Sometime this past year I set the intention to live my life as prayer.
I have carried this intention, less clearly named, for most of my life.
I remember a summer when I was around 15 or 16 that a young homeless man granted me three magic wishes.
I wished to become a great musician, and to grow closer to God. I don’t remember the third wish.
What amazes me about the two wishes I do remember is they are still my heart’s deep desires, to be a great artist, to dwell in union with the Divine.
I grew up in a largely non-religious household. My parents were agnostic, philosophers and intellectuals, questioning everything. We kept a few of the major Jewish holidays.
Then, when I was about 10, my parents started attending a very open-minded congregation that was just forming. I did eventually go to Hebrew school for a couple of years and have a bat-mitzvah.
But, throughout my childhood and beyond, my connection to the Divine was allowed to develop on its own in a very pure and personal relationship that my parents found both mystifying and enviable.
Although I have carried a deep closeness with the Divine since I was a child, naming my intention to live my life as prayer has given a clarity, a shape that brings the commitment more fully into my daily life.
What Does It Mean to Live My Life as Prayer?
That is an open question, a generative question, one to keep asking and living into the answer.
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” —poet Rainer Maria Rilke
To live my life as prayer means:
To live in deep devotion and connection to the Goddess (the Divine Feminine that we need so much in our world now) and All That Is.
To be a prayer for peace, for love, for wonder, for beauty, for Grace. To embody that in my being and doing.
To infuse what I create with that intention. To listen deeply to the song of the world, the wisdom of the world, and move in accord with it.
To offer up all that I do for a larger purpose and to live in alignment with my highest values.
I think about the life of a monk or nun, but out in the world.
How can I be a beacon of that which matters most to me? How can I serve the Divine in all things, in all moments?
How Do I Practice Living My Life as Prayer?
I aim for devotion in my actions, for deep care, for alignment with an understanding of the sacredness of all things.
I aim for presence, awareness, awakeness.
I cultivate gratitude and appreciation, a sense of the abundance and grace of this life.
And I also let myself feel the deep sorrow, the rage and fear, at all the lack of care and respect for life, all the dishonoring.
I keep repeating my intention to myself to remind myself of it. Almost always when I remind myself, it is a moment in which I find myself forgetting, caught up in the daily and the small self. By repeating it, I hope to return to a deeper connection and intention in my being and doing.
What Does It Mean to You?
Does it resonate with you to live your life as prayer?
What does it bring up in you, inspire in you? What questions does it raise?
If it doesn’t resonate with you, what do you live in service to? What matters most to you? What guides your life?
You might want to explore this topic in your journal.
Remember, these are living questions. Meant to open us into deeper inquiry and awareness, deeper being and living.
May they inspire your life to take on greater fullness and depth and joy.
I’d love to hear your responses here in the comments. Let’s be real with one another, because life is precious and we were given these amazing hearts to connect with.
If you are curious about working (and playing) with me one-on-one in my Creative Life Coaching to help you walk your heart path, I have space to take on a few more people right now. You could set up a complimentary Discovery Session, and we’ll explore together whether we are a good match at this time.
Maxima Kahn is a poet, creative life coach and teacher. She works with heart-centered artists and dreamers, helping them to unleash their creative brilliance and create lives of passion, purpose and deep play. She blogs about the creative life, writing, and artful, soulful living at www.BrilliantPlayground.com.