As I contemplated what to write for this article, I asked myself sincerely ’what is the most valuable lesson I’ve learned personally in the last twelve months?’ Because let’s be deeply honest; this last year has been the most remarkable and collectively challenging event we’ve ever experienced. With awareness of our privileges and protections, we have each been asked to review our relationship to ourselves and to others. And this makes it a truly remarkable moment for us all. Especially within the context of healing.
So I want to talk then for a moment about devotion; a term often associated with religious practice. I’m a pluralist, so however you best connect with God – however you conceive Them to be – is beautiful in my books. But the act of devotion itself is one of loving observance and diligence; the practice of prolonged and focussed attention on a particular subject. Our devotions are the actions we repeat, both in the mind and in the world, whether we are conscious of them or not.
I want to gently draw out how devotion works within our own lives. We’ve heard the concept ‘time is an illusion’ and that we really only have the present moment in which to define our experience. If you want depth on this subject, Eckhart Tolle lays it out quite cleanly in The Power Of Now. But as we look to our futures, through the lens of the present, what is it then that helps us shape our lives? Well, simply put, it is the practices we choose to include and repeat each day. And these daily recurrences can show us where our devotions lie.
Devotion in my view knows no moral code. It is – conscious or not – ourselves that define what exactly we are devoted to. Now here, we are going to get a little reflective. And perhaps a little direct. So take a nice deep breath in through the nose, and soften the belly as you exhale through the mouth. Here it is:
We can be devoted to our suffering. We can be devoted to conflict. To loneliness and scarcity. We can be devoted to self-loathing. To our sadness. To our separation. To hopelessness. To fear.
I want to say that each of these particular devotions are not because we’ve done anything incorrectly. They are responses to our experiences in this world, and a result of the conditionings (and traumas) we have been subjected to. And I want to offer so much love to each of us, myself included, for all the ways we learned devotion to things that do not serve us.
As we begin to observe the less-conscious devotions in our own lives (we’ve all got them), there is an invitation to reflect on the power of our focus. There is no judgement in this kind of healing work. Awareness empowers us to then align ourselves differently. To course correct. So If we are able to expand devotion to now include the repetitive aspects of living that we’d rather not experience – what can this mean?
It means we are in a position of incredible power. Because we are able to begin learning how to focus more upon what we desire, rather than what frustrates us. And it is a conscious choice in each moment. We invite and invoke what we want to see more of in our lives – but must then devote ourselves to these things. Loving devotion is one of the most robust ways to influence not just how we feel in the future, but what we experience each day. Each morning. Each hour. And this is truly where the power of spiritual practice resides.
I want to offer one of the most simple tools to help refocus our devotions; affirmation. Affirmations engage our intentions and declare how we wish to proceed. Here’s an example – if we are experiencing isolation (I think we can all check this box on some level) then the affirmation in response becomes ‘I am devoted to loving connections in my life.’ This affirmation is expansive enough to acknowledge we might not always feel lovingly connected; but it declares that we are devoted to it. And as our daily actions begin to line up with this affirmation – because I assure you they will – we begin to witness loving connection across our lives. What we focus upon regularly begins to flourish.
Now devotion asks that we are diligent. It requests that we become more and more conscious of where we allow our attention to go. That we become committed and clear on what we want to see more of. But the power of it lies in the repetition. You can repeat any affirmation even if you don’t believe or feel it initially. To affirm ‘I am devoted to my highest joy’ does not mean we are suddenly living on Cloud Nine all day, every day. What it does mean is we are allowing space for our highest joy to then be present in each day. We are creating space for spirit / source / cosmos / God to move into our experience with a serving of ‘our highest joy’. This is our devotion creating space for divine intervention.
Some days it will feel like nothing is happening – especially if our devotions have been focussed in opposing directions. It takes some time. It takes disciplined and loving repetition. But I want to promise that if we begin to devote ourselves more to our own joy, peace, ease, abundance, expansion, connection and love; then we are most assuredly going to witness a profound shift. This is the same shift I experience for myself (sometimes daily), and one that I never tire of having gratitude for across my life.
So let us enter the Spring then with a new set of conscious devotions. Ones made of higher goals and beautiful connections. Make them bold. Make them intersectional and vast. And then make these devotions real by affirming and practicing them daily. You are worthy of what you desire.
Let us now devote ourselves accordingly.
I believe being empowered with the tools for your own healing is the most impactful way to enable transformation. The old adage ‘teach a person to fish…’ resonates strongly with me as well as my work. If a client leaves a session feeling clearer, calmer and more capable, then I know I have done my job well.
I have great reverence and gratitude for the teachers and healers that have helped me throughout my life, and I am honoured to offer my own gifts in service. I acknowledge healing is a non-linear journey, and continue to learn as much through my own growth as through continued studies and training.
The source energy channelled during Reiki sessions is a similar energy I connect with during psychic work. I combine these two components of my practice as often as I can; they are tools for the same purpose.
My practice is queer and inclusive. As a queer non-binary person this is a really important part of my philosophy, and I believe in bringing this energy to healing spaces and communities.
If you'd like to learn more about Robert and their practice, head over to their website and give them a follow on Instagram.