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Author Topic: Disconnection  (Read 297 times)

wildwitchhazel

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Disconnection
« on: September 22, 2020, 03:11:10 pm »
Hi folks,

It's been long time since I have logged into this forum.  Life happened - and this year has really sucked.  I feel so disconnected from everyone and everything, especially spiritually.  My local pagan scene is non-existent and my usually means of connection just doesn't seem to be working.  I recognize that my mundane life has been very stressful - relationship issues, job issues, starting school again - but the one thing that never fails me is spirituality.  But I just can't seem to connect anymore.  I want to meet and work with a real group or coven who will actually put in the effort to do things - not just fake enthusiasm and not bother to show up.  Again, I realize that this is not possible because of covid, but even Zoom meetings are not helpful.  Maybe I'm not trying hard enough or maybe I have too much stress - I don't know.  But it would be nice to feel like I'm not alone - praying to a wall.

So far what does NOT work:
-Meditation
-Reading (can't focus long enough or have enough time)
-Zoom (either no one shows up or doesn't have the same interests as me)
-attempting any kind of ritual

How can I reconnect?

Thanks.

Anon100

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Re: Disconnection
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2020, 03:32:34 pm »
Hi folks,

It's been long time since I have logged into this forum.  Life happened - and this year has really sucked.  I feel so disconnected from everyone and everything, especially spiritually.  My local pagan scene is non-existent and my usually means of connection just doesn't seem to be working.  I recognize that my mundane life has been very stressful - relationship issues, job issues, starting school again - but the one thing that never fails me is spirituality.  But I just can't seem to connect anymore.  I want to meet and work with a real group or coven who will actually put in the effort to do things - not just fake enthusiasm and not bother to show up.  Again, I realize that this is not possible because of covid, but even Zoom meetings are not helpful.  Maybe I'm not trying hard enough or maybe I have too much stress - I don't know.  But it would be nice to feel like I'm not alone - praying to a wall.

So far what does NOT work:
-Meditation
-Reading (can't focus long enough or have enough time)
-Zoom (either no one shows up or doesn't have the same interests as me)
-attempting any kind of ritual

How can I reconnect?

Thanks.

Not sure if it will help you but what's worked for me ( and I don't do groups. Don't even really have a specific path - I just find my way ) is getting out in nature. Mostly slowing down, being in my garden and thinking my way through the life around me. And yes, I know it may be hard right now if you don't have a garden - maybe birds on the wind?
It's taken a long time, and more to go, but slowly I've brought the sense of that life back into mine - by immersing a bit of myself into feeling it.   

PerditaPickle

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Re: Disconnection
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2020, 04:14:46 pm »
Hi folks,

It's been long time since I have logged into this forum.  Life happened - and this year has really sucked.

Well, a very warm welcome back then -- and, also, many sympathies re life in 2020.

How can I reconnect?

I'm going to mull this over for a bit and see if I can come up with anything more for you, but meantime here's a few brief thoughts to be going on with.

YouTube / Podcasts instead of reading books
I can certainly sympathise with not being able to focus on reading, or not having enough time for this -- this is why I tend to watch quite a lot of YouTube, or listen to podcasts.  I can be listening whilst I'm doing something else, and it often gives me food for thought.  I can share a few of the ones I'm subscribed to if you think it'd be of interest.

Meditation (albeit that you've said it hasn't worked so far)
I'm still struggling with mastering this and so I often go back to a really basic form about 'counting the breath' (which I learned from YouTube) - I don't know whether you'll feel it's worth giving it a shot in your circumstances, but thought I'd mention it just in case.  There is a link to the video ('How to Train Your Monkey Mind) in this thread, here.

Slowing down / time in nature
Simply slowing down, as Anon100 suggests too, is another recommendation I'd make, if you can.  I've been lucky enough to be able to spend some recent lunchtimes and evenings sitting on the lawn in the sunshine this past week or so, and I've actually made the decision not to take my phone/tablet or even a magazine/book.  I've just sat watching the leaves on the trees in the distance, and listened out for birdsong (in between passing cars and all the other noise pollution).  I've found myself able to get into a really relaxed state by doing this, which has been really good for me.  Don't know if it'd be of any help to yourself, as a place to start if you can.

Writing / artwork / crafting
Maybe some sort of journalling, or automatic writing, might be a way to begin to get yourself back into the groove a bit?  Or start to, at least?  Or perhaps if you're the artistic sort (or even if you're not!), creating some artwork on the theme of disconnection, or of reconnection?

Re-connecting with the time of year/seasons (if this is part of your path)
Today's the equinox, so would you be interested to research some 'traditional' activities for this time of year online and then maybe at the weekend you could give one/some a go?  Making corn dollies is apparently one (if you're in the northern hemisphere), and I'm sure there are tutorials for this online.
Or you could try getting your hands on some seasonal foods and drinks -- indulge a bit while you're waiting for a sense of re-connection to come, and maybe stimulate it to come while you're at it?

That's it for now, let us know what you think.  And if I do think of anything else, I'll try to come back and post again.   :)
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Sefiru

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Re: Disconnection
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2020, 06:47:08 pm »
So far what does NOT work:
-Meditation
-Reading (can't focus long enough or have enough time)
-Zoom (either no one shows up or doesn't have the same interests as me)
-attempting any kind of ritual

How can I reconnect?

Maybe a bit of kitchen witchery? Like, adding spiritual meaning to household tasks you are already doing (such as making breakfast or bathing), or changing how you do them to include spiritual elements.

Jenett

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Re: Disconnection
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2020, 10:10:52 pm »
It's been long time since I have logged into this forum.  Life happened - and this year has really sucked.  I feel so disconnected from everyone and everything, especially spiritually.  My local pagan scene is non-existent and my usually means of connection just doesn't seem to be working.  I recognize that my mundane life has been very stressful - relationship issues, job issues, starting school again - but the one thing that never fails me is spirituality.  But I just can't seem to connect anymore.  I want to meet and work with a real group or coven who will actually put in the effort to do things - not just fake enthusiasm and not bother to show up.  Again, I realize that this is not possible because of covid, but even Zoom meetings are not helpful.  Maybe I'm not trying hard enough or maybe I have too much stress - I don't know.  But it would be nice to feel like I'm not alone - praying to a wall.

Other people have given you some good ideas, so I'm going to go at it from a couple of other directions (and okay, also link to some additional ideas...)

What worked for you before all of this?

Before you got busy, before you felt disconnected, before the pandemic, I mean?

Not because you should go do those things and they'll work (I assume at least some of them you've tried), but because they may give you some ideas o why things aren't working now, or how to prioritise what new things to try.

For example, fairly rote prayer has never worked well for me as a Pagan (interestingly, it worked a lot better when I was Catholic, but I think it was because I was using things that had a long history of millions of other people using those prayers in that way.) When I try to do it, I feel extra disconnected from my gods, so I don't do that.

Likewise, being in a random group of people who also identify the way I do on one axis has very hit or miss chances for me, especially if there isn't a lot of structure around the activity. When I started exploring Paganism, I had a much better time once I figured out that going to an actual class that has some amount of interpersonal interaction (maybe just breaks or a lunch break, but ideally more chances to talk/share/etc. with people throughout), or where it was a short series of classes over time. The class gave it structure and natural stuff to talk about.

It's not like I came out of most of those with Amazing New Friends, but doing that stuff did get me closer over time to finding people I could and did build long-term Pagan interactions with in a pretty wide range of ways. I'll still go hang out at bigger unstructured events, or stuff outside a fairly tight core of my interests, but I don't do it to meet people, I do it for other reasons. (Usually learning something.) If I also meet people, great, but if not, it's not a waste of my time.

It's hard for everyone right now
Lots of people feel disconnected from lots of things - work, religion, family, etc. Some of that is that our methods of connection have changed. (And I know I only have so many hours of Zoom call ability in me a day, and work requires almost all of those. So if I were relying on video chat for my social life, I'd have a problem. Fortunately for me, most of my close social interactions run in text.)

But some of it is about the cognitive load of living in a pandemic, of having to learn lots of new ways of going about our lives or getting groceries or doing our work or doing school. Doing that particular work drowns out a lot of other things in our lives. It also ebbs and flows (I read a 1307701741421498371[/tweet]]fascinating Twitter thread about the 6 month wall in dealing with traumatic circumstances yesterday, for example.) For some people, right now, the right solution for them is to put their head down, do the time-critical stuff that has to be dealt with (work, school, making sure kids are taken care of), and putting everything else to the side for a bit.

In terms of the Pagan community, there are also some specific hard thigs, even the more structured groups. From reading stuff from other coven and group leaders, we're all still figuring out how this Zoom ritual thing works.

(And think about it, it's been six months, but a lot of groups really punted for a couple of months or there were a lot of tech issues, or whatever. If you're a group that only does rituals or gatherings or whatever once or twice a month, that's not actually a large number of rituals or classes or whatever to figure out how things work in this new format.

Not compared to, say, K-12 teachers, who had to figure out a lot of it really fast, but also had a lot of potential interactions to work with to try things. Or even mainstream Christian churches who have had a lot of Sundays to figure it out, and probably also had models of "how do we televise this service meaningfully" even if they had to figure out their own local tech for that.)

I only really feel like we've hit a reliable useful thing in my coven's Zoom interactions in the last month or six weeks, and I am comfortable with technology and have professional backgrounds in multiple forms of teaching/sharing info/doing community stuff.  (And we're a small group, with a not super huge variance in how comfortable we are with new tech or new modes of interactions, which can hit larger or less close groups harder.)

I've also heard anecdotally from a lot of people that they feel like their relationships with their gods are a lot more distant right now. In some cases, thats for fairly obvious reasons (deities associated with disease or healing might be more than usually occupied at the moment), but it seems to be true across a wide range of pantheons, people, and types of practices

We're not in normal times, don't beat yourself up for not having an amazing spiritual life right now. Some people do, some people don't.  I'd say work on the stuff that makes you feel better, to the amount it helps you feel better, and make a note to circle back and try the stuff thats not working for you again in three months or six months, or "after the pandemic stops being an overwhelming thing".

Look at low-key options to keep your spiritual self engaged
When I'm in crunch mode, I start looking for things I can set up once and have work, or things that stack over stuff I need to do anyway.

The "spend time setting up once and use a lot" list are things like playlists, setting particular desktops on my computer or phone, passwords I have to use/change often, wearing particular jewellery, having something (a shrine, for example) visible in the place where I spend the most time. Coming up with things to move to the top of my to-be-read pile (or the equivalent podcast or watchlist queues) that have some spiritual connection/focus/etc. for me.

This last often isn't "Hi, I am a Pagan Book!" but things that get me thinking about related topics in some way useful to my hindbrain. (Some kinds of fantasy, some kinds of historical fiction, popular non-fiction about stuff relevant to my religious life or the natural world or whatever.)

The "stack stuff" is things like doing a cleansing ritual when I have a shower (I have to have the shower), doing a big meal prep hour or two on Sunday and doing a bit of kitchen magic in the process (a lot of which goes well with batch cooking), adding a bit of magical cleansing stuff into my house cleaning. And so on.

More ideas on all of these on my website: daily or regular practices, practices with chronic health issues (also works for a lot of other constraints or low energy/focus) plus this one on finding time and space - honestly, sometimes there's nothing that can give, but I've often found even in my busiest times that carving out 30 minutes twice a week to focus on my personal practice helped a lot.

(There was one semester where I was working full time, in grad school with a demanding class load part time, doing coven stuff 10-15 hours a week, helping run a major local event, and one of my best friend's partners died and she needed a lot of practical help and support. I didn't have *much* time for my personal practice that stretch, but the hour and a half I set aside while doing laundry on Friday nights (and thus, had to be home, but not deeply enmeshed in a homework assignment...) got me through some rough weeks.

But the other part of making that work was making a deliberate effort for better balance in some stuff the next semester, and knowing that the really rough schedule was temporary. Going at it as "This is a season that's hard going and a lot of work and time I don't control, but next season will/can be different" helped me a lot, and has helped some other people.)
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sevensons

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Re: Disconnection
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2020, 12:33:30 pm »

can't focus long enough or have enough time

How can I reconnect?
You haven't got your mind in the zone once you can master that life is easy. study what you have written try and be cute about your state of mind life seems more exciting if you can edit the mind and body.
Awaken myself alive and well loving to start learning today ahead a challenge set by the Gods. Haven't

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Re: Disconnection
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2020, 08:06:59 pm »
(I read a <BBCode removed>fascinating Twitter thread about the 6 month wall in dealing with traumatic circumstances</end code removed> yesterday, for example.) For some people, right now, the right solution for them is to put their head down, do the time-critical stuff that has to be dealt with (work, school, making sure kids are taken care of), and putting everything else to the side for a bit.

Twitter being self-centred, it breaks the BBCode we use for links. Here is the link in the form Twitter would like it to appear:


Sunflower
« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 08:08:55 pm by SunflowerP »
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