I’ve always been good at taking time for myself. I’m all about a girls trip, buying myself something I want just because or just getting in “me” time whenever I see fit. For the last year or so, I’ve been trying to focus more on how to be still with my inner thoughts. As I get older and continue to search for direction, I feel a growing need to not only really think about what I want but to also hone in and listen to the answers. I spend a lot of time praying for things and asking for guidance, but I’m not sure I’ve perfected how to listen for the answers or decipher what I truly want and need.
When I can’t figure things out, my first go to is research, research, research. I volunteer to spend an hour a week in our church’s Adoration Chapel. During my devotional hours, I’ve discovered books that provide guidance on the process of preparing my self for prayer so that I’m most clear and free from distraction. Over that last year or so I’ve come across 4 books that have provided me with those infamous “aha” moments Auntie O is always talking about. I loved these books because they’re centered around listening to your gut and doing what will allow you to live and enjoy your life, authentically. That is such an Oprah way of wording it, but it’s true. I’ve found the search for a deeper understanding of self and perfecting the art of listening to what God or the universe is trying to tell me is a process. I’m the type of person who needs a toolkit to help me figure this out. It’s not an easy process for me, but one that I’m finding increasingly necessary on my journey. The other aspect I’m working on is consistency. Now, this is the hardest for me. I’ll be the first to admit, I suck at consistency. See also, my exercise life and the last few years with this blog! Look, I’m a work in progress, but aren’t we all?
Here are the four books that have been extremely helpful for me:
“Four Signs of Being a Dynamic Catholic” by Matthew Kelly – Provides an outline for preparing yourself for prayer and establishing consistency.
“Into the Deep” by Dan Burke – Helps create a deeper more meaningful prayer life.
“The Power of Silence” by Robert Cardinal Sarah – Focuses on blocking out external and internal noise so you can hear God.
“What I know for Sure” by Oprah Winfrey – Through her life lessons, you learn how to be true to yourself in all aspects of life.
*Just So You Know: The first 3 books are Catholic-based. However, if you struggle with the process of intentional prayer or strive for a deeper more connected prayer life, as I do, I think you can find them full of great nuggets of information. I didn’t find them to be preachy or centered on conversion. I’m not about that life, you do you. I’m still in reading “The Power of Silence” so if it goes left at the end, my bad!
Do you have a prayer or mediation ritual? Do you think you’ve perfected the art of blocking out the world’s noise and listening to what God or the universe is trying to tell you?