and there sat a turkey vulture. I took it as another sign from spirit. Birds of prey were everywhere yesterday and today!

He Handed Me the Story

I feel like God has handed me the Obtineo launch story. I mean after yesterday’s post, I received this picture and audio message from Rebecca:

 

Rebecca left the room while Tyler received therapy and when she returned, she found Tyler teaching the nurse and speech therapist how to play Obtineo. He was promoting troops and Rebecca was like, “What is going on here?” to which Tyler responded, “They wanted me to teach them how to play.”

 

I also woke up this morning with another brilliant idea. The social sharing video must open with Tyler holding Obtineo and looking into the camera as he says: “I love this game!”

Again, I cannot take any credit for this incredible campaign for He handed me the story (He=God). Check out how it all turned out here on our KickStarter page.