I hate to admit it, but over the last few years have found myself not practicing anything very spiritual. I haven’t practiced my religion. I haven’t practiced meditation. I haven’t practiced rituals. I haven’t practiced connecting to anything “higher” with my Tarot or Kabbalah cards or my pendulum. I haven’t observed Shabbat on a regular basis or any religious holidays–and when I did it wasn’t in a meaningful or spiritual manner.
In fact, as I sat in Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services I was struck by how much of once was full of meaning and spirit for me now holds no meaning and did not connect me to God or to my soul. And I cried.
In the last year, I’ve lost my way. I’ve lost my connection. Twelve months ago I still made time to do at least a bit of this–light a candle and set intentions in front of an altar each day before work, walk and talk to God, write in a gratitude journal regularly…And it not only felt meaning-full and spirit-full, it fed my soul and directed my life on every level.
I’m not that different from most people, so you might wonder why I should feel so upset about this state of affairs. It was I who discovered long ago the steps for filling any empty ritual or prayer with meaning and spirit. It was I who discovered this on my own quest for a meaning-full and spirit-full practice. And it is I who teach practical spirituality.
How could this have happened? Easily. I got busy with my kids, who had enormously busy schedules. I got busy trying to launch my career–and doing so in an area removed from my spirituality. Work and family became my priority.
And when you fall out of the habit of doing spiritual things, well, you simply forget to do them. And you forget to listen…and to practice.
Indeed, I forgot that spirituality–God–is in everything, guides me in everything. When I make spiritual practice a part of my day, God speaks to me in the Still Small Voice, and I listen, I hear, and I take inspired action that helps me fulfill my soul purpose.
But I have to practice. I have to make time and space for God. I have to make my life–all aspects of it–sacred.
Indeed, I forgot that all the things I was doing to launch my kids and my career actually were supposed to help me fulfill my purpose. And that purpose actually involved being tapped in and tuned in to my soul and to God–and helping others do the same. The path I was on was taking me where I needed to go, but I got distracted, forgot the destination.
I needed a map. I needed a compass. I needed to be reminded of where I wanted to end up. I needed to be reminded to make time for practice even in little, tiny ways–meaning-full and spirit-full ways.
And I was reminded during Yom Kippur services, which I attended today. These are held as part of the Day of Atonement–Day of At-One-Ment. As I said prayers to repent for my sins–for how I had missed the mark this past year, I realized that by not staying connected each day to Something Higher, I wasn’t allowing myself to find meaning in my work, in my life or in the practices I love. I wasn’t allowing myself to share that with anyone else either. I wasn’t finding At-One-Ment with myself, with God, with the sacredness in me and in life.
During the Torah service when we read from the Old Testament scrolls and discuss what the stories mean to us, I was reminded to use rituals and to behave as a priestess. Two years ago, when I turned 50, my Hebrew name was changed to Kohenet, which means priestess. I realized it is time for me to fulfill the call of my name. I won’t turn away from the work I’ve been doing for the last three years, but I will turn toward the work I intended to do prior to that time, too.
My kids are launched. :~) It’s time to launch me–the kohenet. That takes both going inward and outward. It requires practice.
Spiritual practice needs to be done daily, even in little things like saying prayers of gratitude daily. I can think of a few right now, such as:
- my husband sitting across the table from me
- the beautiful place we live
- the wonderful spiritual community waiting for me
- my clients
- my friend sitting next to me during services crying tears of gratitude
- my readers (you)
- my children
- the seagull who visited outside the coffee shop where I wrote this post
Spiritual practice can be taking time to:
- talk to God
- listen to God
- give to others (anything–even a smile)
- voice your intentions
- observe holidays
- remember your ancestors
- observe the Sabbath
- help someone
I’ll be finding my way back…little by little. Already I’m finding the sense of meaning and spirit filtering in–just today in services. Amazing what returning to practice will do. The mind, body, heart remember.
What about you. If you’ve left, gotten lost, forgotten, do you want to find your way back to meaning-full and spirit-full practice? How will you do that?