"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy." Brother David Steindl-Rast

Monday, December 5, 2016

Prayers as Brain Activity

Today I am grateful for my husband Darcy and our marriage. I am also grateful for some phone conversations with friends and family this weekend.

My goal is to begin each day with some quiet time. I say some prayers I have committed to memory. Prayers that hold much meaning to me and that help me get centered for the day ahead. I also will pray for others.

The list is long. Those who have had or are currently dealing with cancer. Those in active addiction and those working hard to recover. Anyone who needs special prayers; maybe they have suffered a significant loss, maybe they are facing surgery or health problems, maybe they are struggling with a decision.

I will often do these prayers on my knees. It is a more humble and open way for me to ask for help and seek compassion. But I also often do them as I am exercising. Moving meditation. Usually at least a couple times a week, I will pray for everyone in my large family.

I name them individually. Some of them I rarely see and can't say that I know that well, but they are family and that means we have a special connection. Our family now numbers over 100, so there is always someone in need of special prayers of intention.

Admittedly, some days I am in a more prayerful mindset than other days. Just like some days my gratitude flows easily and other days it has to hurdle some obstacles in the stream of life. Even on those tougher flow days, taking the actions makes all the difference. I am able to proceed as a productive contributor to my own day and the day of those around me.

These prayers help me get out of myself. My own head can be a dangerous place when all it is thinking about is me. These prayers put me in a grateful mindset. I have people praying for me and people I can pray for. Just like I believe gratitude shared creates positive energy between people, I also believe prayers prayed create positive energy between those praying and those being prayed for.

This is a true gift of daily recovery and regular gratitude practice. I don't get mired in the muck of self-pity so deeply that I isolate and spin my wheels and become of no use to the world.

I consider prayers to be healthy brain activity.

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