A little while back..well, a long while back, when I was first contemplating blogging, a friend asked me about what she could do in her everyday life to connect with her spirituality, but without a radical change in her life. She furthered her question about how she could let go of the guilt she felt when she missed a day, or completely “failed” to do what she set out to do.
Sometimes, we like to overthink things. Spirituality and religion can seem complex, but this isn’t how it needs to be. How we connect to the divine can be as simple as we need it to be. Even something as simple as expressing gratitude can connect you to the divine or to a deity you have a relationship with (or wish to begin a relationship with.)
If we start with an animistic view of life, then all things have a spirit, or the potential to have a spirit. Treating things with respect is one of the simplest forms of a spiritual basis that connects you to the bigger universe. Things such as getting out into nature, even if it’s simply going into your own yard and admiring the sun, the moon, the trees, the wind, even a small patch of grass can be an effortless yet powerful way to begin a spiritual practice. One of my favorite ways to connect with nature is to get my hands deep into the earth as I garden, and then enjoying the process of watching the things I've planted grow over the course of the growing season.
Other uncomplicated, easy things you can do to build your spiritual self could include: talking to and caring for your houseplants, creating a small altar or shrine, lighting a candle and saying a small prayer, or lighting incense (or using an herbal mist/spritz). The goal is to create a small moment in your day in whatever way feels right that connects to what you are called to connect to. (Those are a lot of words to say that only you can define your spiritual needs, so do what feels right!) Every morning, I like to light a candle, and offer fresh water to both my ancestors, and my Goddess. I also sit down with a cup of coffee, one for me and one for her, and simply chat. Coffee with the Morrigan is totally a thing in my community of Morrigan priestesses.
Another set of things you can do include reading books about your craft, your spirituality, your gods and goddesses. Read a blog (Hi!), watch youtube videos about your path and explore the possibilities of your path. Journal as you delve. Reach out and connect with others of similar beliefs and practice. While I consider my own path to be solitary, I share it with others in different ways. I attend retreats where I learn from others, I connect with those on a similar path to gather new ideas, and I listen to what those on a different path are saying because it keeps me open to differences that I can respect and learn from. Our human interactions can help with our spiritual interactions by inspiring our hearts. Sometimes our ears are closed to sacred whispers, but when the divine speaks through our fellow humans, it’s clearer. Trusting that our messages will find a way to reach us is important. I don’t know how many times a message has come through the actions, words and serendipitous events surrounding my friends.
You don’t need to make your primary focus a daily big deal. But say you want something “bigger”- but still simple and not a lot of effort because your life is already complicated and busy. I have my altars to my ancestors, which I honor every day, for just a few minutes, and my altar to my Goddess, which I also honor daily. But I also have an outdoor space, one I’d almost call an altar even though there’s no statues or adornments. I go out almost weekly from Spring to the end of Autumn and sit by a fire. Fire is a magical tool for me, something I could devote an entire blog post (or more) to- but it’s somewhere I connect to the Universe around me. Gratitude is given, and it’s just a sacred time each week that leaves me feeling cleansed (Because I release the things I don’t need) and grounded (I take time to meditate).
So let’s say you start to light a candle each day, and sit for a few minutes, meditating, or expressing gratitude to the divine, the universe, the gods, the spirits of the land or even to your ancestors. And you do it for a day, a week, two weeks, a month maybe and then it happens. You miss a day or two. It doesn’t matter the reason, it happens and you feel guilty. Like you let the divine down. I can’t speak for the divine, but I do believe that the divine is understanding. I also think that time is not a concept of the Divine- so missing days is nothing to them. While consistency is important, intent is more important.
Be okay with it. There is no “fail!” Like any bad energy, you have to release it and move on. Start again, do your best. It sounds ridiculously easy, doesn't it? And it’s true. It really is that simple. Life is too short for us to be burdened by our own sense of guilt. Go, and resume what you started, accepting that you will ebb and flow.
There’s many other things you can do, of course, so go out and explore. Go out and look at the little things that connect you in some way. Literally stop and smell the flowers. Because not everything we need to do involves fireworks, explosions and blood sacrifice. While bigger work might be important, the daily or consistent work is more important because that’s how we show up on a regular basis. It’s like working out every day versus working out a few times a year. One develops the needed skills, the other...not so much. Practice makes perfect, right?