collapse

Author Topic: General/Non-Specific: Staying committed  (Read 855 times)

Local Magpie

  • Sr. Newbie
  • **
  • Join Date: Feb 2018
  • Location: A galaxy far far away
  • Posts: 18
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Eclectic
Staying committed
« on: April 01, 2018, 03:18:28 am »
Does anyone have any advice on staying committed to finding your path? I find that I often go through phases where I really try and find my path, whereas other times I give up on it completely because it is hard to keep up with and discouraging when you don't really know what your path is. Thanks!

Yei

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: May 2012
  • Posts: 546
  • Country: au
  • Total likes: 133
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Mexica Reconstructionism
  • Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His
Re: Staying committed
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2018, 03:51:46 am »
Does anyone have any advice on staying committed to finding your path? I find that I often go through phases where I really try and find my path, whereas other times I give up on it completely because it is hard to keep up with and discouraging when you don't really know what your path is. Thanks!

This is something that I've given a lot of thought to. In general, my faith does not really waver, but due to my living circumstances I cannot actively worship as much as I think I should. I think the key is to have a devotional act that you can do every day, to keep you connected. Maybe get a shrine and make sure you make at least one small offering every day, say a stick of incense or a flower? That might be a little harder for an eclectic though.

Goddess_Ashtara

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jan 2017
  • Location: E-EDINLIL
  • Posts: 114
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 25
  • DINGIR NIN EDINLIL AK IMEN
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Nexion 3127
Re: Staying committed
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2018, 04:00:45 am »
Does anyone have any advice on staying committed to finding your path? I find that I often go through phases where I really try and find my path, whereas other times I give up on it completely because it is hard to keep up with and discouraging when you don't really know what your path is. Thanks!

Control your focus and be mindful of how you choose to direct it.   Control your choices... your thoughts, your emotions, your actions... and be mindful of your Will and if there are gods involved than the Will of your god(s).

𒊩𒆪  𒂔𒇸𒀝  𒄿𒈨
NIN EDINLIL AK IMEN
𒊩𒆪  𒂔𒇸𒀝  𒄿𒈨

Sobekemiti

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Location: Western Australia
  • Posts: 430
  • Country: au
  • Total likes: 14
    • View Profile
    • Per Sebek - The House of Sobek
  • Religion: Polytheist, Witch, Scribe, Hem-Netjer, Monastic, Druid, Sau Apprentice
  • Preferred Pronouns: xe/hir/xem
Re: Staying committed
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2018, 04:56:49 am »
Does anyone have any advice on staying committed to finding your path? I find that I often go through phases where I really try and find my path, whereas other times I give up on it completely because it is hard to keep up with and discouraging when you don't really know what your path is. Thanks!

If you're still seeking, maybe devote a month or so to study a particular path or practice that interests you, and see if it works for you. Keep a journal of what you've tried and see if that helps you piece together what worked and what didn't, and what looks like it might be the path for you. That way you don't need to feel like you have to keep committed to something that's not working, or that it's okay to just stop for a while and think about what you've learnt so far and what you're looking for. It'll take a while, but eventually, something will stick. Then you can really begin digging into that and see where that takes you.
Sobekemiti Isetemsaf | Queer Polytheist and Sobek Devotee | My pronouns are xe/hir/xem
Dreamwidth Journal | Per Sebek: The House of Sebek
Shedety Scriptorium - my new Etsy shop, selling handmade journals, prayer beads, and other sacred items.

Jenett

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Posts: 3054
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 590
    • View Profile
    • Seeking: First steps on a path
  • Religion: Initiatory religious witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: Staying committed
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2018, 02:47:29 pm »
Does anyone have any advice on staying committed to finding your path? I find that I often go through phases where I really try and find my path, whereas other times I give up on it completely because it is hard to keep up with and discouraging when you don't really know what your path is. Thanks!

The process of figuring out what you want to do is a lot of work - the process of figuring out many things is a lot of work! It's okay for that to go in waves.

It's a lot of time and effort to figure out something new, or figure out what stuff you might need to try something new, or set aside time to learn new things or where to find out more.

Thinking about your question, I was thinking about how a lot of the people I know with chronic health stuff will sequence things (I do it too: I am about to do a round of 'test some more things'). It's pretty common for people to pick a thing to focus on, spend their energy on that, get it to a reasonably stable resolution point (or where it's clear that isn't going to happen any time soon) and then take a break, and come back to the next thing in a month or three or six.

(Obviously, this doesn't work for acute needs, but the thing I'm about to do is allergy testing, where I have some solutions for how things are right now, but it's time to poke at whether there are better solutions for me. On the other hand, setting up and doing the testing is a bit time-consuming, and I expect to feel lousy for a day or two after we do it.)

So one answer is to sequence it. Look at where you are in your life right now, and what other new or complex stuff is already going on for you. Spiritual practice can be a huge help when dealing with other complexity, but sometimes trying to find a particular path or community or learn skills isn't a lot of help right then.

Sequencing can involve a lot of differerent pieces.

I'd start making some notes for you to come back to when you're up to doing another round of exploration, with details, what some productivity systems call a "Someday/Maybe" list. That means you're not worrying about doing it right now, but it's there if you want to come back to it later.

But then I'd look at what you can do that is not such a big thing, but might help you feel better. Some ideas might include:

[It's a lot of time and effort to figure out something new, or figure out what stuff you might need to try something new, or set aside time to learn new things or where to find out more.

1) Very simple, very general spiritual practices that could develop in different directions depending on what you wanted to do down the road. Prayer is a little tricky if you aren't sure where you're going with a spiritual or religious path (though if there's a particular deity you know you're interested in, or something like that, it might well be an option.) 

But you could build a regular practice of something line centering/grounding/shielding, or meditation, or quiet reflection, or "I go out into somewhere near my home in nature for five minutes most days" or making music or journalling. These are often helpful things on their own, not attached to any particular path, and most of them don't need more than really minimal materials or equipment.

Creative work - drawing or doodling or collage or music or poetry or whatever - is often particularly rewarding here, and is worth trying if you haven't tried something in this context before.

2) Find some quiet ongoing but low-key ways to explore paths or topics you're interested in, not in a 'try all the things' mode, but a 'learn what's out there' mode. Podcasts, finding some regularly updated blogs, hanging out and reading threads here, finding books, things like that.

You probably do want to be a bit thoughtful about sources (at this stage, a 'people who are careful to talk about their own experiences, but who have a range of interactions to draw on or make a point of pointing at a range of practices/do interviews/etc.' is probably more helpful than something that's entirely about a specific highly-defined path) but that still leaves lots of options.

3) Think about upcoming good times. Think a little about what's going on in your life, if there's a time coming up when you might have a bit mroe time and energy to explore, and then come up with some things you might try in that time. Some people find it really helpful to pick a month or whatever, and commit to doing things every day, but just for that month, and see how it works.

(Things to think about with timing include things like busy times with school or work, travel, things like seasonal allergies or other 'physical world gets in the way' stuff. Pick a month  when there's less of that stuff to worry about.) If a month feels too much, try a week.
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

Sefiru

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • Location: In the walls
  • Posts: 1672
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 333
    • View Profile
Re: Staying committed
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2018, 06:24:38 pm »
Does anyone have any advice on staying committed to finding your path? I find that I often go through phases where I really try and find my path, whereas other times I give up on it completely because it is hard to keep up with and discouraging when you don't really know what your path is. Thanks!

Kind of echoing what the others have said, it kind of sounds like you expect "finding your path" to happen as a single event, instead of in bits and pieces. My advice: when you come across a bit of something that works for you, stick with it, even if it isn't as complete as you would like. This way you'll eventually build up a collection of practices to the point where it is your path.

Actually, it might help to think in terms of "building" your path instead of "finding" it.

JupiterSkies

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: Feb 2018
  • Location: SE Michigan
  • Posts: 54
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 13
    • View Profile
    • E.M. Sabolcik
  • Religion: Eclectic witch
Re: Staying committed
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2018, 07:24:58 pm »
Does anyone have any advice on staying committed to finding your path? I find that I often go through phases where I really try and find my path, whereas other times I give up on it completely because it is hard to keep up with and discouraging when you don't really know what your path is. Thanks!

I'm going to vouch for Jenett's first point on very simple and general practices.  I've been feeling much more committed the past year or so by doing the little generalities regularly.  For example, I've incorporated a grounding and centering exercise into my shower time, something I do every day, that takes an extra 30 seconds to a minute of marvelous hot water time (which I will never complain about!)  Its energy and effect is consistent and really sets the tone for my whole day. I am in a level-headed state of mind, which is a great base for jumping off into what catches me that particular day.

And if the gum won't come off your proverbial shoe and it's working for you... it's another stone for your collection.  The little things do add up over time. 
Eclectic witch - crystal, deity, animal focused work.
I write, mostly poetry.

Kylara

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Feb 2012
  • Posts: 883
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 62
    • View Profile
    • https://www.patreon.com/kyndryana
  • Religion: Norse Fusion Witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers
Re: Staying committed
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2018, 08:54:22 pm »
Does anyone have any advice on staying committed to finding your path? I find that I often go through phases where I really try and find my path, whereas other times I give up on it completely because it is hard to keep up with and discouraging when you don't really know what your path is. Thanks!

What worked for me was to find things that really drew me in.  I followed what I found interesting, I started with simple things that I thought were neat, and went from there.  It helped a TON when I stopped looking for a tradition that fit me perfectly, and just kept working with what worked for me.  I don't practice a particular path, I practice my path, which is a mixture of things and beliefs that have stuck with me over the years.  But, if along the way, you find a tradition that clicks with you, wonderful!
Check out my Patreon for more writing and other goodies!

TheGreenWizard

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2017
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Posts: 232
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 78
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hellenic Pagan
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Staying committed
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2018, 01:43:25 pm »
Does anyone have any advice on staying committed to finding your path? I find that I often go through phases where I really try and find my path, whereas other times I give up on it completely because it is hard to keep up with and discouraging when you don't really know what your path is. Thanks!

What everyone has said so far is marvelous advice, and here's my two cents:

I have a hard time focusing on just one activity - my mind always jumps from one thing to another, trying to figure out what I could do. This is partially due to me having a full plate (teacher, on the board for one NGO, IT director for another, etc), and also trying to care for my husband. That said... I basically focus on making certain practices devoted to Dionysos that He would like. For example, when I drink a glass of wine (or some beer), I'll give him a cheer first and then sip it. Or, if I'm in the shower, I take a moment to focus on the water - which He is considered a God of - and it washing over me. Takes a minute or two, but I get it done. Lastly, I like to do research, so me reading up on Dionysos and other practices for my faith, I consider being devotional.

Like others have said - you can try to find those practices that you can add in. Or you can look at what you do already, and see if your deities or powers would be pleased with you doing that.

BTW I got these ideas from here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/oathbound/2015/05/too-busy-to-witchcraft/
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go

TisiphoneSeraph

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 7
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Recon-Informed Eclectic
  • Preferred Pronouns: they/them/theirs
Re: Staying committed
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2018, 11:32:15 pm »
Does anyone have any advice on staying committed to finding your path? I find that I often go through phases where I really try and find my path, whereas other times I give up on it completely because it is hard to keep up with and discouraging when you don't really know what your path is. Thanks!

Echoing what others have said, I think a lot of it comes down to structure.

So much of what makes "onboarding" for other religions more straightforward is the decent amount of structure built in. But when you're building your own path, you have to make that for yourself.

Pick regular practices that you enjoy and don't dismiss them as being too small to be meaningful. When I was in high school, I would, about once a week, pick up a chocolate shake after my last class, offer it to Yinepu, and chill on a bench praying to him. It was pleasant for me and it brought me closer to him. I also still to this day have a habit of energetically cleansing myself and praying in the shower. Use daily tasks as a way to check in with the spiritual.

It's easy to get lost in daily energy intensive rituals and then give up on everything when it's too much. Let your practice evolve when it needs to, but it helps to build in structure so you attend to it regularly.

I'd also echo others and say read quality materials widely. Even stuff you don't think you'll wind up using. Knowing how others think about practice is very helpful for thinking about your own.
divination thoughts over at hillbilly oracle

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
14 Replies
4977 Views
Last post February 06, 2012, 10:31:54 am
by Catherine
4 Replies
225 Views
Last post December 14, 2018, 10:15:40 am
by IceAngie

Beginner Area

Warning: You are currently in a Beginner Friendly area of the message board.

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 32
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 1
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall