Recently a friend told me that a part of her morning prayer and meditation is, “Please help me to learn and grow spiritually today.” The concept struck me because I usually just ask for help to make it through the day!
Most of us are so busy during our physical waking lives that we’re not even aware of the higher dimensions of our existence or what we could be learning spiritually. We are so involved in the mental, emotional and physical aspects of daily life that we don’t really have (or make) the time to tune into what it all means to us spiritually.
I believe my true essence is Soul. Rather than a human being having a spiritual experience, I believe I am a spiritual being having a human experience. I AM Soul, inhabiting a human body in this incarnation, to learn and grow in my capacity to give and receive love and to serve others. However, having these beliefs doesn’t always translate into living these beliefs. Often I forget what my true purpose on the planet is and become consumed with the activities, thoughts and worries of daily living. As with most people, my conscious hours are full of work deadlines, grocery lists, financial issues, relationships, physical concerns, the election, cursing the weather, and completing my “to do” list (which for some reason, never seems completed!)
One way I can shift into a higher perspective is to make a simple but conscious effort to slow down, close my eyes, take a few deep breaths, and come into my body. Slowing the breath calms the mind, and by focusing on each inhalation and each exhalation moving through my body, I can come right down into that moment, that breath.
Another tool is just pausing throughout my day to say a quick prayer or affirmation. Both of these practices take no more than 2-3 minutes but can make a big change in my perspective.
However, there are magical moments that sometimes occur spontaneously and unexpectedly, moments that deeply touch the God part within me. One characteristic of these moments is incredible clarity, either visual clarity or intuitive clarity, where I am completely in the moment, and completely aware. My heart is filled with awe and joy, and I feel my connection to a power greater than myself.
Another characteristic of these God moments is that words cannot adequately describe the depth and meaning of the experience. People who have had near-death experiences often report they simply cannot explain what happened in words. But they know, in the deepest sense of knowingness, the experience was real, more real than everyday life.
The first time I saw the Grand Canyon I unexpectedly cried, deeply touched by the beauty and immensity of nature. Another experience happened to me while working in the Brooks Range. Driving back to camp one summer night I saw a beautiful black and gray wolf alongside the road. I slowly pulled up next to it, rolled down my window, and our eyes locked. His luxurious coat was rippling in the breeze, and his green eyes deeply penetrated my being, and for several moments we were one. I will never forget that moment or the feelings it aroused in me.
God moments don’t have to be rare or unusual.
If we slow down, pay attention and are present in the moment, we see these experiences are happening all around us every day. A child sitting in a grocery cart who smiles at me when I walk by, hearing just what I needed to hear at a particular time, looking deeply into someone’s eyes while listening to them, watching a raven on a light pole while it watches me, seeing light shine through a dewdrop, all of these I can experience as God moments.
By shifting ourselves out of our routine consciousness, we can see life and our place in it from a higher perspective. It is in these moments that the veil between worlds is lifted, and we see truth, beauty, and love with intense clarity.
Albert Einstein said, “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle or you can live as is if everything it a miracle.”
Try for one whole day to view your life as though everything is a miracle. It may change your perspective and maybe even change your life.
• Wendy Hamilton is a clergy member of Eckankar, the Religion of the Light and Sound of God.