As unique as our spiritual journeys are, the ups and downs that we experience are sometimes very similar! One of the patterns many people display after a few months of spiritual awakening is that they become inconsistent with spiritual practices.
So a person that may have originally meditated for hours everyday now feels like they are procrastinating and can’t bother to meditate. This person was me, by the way.
But this procrastination can feel very confusing and at times we are scared we will lose our spiritual progress. If this is you, the truth is that you’re not alone if your switch has flipped and you’re struggling to follow through with your spiritual routine!
Here are different ideas to help you rebuild your spiritual practice in a way that’s more regular and fool-proof. This article is a dedication to my lovely client Bhavana, for asking these questions and compelling me to put my thoughts together on the subject.
Ways to Overcome Being Inconsistent With Spiritual Practices
Here’s what you need to understand about your behaviour flipping in this way.
#1 – Your connection with the Universe has evolved.
In the initial stages of a spiritual awakening, as a spiritual seeker, you might have been trying all the different practices like meditation, yoga, chanting, prayer, etc to connect with your spiritual side.
But after some time, you might feel that at this stage in the journey, you’re already feeling more connected. Your head is a lot more clear and it no longer feels like you’re just doing anything to keep your head above the water. You’re floating!
So the initial struggle and fire that had fuelled the need to do these spiritual practices regularly has cooled. And that’s a good thing! Now that you’re more evolved in your connection with the Universe, it’s time to see what works for you to deepen that spiritual connection.
See if you can start just one habit that makes you feel more aligned internally. We don’t have to do “all the things” – just see what helps you at this point in your journey.
For instance, I used to meditate 1-2 hours everyday in the beginning because I felt like I needed that. I would also spend countless hours reading spiritual books! Now, as a way to be more aligned, I like to journal daily and just meditate 10-15 minutes occasionally.
So the first fact you should understand is that you will keep evolving and your spiritual needs will be different at every stage. And talking about your needs brings me to point number two.
#2 – Your journey is like a pendulum swinging to find its centre.
When you first started the inner work, you might have been at one extreme trying to be “too spiritual”. Now, once again, you’re unconsciously trying to “be more human” by not doing those things.
That’s just the way the soul works with the ego-mind to bring equilibrium. What goes up must come down, and what swings right must come left to balance.
We want to find our centre, where we can be both spiritual and human in a day. So don’t worry about not being spiritual enough right now – focus on how you can enjoy human things in a more spiritual way. As I often say to people that are overwhelmed by all the changes from their awakening, “to be more spiritual, just be more human”.
And as the wonderful client and seeker, Nidhi shared with me, “I have identified practices that work for me and I stick to them. In one of Indian spiritual teacher, Swami Vivekananda’s books, he has said that the two extremes of anything usually look the same like no light and extreme light actually appear to be the same! But experience tells us that they are different.
I am feeling this to some extent. Everything is the same but consciousness of the present moment is increasing and also the awareness that there is nothing else but this moment. I feel at peace with this realization sinking deeper and deeper within me.”
This peace that Nidhi mentions is her centre.
And the process of finding the centre goes by many terms, like consolidating, internalizing or embodying spiritual practices. I’ve shared a few practical tips here on how you can also internalize what you’re learning and feel at more ease, without always “doing” spiritual stuff.
#3 – So far, it was like flirting with the idea of being spiritual.
It’s true for everything – we take time to gauge the benefits before we commit deeper into anything. The moment you begin becoming inconsistent with your spiritual practices, if you feel compelled to bring the routine back, it’s your subconscious mind’s way of letting you know that the practices were working for you.
But maybe something about the practices was off. That’s why you stopped. Then, this purely requires a behavioural psychology level approach but is just as important to help you stop judging yourself and truly understand yourself better.
The thing is, we can become resistant to certain actions if the outcome begins to intimidate or scare us. So in order to understand why we’re unwilling to take actions (here, being consistent with spiritual practices), even though they’re good for us, we want to uncover our hidden pain points.
So for example, it could mean that you were meditating at a time that you no longer want to because something else requires your attention now. In that case, just move meditation into a different part of the day.
Or maybe, the length of your meditations was too long and you don’t want to do that on a daily basis. Then see if you can switch that up, and do longer ones only on Sundays?
The point is that the reason we stop doing things is because something isn’t working for us. It might take you a minute to figure out what that is for you, and why you stopped. Something was painful and not pleasurable enough for you to continue. Here are some questions for you to uncover some of those unconscious blocks:
- What is the pain you associate with practicing your spiritual rituals regularly?
- And what is the pleasure you get from not being regular with spirituality?
- What is the consequence if you continue to not be regular?
- What is the pleasure you do experience when you are regular?
As you discover what isn’t working and use the last two questions to identify your “why” again, make changes in your lifestyle to bring more ease and joy to your practices. And remember, resisting a daily spiritual routine does not necessarily mean anything about you as a seeker not being “consistent” enough.
#4 – You might be feeling more lonely in these practices.
I got overwhelmed at several points in my journey when I felt like I was alone and I was the only one who cared about these things. It was beginning to become tiring to have a spiritual lifestyle that people around didn’t feel necessary or couldn’t relate to.
What helps most spiritual practitioners is to have satsang, which loosely translates to sacred community in Sanskrit.
Earlier in the year, the spiritual shenanigans tribe did a week-long sprint to tackle their spiritual goals and use the space for accountability. Somebody focused on yoga, some practiced gratitude and others rekindled meditation sessions.
The takeaway is that when you surround yourself with people that echo what you want for yourself, it feels easier to keep doing those things. See if you can find an “accountability partner” or if you’d like, you can join our beautiful tribe and connect with spiritual seekers there.
#5 – Seasons change, so should you.
Spirituality, as they say, isn’t about sitting on the yoga mat. It’s what you do when you get out there and rejoin that chaos, which is a good indicator for you to see your progress.
When we’re doing inner work, we’re focused on our feminine energy. We are soft, surrendered and allowing the Universe to happen to us. But we can’t just hide behind the inner work forever!
In times where you’re propelled out of your spiritual practices, see it as an opportunity to take what you’ve learned out into the real world. It’s now time for you to step into your masculine energy and co-create the changes that will make your life more spiritual.
In this way, when you go out there and test the waters with your new insights, you’re able to return more gracefully and see where more work is required.
This ebb and flow is the natural progression and how you and I can embody both the spiritual and human sides of our existence.
I hope this answers some of your concerns and gives you insight on why we might become inconsistent with our spiritual practices. The truth is – every spiritual seeker continues to recalibrate on this path, even if it’s uncomfortable and rocky for a while. And you’ll be able to do that too!
But just know that I am right here if you need someone to talk to through this recalibration.
Happy coming back home, lovely soul!
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