Sunday, February 10, 2013

Prayer: Commercial Interruption brought to you by God

     One of the daily rituals I would like to develop with Amani is prayer.  I don't pray very regularly now, but I used to, and I think I could totally get into it.  For one thing, I am very susceptible to suggestion.  I am definitely one of those people who starts exhibiting symptoms of a disease the very minute I hear about it.  If I see a film wherein a main character is being followed by ghosts or something, I begin to feel like maybe I am being followed by ghosts.  I am pretty sure that if my thriftiness did not override almost every other impulse I have ever had, my entire home would be filled to the brim with Sham Wows and Ginsu knives.
     When I was pregnant with Amani, I tried Hypnobabies, this method of practicing relaxing thought patterns and breathing techniques with the goal of having a more relaxed and confident birth process. The bulk of the training was listening to these recordings of this woman's almost excessively soothing hippie voice repeating affirming mantras.  Man, I loved those things.
    "My pregnant body is strong and beautiful."
    "My baby is growing stronger each day."
      I would listen to them ALL the time: before bed, in the car, while I was grocery shopping; all the time!
     "I am looking forward to a happy, healthy birthing process."
     Then, even when I wasn't listening to the recordings, I would find myself repeating the little mantras to myself.
     "I eat healthy foods to nourish my growing baby." as I drove passed the Dairy Queen.
     "I love my pregnant body." as I skipped right over the scale.
     Then all of a sudden, I  totally got prayer.  You stick with that stuff long enough and eventually are going to influence who you are.  I mean, there is more to prayer than that for a lot of people: it can be a way to reflect on your choices, and foster community.  It can just be a time for peace for a restless mind; I am still kind of working on what it means to me, but the mantras idea is something I can very much get behind.