The more I cultivate a relationship with my own inner voice, the more I step into a precious, responsive life of abundantly answered prayer. These days, I often feel as though I’m walking with an Unseen Friend, a playful, quirky, Mojo-powered force that infuses my life with meaning and tenderness. I’d like to share a recent example with you…

This past summer I went home to New York and spent some time with my mother who just turned 80. My mother weighs no more than a graham cracker and I watch her discarding her enthusiasms for life. She is tired. Her conversation, world, and size seem to shrink with every blink of the eye. It is so hard to watch someone who has been such an archetype in your life, a pillar in the story of you, start to turn into a memory. I have so much crazy compassion for my mother, a reckless love, even though I have spent almost all of my life seeking and finding mothering elsewhere. It’s complicated: therapy, forgiveness, angelic intervention, and growing up.

On my last day of visiting with her, I feel helpless saying goodbye, knowing I can’t hold back the tide of time. I feel small and exhausted myself, having zip-locked all of my emotions inside myself, so that I can show up as my mother’s bright and resourceful daughter, the one who can tap dance on a pin head, and never stumble or weep. I also feel tired knowing I face a long train ride to Grand Central Station, where I will hop a shuttle to JFK, and then a plane back across the country to Colorado. Then this: I feel stupidly helpless because I have 90 minutes to wait until I can catch the shuttle to JFK. It’s not enough time to see more of New York City as I’d hoped or go shopping as I’d really wanted to do while here. Those 90 minutes feel like some vestiges of yarn that can’t knit a blanket or even a cap. For some reason, those 90 minutes make me feel even more vulnerable. They represent running out of time again, and also one more thing I’ll have to figure out, in a life that feels as though there’s already too many buckets to fill.

The minute I board the train and wave goodbye the tears come. Passing olive green lakes and willow trees outside the window, everything blurs. I cry because I am tired of holding it all in, swallowing a big rubber ball and watching Law and Order and the evening news with my mother. I cry knowing that my mother is going home alone to eat her microwave dinners, and that so many souls feel alone in this life, and that all of us deal with scary, incomprehensible junctures that make us feel like gauzy leaves in Autumn, waiting our turn to be swept up in the astounding unknown. Then I do something brilliant. I ask Spirit to be with me, to let me know that I am not forsaken and that none of us really have to ride the train alone. To be honest, it feels like a dry gesture, not a true-hearted invocation, but more of an across-the-board cry for help, any help available anywhere.

When I get off the train, I walk through majestic Grand Central Station and out into the street looking for something to do with “my extra yarn.” I am thrilled to see a cluster of street vendors selling leather goods, tee shirts, sunglasses and other items. I love the street vendors of New York City and feel so grateful that I have at least a few moments of shopping before finding a Starbucks to sit in to pass the time. But as I walk, I begin to notice that it isn’t just a cluster of vendors on one block, it’s a cluster on every block. With sheer delight, I see that there is no end in sight, that the vendors span for miles with every kind of ethnic food, designer cosmetics, silver jewelry, leather goods, all available for discounted prices.

I ask you, how can you doubt the presence of God amidst an infestation of bargains? I mean, come on, I even had my choice of Estee Lauder lipsticks. I am tickled. Almost everything I’d wanted to experience in New York City is right here. Fantastic people watching, endless cheap Italian, Indian, Thai, and Halaal food, live music, and the Chrysler building towering and winking at me like some urban genii granting my commercial indulgences. There’s even a slight breeze, in August, and not one pound of humidity. Everyone is relaxed, as relaxed as New York gets, in a Sunday afternoon type mood.

I feel new tears in my eyes, tears of abundance and gratitude, for the grace of this spontaneous experience, and for 90 minutes to enjoy it. I ask a large Italian man selling tee shirts if this street fair takes place in this location every Sunday. “No,” he said. “It’s special today.” I feel as though one hundred doves burst out of my tight rib cage. He might as well have said, “No the Beloved did this just for you.”

Yes, I understand that not everyone will look upon this as a miracle. It’s not exactly the presence of the Virgin Mary (though she was for sale at the street fair), or the turning of water into wine. But that’s the thing about having a relationship with an Infinite Friend. The language of spirit is exquisitely personal. The Sufis say that "God is the Great Beloved who kisses the individual on the inside of the heart." I felt smooched. I recognized a signature feeling. I felt soothed and answered, as though I was walking on rose petals set down just for me, below a soft, bright canopy of all-encompassing generosity. Suddenly, I felt cherished, even though I still felt sad, and there was still litter on the streets, and time would still march on. But, even so, I felt as though I would always be okay, my life would have big love, and that my mother would be okay under her own canopy, and that we’d all be okay, because the Presence was within us and we all find meaning, sweetness, and inexplicable liberation in our own time and way.

Go ahead, play with it. Ask the Sacred Friend or the Beloved One, or your Inner Teacher to join you, guide you and help you open to the love that surrounds you. If it helps, “pretend” that you’re held dear and guided and see what you notice in your experience when you do so. Dare to live an awakened, irrationally happy life. Dive into your own intimate relationship with the Presence, the tenderness in between the broken moments, the nudges, the coincidences, and uncanny, joyous juxtapositions. Go ahead, be as weird as they come, at least you’ll be filled with wonder.

I leave you with this line of poetry from St. Teresa of Avila, who apparently knew how to have her own intimate and lively relationship with the infinite. It says:

Love once said to me, "I know a song, would you like to hear it?"

And laughter came from every brick in the street
and from every pore in the sky.”

Copyright 2008 Tama J. Kieves, All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Tama J. Kieves is the best-selling author of THIS TIME I DANCE! Creating the Work You Love/How One Harvard Lawyer Left It All to Have It All! She is also a sought-after speaker and career coach who has helped thousands world-wide to discover and live their creative dreams. Learn more about Tama’s workshops and coaching or sign up to receive FREE monthly inspiration and tools for your creative life journey at Download her free report on “Finding Your Calling Now” at