My son Ben is taking scuba lessons and Brigham sent me these fun photos. My favorite part of these photos is little brother Louis sitting on the edge of the pool watching big brother. Those two are a dynamic duo! Yesterday I texted Ben and asked him what the best part of his day was, and he texted back, “Today, while I was working in the piano shop, Louis ran through the hall on his way to piano lessons. He saw me and came and gave me a big hug and then ran off to lessons.” My bookend boys are such a delight. I love that my children not only have parents and great mentors, but they have EACH OTHER! Family is where it’s at, people!!
These photos brought to my remembrance some writing that I did years ago after Brigham and I had a long drive where we talked about the analogy of scuba versus snorkeling and we compared it to spirituality. Brigham is a HUGE scuba fan and I’m a huge SPIRITUALITY fan and so here our two worlds collided. I thought I would share those old thoughts today as a reminder to myself to make sure I keep my spiritual habits strong and not a token check mark. It has been during those deep dives that miraculous divine mentoring has occurred that is life shifting. Enjoy…
Rise Early And Create Habits
As I drove to my sacred space one early morning, I was putting together my thoughts and deciding what should be my spiritual focus as I prayed and pondered. The word “grace” came into my mind and I saw an image of myself reaching to heaven. I asked God in that moment what I should be doing to reach higher and do all that was my part to obtain his grace to fill in where my deficiencies left me always a bit short. Immediately, the words were spoken to my mind, “Rise-Early-And-Create-Habits.” I knew the habits that needed improving and I was familiar with my personalized divine counsel to rise early. It was a loving reminder encapsulated in an acronym that was unforgettable to me. I have remembered it ever since and tried to obey the simple guidance for me to again temper my physical self and R.E.A.C.H.! Here are some morning habits that I have tried to keep that make my early rising purposeful and productive…
Power Hour—I like to write in the early morning and so I want to fit physical/spiritual/educational into one hour. Seek inspiration on how to multitask and create a power hour for yourself, such as audio books while exercising, memorizing while doing makeup, quick bits of purposeful items (8 Minute Meditation is a great book). Schedule your time and pack it in! Don’t rush the prayer, scriptures and meditative parts though… Often the sacred routines require their own hour and the secular its own hour when life is calm enough for such luxuries.
Return and Report—give an actual accounting to God of what you are doing, how it is going, and seek his approval and inspiration of how to continue or how to change. A mother hero of mine, Julie Beck, calls this her daily “meeting with her maker” and she always prays with paper and pen in hand. Her last several addresses have mentioned the importance of praying with pen and paper.
Journaling with Purpose—Record “something” every day and let this counsel be your content guide: “How have I seen the hand of the Lord in my life today?”
Meditation—Seeking spiritual communion and revelation is similar to any other effort that takes great discipline and self mastery. A surgeon, Olympic athlete, professional, or any truly great expert has to put in a great deal of discipline, sacrifice and time dedicated to obtaining their desired outcome. Meditation is such a tool for acquiring a certain spiritual outcome. Great results require great effort!
I love this musical analogy applied to spiritual seeking…
“The notes I handle no better than many pianists.
But the pauses between the notes—
ah, that is where the art resides.”
A Chopin piano nocturne played by a novice musician and by a virtuoso will not sound the same. That’s because one of the two pianists has had a lifetime to practice the music as well as learn when to pause in order to color the notes with passion. So it is with the concerto of our lives. Individual notes must be learned and played and practiced before we achieve harmony.
Above all, we must learn to pause.
Meditation provides the needed pauses to turn our spiritual searching from a song to a symphony. A quote I have found to be true and a guiding statement in my spiritual life is:
“We pay too little attention to the value of meditation, a principle of devotion. In our worship there are two elements: One is spiritual communion arising from our own meditation; the other, instruction from others, particularly from those who have authority to guide and instruct us. Of the two, the more profitable introspectively is the meditation. Meditation is the language of the soul. It is defined as ‘a form of private devotion, or spiritual exercise, consisting in deep, continued reflection on some religious theme.’ Meditation is a form of prayer. … Meditation is one of the most secret, most sacred doors through which we pass into the presence of the Lord.” –David O. McKay
A casual daily habit of prayer and scripture study is wonderful, uplifting and admirable. A devoted “hour of prayer,” spiritual research and meditation is transformative. The difference is like the adventure equivalent of a 5 minute snorkel to an hour scuba dive. To experience the greatest revelatory thrill and depth of divine relationship, one must dive deep.