Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Power of Reflective Prayer

A while back when I was doing a lot of business communications consulting, I met a man who took himself on a yearly retreat by himself—every year. He spent that time in thoughtful reflection—evaluating every aspect of his life including his marriage, fatherhood, business, spirituality—everything. He considered whether he was doing his best, had anything going on that needed to change, and was happy in every area of his life.

He gave himself permission to enter the coming year with a clean slate, as if his life would be completely brand new. To prepare, he would ask himself some deep, soul searching questions like:

“Am I willing to continue committing to my marriage as it is?”
“How can I make my significant relationships better?”
“Am I happy in my work?”
“Is it bringing me fulfillment?”
“Do I want to continue with this career or change careers?”
"Am I happy with myself as a father?"

He made no assumptions about the next year of his life. He entered each year consciously and committed to the aspects of his life through which he continued to fulfill his purpose. If it was time for something to change, he changed it — whether or not it was an easy change to make.

This man was a model of integrity and happiness. He didn’t have to say he was on a powerful spiritual path, you could feel it in his words and see it in his eyes. He kept his life in alignment with his greater purpose.

As I embrace this new year, I have found myself also reflecting on my satisfaction with my choices. If indeed life itself is a prayer, and I believe it is, then I want every major decision I make to be in harmony with the impulses of my heart and soul. For me, that is where Divine guidance lives.

This wonderful man was and still is a great inspiration to me. He was the one who showed me the power of reflective introspection. Imagine a world where each of us was in that much alignment with the bidding of our souls.