My latest curiosity is the result of a teleclass on Divine Order I’m taking with the writer of my all time favorite book of 2012: Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver.
Tosha’s mission is to encourage humans to experience the Divine regardless of adherence to any particular religion. She’s constantly reminding people that Life, or God is sending us love letters that remain unopened. One of the tools she encourages is the Change Me prayer. A customized, invented prayer that you yourself make up. As in, something in life is frustrating you, that you don’t feel able to handle. How about “Please_____(whatever you call the Force that loves you) change me into someone who knows how to do this.” ?? Fantastic.
I was baptized and raised to be a Catholic. Church didn’t suit me too well. By the time I was able to drive, I used to attend mass without my parents and sit in the bathroom, which had a long mirrored counter in a modern building with exposed brick walls. I found it the perfect place to do my nails. The sermon was just an echoey Charlie Brown’s teacher sound. (sorry Mom and Dad, two of the five people who actually read this) But what I did love was all the saints. I loved the Hindu-ish, deity vibe to Catholicism: there were particular saints you prayed to for certain things. Can’t find your glasses? Call on St Anthony. It was creative and inventive to me. I stayed with that because I felt the love in it; the concern. I liked the incense. I liked the discipline, the calendar. I liked Lent, because you could take on a challenge and give something up. Once I found yoga, I found it easy to sustain discomfort because it was just a form of Lent to me. I liked angels. When the late Morris Margolies, a brilliant rabbi from Kansas City, became a professor and mentor of mine during college, and I found out he wrote a book on angels, I was thrilled. I found a ragged, tiny book on Taoism on the steps of my first apartment. I considered it an assignment, not an accident. I was constantly inventing and deciding and integrating. And so it went, picky girl gathering all that I liked from Catholicism, Hinduism, Judaism, Taoism…. until I had my own little UNreligion going. And so, most recently, The Change me prayer. It’s an invitation. It doesn’t have to be anything more than admitting you’re human and you need a lift, a nudge, some mystical hall pass toward solution to the things that baffle you. I say that in this, 2013, a time when an accomplished, Atheist, brainiac neurosurgeon by the name of Eben Alexander writes a book called Proof of Heaven, everyone needs to at least WONDER what might happen if you say something, anything, to the something, anything, that just might LOVE YOU BEYOND BELIEF.