Go forward

Fine dining at White Feather Farm (5 of the 6 cats, sharring a can of tuna)...not exactly Alinea but they do not care...even the dirty sock does not distract!

Fine dining at White Feather Farm (5 of the 6 cats, sharring a can of tuna)…not exactly Alinea but they do not care…even the dirty sock does not distract them

Jack and I watched a wonderful documentary the other night called, “Spinning Plates”. It highlighted the success and struggles of three very different restaurants (focusing on the owner’s and chef’s personal lives as well) in the US. If any one of these restaurants was within driving distance, I would want to go, but one of them, Alinea, sounded so fantastic that I felt like I would fly to Chicago just to dine there.

I’ve never done that before: flown somewhere just to eat at one restaurant….so we are going to do it.

There are a million reasons why this is an impractical thing to do, and if I deferred to my head (making a list of pros and cons), we’d never go. But I don’t defer to my head (and its lists) when something calls to me like this did. When I get the feeling, “Wouldn’t that be wonderful!”, I begin planning it. I am also aware that sometimes my “must do” feelings aren’t really 100% reliable as a guide, so I do something else; I pray the “Roadblock Prayer”.

I’m not sure if I’ve written about this amazing little prayer or not but it is worth talking about if I haven’t. Many years ago, I worked as a prayer volunteer for the Norman Vincent Peale Center and the woman who ran that program was the one who first introduced me to this incredible tool.

It is simply this: when a decision needs to be made about anything, first try to feel what your inner guidance is saying. If the feeling is Yes, then go forward as if it is the right direction, but include this prayer before you begin (or really at any point) as you move forward:

“I am going to go forward with (…….), and if it is not in my highest and best good, I give you (‘You’ here is referring to your higher self, God, Spirit of the Universe, higher intelligence, or any concept of Divine Wisdom that speaks to you) full permission to roadblock it.”

After praying this, it is important not to re-think your decision. Trust that if it isn’t right, the roadblock will be obvious. Don’t pray this and then go back to the mental ping-pong game, weighing pros and cons. This prayer is simply one way of turning the decision over to your higher wisdom to work out (or not) the details. It is one way to move forward without worry.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to ask (here as a comment) and I will do my best to answer them all.

15 thoughts on “Go forward

  1. Mary, I love the roadblock prayer. I have always found that if you don’t pay attention to the first roadblock, a bigger roadblock will come up. At least that is how it has worked in my life.

  2. Dear Mary, what a wonderful idea (both the roadblock prayer and the trip to Chicago for a restaurant experience)! Thanks for sharing this. The roadblock prayer especially appeals to me since there are times when I make a decision about something, then am challenged by the doubting mind. This prayer sounds like a wonderful way to just Let Go and Let God.

  3. Love love love it. Flying to Chicago just to eat at that restaurant and the prayer. Can’t wait to find out what happens next! 🙂

  4. Mary, don’t know if you remember sharing this with me a year ago. I was trying to arrange a visit with my step-daughter which in the past had always come with a lot of anxiety (on my part), and cancelled plans and flights (on her part). You shared this with me and I put it into action, made an invite and then let it go. I don’t think the get together ever did happen at that time but I felt so much better about my part in trying! Thank you once again for sharing your experiences and wise words. Love you!

  5. Mary, we go to Chicago once or twice a year to visit our son, and we always stay at House of Two Urns, a B&B in the Wicker Park area. It is a restored Polish bakery in a wonderful, close-in part of town, 1-2 blocks from the train and bus (you can fly into O’Hare and take the train(s) right to it), and filled with interesting art. Kapra and Miguel (an artist himself) are the proprietors, and Kapra always makes the most delicious breakfasts, including a wheat free/dairy free one for me. Look it up on the web, and if you go, say the Ellis’ from St. Paul sent you.

  6. I recently gave myself permission NOT to do something that at first felt like a duty, an obligation, to accompany my spouse overseas for a huge family reunion (his). Having been there so many many times in my life, having already done my duty as it were, making sure his parents got to know their grandsons when they were growing up, etc., – now that the sons are grown and his dear parents passed on, I listened to my inner voice, saw that roadblock and gave myself permission to stay at home. A huge step for me, one I may not have made even a year ago. Here I am at 63, learning to speak up. Feels good. Wonderful prayer, printing it out and saving it in my WFF folder. Thank you Mary!

  7. When I googled Alinea, the first listing was Alinea Chicago; the second listing was Alinea tickets. Looks like a positive sign so far!! Bon appetit.

  8. I’m feeling a need to get out of “my box” and do something like a trip to Alinea or the House of two Urns. I may need to use the roadblock prayer real soon! Thanks for such refreshing ideas.

  9. Mary,
    I just spent 6 weeks in Chicago, you will love it! And thanks for the roadblock prayer- it will come in very handy.

  10. Believe me, my life might have been a whole lot less stressful had I subscribed to turning my worries and problems over to a Higher Power but do you think I learn…not really. I bang my head against the proverbial brick wall, still, even though I know better. Think of all the energy I could have saved myself had I done this. My father used to say “you’re like a dog with a bone” while I was growing up and while I now think this is not always a bad thing, for without this ‘ability’ I might not have made it this far in life. However, I do know that I can worry a thing to death and that’s just plain dumb. Fortunately, I don’t have the same kind of energy I used to have and can now say…what the heck, not much I can do about that. But, not always…!
    SandyP in Canada

  11. I don’t know how long you will be staying there, but one of my favorite places in the area when I lived there was the Chicago Botanic Garden. You will, however, need a car to get there. Another great place is the Garfield Park Conservatory. You can get there on the green line of the El. They had a Dale Chahuli (sp?) exhibit there once.

  12. YOU GO GIRL!! I think I’m going to do something silly like this in the next year. I had a friend in Baltimore who took his girlfriend to Paris for lunch! A most excellent adventure. J

  13. Good for you, Mary for going forward and doing this! Your wise words of wisdom, and the prayer also help me as I embark on a new journey in a new volunteer position. It feels right, while at the same time I’m nervous. The prayer really helps and I’m going to put it in my journal as a reminder!

  14. Hey Mary! I live in the Milwaukee area but have a subscription to Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago ( very aclaimed live theater started by the actor Gary Sinese and 2 others) I have been going for over a decade and recognized Grant Achatz, chef of Alinea in the documentary being interviewed on the street. It turns out Alinea is across the street from Steppenwolf but has no sign out front, no advertising at all. So, if you go make sure you keep the address close and try to get tickets to a Steppenwolf show; they are ALWAYS thought provoking and have a stable of outstanding actors! Have fun!!!!

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