by Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway
Every month, the "Romance
Reverend" shares her sage insights on relationships
and getting ready for soulful love! Send your
questions to RomanceRev@SoulfulLiving.com.
Finding Peace in A Turbulent World
Prayers for India, Pakistan and You
Dear Romance Reverend,
How can any of us hope to maintain our spirituality
when media keeps flinging news alerts at us that keep us
in a perpetual state of fear? -- Liz, from Queens,
* * * *
Dear Liz –
I wrote an article in the 1980’s about a professor
who got the first grant ever to study the effects of bad
news on human beings. It turned out that bad news was
a bummer, it added to depression, insomnia, phobia,
fear… but it was also discovered that we humans have a
"morbid curiosity" that keeps us coming back
for more, that our morbid attraction to bad news
propelled us to continue to watch disturbing news
accounts. Viewers also blamed the messengers – the
newscasters – for delivering the news. But take one
look at the baby face of CNN’s Bill Hemmer and see if
you can pin it all on him <smile>… We have to
find the balance between getting the news we need to
know… and taking time out from the intrusion of TV
news reports that feed us repetitive negative messages.
Indeed, the challenges of our times have taken on a
very surreal quality, but it is up to us soulful folks
to remember that in many ways the events of our times
are the illusion of our human reality – not the
reality of our souls. There is a part of us all that
dwells close to God, Goddess, All there is, untouched by
the stirrings of all the insanity and uncertainty. We
can only get to it from within – by improving our own
lives, making ourselves stronger and reconnecting to the
soulfulness that brought us to the pages of Soulful
Living in the first place.
This question of feeling unsafe, unspiritual,
disconnected has come up time and again in the past few
months – for all of us. How could it not? For some of
us, soulfulness has been lulled to sleep by the
energetic force of fear and concern that has gripped our
planet, and has been further effected the repetition of
media reports, the fear for personal safety, and lack of
well-publicized global support for the Heart and Soul.
War, anger, hate, despair, disputes, intolerance,
suicide bombers, death, grief, loss are all getting a
lot of publicity. Thank goodness we have this web
magazine to remind us that bad news is not the only news.
There is a quote from Rev. Linda Wise that I once saw
in a Science of Mind magazine: "As busy
as the outer world may become, remember that the secret
place of the most High is always accessed from
Amen. Never has this been more important to remember!
Now is the time to refocus your energy on creating a
comfortable and personal spiritual practice that will
empower you to regain your strength, balance and trust
in Divine Providence. It does not have to be based on
any one religion. People who feel disconnected from
their religion sometimes inadvertently disconnect from
God. Our spiritual practice and our experience of the
sacred are as personal and unique as a fingerprint. It
really is up to us, personally, to seek the right path,
and to allow our search to be expansive, and inclusive
of anything that we feel naturally drawn to.
There are so many ways to commune with spirit and
relax, as a way of reconnecting to your soulful self.
Consider an array of activities – internal and
external – that bring great peace and balance. For
some of us it will be mediation and prayer, for others
it may be a long hot bubble bath after an intense
physical workout. You may revel in massage or the
all-over relaxation and rejuvenation of foot
reflexology; the rest of us may opt to sit in a park or
a forest and hug a tree. You can incorporate all, or
some, into our personal practice, and you will likely
find your needs will vary from time to time. A ritual
experience such as a sacred Japanese tea ceremony may
bring a profound sense of peace when you already feel
calm; if upset, talking about problems and releasing
their charge may be the precursor to accessing the
Here are some tips that may help with both the
practical and spiritual aspects of getting beyond
overwhelming bad news and getting back in touch with
your soulful, loving self. It is really a matter of
choosing a path of self-improvement that will lead you
away from feeling stuck in fear and mayhem and
ultimately leads you to a greater sense of your own
divine nature. Although it is important that we all be
aware of any true danger and threats to our well-being
and the well-being of our country and neighbors, it is
also essential that we take time out so we can learn to live
with "high alerts" -- and not have our
lives be defined by them!
- Create a Sacred Space. Sometimes it helps to
create and utilize external environments that can be our
"sacred space," a personal temple in which we
can establish a "direct link" to the Divine
- Take time out. It is important to carve out time
to get away from the stresses of daily life and recharge
your battery – even if getting away is to sit in a
quite place for 10 minutes and chill out. Anytime you
feel yourself going into overwhelm, you must decompress.
Otherwise, your mind continues to build on the essence
of pending catastrophe, instead of calm.
- Change behaviors. We can all work on altering
behavior that make simple things complex – such as
drama, exaggeration, acting out, and worrying. If you
tend to overreact, it will exhaust you and alter your
sense of reasoning and reality. Leave the personal drama
to the theater! Reserve judgment and stay calm. Do
things to create calm and avoid agitation – like
cutting down on caffeine and getting more sleep. Life
will give you a lot of opportunities to practice calm
and if you take each as an opportunity to grow, you will
become a more patient and accepting person, less
affected by media reports.
- Be alert and aware, but do not become a media
victim. Limit the amount of TV you watch. It is
notorious for filling your brain with fear. The
repetitive nature of TV news reports will get you if you
don’t balance is with positive talk and affirmation.
Listen to music that is soothing, uplifting, and joyous.
Make sure that for all the bad news you balance it with
exposure to good, hopeful media (such a books and
pleasant TV shows) and melody.
- Laugh more than you have laughed in the past nine
months. Studies show you can raise your energy,
uplift your life and improve emotional and physical
health with laughter. Rent funny movies, or romantic
comedies, and watch a bunch of them until you feel
- Treat every life experience as sacred – even fear.
Sri Rama once said, "Live every moment as if
you are building a temple." Can you imagine how
powerful you would feel if, next time you hear a news
alert that you just stopped in that moment to center
yourself, take a moment to relax and say a prayer? Or
even to just toss the fear over to the Divine and say,
"please heal this for the highest good." When
we stay in touch with the sacred nature of life itself,
all of life becomes your temple. You feel
"connected" wherever you are.
When you re-waken to the peace within, you will be
able to connect with your soulful nature and higher self
in any circumstance. Not only will this change the way
you experience and view life, it will alter shared
moments with others. Remember that how you experience
the world and all the feelings it conjures up in you is
still up to you. Take charge of your life by tapping
back into your soulful nature!
© Copyright 2002 Reverend Laurie Sue Brockway All Rights
Peace Prayers for
India, Pakistan and You
"The outward freedom that we
shall attain will only be in exact proportion
to the inward freedom to which we may have grown at a
And this is a correct view of freedom, our chief energy
must be concentrated
on achieving reform from within."
- Mohandas K. Gandhi
The people of Kashmir – both Muslim
and Hindu – immediately took to their mosques and
temples to pray for peace when they learned things
were heating up in the area. To add some light to the
situation that has stirred fear and concern in so
many, you may want to take a sacred moment to recite a
prayer. Here are two peace prayers that someone passed
along to me, one from the Hindu perspective and one from
the Muslim perspective, as well as The Great Invocation,
from Lucis Trust, a non-denominational prayer that
called upon the "Christ Mind" and the famous
"Serenity Prayer," for your own peace of mind.
If none of these prayers appeal to you, write or speak your own.
1. Light a candle, to represent the Light of the
Divine – by all names, faces, interpretations. This is
the light, which lives within all of us.
2. Now close your eyes and center yourself so you
can send peaceful vibes to the places in the world where
peace is threatened. Only send energy to the world when
you are feeling stable, centered and secure.
3. Remember, all of our prayers count. They really
Hindu Prayer for Peace
Oh God, lead us from the unreal to the Real.
Oh God, lead us from darkness to light.
Oh God, lead us from death to immortality.
Shanti, Shanti, Shanti unto all.
Oh Lord God almighty, may there be peace in celestial
May there be peace on earth.
May the waters be appeasing.
May herbs be wholesome, and may trees and
plants bring peace to all.
May all beneficent beings bring peace to us.
May thy Vedic Law propagate peace all through the world.
May all things be a source of peace to us.
And may thy peace itself, bestow peace on all,
and may that peace come to me also.
Muslim Prayer for Peace
In the name of Allah,
the beneficent, the merciful.
Praise be to the Lord of the
Universe who has created us and
made us into tribes and nations,
That we may know each other, not that
we may despise each other.
If the enemy incline towards peace, do
thou also incline towards peace, and
trust God, for the Lord is the one that
heareth and knoweth all things.
And the servants of God,
Most Gracious are those who walk on
the Earth in humility, and when we
address them, we say "PEACE."
The Great Invocation (for planetary peace)
From the point of Light within the Mind of God/dess
Let light stream forth into the minds of all people.
Let Light descend on Earth.
From the point of Love within the Heart of God/dess
Let love stream forth into the hearts of all people.
May Christ return to Earth.
From the centre where the Will of God/Goddess is
Let purpose guide the little wills of all people
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.
From the center which we call the race of men and
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on
Serenity Prayer (for personal peace)
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can
The courage to change the things I can.
And the wisdom to know the difference.
What is Your Peace Prayer for the
Reverend Laurie Sue's Current Column
Reverend Laurie Sue's Past Columns:
2002 - "Sacred Sexuality For Modern Men and Women"
2002 - "When Someone You Love Pushes Your Buttons"
2002 - "When Life Has Your Down, Remember You Are
2002 - "Plan Valentine's Day Team Date"
2002 - "Do I Hear Him Knocking … From the Other
2001 - How Do We Make Our Love Dreams Come True?
2001 - "What is the Future of Love?"
2001 - "Getting to Know
the Goddess of Good Fortune"
2001 "Can’t Hurry Love… It Will Happen In its Right
2001 "Family Rituals Help Us Grow into Loving
2001 - "Dreams Warn It's Time to Own Your Own
2001 - "A Fun Visual of Your Perfect Romance"
2001 - "Someday Your Mystical Soul Mate Will
2001 - "Enjoy the Merriment and Fun of An Ancient
2001 - "Nourish Yourself on a Date for One"
2001 - "Get Ready for Soulful Love"
Reverend Laurie Sue Brockway is an author,
teacher and contemporary clergy person who specializes
in matters of the heart and soul. As an ordained
interfaith minister and non-denominational wedding
officiant, it is her honor to regularly marry couples in
Prior to becoming a minister she enjoyed a successful
and colorful 20 years in media as a widely published
journalist, editor and author of several books on
relationships and romance—as well as being a noted
spokesperson on those topics. She was editor-in-chief of
two national magazines and several regional
publications, and her articles have been published
around the world and in many newspapers and national
magazines, such as the NY Daily News, The
Washington Post, Women’s News, New Woman,
Ladies’ Home Journal and Child.
She evolved years of specialized reporting in the field
of male-female relationship dynamics into a more
spiritual pursuit that led her to train to be an
interfaith minister, and then establish her wedding
ministry along with a number of popular relationship
enhancement programs. Her wedding ministry is based in
She is also dedicated to bringing about a deeper
awareness and understanding of the Divine Feminine. As a
graduate of The New Seminary in NYC, the world’s
premier seminary for interfaith ministers, she was
educated and trained in the tenants, spiritual practice
and worship of many faiths. She became a specialist in
the feminine aspects of God in all the world’s
religions. Today, she is widely recognized as a
minister, teacher and scribe specializing in women’s
spirituality and The Divine Feminine from an interfaith
and all-inclusive perspective. She is on the
board of directors of World Light Fellowship, heading up
their Feminine Faces of God programs, and is
Founder of Our Mother’s House, a cyber ministry at www.OurMothersHouse.org.
Long devoted to helping women access the "Goddess Within," she is currently
working on two books that bring the wisdom of ancient archetypes to modern
women. Her newest book, A Goddess Is a Girl's Best Friend, is due out from
Perigee Books in December 2002.
To be placed on a mailing list for information
about A Goddess Is A Girl’s Best Friend: OurMothersHouse@aol.com