I’m going to use the same stained glass window I had in the last blog, because I think it’s pretty and it’s oh-so-appropriate for what I’m talking about today: daily devotionals. In many faiths there are traditions of spending some time each day to talk with the divine. Growing up, we had prayers before every meal. And although at some points they can be perfunctory, the truth is many times these prayers came from the heart and related to our daily lives. Most of all, these prayers gave thanks.
For those who follow a Catholic faith there is the rosary. Buddhists have prayer beads, which have also been adapted to other traditions. It doesn’t matter if your devotional is something that you use, such as a rosary or prayer beads, or as simple as a heartfelt prayer before meals. The important thing is that we do have a devotional practice.
Honestly, a daily connection with the divine is good. It can help keep you on a path, especially when you are working hard at following the calling of your heart, your spiritual, soul-level work, and daily events intrude. It’s a chance to plugin, recharge, and do so in a calm and quiet manner. For those of us who listen to the divine during these moments, we can also get guidance, help, or just affirmation that we’re on the right path. And, an attitude of gratitude will help you to cultivate more abundance in your life.
So, if you follow a tradition, which doesn’t have a daily, built-in moment of devotion, what can you do?As a Wiccan, I find my daily devotionals to be a time to listen to the words of the Goddess in my own, private manner. I like to state affirmations and beliefs on which I’m working, and of course, give thanks for the bounty which I have received. Whether it’s done first thing in the morning or in the afternoon or evening, or even upon waking and going to bed, the important part is not the timing, it’s in the execution of the ritual.
Of course, starting your day with such a practice can be uplifting and set the tone for your entire day. For me, the morning shower is my chance to “clean” my mind and soul as well as my body (usually with the help of luscious body wash) and state my intentions. After all, sometimes our greatest ideas and the writing of the daily “to do list” happen in the shower. What better place to think “I will have a productive and rewarding day”, then when you’re planning your day.
The evening devotion can help wind down your mind as you prepare to go to sleep. If you’re someone whose daily thoughts and worries intrude on your dreams, you can use this opportunity to give such cares to the divine, so that they may keep watch while you sleep. I just read a beautiful meditation/intent by Doreen Virtue, who suggested asking an archangel to stand in each of the four cardinal directions, watching over you, and taking care of your cares while you sleep. It’s a good way to “give your cares to God” and let the divine handle your worries.
A daily practice doesn’t need to be elaborate. I have my small altar on my dining room table at the moment (we don’t eat at our table, LOL!), and it’s a great reminder everytime I travel through this popular room to take time out for divnity and make sure to do my daily devotions.