Prayers of Honoring
Prayers of Honoring was written for sharing from the heart with others during vital times.
In western culture, we keep too many things to ourselves. Prayer, among other things, has become a private practice for those of us who don’t congregate for spiritual purposes. Our language for connection to something greater than ourselves has become truncated to basic iterations and generalized affirmations. Perhaps this is so that no one will be offended by our approach, or so that our spiritual personalities- who we are when we talk to and reach for God- can remain under a cloak of mystery and intrigue. Maybe it has something to do with our collective intolerance for vulnerability.
We speak of being “solitary practitioners”, which, to excess, can be another way to justify isolation during times which are crying out for community. In fact, most souls I’ve encountered in my circles express a deep and constant yearning to belong and be accepted.
As an educator of creative, environmental, energetic and spiritual possibilities, I think that our general practice of tolerance can be defined most plainly as our willingness to agree to disagree. However, dig a little deeper and we find another definition of tolerance as simply putting up with something. What’s been suggested to me is that acceptance may provide more worthwhile for the effort, if we can lean in and welcome the full spectrum of languages and expressions which seek to connect us and others to the magnificent qualities of this mysterious existence on Earth and beyond. When we’re open to receive the heart’s intelligence, we offer acceptance to ourselves and others and shift our patterns of isolation and loneliness. The challenge is to share ourselves, our words, our expressions, our art, without fearing we are doing it wrong. Connecting in spiritual community only requires that we bring our spirits and be open to others doing the same. When we’re willing to speak our hearts out loud, they can be heard. What many of us want to hear is the hearts of others.
Prayer is very much still a sullied concept. To some of our ears, the very word results in triggersome memories whether personal or cultural/collective. The bitter taste of yesterday’s experiences of over-organized religions, forced practice, penance, rigid disciplines bearing harsh consequences, heavy-handed authorities on the laws of God, leave little room for welcoming prayer back into the heart, home and the psyche. It is my hope that we can overcome our prayer trauma and begin to speak the words of spirit from our hearts out loud again.
My inspiration and guiding force for writing Prayers of Honoring is simply the awe of Great Mystery and the interconnection of every living thing. It must also be said that the book would not exist if not for my community of SouLodge sisters who asked for more each time I shared one. Comprised of women mothering the world with their gifts of healing and nurture, SouLodge provided all of us with a sanctuary for our sacred voices. I will be forever awed by the power of those who gather to share their hearts with acceptance and vulnerability.
Each day at “work”, I encounter nurturing mothers honoring their intuition rather than following socially prescribed, inappropriate, or outdated methods of parenting. I encounter women recognizing their deeply feminine natures, acknowledging hat the Earth is a mirror for their immense beauty and creativity. I get to work with parents envisioning a safer, more honest world- who are respectful of the divine nature of children and also accommodate our human foibles and flaws which are most often our best teachers. I get to work with partners seeking new ways of communication which are truly fair and equitable. I hold circles of women befriending their shadows, and learning to be still in their years-long healing process. I’m blessed to drum, sing and pray with children who see the unseen, and have their wisdom heard and understood. I work with men willing to stand up to the old regime of the patriarchy and courageously rebuild a culture around holistic values, integrity, love of the Earth, and generosity of spirit.
I wrote the prayers to honor the things which are easy to celebrate, and also those things which require more practice. It was written as a reminder of the process of honoring, which is to show high respect. It’s my thought that respect and reverence have all but gone missing from western culture. To cultivate these things through the rhthym of prayer is to demonstrate devotion to the unfathomable energies which suspend us between the divine energies of Earth and Sky every day and night.
Each time my children and I pray together, our hearts open a little wider. I get to know them in a new way, and what’s stirring inside of us becomes known to one another. In the process of connecting to the Divine within and without, we get real with ourselves. It’s in this peaceful practice that we come clean, and say what we really mean to. It’s my belief that creating our own family practice of prayerfulness brings us closer as we travel forth.
For my family, prayer is healing medicine. It can be made, offered, sent, embodied and lived.
I hope that you enjoy this collection, and find it inspiring for your own practice. Open it when connection to the forces which hold us is desired, which I hope will be often.
- Pixie Lighthorse.