Lulls in my Practice
There are times I go through lulls in my practice. During these lulls I don’t feel as connected to the Divine or the deities I work with and can’t feel the energy around me as I normally do. It’s never a conscious decision I make and it doesn’t happen right away – it starts out small and grows over time until I am almost completely out of touch. Suddenly I’ll realize I haven’t actually practiced my path for what seems like a long time.
Although my initial instinct tells me to jump right back in, this usually isn’t a good idea. The things in my life that move my practice to the back burner are usually still there and trying to restart “full on” will only frustrate me and shake my confidence. I find it’s better for me to ease back into it, giving myself time to re-acclimate and re-build my commitments to practice.
These are some of the simple things I’ve found that help get me back into good spiritual shape.
Short, simple meditations
I write short meditations that I keep for those times when my mind races and I can’t concentrate. They help me focus and visualize a goal and, for me, make an excellent first step back into my practice. For example:
The Path is long and winding;
Its stones aren’t always clear.
Today the stones are covered with moss –
So I brush the moss away.
I step back on the path.
One foot at a time,
One stone at a time,
Until the path is back under my feet.
Re-read past journal entries
While many of my journal entries are ho-hum boring, some are written at high points in my practice. These entries remind me of how I feel when truly connected to the energies around me and the deities I spend time with. They are also good records for what worked and what didn’t work in my practice and allow me to avoid some of the pitfalls from the past.
When I’m in a lull I usually find that I’m spending too much time behind a computer keyboard or otherwise cooped up inside. Simple walks outside or hikes in a park can bring a renewed perspective to our social media-connected, always online lives. Gardening also helps me reconnect – anything that gets me outside and closer to the natural world (and way from my computer) helps.
There’s always a Sabbat just around the corner
Another way I reconnect is to get ready for the next Sabbat. Preparing a simple ritual or personalizing one someone else has provided can help bring me back and renew my focus. I try to do something for each one even if it’s simple and solitary.
I’m very fortunate. I live in an area where there are different Pagan groups meeting on a regular basis. I can usually find a group hosting an event, either for a Sabbat or a simple meet-and-greet. I often leave the events feeling refreshed, having met new people and learned something new.
So, along the way, consider recording a few simple meditations and rituals that are easy to do to either keep connected or to easily reconnect when you find yourself out of practice. Journal about those times when you’re feeling great about your faith or had a successful working. Prepare as elaborate a garden as your time and space allows, even if it’s just an indoor desk plant. Keep in touch with your Pagan community when you can. Nourishing your path when it’s healthy can help prepare you for when it’s not.
Life is demanding and we all go through periods when we lose our focus. The signpost for me is to realize and accept when it’s happened and not beat myself up over it. It’s an opportunity to take inventory of where I am and to get back on track, and maybe learn something new along the way.
Do you ever feel disconnected from your practice? How did it happen? How do you reconnect?