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home : readerswrite : yourstory May 24, 2016

It's called 'practice'
I recognize the value of having a daily practice to stay connected with my spiritual life, but I'm just really bad at it.
-- Lisa Spiral Besnett

by Lisa Spiral Besnett


"Daily Practice Sucks" is the name of a workshop I lead. The truth is, after more than 30 years of spiritual work, I still sometimes feel that way. I recognize the value of having a daily practice to stay connected with my spiritual life, but I'm just really bad at it. I have learned a trick or two that help.

Journaling can be one form of a daily practice. I grew up in an era when teachers assigned journals. Most of what I turned in were essays about how stupid journaling was or why anyone thought I'd share my inner life with a teacher.

My most "successful" journal was when I challenged myself to write one poem a month. I often found myself staying up late on the 30th just to get it done. There were also months I wrote two or three poems. At the end of the school year I turned in the collection of poetry as my journal. (Of course, then I was done, no need to keep it up.)

When I worked with a traditional Wiccan teacher, I was challenged again to keep a daily journal. Hopeless! I found a calendar book with little quotes for each day and a very small space to write in appointments. I figured I could manage one or two sentences a day.

The calendar format made it easier to jump back in if I missed a day. The small expectation meant that I really could write one sentence and pat myself on the back for doing a good job. By the end of the year I was writing up and down the sides of the pages looking for extra space.

I still journal, off and on, but that's not always right for me as a daily practice. Something else I learned was that when a practice becomes something I'm avoiding, it's probably time to look for a new practice.

I've given myself permission not to have to commit to one practice for life. I can do a daily practice for a week, a month, a year or until I run out of pages in the book.

Sometimes daily practices are devotional, making a specific spiritual connection. Sometimes they are physical reminders to take care of myself. Often they are just to remind me to slow down and pay attention.

Knowing what I want to get out of it makes choosing a daily practice much more successful.

Lisa Spiral Besnett is a Wiccan high priestess and lives in Plymouth. She is the author of "Manifest Divinity" and can be found on Facebook as Lisa Spiral.

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