Today someone told me that they were inspired by my spiritual practice, and they bemoaned that their own practice came in “fits and starts”.
I’m flattered by the admiration, but honestly my practice has it’s own ups and downs, for sure – and I’ve decided that I’m okay with that. But it hasn’t always been easy for me to understand that it is indeed okay.
I used to beat myself up because I couldn’t get in the groove of journaling every single day – it felt like I wasn’t consistent in my journaling practice. And since I love beautiful journals I felt guilty every time I bought another one since I had a whole shelf full of beautiful empty journals. The thing I wasn’t giving myself credit for was that I also had a stack of journals that were indeed full of written pages. Then I realized that my practice was very consistent, it just wasn’t daily. My practice had a flow, a pattern, and it worked for me. I picked up journaling and morning pages when I needed them, sometimes that was everyday for weeks or months at a time, sometimes it was just once a week, sometimes I’d go for long stretches of not journaling at all.
I still journal this way, that’s my practice. It’s what works for me.
My yoga practice flows the same way. My meditation practice, although somewhat more regular from day to day, has it’s own ebb and flow, too.
Yes, I do have parts of my practice that are consistent in a daily way, but for my spiritual practices as a whole there is an ebb and flow. Sometimes my spiritual practice for the day is reading. Sometimes writing. Sometimes both.
Sometimes I meditate, or do yoga, or both.
Sometimes a long walk is a powerful spiritual practice.
And I think that’s just fine, since nature has an ebb and flow. Life has ups and downs. We have seasons.
The German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel said that “matter is spirit fallen into a state of self-otherness” . His idea has often been interpreted in the thought that “we are not humans having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” If this is true, then we can’t not have a spiritual practice. We are spiritual beings. Our life is our practice.
Right now I’m in the middle of my course MOONLIGHT and this is a big part of what we’re practicing in that course – we’re following the moon cycle so we’ve got the perfect heavenly clock to support us with our own personal ebb and flow, our cycle of receiving and releasing. Waxing full and then waning. Over and over. Life is a cycle, a process.
Any athlete will tell you that the rest is just as important as the work. We need stillness, we need activity. Ebb and flow.
Seeds need time to germinate. Seeds spend lots of time underground in the dark, and from above it looks like nothing is happening. But in reality everything is happening!
We don’t always recognize that our “waning phases” are as important as our “waxing phases” but that’s the cycle, the journey, the ebb & flow. It’s a process.
Trust the process.
Love & Magic,