Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Power of Intent

After I was fired last June from Moms Demand Action, I began to pray and envision every day that I would one day work in gun violence prevention for a great organization, and that I would actually be appreciated for the work I do. And that is exactly what happened. Look what is written every month on my paycheck:

Do I believe that prayer has power? You bet I do. You can call it intent, or affirmation …but whatever you call it, it works.

Here’s another example. Back in 2003, I wrote on a post-it note, “I am now open to the possibility of all my wildest dreams coming true.” You might think, well, yeah…who wouldn’t be? But I think that subconsciously, most of us aren’t. We are afraid of change, or maybe we feel we don’t deserve it. For me, I was so familiar with struggle, subconsciously I didn’t really believe it was my destiny to be happy. So when I wrote this post-it, I remember feeling giddy – because I really meant it – and I knew I was throwing a door wide open. I put the note up on my bathroom mirror where I could see it every morning. That year, I found my biological father. I had thought he was dead. I also found out I had three brothers. This was beyond my wildest dreams…beyond my wildest imaginings.

It was the author Mary Karr (The Liar’s Club) that got me back on my knees. While I was reading her memoir Lit, her story about getting sober and finding her faith again, I was going through a really hard time in my own life. I was broke, struggling, fighting a terrible court battle and my family was in shambles. Karr wrote about how prayer turned her whole life around. I figured I had nothing to lose. I started praying daily, and sure enough, all the jagged pieces began to sift back into place. Unlike Karr, who is Catholic, I don’t pray to a patriarchal version of God. I don’t believe God is separate from me - out there somewhere judging my every move. My prayer begins by acknowledging the Creative loving spirit that made me and that I am part of. I attempt to feel my connectedness to everyone and everything, and I set my intent for that day. I ask for help, while believing that help is already provided, also believing that everything that happens in my life is for the betterment of my soul.

I can’t define what I believe about God. My father is a Baptist preacher, my daughter is half-Jewish, and I think I believe most in the tenets of Buddhism…but what I do feel sure of is that putting my faith in love and goodness has never steered me wrong. So I will continue to pray in the name of love, goodness and a great creative spirit, and I will put a new post-it on my mirror today:

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