Listening Presence

It has been said, “prayer is the fullness of attention.” When we’re completely paying attention, when we’re completely present in a moment, completely listening at all levels, we’re praying. 
—Cynthia Bourgeault

I have been in the midst of a life-changing transition. I think most of us are going through something similar. All of the familiar old ways are disappearing. The new that is coming in is not yet clearly defined. I’m beginning to see the outlines of new possibilities, starting with the potential my Internet presence presents. A new infrastructure is in the process of being built, showing a form that might bring all of my gifts and talents together to bless others and support me. But there are more questions than answers right now. It’s been like a long winter of the soul. Yet signs of spring are beginning to emerge. 

There are times in life when there is little that we can do and the only option is to trust in an unseen grace. But even in this darkest night, there is the light and energy of grace—God’s love carrying us and sustaining us in the midst of turmoil and trouble. It is in the time that we feel most helpless that we realize there is an unseen power that runs like a river of grace through our lives, carrying us on a current of love. 

Grace unfolds incrementally. Lasting change is generated by small, simple daily choices. A small transforming choice, multiplied by daily practice, and nurtured by continued affirmative thought and prayer can change the trajectory of a life, just as a small adjustment in course will eventually take an ocean liner on another path altogether.

I propose to you that there is a spiritual reality that holds a larger story than the one you have been living by. It holds out a hope more wonderful than you can yet realize. You can discover clues to its existence, learn to find ways to access it and make it real in your own life. 

Here are suggestions for accessing inner wisdom and grace in your life. 

• Be present. 
There is no time in God’s highest purposes. All is connected, all one. Your connection to the fullness of God is found in the here and now. Be present in this moment. Take a deep breath. Come into stillness. Take your time instead of trying to make things happen. There is a natural rhythm to life. Being present in the moment makes you more available to that natural rhythm of grace. Choose to trust a deeper wisdom. Surrender to what is so you can open to what can be. Put your hand over your heart and feel its mighty steady beat. That is the heartbeat of grace carrying you through your day. 

• Be passionate.
Do not mistake urgency for passion. Urgency feels like an emergency. Passion flows with effortless energy. Let what you love rise from the depths of your being. Listen to its insistent song. This is your intuitive guidance system leading you out of the wilderness of frantic fear and crazed attempts to control the uncontrollable. Imagine yourself surrounded by God’s love and light, experiencing and doing everything with a sense of being present to the moment. Live in God’s highest truth, knowing that facts change, but truth is constant.

• Release the pain to embrace your inner power.
Pain body memories and old stories are life draining. They make you afraid to hope and entangle you in negative beliefs and expectations. Are you re-enacting old stories and scenarios in your mind? Or are you coming from the center of who you really are? Listen. Then choose simple actions that come from a place of power and presence, trusting that God is gently guiding you. Do your best, leave the rest up to God. Trust your heart’s quiet wisdom instead of your chattering ego-based mind. 

• Cultivate a practice of prayer. 
Develop your intimacy with the Divine through prayer. Connect to the world within to transform the world without. Pray affirmatively for yourself and others. Create a prayer list that you update regularly. Visualize light and love surrounding those you pray for, and around the concerns and problems of your life. Pray for peace and prosperity, knowing the highest truth for all. What you pray for others you are also praying for yourself, for everything is one in the Divine nature. 

Embracing a new way of approaching your life is both death and rebirth. It is a death to our old definitions of self and the defenses we used to protect our old beliefs. It is a birth into a new self that is open, receptive, and believes that anything is possible, for our potential arises from the vastness within. We are able to hear something new, think more expansively, and become a place where greater consciousness develops.

Every profound innovation is based on an inward-bound journey, on going to a deeper place where knowing comes to the surface. 
—W. Brian Arthur


• When I listen to my heart I am guided into peace, prosperity, and plenitude. 
• I discover new ways to serve life with love and joy.
• I lovingly give my best gifts to the world.
• This is more than just a job, it’s a love affair.
• I listen to my heart and it leads me where I want to go. 
• There is that within me that knows what to do and how to do it.
• I am open to new ideas, new people, and new possibilities.
• Any day I create more order, harmony, and beauty is a good day.
• God is my Source so anything is possible. 
• I always choose love over fear. Always. 

We know that each one of us is a center of this Divine Life, in this Perfect Peace, this Complete Happiness, and this Absolute Wholeness; and we know that this Perfection—which is the center of our very being—is projected into every atom of our being. 
—Ernest Holmes

Introducing an inspiring friend: 

My friend Linda has been on a creative adventure. She’s now the proud author of a delightful book. For the Love of Lauren: Diary of a Young Girl is told in the first person. Childlike wisdom permeates this book, because the story not only tells of Lauren and her adventures in a small Southern town, it speaks to the heart of anyone who has felt lonely or become frustrated by being told “you’ll understand when you are older.” You’ll be immersed in magic when you open the pages of this classic-in-the-making. Whether you’re young or young at heart, you’ll love Lauren, too. 

The author draws on her girlhood memories and a mystical imagination. She says, “When I first started to write the Lauren stories I was patterning them after a gift someone had given to me when I was ten years old. It was a bedtime storybook, and I was so insulted at such a childish gift, at first. Then, when I actually took the time to read the stories, well... they touched my heart so much that I just fell in love with them, and the feelings of those gentle stories are still with me today. I decided to call Lauren's first book her diary, and give the stories a chance to be read by anyone ages six to ninety-six. After all, that little child who deserves to be known is still within us all, just waiting to share their great treasures of youth...As Lauren's Nona always said, ‘Words are magical!’”

Learn more about For the Love of Lauren at:


  1. May 1, 2009 8:15 AM CDT

    Thank you Candy for these inspiring words...

    - Lauren