She changes everything She touches / And everything She touches changes. / Change us, touch us. / Touch us, change us.
Those lines, originally written by the theologian and Pagan leader, Starhawk, have been my theme for the morning. And they might be a theme for you if you’re stuck in your practice or wondering what might help you deepen a practice that feels stagnant.
Here’s what happened with me. After some helpful conversation with my spiritual director yesterday, it became clear that I needed to recommit, to reengage, to settle more deeply into the rhythms of routine with my practice. When Amanda, my spiritual director, asked me what I might do to accomplish this deeper engagement, a few things came to mind:
- I need to do my practice first thing in the morning, and to schedule that time. It shapes the rest of my day. I’m going to experiment with doing it before breakfast so that I come more directly from sleep to my practice. I get involved in reading email on my phone at breakfast, and my whole self feels off-kilter by the time I make it to my prayers.
- I needed a little ritual or reengagement. For me, my altar is the center of my practice, so I dusted it off, added some items, removed others, and rearranged a few.
- What is of most importance in my spiritual work is now represented by objects at the center or on the top shelf of my altar. This arrangement gives me focus each morning to come and be reminded of what I’m working on, what is nearest to my heart, and what I am bringing into the lap of the Goddess.
The point of all this is that small changes can really help our process. I’m still singing at my altar. I’m still using my altar as the focus of my prayer time. I’m still journaling. Those things are still true.
What’s this got to do with me?
The core of your practice may remain the core for your entire life, honestly. Routines and rhythms that last a long time deepen our hearts and our sense of meaning as almost nothing else can. I have built altars for the last twenty years. I have been journaling since I was in the 8th grade.
What do you do almost without thinking about it? Where do you go to seek solace when your heart is hurting? How do you go within to perceive the wisdom that lives within you, where the Spirit of God and the spirit of your own heart are indistinguishable?
I encourage you today to consider making a change, however small, to your practice. At the same time, I encourage you to consider the core. Where is the center of your seeking and yearning for wisdom and compassion, for relationship with the Divine? Where is that center?
Let whatever you do not shift that center, but perhaps add to it, or reencounter it.
So if you run for your practice, perhaps change your route for the first time in a long time. Or perhaps write down a question or a thought before you leave the house, something to consider as the rhythms of your body move through space and time.
These ideas—ones of origins and circumference, stable core and changing style—are the kinds of things we’re going to talk about in Discovery and Deepening, the teleclass beginning a week from Wednesday, on 22 October. Click here for plenty more information, and for your personal invitation to class!
Blessings on you and on your house!