PBP Week 16 (Very Belated) – How To Be Spiritual When Stuck On A Hamster Wheel

A hamster and a hamster wheel

For those who have noticed my conspicuous absence in this space, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, just too busy with IRL concerns to give this blog the attention it deserves.   It’s been a period where forward movement seems to have stopped and I feel like I’m simply spinning the hamster wheel in circles instead of actually going anywhere. It’s spring, which means busy season in pretty much all aspects of my life.  Add to this a pending move and all of the accompanying madness and well, you get some idea of why that hamster wheel is squeaking so damn loud.  I keep running just to stay in place and not fall behind.

Years of observing myself in these spurts of busyness and activity have helped me notice that I experience a certain pattern of behavior in my spiritual life.  When things go explosively busy, I tend to temporarily drop much of my spiritual practices, in favor of the things that “have” to be done.  That’s right, I said that as if spiritual practice is a luxury rather than a necessity.  For at least couple of weeks every year, that’s exactly my mentality.  If I know my to-do list is longer than Methuselah’s beard, my mind-set tends to shift and I start questioning the necessity of all those little (and big) things that I do to stay in touch with my spiritual self.  Meditation goes out the window, as does time in the garden, along with daily prayers, and the hundred other little things that I do to stay connected.

After a few days or weeks of this blatant disregard for an entire side of my being, I tend to fall into a period of being blue (not quiet outright depression, but close enough to see it and know that it’s waiting for me to give in). In these times, I find myself seeking out the spiritual equivalent of comfort foods – sensations and experiences  that bring a sense of calm and well-being, that re-connects me to inner self and to the world around me.  Wanting to touch upon that part of my existence goes from being simply a minor wish to a constant gnawing presence.  I tend to want to swing the pendulum back entirely to the other side and work only on spiritual things, at the cost of everything else.

At some point during this process, I inevitably remember the lesson that I seem to constantly be retaught…. spiritual practice isn’t a hobby to done when there’s nothing else more pressing;  it needs to be a daily practice that allows me to better cope with all of those other pressing things that need to be done.   Instead of being something outside of my regular to-do lists, spiritual practices need become a part of those lists, done even when I think there are more important things to be accomplished.

Anyhow, that’s my very belated rambling for the letter “H” as part of the Pagan Blog Project.  Thanks for patiently waiting while I took care of all those other things that I thought had to be done first.  My plan, likely to be foiled by the nefarious villain that is ‘real life’, is to get caught up on the Pagan Blog Posts over the next couple of weeks.  In the meantime, if you hear a squeaking sound, it’s just me on that hamster wheel, trying to make some forward progress.

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