I am excited to host today my colleague Susan Sherayko, author of the book “Rainbow Over Ruins” in which she describes how she survived a natural disaster that altered her life. Thus her book is not just a good read but also a wonderful source of ‘how to cope with adversity and crisis’. It is her belief that everyone is creative and by using the creative thought process with its daily prescription for success, you can choose rainbows over ruins. If you change the way you think, you can turn disaster into opportunity and become the most successful person you desire to be. Here is her blog post:
Be Still and Center in Prayer by Susan Sherayko
Several years ago, I left home for work in the morning just as I would on any other rainy day. However, I returned home to discover that a mudslide had come through my house, leaving a trail of mud and debris inside and around our home. It was not what I would ever have imagined happening to my husband and me. When all was said and done I describe the experience as life-altering.
There were no experts, no governmental advisors, or sources of information to help us figure it all out. Rather we were facing governmental fines for having rocks in our backyard. The financial impact was staggering. There was no insurance and we were liable for both the home we could no longer inhabit, as well as a home we rented while we found solutions.
I felt an intense fear in the pit of my stomach as we lived through it all. In my book Rainbows Over Ruins, I wrote about the story and one of the best ways I found to reduce and eliminate the elements of fear through the calming influence of Centering Prayer.
The aim of this meditative prayer technique is to minimize the mind’s conscious activity in order to open to pure consciousness. The method is simple: Think of one word of one or two syllables that you like (peace, love, father, mother, and grace are examples) and keep thinking that word in whatever form it takes.
When you become aware of some other thought pulling you away, return to the word you’ve chosen. Any number of ideas may cross the inner screen of your mind. You may be intrigued and want to explore such distractions, but instead, let them float by. Maintain this attitude for at least 20 minutes daily, a few times per Centering prayer is about stillness – about listening with your inner awareness without the obligation to respond or ask for anything.
In all the intense activities of our daily lives, we rarely find such moments of silence. In fact, unless we cultivate this state, we may find ourselves uncomfortable being quiet for any length of time. Where is the leader saying the words of prayer? Where is the ritual that fills the moments of ceremony? Where is the music? They are absent during centering prayer.
In the silent mind, insights from surrounding quantum consciousness may unfold gently, without force. Forcing would stop the creative flow. This sensation is about allowing and moving into a timeless state.
It is all now. This is not the time to get hung up on the activities of the process, the “doingness” or how of it. Rather, it is a time to hold an idea, observe possibilities, develop the hint of a plan … and then let go.
If you’d like a more detailed explanation of the centering prayer process, www.ContemplativeOutreach.org provides explanations, How-Tos and opportunities to practice this technique with others.
Father Thomas Keating is the founder and spiritual guide of the organization. Additional background information on centering prayer can also be found at www.Integralife.com, website for Integral Life founded by philosopher Ken Wilber.
If you follow up with centering prayer, I hope you enjoy the deep spiritual connection you gain from it. I continue to use this technique. When I look back, I can see how centering prayer contributed to our recovery. It helped calm me, removed fear and helped me to focus. It also helped me get in touch with my Higher Self and the power of my subconscious mind. The end result? We actually improved our lives as we rebuilt.
Visit Susan’s website TO YOUR SUCCESS to find out more about using your creativity!