Every morning as I awaken, I lie quietly for a few moments and observe all the “things” that I have accumulated. I make a conscious decision to acknowledge that these things do not define me, yet I am grateful, for they are expressions of God’s abundance, beauty and order.
Then, I begin my spiritual reading, because I recognize that I have been taught, as most of us have, that the manifest world is our reality. So I need, at the very least, a daily reminder that there is a spiritual reality, which is the substance of all that my five senses attest to.
I may be reading Emilie Cady, author of Lessons In Truth. Since this isn’t like reading a novel, I will select a chapter on a topic that I feel that I need to strengthen my spiritual understanding. So on one day, I turn to the chapter on Faith. As I am reading, I “watch” my thoughts and my feelings to determine just where I am in consciousness. As I am reading, an awareness may come up and I write those thoughts and feelings down in my journal.
I always take the time to note those things for which I am grateful. I acknowledge my gratitude for waking up this morning; I note that I am grateful that I live on this beautiful island (Puerto Rico) where it is sunny practically every single day. I am grateful for my family and my friends who surround me with love, beauty and joy. I am grateful for my mental, emotional and physical health, for I recognize that there are so many people who are unable to say or think this.
I have enough food to eat and water to drink. I have a roof over my head; I have a sufficient amount of funds to meet my daily needs. I am grateful for recognizing that there is a Presence that is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient — and that Presence has no opposition. I am grateful that that Presence loves me and I know that love does not judge but guides and supports me. I know that right and perfect decisions are being made by me — for I am guided by this Presence.
Finally, I take a few moments for prayer and meditation. Once I complete this routine, I begin to feel peaceful and empowered to begin a brand new day. I get a sense of “all is well” and if anything unpleasant confronts me, I have only to remind myself that I am guided, protected and loved by my spiritual Father, Mother, God. This may seem to take a lot of time, but in essence, these rituals take no more than 30 to 45 minutes.
Before I retired from the very busy job of teaching daily in New York City, I got up at least 45 minutes earlier to allow for this routine. I knew that if I didn’t take the time to spiritually fortify myself, I might become overly stressed and therefore overwhelmed by the personalities and/or the events of the day. For a while, a friend and I would take turns calling each other on a daily basis to affirm for each other a blessed day of love, productivity and joy.
Each aspect of this routine served to strengthen and empower me. I knew that if I should fail or fall short of the responsibilities assigned to me, I could take a few moments to forgive myself and reconnect to that source of strength that is within me. In a world where the only guarantee we have is “change,” I have found that we need an anchor upon which we can truly rely. That anchor, for me, has been a constant, for it is ever within me.