I received the Chrysanthemum plant in the picture as a birthday gift three months ago. It was filled with beautiful white Chrysanthemum flowers in full bloom. It was given to me by someone special who knows how much I love flowers. It brightened the room for weeks. I was sad when the flowers began to wither and die. I know it’s a part of the cycle of life; however, it still made me a bit sad to watch the plant transition to its current state. My sadness has shifted to acceptance and I am now sitting with this beauty each day during meditation as a reminder that winter is a time of rest, renewal, and going within. It is a necessary phase of the cycle of life that requires strength, patience, and trust in the process to begin again.
Each season brings gifts and opportunities for growth as we journey through the year. Winter is a wonderful time of year to commit or re-commit to a daily practice of being still and silent. I invite you to read my post “Give Yourself the Gift of Silence” for inspiration in creating a daily practice. You might want to consider practicing silence in the evening as a bridge to nighttime – a natural time of deep renewal that enables you to begin anew in the morning.
If you are located in the southern hemisphere, I invite you to embrace the essence of the message. Winter is a great metaphor for being still and silent; however, the practice is relevant throughout the year.
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When I was growing up, my mom used to make me and my siblings spend time alone on a regular basis. She felt it was important for us to learn to enjoy our own company and not feel compelled to fill our time with other people or activities to be content and happy.
Spending time alone was never an issue for me. I am an introvert by nature and quiet time alone is how I recharge and reenergize. I looked forward to and enjoyed my time alone.
As I look back on my childhood, I feel a deep sense of gratitude to my mom for laying the foundation for what has proven to be a very important daily practice—time alone in silence to cultivate patience, peace of mind, and trust in the process of being internally guided.
If you don’t already have a regular practice of spending time alone in silence, I encourage you to create time in your day to be still and silent. Strive for 15-20 minutes in silence each day.
If sitting in silence is new to you, start small. Take five minutes or ten minutes out of your day. Set a timer so that you can be fully present to the moment and not watching the clock. You may want to consider lighting a candle* as a focal point for your time in silence. When the timer goes off, bring your quiet time to a close in a spirit of gratitude for the gift of silence. Capture any guidance you receive in a notebook or journal and begin to take action.
In the beginning, the benefits of spending time in silence may not be obvious, however, as you continue with this practice, I believe you willfeel a deeper sense of peace and trust in the process of being internally guided.
Questions for reflection:
Are you comfortable being alone? If not, why not?
Are you comfortable in silence? If not, why not?
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When we pray with a goal in mind, we are engaging the power of intention in the context of all things being divinely possible.
The word intention comes from the Latin word intendere which means to “stretch out”, “to extend”. Intention inspires vision and guides action.
If you believe your prayers reflect what is best for your life, affirm your beliefs by living your prayers. For example, if you are praying for peace, envision what peace would look like in your life and commit to thinking peaceful thoughts, speaking peaceful words, and creating a peaceful environment. If you are praying for a new job/career opportunity, envision your new job/career and support your prayer with actions like updating your resume, creating a list of companies to send your resume, networking, and so on.
Prayer that is outcome focused and not supported with action is empty prayer. It is important that we pray and take action.
Engage the power of the written word to help you manifest what you desire. Create a plan of action that will enable you to move from where you are to where you would like to be. Consider using images and/or symbols as visual reminders (vision board) of your desired outcome.
Work toward your goal, but don’t be attached to a particular outcome. Being attached to a specific outcome can get in the way of you receiving an even bigger blessing than the one you had in mind.
The essence of prayer is faith in a divine presence working in and through our lives. As such, stay open to guidance and trust that you are being guided to your highest good.
Question for reflection
What is one thing you can do this week to move your life in the direction of your prayers?
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