Written By: Michelle Devi Ananda
When I was first asked to write a spiritual blog for MOCC, not only was I honored, but a wave of responsibility came over me that seemed very deep. I’ve been a Universal Minister for seven years and I take the job pretty seriously.
Performing weddings are so lovely. Baby blessings are heart warming, wonderful experience and with each child,
I see love and hope for our future.
I’ve gathered the masses together in the name of prayerful peace after international and national tragedies, console and meditate with the sick, bless homes, perform spiritual counsel and feel so unbelievably humbled when I am asked to give last rites and perform funerals. This sacred ceremony of course, reminds me just how temporary our time here is and maybe how lucky I am to be of reverent assistance. But delivering a spiritual message to mom’s feels like a bigger deal in this moment.
As a minister who counsels other mothers and as a mother myself, I know how hard it is to keep the faith when everyone and everything is tugging at your heart strings, twenty four/seven. The moment you bring a new life into this world, your vulnerability spikes.
You not only realize your own mortality but the inherent obligation you have to raise and protect now, another life.
How best do you do such things in a world filled with drugs, violence, extreme weather and commercials?
Feeding, bathing, changing diapers, doing homework, mountains of laundry and running our children to this practice or that recital in the midst of real life is an active dance that takes up so much bandwidth that sometimes we forget who we are or how we got here. On top of that, we wear a plethora of faces; mom, wife, partner, daughter, sister, friend, boss, co-worker, community member, healer. Some of us are coaches or teachers which includes caring for others people’s children. Others are trying to get second careers off the ground or are trying to keep our families together or healthy as we care for our aging parents too and still others are going at it all alone.
Yet in the midst of all this, there is a longing inside of us to feel more connected. We secretly hope that all the work we are doing will somehow be recognized in a way that feels of merit to the grandmothers that helped raise us now keeping an eye on us from afar or the ancestors that we heard were so very pious.
Maybe we beat ourselves up because we don’t get to church as often as our elders or we don’t kneel for our prayers before we crash in our beds at days end. When we do walk into church we may feel judged for only coming on holiday but we still show up anyway knowing that we want and need to be connected to our divinity, the highest version of ourselves we know we can be.
That is the prayer of the Mother in it’s essence. To have one foot in reality and the other in making each other every aspect of ourselves linked to God.
Our connection to our divinity strengthens when we offer every sliver of work (dishes, taking out the trash, making beds, etc.) as an active prayer or an act of service. If we see our sometimes mundane daily tasks as a way to strengthen our connection to our higher power, our energy level is protected and our aura becomes so strong that we are blessing and protecting everyone around us. We also feel less guilt getting to mass only on Christmas or Easter.
Prayer can be infused into laundry folding and it can be as simple as something you learned as a child or as elaborate as you want it to be. You can run the vacuum and actively meditate. That’s actually a thing! You can bless your children, yourself and your family as you are preparing any and every meal that they eat. You can even teach them to pause and give thanks before they enjoy it. These small offerings can turn your daily Mom life into a ritual that feels less daunting and more sacred.
And what does it mean to make an offering as an act of service? I’m talking about selfless service; to serve others without wanting, needing or expecting anything (anything at all) in return. Often we do things in some hope that our children or family will react a certain way. Or we may give a gift as a sort of bribe to get our partners to do something for us in return. To give an offering of selfless service cuts out the transaction making the act in and of itself a gift to all. It is called the ancient practice of Seva in Eastern Spirituality. Seva, the art of blessed action is believed to not only help ignite your personal spiritual growth but to be of great service to one’s community. To do this in practice with those you love or hold close to you is one of the hardest tasks but of the greatest devotion because by serving others, you are serving God.
About the Author: Michelle Devi Ananda is Universal Minister, Kundalini Yoga Teacher and Spiritual Counselor. She lives in Jim Thorpe with her daughter Sophia and is passionate about helping women realize their intuition as their super power. You can also follow Michelle’s blog at http://mlgallagher.blogspot.com/.