Innocence & Prayers for a New Year


As each of us looks towards crossing the threshold into 2009, it is often that time of the year when we can gently, honestly reflect upon the opportunity for new beginnings. It is a time we often find ourselves asking the question: “What would my heart like to embrace anew this coming year?” I am touched by the child in this photograph standing on the gate, gazing with curiosity and innocence into the beckoning adventure that lies just beyond it.

I have an untraditional way of viewing goals and the process of manifesting them. To me, truly meaningful goals are not some future event that we desire, rather they are sacred prayers that are alive in our hearts now — calling out to us and inviting us to know their presence and voice, to honor them by cooperating with their powerful desire to blossom into the world. (And, I’ve also discovered that the majority of the pain we carry inside is often the result of not listening to and honoring these deeper energies. Amazingly, it seems we’re the one corner of creation that can refuse its own flowering.) Embraced in this way, I find that the process of moving forward is really a natural process — one of accepting and cooperating with an organic unfolding, a mysterious dance where we are following more than leading, a creative process where vulnerability and staying in touch with our prayerful energies fuels powerful direction, action and manifestation.

This passage from Joseph Campbell has always spoken to me:

“I think that what we’re really seeking is an experience of being alive,

so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane

will have resonance within our innermost being and reality,

so that we can actually feel the rapture of being alive.”

Speaking of rapture, this week I stumbled upon a most amazing experience: I discovered a part of me that soars while listening to Italian opera! I’m astonished, as I’ve negatively judged opera and opera music my entire life. My brother-in-law, Jon, sent me an opera piece he loves, and surprisingly I found myself entering such a blissful state as I allowed myself to be touched by this and other pieces. It was like I had discovered fire! I’ve spent many hours this week on iTunes and am building a gorgeous collection of Italian opera pieces that I am listening to again and again. One thing’s for sure: I am a mystery to myself!

As you reflect upon your own heartfelt prayers, and which ones may be asking you to allow them to blossom into fruition this coming year, here’s a poem that captures the power of being open to new frontiers in our lives:


by Jelaluddin Rumi

A baby pigeon stands on the edge of a nest all day

Then hears a whistle, “Come to me.”

How could he not fly toward that?

Wings tear through the body’s robe when the letter arrives that says,

“You’ve flapped and fluttered against limits long enough.

You’ve been a bird without wings in a house without doors or windows.

Compassion builds a door. Restlessness cuts a key.

Step off proudly into sunlight, not looking back.

Take sips of this pure wine being poured.

Don’t mind that you’ve been given a dirty cup.”

With much Loving to you and your loved ones — and to your unfolding canvas in 2009, Gavin

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