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Author Topic: Coming out of Fallow Times  (Read 1771 times)

LiminalAuggie

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Coming out of Fallow Times
« on: July 08, 2012, 01:13:59 pm »
So I've been absent from the boards for a few months, and I'm not sure if the depression or the fallow period came first, but they formed a perfect storm of apathy and anxiety that's kept me from spending any energy on spiritual things until about last week. It was deeply unpleasant and I'm glad it seems to be over.

I have to say, reading several of TC's members' blogs on the subject really helped me frame my thoughts in a way to help myself stop worrying so much and realize that I'm not alone in this, and it might just be a cyclical thing that happens sometimes, and, most importantly, that it doesn't last forever. Thank you all, so much.

The question pestering me now is this: How do I get back into something resembling a spiritual practice? I feel like I should be doing this by degrees, and not going fast and furious with offerings now that (what seems to have been) a long intense Deity getting-to-know-you period is over. I'm certain They aren't completely absent from my life; even when I could only focus on having enough energy to go to work and numbing my brain with tumblr, I kept getting words and ideas like "self-care" and "mindfulness" thrown at me from all corners.

Still, I feel guilty about lapsed offerings and missed holidays, and I'm wondering if I should make up for that in some way with ritual, or focus on getting myself back up to optimal performance before I start doing Deity work again.

Those of you who've dealt with Fallow Times before, what's helped you the most in re-engaging with spiritual life?

~Allison

SatAset

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Re: Coming out of Fallow Times
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 04:56:43 pm »
Quote from: LiminalAuggie;63247



The question pestering me now is this: How do I get back into something resembling a spiritual practice?

 
When I first read your post, I got this message,"Begin from where you are."  

What's the next holiday on your spiritual calendar?  I'd start there.  Do you do daily or weekly devotions? Do those.  

Simplicity is key here.  You don't need to overwhelm yourself.
I am the Goddess of Who I can Become. I mix the magic of the sorceress with the blade of a warrior. I walk the liminal pathways to see the face of the Goddess, both terrible and kind. As She stares back at me, I tremble in awe and ecstasy.  --SatAset

SkySamuelle

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Re: Coming out of Fallow Times
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 07:10:34 pm »
Quote from: LiminalAuggie;63247
So I've been absent from the boards for a few months, and I'm not sure if the depression or the fallow period came first, but they formed a perfect storm of apathy and anxiety that's kept me from spending any energy on spiritual things until about last week. It was deeply unpleasant and I'm glad it seems to be over.

I have to say, reading several of TC's members' blogs on the subject really helped me frame my thoughts in a way to help myself stop worrying so much and realize that I'm not alone in this, and it might just be a cyclical thing that happens sometimes, and, most importantly, that it doesn't last forever. Thank you all, so much.

The question pestering me now is this: How do I get back into something resembling a spiritual practice? I feel like I should be doing this by degrees, and not going fast and furious with offerings now that (what seems to have been) a long intense Deity getting-to-know-you period is over. I'm certain They aren't completely absent from my life; even when I could only focus on having enough energy to go to work and numbing my brain with tumblr, I kept getting words and ideas like "self-care" and "mindfulness" thrown at me from all corners.

Still, I feel guilty about lapsed offerings and missed holidays, and I'm wondering if I should make up for that in some way with ritual, or focus on getting myself back up to optimal performance before I start doing Deity work again.

Those of you who've dealt with Fallow Times before, what's helped you the most in re-engaging with spiritual life?

~Allison

 
I find that what eases me into practice after a time of forced not-practicing is beginning the day with a quick visit to the shrine, for a brief-post-breakfast prayer and hopeful request that my upcoming day is blessed. This gives me the sense that the day is 'different' from inactive yesterdays and that is beggining on the right step.

For the rest, I would say to take it easy and start with the bits of the practice you enjoyed the most before the fallow time.
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LiminalAuggie

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Re: Coming out of Fallow Times
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2012, 01:05:10 am »
Quote from: SatAset;63280
When I first read your post, I got this message,"Begin from where you are."  

What's the next holiday on your spiritual calendar?  I'd start there.  Do you do daily or weekly devotions? Do those.  

Simplicity is key here.  You don't need to overwhelm yourself.


Oh, thank you for the message. Where I am right now is literally surrounded with unfinished projects, so I'm going to take some steps to actually get things finished before I take on new tasks. A bit of shrine tidying got done today, and I'll try to do something more structured for Wednesday, which I'd previously designated for offerings since it's my free day during the workweek.
 

Quote from: SkySamuelle;63299
I find that what eases me into practice after a time of forced not-practicing is beginning the day with a quick visit to the shrine, for a brief-post-breakfast prayer and hopeful request that my upcoming day is blessed. This gives me the sense that the day is 'different' from inactive yesterdays and that is beggining on the right step.

For the rest, I would say to take it easy and start with the bits of the practice you enjoyed the most before the fallow time.


Thank you, that's a great idea! Mornings are definitely an area needing improvement for me, but that would probably help immensely. :)

NibbleKat

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Re: Coming out of Fallow Times
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2012, 03:24:47 pm »
Quote from: SatAset;63280
When I first read your post, I got this message,"Begin from where you are."  

What's the next holiday on your spiritual calendar?  I'd start there.  Do you do daily or weekly devotions? Do those.  

Simplicity is key here.  You don't need to overwhelm yourself.

 
I do this, too! It was suggested by a friend of mine-- what she does, and I now do, is I wake up and get out of bed, go to the bathroom (this could include getting dressed if it takes you time to wake up, etc), then I wash my hands, go to the altar, and say "hello" to all three of the deities that I worship.

LiminalAuggie, I have been in a Fallow Time myself for almost a year now-- I've neglected the altar, in more ways than one and in ways I'm too embarassed to say.  I got a godly kick in the pants for it, and am trying to mend my ways.  

It is hard at first, because when one is stressed and depressed, you don't want to face the altar--because at least for me, I don't want to face myself, and the altar is a reflecting pool for my thoughts.  

You might not have time in the mornings to do what I do, so you could work your schedule around it.  Now, since I have trouble working with all three deities at once, I am going back to something I used to do -- I dedicate one day for one deity, the next for the second, the one after that for the third, in rotation, and use that day to honor only them.  It doesn't mean you can't think about or research others or say hello or whatever, but when I sit down at the altar (except for the morning hello and the evening good night), that time is dedicated to that deity.

And lately, instead of 'talking' about myself, asking for things, etc, I just sit and give praise to the particular god, light incense, and then try to listen.  At first it was to say, "I'm sorry I've been 'bad'. I am here, I acknowledge you, I am in your presence, I'm shutting up and am all ears."

In the morning I also do a light "breakfast" offering.  I cut up a banana and some other fruit or nuts or whatever feels appropriate, and offer it to that day's deity.    Later on in the evening when I come home from work, I try to listen again at least for five mins... what I've found is that the "listening" is also a form of meditation that's not so hard-core as to force me to tie all my thoughts down.

Focusing like that can calm.  It can be peaceful.  And I think it can be a wonderful way to, at least for those minutes, know you're in a 'safe place' away from all of those projects you 'need' to be doing.

Eventually, on your own time (and your deity, if you worship), you'll figure out (and you can ask) which project is the most important to do.  You can let them tell you which way to go in regards to that, rather than YOU trying to figure out which one has the highest priority.

Also, you might could use my "one deity at a time" structure and change it into, say... "Light incense on Monday. Sit and listen on Tuesday. Give offerings on Wednesday, lather, rinse, repeat."

Structure has helped me come back to the altar-- I used to run from it, but now I try not to force myself to take the worship on all at once.  Baby steps help.  Eventually, you'll get back in your stride.
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NibbleKat

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Re: Coming out of Fallow Times
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2012, 03:26:22 pm »
Quote from: SkySamuelle;63299
I find that what eases me into practice after a time of forced not-practicing is beginning the day with a quick visit to the shrine, for a brief-post-breakfast prayer and hopeful request that my upcoming day is blessed. This gives me the sense that the day is 'different' from inactive yesterdays and that is beggining on the right step.

For the rest, I would say to take it easy and start with the bits of the practice you enjoyed the most before the fallow time.

 

Whoops. I meant to quote YOU, not SatAset.

My apologies to both of you!
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SkySamuelle

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Re: Coming out of Fallow Times
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2012, 04:28:01 pm »
Quote from: NibbleKat;63444


It is hard at first, because when one is stressed and depressed, you don't want to face the altar--because at least for me, I don't want to face myself, and the altar is a reflecting pool for my thoughts.  



This is totally me when I am tackling on my inner aganst. Unfortunately there's been a lot of rapid succession inner aganst in those months and I found that staying away from the sacred space makes nothing but depressing me more- so I am focusing hard to keep a bare-to-minimum-morning-structure and, When I feel too stressed to actually meditate or make small talk with my gods, I keep the relationships alive straight with actions dedicated to Them- for example right now I am taking up to dance stress off at random moments for Apollo and Dionysus and buy for Hermes a lottery ticket every fourth of the month.
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NibbleKat

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Re: Coming out of Fallow Times
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 05:10:17 pm »
Quote from: SkySamuelle;63453
This is totally me when I am tackling on my inner aganst. Unfortunately there's been a lot of rapid succession inner aganst in those months and I found that staying away from the sacred space makes nothing but depressing me more- so I am focusing hard to keep a bare-to-minimum-morning-structure and, When I feel too stressed to actually meditate or make small talk with my gods, I keep the relationships alive straight with actions dedicated to Them- for example right now I am taking up to dance stress off at random moments for Apollo and Dionysus and buy for Hermes a lottery ticket every fourth of the month.


Yay! I follow Hermes, as well.
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LiminalAuggie

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Re: Coming out of Fallow Times
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 08:26:56 pm »
Quote from: SkySamuelle;63453
This is totally me when I am tackling on my inner aganst. Unfortunately there's been a lot of rapid succession inner aganst in those months and I found that staying away from the sacred space makes nothing but depressing me more- so I am focusing hard to keep a bare-to-minimum-morning-structure and, When I feel too stressed to actually meditate or make small talk with my gods, I keep the relationships alive straight with actions dedicated to Them- for example right now I am taking up to dance stress off at random moments for Apollo and Dionysus and buy for Hermes a lottery ticket every fourth of the month.

 
Yep, this resonates with me so much. It's been too angst-inducing to just sit and face the gods about how I'm doing in my journey, and it's been like that for a while. (I'll gladly do Tarot readings for other people, but doing a spread for myself? nooope.)

I agree that sometimes just actions for Their sake are the best way to go, when trying to commune is too tough. I keep my spare change on my nightstand (currently Liminal God's shrine) and take it to work for patrons who need it for the photocopier, or leave coins somewhere outside during my lunch hour. LG is...tricksy and undefined, He's Hermes-similar but not quite, I think, but He seems to be okay with some of the devotional acts I've seen for Hermes.

SkySamuelle

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Re: Coming out of Fallow Times
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 01:42:49 am »
Quote from: LiminalAuggie;63482
Yep, this resonates with me so much. It's been too angst-inducing to just sit and face the gods about how I'm doing in my journey, and it's been like that for a while. (I'll gladly do Tarot readings for other people, but doing a spread for myself? nooope.)

I agree that sometimes just actions for Their sake are the best way to go, when trying to commune is too tough. I keep my spare change on my nightstand (currently Liminal God's shrine) and take it to work for patrons who need it for the photocopier, or leave coins somewhere outside during my lunch hour. LG is...tricksy and undefined, He's Hermes-similar but not quite, I think, but He seems to be okay with some of the devotional acts I've seen for Hermes.

*NODS*

The reason I now try to keep up a bare-to-minimum routine even when I am stressed is that I realize that my excess stress pretty much blocks the 'responses' from the other side, but They are still listening - the reason I tend to not go at the shrine at those times is that I feel inherently ... well, not good enough. Like in 'I am so down because X mundane aspect of my life is going to rats, but hey, I am ashamed to show a deity how much it affects me'.

Putting it like this I feel silly because They quite already know our nature, regardless. So... I trick myself into mind-talking to Them about my issues even when I can't bring myself to stand still enough before the sacred space. :whis:

Quote from: NibbleKat;63463
Yay! I follow Hermes, as well.

Thumbs up for Him and His trickey sense of humour.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 01:46:43 am by SkySamuelle »
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