I have heard it from many sources: Bring everything, including all your troubles, into your spiritual practice. Exclude nothing from your conversation with Source energy. Bring everything to the Divine, laying it at the feet of God.
Here are some ways to bring everything into your spiritual practice:
- In prayer, tell God what is troubling you. Lay bare your feelings, your worries, your anxieties. Feel the feelings. Describe them in minute detail. Then ask for guidance and wait. Wait for the Divine message. Be open to whatever comes to you, whether it be a feeling, a vision, an intuition or a voice. A friend shared with me that he once had trouble forgiving someone for snubbing him - a relatively minor infraction, but it was mushrooming into a BIG DEAL as he ruminated about it in his mind. He included the situation in his meditation, asking God for help and a new perspective on the situation. He had a visualization in which God guided his mind up to the highest reaches of heaven and said, "Now, what is your perspective on this situation?" My friend laughed at God’s sense of humor - of course, this incident seemed small and insignificant from the viewpoint of heaven. He immediately felt overcome with peace and tranquility toward the person who snubbed him.
- In meditation, bring to mind the situation that you are concerned about. Again, lay bare your feelings, worries and anxieties. You might imagine going deep into your feelings and mental interpretations about the situation, like going into the eye of a hurricane. Then imagine the storm quickly passing and all that remains are some soft, fluffy clouds against a blue sky. The clouds represent your feelings and interpretations. Watch them float away from sight. You may see the clouds disperse, breaking up into clumps of water molecules. Notice if you feel the grip of your emotions lessen a bit.
- In visualization, imagine bundling up all your worries and concerns into a black trash bag. Stuff them in very tightly, then close the bag with a knot. Imagine sending the bag down into the middle of the earth, where it is so hot that everything turns to molten lava. Because your worries are so toxic, they ignite in the fire of the earth’s center, burning off the charge of negative emotions. Then, bring the fire of pure energy back up and into your body, where it now purifies your heart, mind and spirit.
- Again, visualize stuffing all your worries and troubles into a black trash bag. Close it up very tightly and put a knot in the mouth of the bag. Then imagine yourself kneeling in front of God and laying the bag of twisted troubles at God’s feet. Leave it there.
These thoughts focus on troubling aspects of our lives. It is natural for us to turn to our Higher Power for comfort when we we struggle with life.
A practice of bringing gratitude to God is also rewarding. The wonderful thing about gratitude is that it highlights the many wondrous, albeit small, blessings we observe in our lives. By noticing and thanking Source for these things, we double our blessings: once for the blessing itself and twice in recalling it. I count my blessings in my journal most mornings. I put a star beside them, which reminds me of my first grade teacher affixing gold stars to my papers. It makes me feel good to notice my blessings. Yes, it gives me a sense of accomplishment, but more than that, a sense of awe that the Divine has kissed me, as it were, with blessings.
Bring everything into your spiritual practice.