Music of the Soul series.

“You create a path...by listening to your soul, cultivating your own ways of experiencing the sacred and then practicing it. Practicing until you make it a song that sings you.”
— Sue Monk Kidd

You’re a leader. You shoulder a heavy load of responsibility and work tirelessly to keep your team on target. Moving toward those goals as effectively as possible. Sometimes it’s exhausting.

You are also a man or woman of spirit. You know that you can’t lead effectively without attending to the health of your soul and maintaining your connection to God. In fact, your leadership capacity will never exceed your spiritual capacity! Without an active, vital God-connection, all you have left is your own humanity to draw upon...and that is a poor reservoir when it comes to spiritual leadership.

And thus the rub.

Leading easily becomes all-consuming—juggling family, checkbook, calendar, a friendship or two, weekly church services, and a little downtime—so your spiritual life rapidly lands in a vague cloud of guilt and frustration.

Can this story end differently? Yes.

Is it easy? No.

Can it be easier? Heck yeah!

Your soul craves the “music” of the timeless and transcendent…the sense of spiritual lift and resonance that comes unbidden with a rose-streaked sky or a sleeping child’s face. But it’s like the old style tuning knob on the radio: you have to keep massaging the dial to keep the static down and the music strong. Who has time for that?

This “Music of the Soul” blog series brings you a menu of seven simple spiritual practices—each with one big idea and at least one practical application, scalable to the time you decide to invest. I won’t kid you: spiritual depth is not microwavable. Like most things of value, there’s a direct correlation between time, attention, and results. So use this series as a weekly reminder and a quick reference guide to the life you’re meant to live. Each of these practices has been transformational in my own journey.

Wake up! Listen to the Music of heaven. Feed your Soul again.

Links in this Series: 

  1. STOP. Getting off the gerbil wheel.
  2. PLAY. Living in the present moment.
  3. REPLAY. Breaking recurring cycles.
  4. PAUSE. Finding rhythms of renewal.
  5. REWIND. Looking back redemptively.
  6. SHUFFLE. Responding to chaos & crisis.
  7. FAST-FORWARD. Looking forward in faith.

The Welcome Prayer: A Quick Start to Your Day

Composed by Father Thomas Keating, this simple prayer is a powerful reorientation of the way in which we engage the world around us. We either seek to power up…or to bless. To grasp…or to release. To secure ourselves…or to recognize that we are already secured. These are fundamentally distinct postures: one brings life while the other erodes it. This prayer is a quick realignment at the start of the day.

Holy Spirit, I welcome you. I receive this day…and all it holds for me.
I welcome everything that comes my way because I know it's for my healing.
I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations, and conditions.

I engage my body today as the Temple of your Spirit.

I welcome and accept my emotions, even the ones that feel bad right now.

I am not my feelings, and You are bigger than my feelings.

I let go of my desire for power and control. Welcome, Holy Spirit.
I let go of my desire for affection and approval. Welcome, Holy Spirit.
I let go of my desire for survival and security. Welcome, Holy Spirit.

I let go of my desire to change any situation, any condition, and any person including myself. I open myself to the love and presence of God and God's action within. Amen.

At first reading I felt this prayer was a bit too passive and fatalistic. Que sera sera. But I don’t think that anymore. When I pray this, I’m taking my position as a child of God in God’s world. I recognize my part to play in co-creating with God, and that part is welcoming and cooperating rather than manipulating and grasping.

It’s not that the needs for affection and security are illegitimate; it’s that these needs are already met in God! When we try to meet them ourselves, we make a mess of it. Try the prayer yourself for a week and see what you think!

 

Posted on February 10, 2015 .