A few months ago, I visited the Notre-Dame Basilica, whose stone foundation was built between 1672 and 1683. Located in the heart of Montreal, its towers, sanctuary, and chapel are a breathtaking and spectacular piece of architecture that is rich in history.
Often when we feel troubled, solitude quiets our mind, so the heart can listen. Usually, in the peace and quiet of churches or gardens, it is easier to receive answers. We can set an intention or just pray for the health and well-being for those we love. I needed clarity about my dancing, so I went to Notre-Dame to meditate and reach out to The Universe, thinking it was a good time to reflect.
Dance is a testing ground to resolve cultural differences. It allows us to channel our competitive instincts. We get a taste of success then question if we have reached our potential. We learn forgiveness in broken partnerships or earn trust through longevity. And then, if we dearly love our dancing, most of us see it as a means to emanate joy and change the world. I always said you can change the world with one good dance. You never know how much it can affect a person. That’s pretty powerful.
As I lit candles for my family’s health and well-being, I asked for help in the biggest sectors of my life. Relationships were always on the list because they were the most challenging. Work. The health and well-being of my mother. My children’s futures. And, of course, dance. You wouldn’t think that dancing was an arena for spiritual growth, but it’s huge. In the last six years, it challenged my self-worth and how I made peace with my aging body.
Dancing, or anything you love to do that brings you joy, should be generous and true. In a partnership sport, like competitive dancing, when the relationship lacks a feeling of free emotional movement, it won’t last. You need two, congruent minds who believe that it is possible to train and win. The creative process needs to be shared.
Even with my good intentions, and focus on success, I had three broken relationships in one year. What happened? I asked. I showed commitment. Did my job. Lived my truth. Was patient and honest. Practiced positivity. In the Basilica, I approached my situation with an open heart, and humbly took inventory of all the things I didn’t do so well. I embraced my errors in thinking and mistakes which are never easy to admit but nobody’s perfect. I sat in the pew and prayed for assistance. It’s a good thing, I thought, that nobody has to listen to all this drama except God.
Praying for Change
True prayer initiates a change in consciousness. In prayer, instead of lamenting over our numerous errors, we must shift our thinking and see every experience as an opportunity to recognize wisdom in its many shapes and forms. We must see ourselves as successful and uniquely talented human beings, and invite God to express through us. And occasionally ask ourselves, “What is God’s idea of Itself as my life? If I were a channel for The Divine to express, what would I bring to others?” Unity Minister Reverend Michael Beckwith says opening a bigger picture on what we naturally and joyfully could be expressing in our lives really expands our thought process and makes us more available to wisdom, and to the signs that are a response to our prayers. We need to be good listeners. Paying attention to what we ask for and how Spirit communicates with us is so vital to our spiritual journey.
Having great faith in the asking part of the process, I mentally shifted to seeking and knocking at God’s door. My intention was to find a sensible situation, and be surrounded by positivity. I left the door open on how that was to happen, as I believe in giving The Universe an open invitation to create circumstances that are right for me. So, after raising my vibration, and attuning to an elevated consciousness, I asked, sought, and knocked. Jesus assured us these things are the predecessors to fulfillment of our desires. I figured I was in good hands.
Spiritual requests for help are always met when powered by a strong desire. Our life events are immediately realigned in order to receive what we want, as long as there is consistency and clarity in the request. Years ago, when I studied in Fiji with the monks of the Oneness University, I actually saw this process of prayer fulfillment. In a deep meditation, I connected to Spirit and I asked for some new conditions in my life. I saw the Divine Mind realigning the energies and pathways for changes to occur. It was an incredible experience to actually see it. I know that once a consistent broadcast goes out, in the form of prayer or intention, it is met with a realignment of conditions that provides an opportunity to grow.
Because we are often surprised about how new experiences are attracted to us after prayer, we don’t notice that conditions realign for our benefit. Often, it feels, or looks like, an upheaval, but I believe that once we ask and release our attachment to the outcome, whatever comes our way is meant to help us become more, never less, that our authentic self. We are more open to experience positive change.
Signs also come to us after we choose bigger picture thinking. They are usually subtle and arrive in the form of colors, phone calls, music, or feelings. These are the comforting little things that let us know we are cared for. Watched over. Validated. Loved. At the Basilica that day, I realized I had been so focused on finding a new partner and overcoming past hurts, and fixing it all myself through analysis of what a great dance partnership would be, I didn’t expand to include a greater vision of myself and capabilities. So I could not attract the best situation. I forgot to let go, and trust that big decisions in life are not made entirely on my own or by taking advice from friends.
I knew that to initiate change in my conditions, I had to stay on the highest possible course, keeping my thoughts positive, and stay centered in affirmations. As I left the pew, and walked out of the church, I saw a stained glass depiction of angels. I remembered that Archangel Michael works for the higher power. The Archangels are always available to help improve our lives. Surrounded by peace, I felt his presence. A peaceful energy came into me. What took you so long? You know I am here, I heard. Just ask. My purpose is to help you live a life of peace. I realized no job was too big or too insignificant to turn over to an angel.
Archangel Michael gives encouragement and comfort to make decisions and is concerned with physical and spiritual protection. His signs are designed to reassure, and to help empower us and have courage, faith, and release fear and anxiety. I should know this already, I thought, as I have a painting of him in my home. He is often depicted with sword, a spiritual warrior who slices through heavy circumstances. When called upon, he is a spiritual force that helps create good foundations for stability. I asked him to become my guide on relationships and be a permanent fixture in my life.
Earlier that summer, a man named Michael (go figure) from New York was recommended to me by a prominent coach and a friend. He flew into town to dance with me for two days under the watchful eye of my coach. I thought the distance between Detroit to New York City was too far to practice. At first, he didn’t strike me as having much of a sense of humor. He was poised, quiet, and conducted himself like Fitzwilliam Darcy, an 18th century gentleman from the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice. Against the advice of my coach, I passed him over and chose Guy #3, a funny, energetic, extroverted, superb salesman, who painted a glorious picture of what our dance future would be together. After the last partnership was dissolved, I thought it would be great to let my hair down with somebody who had a sense of humor.
Over the next 2 months, I learned that his intention was not in alignment with mine, a painful realization. After I left the church that afternoon, the relationship with Guy #3 ended with a debilitating conversation, and we called it quits over lunch. It was one of the most unempowering conversations of my life, and during the cab ride back to the hotel, I wondered, Angels, you were supposed to fix this, not make it worse! It was the third set of material I had in just over a year, and nearly 100 different patterns and routines. I was discouraged with constantly starting over, and weary of spending more time and money to dance and compete. There would be no United States Dance Championships or Ohio Star Ball for me, and at this rate, maybe never. I was embarrassed that I couldn’t make any arrangement work, but another coach made me see it very clearly. “It’s just an experience,” he reminded me over and over. “It’s not good or bad. It’s just an experience. Your vibrations didn’t match. That is all, nothing more.” Certainly, failure in a relationship is not something I should choose to wear on my sleeve the rest of my life. Asking for help in the Basilica that day meant circumstances had to break down, before there could be any rebuilding on a solid foundation.
Sri Amma Bhagavan always said that to find peace, we must consider life as is, and see reality clearly. And to find our personal truth, we must seek truth everywhere, from many different sources. We must keep learning. Question everything. And come up with a version that is right for us. I put my energies into being humble when I returned home, and called New York Michael, and told him I was eating plenty of humble pie. I said I made a mistake and chose the wrong person, and if he would still have time and the desire, would he mind dancing with me? I knew it was a long shot. He calmly said, “I liked dancing with you the first time, so I don’t think that will change.” Sometimes, we don’t get it right the first time. If we ask the Angels for assistance, who desire so much to bring us peace in our lives, we will get there because it is never too late for anything we want in our lives. If we give the Angels a chance to work with us when our human efforts fail, all will be well.
Moving Forward with Grace
When we sense imperfection, incompleteness, loneliness, despair, or when we feel unappreciated, stranded or discouraged, it’s because we’ve failed to acknowledge the assistance coming to us at all times. This is the energetic connection with the Presence called “grace.” Receiving grace is natural, and it takes no effort on our behalf to do anything. All we have to do is be open to God’s unlimited concern and care. The Angels are great at opening our channels so that we are receptive to receiving our download of grace. They help facilitate putting the Divine’s hand in ours. Suddenly, serendipitous or lucky events seem to multiply when we recognize them as God’s grace in action, because when we become aware of God’s intelligence and consciously align with it, we attract better situations.
After prayer, and if we are truly open to improving our situations, coincidences seem to connect us with people who are the resources we need to solve a problem. This is part of the realignment with grace, which often, in the beginning, might look or feel like an upheaval. Recently, New York Michael’s wife told me that earlier last year, she had prayed for good people to come into his life. She said she had wished for it so deeply that when I came along, she knew that her prayer had been answered. Our dancing, which has now reached the six month mark, is filled with warmth and appreciation, and has a very upbeat bond. There is a deep sense of appreciation, and even though we’ve hit a few speed bumps along the way, the dancing is getting technically sound and looks joyful on the floor. When we occasionally disagree on an issue, I ask the Angels for information, and thus far, they indicate I am still on a positive path. They will leave me little signs in the form of white feathers or a friend will suddenly call and say something to me that seems to be just what I hear at that moment.
Because the natural state of the Universe is ceaseless change, we must remember that help is available to make better choices. Relationships are our biggest teacher, and we can depend upon the higher power for input. This year, wings became a symbol of freedom for me and a reminder that the Angels are there to steer us in the best direction. Obstacles are only learning experiences that challenge us to find more strength which will always inspire other person. We may not always predict a problem (and often they come in the form of dance pros), but it’s good to know that Divine intelligence always sees farther than we do. Sometimes, we just need to pay attention to the right signs. And have faith in the outcome.
Next article in the Angelic Series: Feathered Friends and Finding Five’s.
© Charlene M Proctor and The Goddess Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more affirmations, read The Women’s Book of Empowerment: 323 Affirmations that Change Everyday Problems into Moments of Potential.