Brooke Snow: Christ is the Breath of Life
After having her baby, Brooke Snow's health started declining and she was life-flighted in a helicopter. But when the reserve of oxygen on the helicopter ran out, Snow recalls feeling a distinct prompting that literally saved her life. On today’s episode, Snow shares how this moment has forever turned her heart to Jesus Christ and made her determined to help others draw upon the lifesaving power of the Savior in every single breath.
The amazing thing about the gospel is that the framework is there—we can just do a lot to improve upon how well we receive the revelation in those moments.
Brooke's Blog: BrookeSnow.com
40-Day Christian Meditation Course: LearnwithBrooke.com
Other All In Episodes About Meditation:
Quote from Soren Kierkegaard: “A man prayed, and at first he thought that prayer was talking. But he became more and more quiet until in the end he realized that prayer is listening."
Quote from Neal A. Maxwell: "Astonishingly, to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, it is clear that the Father and the Son are giving away the secrets of the universe!” (Neal A. Maxwell, "Meek and Lowly," BYU Speeches 1986).
Conference Talk: President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Living the Gospel Joyful"
Definition of "prove:" see merriam-webster.com
1:50- A Life or Death Situation
11:58- Christian Meditation—An Oxymoron?
14:38- Can Prayer Be Silence?
17:31- The Transformative Power of Meditation in Our Prayers
22:07- Prayers of Fear?
25:30- Prone to Wander
28:01- Visualization and Hope
34:35- In the Same Room
37:35- The Many Ways We #HearHim
41:37- What Does It Mean To Be “All In” the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Morgan Jones 0:00
A traumatic life experience taught Brooke Snow the power of breath. Now she seeks to help others find the healing she found as God literally gave her a mantra. She believes that God wants us to hear him, He wants to speak to us. It is simply up to us to make time and create space to listen. Brooke Snow is a writer, speaker, podcaster, a prolific online educator, and a certified Optimize Coach, helping people create a strong identity supported by holistic daily habits. Brooke has a gift of seeing the big picture and extracting life lessons from each experience. She is a wife, a mother of two, a survivor and has triumphed over PTSD and anxiety. She believes all people can change and that we hold the power to create the life we want.
This is All In, an LDS Living podcast where we ask the question, "What does it really mean to be 'all in' the gospel of Jesus Christ?" I'm Morgan Jones and I am so honored to have Brooke Snow here with me today, Brooke, welcome.
Brooke Snow 1:12
Thank you! Happy to be here.
Morgan Jones 1:14
Well, I have to tell listeners that I have been on this journey, I feel like, with Brooke, but as we've already been over - she and I - sometimes you feel like you've been on a journey with somebody that you've just been watching or listening to. She has no idea that we've been on this journey together. But I've been doing this 40 Day Christian meditation challenge, and I have loved it. So thank you so much for the work that you put into that.
Brooke Snow 1:40
Thank you. Happy to hear that you've enjoyed it.
Morgan Jones 1:42
I want to start with a story that you're probably very tired of telling, but hopefully, you never get tired of it because it's such a good story. Brooke, can you tell us a little bit about your life when you discovered meditation and got into it?
Brooke Snow 1:49
I am not tired of it. Really, I would say that, my experience with meditation actually starts before I started meditating, and I would pinpoint it to an exact day. And that was June 16, 2014. And I had a baby on that day. And with my first child, labor and delivery was really traumatic. And I had reason to be concerned for the second one. And that morning, I went in for a scheduled c-section. And it was so different, it wasn't traumatic at all, everything was super calm, and I even remember calling my mom in the morning after I had my daughter. And I remember saying on the phone, "This is so much better, everything is better about this time!" And little did I know what was in store later. That was in the morning, around 10 o'clock in the morning.
Around 10 o'clock that night, I, with some assistance from a nurse, got up to go to the bathroom. Before I even got into the bathroom, I blacked out. And I don't remember anything that happened after that. I awoke a little bit later, and apparently I had gone into a seizure. I had three nurses surrounding me at that time asking, "What is your name? What is your birthday? Do you know why you're here?" And I just, I couldn't even answer. I blacked out again, and then moments later, as far as I know, I came to, and I had an oxygen mask over my mouth and my nose and I could not breathe. And it was terrifying! Like, the feeling of not being able to breathe is definitely panic mode in your life. And apparently what had happened is I had a pulmonary embolism, which is blood clots to the lungs. And it wasn't just one, it was nine. And this was an extremely life or death situation. I remember the doctor saying to me, "I need your verbal consent to perform this procedure. You may not survive, but I need your consent to do this." And I just nodded my head. I couldn't even speak at that moment.
And, before I knew it, decisions had been made, they decided to transfer me to another hospital that was more equipped to be able to help me. And I was going to ride in a life flight helicopter to get there. Because of some fluke storm that happened in June, I wasn't able to get on the helicopter. The helicopter couldn't make it to the hospital, and I had to ride in the ambulance through a canyon to be able to get to the helicopter. And this actually turned out to be an incredible tender mercy. My dad and my husband gave me a priesthood blessing as I'm getting into the ambulance, and they put the oxygen mask on me in the ambulance. And I just remember thinking, the only job that I have right now is to breathe. And I just thought focused completely on inhale, exhale. And it was difficult, like, I had never been in a situation like that where breathing was so hard.
And I knew that by the time we got to the helicopter, the EMT was in urgent response mode and she goes to the pilot of the helicopter, "She needs 20 liters of oxygen." And, if you can imagine 20 liters is the amount is pretty much equivalent to like a fire hose. It's a lot of oxygen being able to come in and the pilot turns back to her and he's like, "We don't have 20 liters. We only have 15." And I knew, in that moment, that would not be enough. I was struggling even with 20 liters to be able to breathe. And they switched me over. And immediately like, everything just becomes more difficult, and it's just like in the movies of the EMT, that's like, "Stay with us, Brooke. Stay with us, Brooke!" And I just knew this isn't enough. I cannot breathe, I will not live. This is not enough to be able to supply life. And in that moment, a phrase manifested into my mind and the phrase was, "Christ is the breath of life." And I had been so focused on inhale and exhale, and I instinctively I knew I was to repeat this phrase on every inhale and exhale. And that's what I began to do. As the EMT is noticing all my vital signs are dropping, and she's pleading with me to be able to stay with her and all I could focus on was "Inhale. Christ is the breath of life. Exhale. Christ is the breath of life. Inhale. Christ is the breath of life. Exhale. Christ is the breath of life." I did that several times. And it was amazing.
Suddenly, the EMT, she exclaims, "I cannot believe what is happening. She's stabilizing." And I knew what was happening. I knew that I had just experienced my life being saved by the power of Jesus Christ. And within minutes, we arrived at the hospital and everything got changed over and within an hour, I was down to two liters of oxygen. I had gone from that intense place to really being able to stabilize.
And it's interesting because this experience changed my life, like it was a major traumatic event. It was definitely a very spiritual experience for me to feel like my life was saved from the grasp of death. And I knew that it was by the power of prayer and by calling upon the power of Jesus Christ, and of course, I had wonderful help with a priesthood blessing and all of the medical attention that I was able to receive as well. The interesting thing is that, despite my life being saved and all this wonderful spiritual experience that had happened, I started to experience symptoms of PTSD from the experience as well. And in the following year and a half, I began to have panic attacks, I began to have high anxiety, I began to have flashbacks. Anytime I would see a helicopter flying in the sky, it was just like, instantly, I was taken back to that moment of trauma. And, because of all of this panic and anxiety and PTSD flashbacks, I began to be concerned for my day to day life.
And, having a conversation one day with my sister, she recommended that I might want to consider meditation as a way to cope with the anxiety that I was feeling. And so I signed up for a little meditation class and the results were amazing. Like instantly I began to feel more presence and calm and more control over the anxiety in my life. And I started looking at practicing yoga and just things that would help physiologically in my body to be more calm, and help me be more present. And it was interesting because it was at a yoga retreat that I went to that suddenly, I realized, a year and a half later - what had actually happened in the helicopter had never occurred to me until I had begun my own journey of meditation and even learning about mantra, which is a repeated phrase, on the breath - I realized that really, I had been given a mantra in the helicopter. I knew I was to repeat it on the breath, and it had saved my life. And it was just so neat to see those pieces be able to come together and to see that now I was in a position again, where I needed my life to be saved. I was living with anxiety and PTSD and panic attacks and I needed saving of a different kind. And, even if people haven't been in that situation of being in a helicopter, or not being able to breathe or anything like that, everyone has experienced figuratively not being able to breathe and feeling the pressures of life upon them. And the same tool can be used to cope and manage and be able to experience more power and presence in our life.
Morgan Jones 10:34
Yeah. Had you ever experienced like anxiety prior to that?
Brooke Snow 10:40
Not, not in that intensity at all. Nothing that I'd ever really noticed.
Morgan Jones 10:45
And then what about now?
Brooke Snow 10:48
Not at all anymore. Meditation is part of my daily practice. And if I have a moment of feeling intense, like stress or anything like that, my body and my mind instantly know that I need to breathe. I need to take a deep breath right now. And I know how to physiologically go from that fight or flight state into more of that rest and digest place.
Morgan Jones 11:11
Yeah. I love that. I'll tell you one reason that I love it. I do a lot of yoga and I always think it's amazing when I'm doing it. I think it's so cool that Heavenly Father gives us the ability to work out every part of our body physically, just by ourselves. Like, we don't need weights, we don't need equipment, we can do these movements and they exercise our bodies. And I think the same thing is true - meditation is kind of the way that God gives us, and obviously there are times where people need medical help, but that meditation is a tool in which to heal our minds.
Brooke Snow 11:55
Morgan Jones 11:56
I love that.
So I feel like some people listening—and we did a two-part meditation series last year on this podcast and it did wildly well—I think it's something that people are craving, and they want to learn more about. But for some people, the idea of Christian meditation feels like an oxymoron. What would you say to those people?
Brooke Snow 12:23
There are actually many different styles of meditation. And I think it can be easy to make the assumption that one style represents all of them. And I know when I first started to, like, learn about meditation or even hear it, I would assume that that meant that it was someone sitting on a cushion, emptying their mind and thinking of nothing. And that actually sounds really boring. And really hard. And there is a spectrum of lots of different styles in which you could meditate. I would say that that's maybe on one end of the spectrum, maybe really appropriate practice for if you're a Buddhist monk or something like that. And then on the other end of the spectrum, we have the modern-day person who has a lot of other things that they're doing throughout the day, juggling different tasks and places that they need to be. And being able to experience a type of meditation that's really supportive to that lifestyle is really helpful. And so meditation can be more than just emptying the mind. That is part of it. A lot of other styles of meditation, they may have a mantra that helps you to center your mind. And it's not necessarily thinking of nothing. It's just focusing in on a very specific word or phrase to be able to help you that way. I remember practicing Eastern styles of meditation, and it was very helpful. And I think there also came a point where I felt like something's missing for me, especially with my upbringing in the Church and my relationship with my Heavenly Father in prayer. I felt like there was a separation in the practice of meditation, and I wanted to see if there was a way that I can actually merge it together. How could I actually take my meditation and my prayer and marry them so that I was having a meditative prayer experience? And so that began a journey for me of how to actually put those two together and to create a Christ-centered meditation experience.
Morgan Jones 14:30
Yeah, I think especially for Latter-day Saints, the idea of being still—I think we're people that go, and we're always being told more and more things that we need to do as we go. Why do you think that we perhaps struggle with that? Why is it so important? And do you think we're getting any better at it?
Brooke Snow 14:55
I think we all intuitively know that we need to be still. We're told in the scriptures, you know, "Be still and know that I am God." And I think as Latter-day Saints, we have the framework, it's already there. We already have the rituals in place for us to practice stillness. We have personal and family prayer and we have the temple and, even every week in church, we have the sacrament with this long period of silence, right? And so I think the rituals are there. I think what we can improve upon is to be able to use those moments in a way that brings in more stillness. I remember one of the most impactful quotes that totally changed the way that I thought about prayer and meditation as a way that could be married together, actually came from the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard—I hope I'm saying that right. But he said, "At first, a man prayed. He thought prayer was talking until it became more and more quiet and learned the prayer is listening." And I realized my experience with prayer my whole life had largely been lots of talking. Me doing all the talking. And I know there were moments where maybe I would finish my prayer. And I would wait, maybe to feel a feeling. Do I feel peace? Maybe I'd asked a question—Do I feel like a yes? Do I feel a no?
Morgan Jones 16:23
And then you just get going.
Brooke Snow 16:24
Right? Right! Right! And never really taking time to actually listen. And I also realized how much I didn't really listen for the Lord to speak more than a feeling or a word. And yet, I have since learned, He has so much to say if I will give Him the space and the time to be able to do that. And so that's been a really neat thing to be able to explore is how can I use this time of personal prayer or this time of the sacrament right now, to listen to what He's saying? And when Jesus comes to the Nephite people, and he teaches them to pray, it says in the scriptures that they did not multiply many words. And I've thought about that a lot in particular about can prayer actually be silence? Can prayer actually be not saying anything? Can prayer be just feeling something or listening for something? And it's exciting to experience what can happen when you give space for that.
Morgan Jones 17:28
Yeah. So I have to tell you that has been—as I've been working on this meditation practice—that has been the thing that has been most transformative, is my prayers. And I'm sure that you hear that a lot. But just this week, I've had a couple of experiences. So first, I should say, the interesting thing to me is noticing the difference between when I meditate and then immediately pray right after and when I just say my prayers like I normally do. And just this week, twice, two nights in a row, so the first night I had a feeling during my prayers that I should text a friend. And it was just a little thing, she had told me about something that she was working on, and I had a feeling that I should text her and tell her how proud I was of her. And I texted her and she immediately responded and was like, "I literally just prayed to make sure that I was doing the right thing." And then the very next night, I was praying for guidance for myself about dating, and very clearly had like, this very poignant moment of revelation. And so I just think it really is, it's amazing the difference that it has made. So, bless you. But what do you think is transformative about combining prayer with meditation?
Brooke Snow 18:57
I think for me I really just needed to expand my definition of what prayer is, similar to what we've already talked about. You know, I think we often in our culture, think of prayer as the flip chart, you know that we have this little structured format.
Morgan Jones 19:15
The different steps.
Brooke Snow 19:16
Morgan Jones 19:17
That you learned in Primary
Brooke Snow 19:17
"Heavenly Father, we ask thee..., we thank thee..." and then we close the prayer. And we need that, we need a place to start, we need a framework. And I think the other important thing to remember is that there's so much more beyond that, especially in our personal prayer time to be able to go beyond that, but we don't really see it modeled in our Church culture very much. And so, I think personal prayer is a really great place to start experimenting with that and exploring.
And I think it's transformative because anytime you do something different, you can have a different experience. And if prayer is something that feels difficult, or it feels stale, or I don't really know if anyone is listening, I would encourage people to try doing it differently. And maybe that is giving more space, ask a question, and don't just close the prayer, but just sit there for a minute. What comes to mind?
Another, I call it a "spirituality hack," but it's like my favorite thing to do in teaching just a tiny little principle of meditative prayer is breath. I mean breath totally becomes something that has saved my life, changed my life. And I encourage people to just see what happens if you allow yourself to take three nourishing deep breaths before you pray or before you read the scriptures. And ultimately, to do that in through the nose and out through the nose, it's going to be even more nourishing that way. And it's amazing how that just changes it changes your body physiologically. Like I mentioned earlier, it takes you from maybe a fight or flight state of being your nervous system into a more rest and digest, a calmer state in your nervous system. We've even implemented this into our family, we try to take at least 1 to 3 deep breaths before we pray. And it's so interesting what happens even with my kids. Like, I'll notice my son, his voice changes. Like, he can go from just the "going through the motions prayer" to, all of a sudden, he's present. He's 10-years-old, you know? Like, I can hear his voice change. And I can hear that he's actually thinking about the words that he's praying about. And so that's a different way to do it, right? Can I just focus on my breath for a minute before I start to speak? And it just puts our physical body into a different nervous system state, and it also puts our mind into a different state. And when you begin from that place, it's natural that you're going to be more open to receiving guidance, to hearing answers, and to being able to try some other things in prayer.
Morgan Jones 20:16
Another thing that I love that I've heard you talk about is you had an experience with your mission president where he said, "You don't need to pray for your family every day." And I think, I'm sure that we are not alone. Because I've had that same thought, do I need to, in order for my family to be taken care of, do I need to, like, list every one of them by name every night? And so, I love, can you share a little bit about that?
Brooke Snow 22:36
Yeah, it was a really unexpected experience that I had on my mission. We went into the mission office and our mission president saw me and my companion, he called us inside and he said, "Sisters, I just feel that I need to tell you this." And he said, "The Lord knows that you're concerned about your families. And you also don't need to pray for them every single day." And he said, he kind of gave us a little guideline for prayer, and he said, "In the morning, think through your whole day. Who are you going to be with? What places are you going to be? What specific help are you going to need? And pray for that. And then as you go through the day, and you get to those places that you have prayed for the people that you're interacting with, that you have prayed for, listen, and receive the guidance that you have asked for." And then he says, "As you get to the end of the day, and you say your prayer at the end of the day, offer gratitude. You can go back through that whole day. And you can say, 'Yes, thank you so much for this and this and this, all those things that I prayed for.'" And he said, "The Lord knows that you're concerned about your families. And if you have a particular name come to mind in your family that you feel prompted to pray for to do that. But know that he's taking care of them." And it was unexpected, right?
Morgan Jones 23:49
But it's like also liberating. Yeah, that's so freeing.
Brooke Snow 23:52
Yeah! It was like, all of a sudden I had permission to allow my prayers to be different. It didn't have to be a prayer of fear because I think we can pray in fear a lot. Like if I don't pray for this, it won't happen.
Morgan Jones 24:02
Oh yeah! When I was younger, I had like a whole list of things that it was, like, every night, I've got to make sure that I pray for this. I've got to make sure that I pray for this. And I think then that eliminates some of the beauty of that communication, that two-way communication with God.
Brooke Snow 24:20
Well puts us into that rehearsed prayer too. Like, if I don't pray for this thing, he's not going to know it's important to me. But just to have that permission of He knows, He knows what's important to you already. And to actually allow the prayer experience to be organic every day, like to actually think through, who am I going to be with? What are the concerns that I need right now? What support do I need right now? What guidance do I need right now? And then to begin to see it and to look for it and then to express gratitude for it as it happens. It just has made my experience with the Lord much more personal. It's helped my prayers to be much more faithful instead of fear-based, you know that if I don't include the list, something terrible is gonna happen.
Morgan Jones 25:05
Yeah. Which doesn't make sense, right? That's not the way that God operates. I just had a thought when you were talking, that if God does already know what we need and what's on our hearts and what we're concerned about, what is the purpose of prayer? It's for him to also be able to communicate back to us and creating that space. So thank you for sharing that thought. I know also that I'm probably not alone in the fact that sometimes the meditation goes very well. Other times, my mind is all over the place. What is your advice for how to be more present? And is it okay on those days where our minds are wandering?
Brooke Snow 25:51
I would say, first of all, you're completely normal.
Morgan Jones 25:55
Yay! Thank you! Thank you. This is a relief. My mom will be very happy to hear that.
Brooke Snow 26:00
All of us have, you know, we've experienced that even in just a traditional style of personal prayer is that some times it's great, and sometimes it can feel, you know...
Morgan Jones 26:09
I think even church on Sunday is that way
Brooke Snow 26:12
Yeah! Yeah, for sure. And to know that that's expected, I think, is really good. Not every experience is going to be angels singing and delivering messages with scrolls rolled out or anything like that.
Morgan Jones 26:23
But wouldn't it be nice if it was?!
Brooke Snow 26:26
And I think, you know, it's supposed to be that way. You know, it's supposed to be an experience where we fall more in love with the practice of it, rather than the little different golden nuggets that we may find along the way. And everyone's mind gets distracted. And meditation can actually be a time in which if you're really struggling with thoughts and like staying focused and present and everything like that, can actually look at it as being a good thing in the sense that this is the time and space that you're allowing yourself to actually empty it all out. And if you don't give that time, in that moment, then it's just gonna keep following you, you know, the rest of the day and you're gonna have a harder time with that. But I like to look at the moments of really being distracted in my thoughts as like, I'm giving, this is the cleansing of my brain right now. And it's just all coming out. And then, as you keep a continuous practice, you'll notice that that improves, and then you'll have a day where it's different, you know? But I think it's useful to be able to have those personal check-ins to be able to pay attention to what's on my mind right now. Sometimes we don't even know until we give space for our mind to be still for a moment. And then we can see what actually has been trying to get our attention and some things that we may need to be giving attention to that we've just been ignoring.
Morgan Jones 27:56
Yeah, that makes complete sense. It's like a download.
Brooke Snow 28:00
Morgan Jones 28:01
Another thing that I've struggled with—I like how I'm just telling you all my problems. You're a welcome listener. I think that visualization has always been something that I feel like I'm actually fairly good at. But I've noticed with this, you talk about writing down a vision for your life or for what you visualize happening in your life. And I think that I've struggled because it's almost like hoping for some things has become painful. What is your advice on that?
Brooke Snow 28:40
Let me back up just a little bit to talk about visualization.
Morgan Jones 28:43
Yeah, yeah yeah. Please.
Brooke Snow 28:44
Because this is probably going to be something that's really new for people. I know it was for me. Prayer was always just words. And then I remember one day, I felt really tired before going to bed like I just, I know I need to pray but coming up with words is really hard right now. And so, I actually had the thought come into my mind, "Could I actually pray with pictures? Could I actually just imagine in my mind what it is that I hoped for?" And there was a dear friend of ours who was really sick at the time. And I remember we had been praying for him every single day that Phil would be able to get better. And instead of praying with words, I just imagined him. I imagined him in as much comfort as he could be in and all the people who are helping him being able to help him and I just imagined what it was that I hoped for Phil in the challenge that he was dealing with in his health at that moment. And it was so powerful. I had never prayed with a picture. And maybe other people do this, but my mind had not ever really thought about the idea of praying with pictures. And so that's a really important piece that I bring in to meditation. We talk about feeling and saying words. And we also talked about seeing. And when you bring in as many senses as you can into the experience, it's going to feel even more connecting to the Lord. It's going to feel more real because you're using more of your physical senses.
Morgan Jones 30:19
Like anything. Yeah.
Brooke Snow 30:21
Yeah, for sure. And so with that background, that's—
Morgan Jones 30:24
I'm glad you backed up because not everyone's parents made them go to a homeopathic doctor in high school. Continue.
Brooke Snow 30:32
So visualization is a new thing. I would encourage anyone in their prayers to start experimenting with what is it like to picture things in my mind? And could you actually say a prayer just with pictures? It's a really interesting and fun thing to play with. But what you bring up, I think, is really important about hope. And one of the best guides on how to visualize, I remember, I was reading in this book, and the man was talking about how visualization is a tool that a lot of Olympians use to increase their performance. And he said, so what do you think they're visualizing? And it's like, do you think they're visualizing standing on the podium? They've got the gold medal around their neck, holding flowers, that national anthem is playing, everyone is cheering their name, he's like, do you think that's what they visualize? Like, yeah, that's probably what they visualize, right? Like, that's the big, that's the big goal. That's what they want. It's the final outcome. And he said, no, that's not what they visualize.
Morgan Jones 31:35
They're visualizing doing everything, right. Like everything, the process?
Brooke Snow 31:39
They're visualizing their performance. So if it's a swimmer, for example, they're visualizing each stroke, what it feels like in their body, like they're improving the performance.
Morgan Jones 31:49
That is fascinating.
Brooke Snow 31:50
And so, for me, that was a really important distinction to make in visualization of how can I bring this into today, something that I can do right now, bringing it into the present. So, one of the examples that I share with my own journey of visualization is I've been on a weight loss journey. I've lost 60 pounds.
Morgan Jones 32:12
Congratulations! You look great!
Brooke Snow 32:15
Thank you very much! I could visualize, you know, in that journey, the future body that I want to have, and I'm healthy, and I'm fit, and I'm happy and I've lost all this weight. But that's actually not what I visualized. Similar to the Olympian standing on the podium, instead, on a day to day basis. I visualized Brooke drinking water in the kitchen. I visualized myself moving my body, going outside on my walk. I visualized myself making good choices in the food that I wanted to eat, because that's how anything that we hope for is created, is actually in the things that we choose to do today. So I mean, that's an example of something that we have personal agency over to be able to create.
And of course, there are many things that people hope for that we don't necessarily have that agency over. Maybe it's being single, maybe it's infertility, maybe it's a job that you really want or things like that, that other people's choices play into that. How can I bring that into the present? Who do I want to be when those things happen? What do I need to do today? And even the process of like bringing in your heavenly team.
I remember when I wrote a book, and I had a book proposal in and I couldn't make that choice. I couldn't be in that meeting where that decision was made. But I would visualize angels, my writing angels who helped me write my book. I'd visualize them in that room like helping to be where I couldn't be and do things that I couldn't do, influence in ways that I couldn't influence. I think that's a great way to bring in help in that like, in the ways that we're hoping to create things in our life in a way that honors our agency and what we have control over and also allows the Lord and His team to be able to help and influence in those things as well.
Morgan Jones 34:11
I think that is so cool. I was just talking to a friend yesterday who's waiting for a decision on grad school. And he was feeling really anxious about it. And I was saying, you know, that really is so hard when you feel like you're at the mercy of people that have never met you. But I love that idea of calling on heaven through that visualization. Thank you for that. Brooke, how has meditation shaped the way that you receive personal revelation overall? That's a loaded question. I'm sorry.
Brooke Snow 34:47
Oh, it's dramatically changed my whole life. I think, I mean, we talked about bringing in the senses. How do you feel? What are you seeing? What are you hearing? Right? Like, giving time and space for the Lord. I think the reason it's been so transformative for me is because I feel like I've been able to really increase the depth of the relationship that I have with my Heavenly Father. And prayer is no longer just about my list, or it's not just about getting it done, and going through the motions, that it's a real relationship.
I was teaching some meditation lessons to my son, we call them our prayer lessons. And we were having them at night. And I said to him, "Now, if you're upstairs and I'm downstairs in the kitchen, and you want to tell me something, what do you do?" He's like, "Oh, I just yell at you and I tell you what I need." And I said, "Do you think you can hear what I say back?" He's like, "Maybe if you yell at me." And I said, "Well, how much different could it be if I'm in the same room as you and I'm right here and we can talk back forth?" And he's like "Well, that's going to be lots better, I can totally hear what you're saying." And the point in telling the story was to help illustrate to him that sometimes that's how we pray to Heavenly Father, we just shout up to him. Maybe we're not shouting, but you know, the idea, that same level of communication of just, "Just so you know, these are the things that are important to me today! I hope you can take care of them!" And instead, that bringing into that very personal conversation of sharing what's on my mind, and then giving space for him to talk back to me. And just that imagery right there, even the imagery of imagining the Lord in the room with me, that was something I bring in with the idea of visualization.
It's sort of like for so much my life, I kind of imagined that the Lord was really far away. You know, it was kind of like I was either shouting from the kitchen or it's, you know, sending it off to this faraway place. But as I began to work on visualizing Him and imagining that He was right in the same space as me, those more natural conversations began to be able to happen as I brought in those sensory tools of hearing and seeing and listening and speaking and feeling that it just a real depth of relationship starts to develop that I hadn't experienced before. And that to me, is where the transformation really has occurred.
Morgan Jones 37:35
Yeah. I love this conversation because I've been thinking a lot about President Nelson's invitation to recognize the way that God communicates to you. And I think the Church's like using the #HearHim, which I love. What have you learned about the many ways that God communicates with His children? I think one thing that I'm so fascinated by is the way that God can communicate with different people in different ways. And so what have you learned about the many ways that He does that and about how badly He wants to communicate with us?
Brooke Snow 38:18
For me, it's been neat to just start doing something differently. Like I mentioned, if you want different results, then you've got to try to do that process in a different way. And I've learned that if I just give space, He totally has so much to be able to share. That talk that President Nelson gave on revelation where he quotes Neal A. Maxwell saying, "For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear it is clear that the Father and the Son are giving away the secrets of the universe." And I love that! I mean, such an amazing promise right there, but there are some real, key things to that promise too—"eyes to see." And like we just talked about visualization, right? Like, that can be interpreted in many different ways. But for me, I had never put that element into a prayer practice ever. And when we say "eyes to see" in that setting, we're talking about your spiritual eye. It's your imagination. Can you use your imagination in your prayer to see something, create a picture in your mind?
"Eyes to see, ears to hear?" Am I actually listening? And am I receiving the secrets of the universe? And really, the secrets of the universe that I need are like, how do I make this work in my family? That is my universe, it's like my own personal life, and then, of course, my mission and purpose is what takes it out to the next level right there. And I've learned that He has so much to say if we will just create an experience, and probably more importantly, a practice that's consistent. A consistent practice in order to receive what He's giving.
The other image that I love that comes to mind is from Elder Uchtdorf's a couple of years back, "Living the Gospel Joyful." And he gives the image of the Lord constantly raining blessings down upon his children. But sometimes we have an umbrella up and we block them. And I love how that relates so beautifully to Elder Maxwell's quote, as well. You know, "Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, it's clear the Father and the Son are giving away the secrets of the universe." He's raining all of that stuff down upon us all the time. And I would dare say, like, if we had the veil removed for just a moment to be able to see how many messages the Lord is sending us, is raining down upon us constantly, we would probably be astounded. And we would probably want to do all we could to be able to receive it. How can I take that umbrella down so I am receiving even more and the practice of finding a ritual or expanding the ritual you already have a prayer to give more space perhaps for silence, space for listening, space for receiving, we can take the rituals that are already there - because the amazing thing about the gospel is that the framework is there - we can just do a lot to improve upon how well we receive the revelation in those moments.
Morgan Jones 41:21
Yeah. And I think that that makes so much sense because we know that we're supposed to be co-creators. And that gives us the opportunity to create with God, and He wants us to be a part of that. Brooke, you're so eloquent. And I love, I could listen to you talk forever. So thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. As we wrap up, my last question for you is what does it mean to you to be all in the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Brooke Snow 41:54
To me, being all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ means that I am fiercely committed to learning by experience. Learning by experience is what the Lord instructs Adam and Eve as they leave the Garden of Eden, is to learn by experience. In Abraham, the Lord says, "And we will prove them herewith to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them." That word 'prove' can be super misunderstood in our modern understanding of what it means to be proved. And yet, the archaic definition - this is such an exciting day for me when I learned the archaic, you can go online to Merriam Webster dictionary and it gives the archaic definition of the word proof, which would be really useful for ancient scripture, right? And it says the word 'prove' means 'to learn by experience.' To me, this is the whole point of why we're here, is to learn by experience. And learning by experience requires repentance. It requires a consistent way of seeing our experiences in a way for our growth to occur. And so for me, being all in the gospel means I am committed to that learning process, no matter what I think or do or what choice I make, I'm committed to repenting and returning. That process of just spiraling up and learning line upon line, and always doing all I can to return, because I get off, all of us get off. It's not a perfect process. It's not like a straight shot journey upwards. It's a spiral. And I love that concept of I'm committed to learning by experience and returning to him every day, multiple times a day.
Morgan Jones 43:42
Thank you so much. Thank you, Brooke.
Brooke Snow 43:44
Morgan Jones 43:46
We are so grateful to Brooke Snow for joining us on this week's podcast. To learn more about Brooke visit BrookeSnow.com. A huge thank you to Derek Campbell, as always, for his help with this episode. And thank you for listening. We'll be with you again next week.