I keep a notebook in my purse. It’s one of the fancy Target ones–pink chevrons, laminated covers, wide-lined pages. I have nice pen hooked into the loops, and inside there are pages of ideas for blog posts.
This week, not one of them worked for me.
I’ve been writing regularly in one form or another since the late 1980s, and I’m no stranger to writers block. Anyone who delves into creative endeavors knows the feeling–this intense urge to produce, but no juice. Every topic seems bland. Every idea, shot down mid-ascent.
It’s a dull, depressing feeling.
For example, I wrote that last sentence 30 minutes ago. Between that writing and this, I checked Facebook, looked at happy hour menus from a local resort (too expensive for freaking street tacos, ya’ll), and teased my supervisor at work. We’ll do anything not to face that blank page/canvas, etc.
You can also face blocks to your spiritual practice. Whether it’s meditation, yoga, prayer, reflection or other practices, some days the motivation just isn’t there. When you reach those points, it seems easier to just give up than try. And on those days, it’s really tempting to give yourself a day off.
While it’s never a good idea to beat yourself up for taking a mental health break, too many skipped days can easily become a pattern that will tank your spiritual practice.
The Virtue of Showing Up
This blog post was scheduled to be written on Monday to post on Wednesday morning. Monday I got sick, so I pushed it back to Tuesday, for publication on Wednesday morning. Tuesday I had errands to run and I still wasn’t feeling well, so I decided I’d write it on Wednesday morning to post Wednesday night. Then Wednesday night rolled around and I said the heck with it.
Now it’s Thursday morning, and no post still. So I decided to do what every expert tells you do in situations like this. I showed up. I opened up a post, and I started writing. I had no idea what I was going to write, but I was determined to put words on the page.
And slowly, the post started evolving.
It’s the same way with your spiritual path. You don’t always have to be inspired, but you do have to show up. Even if you only meditate for 3 minutes, do that meditation. Even if you pull out your runes and do a random reading, the act of doing it keeps that pump primed for those days when the inspiration is there.
So here is your assignment for the weekend – Show Up! If there is something you want to do, try. Be okay with failing. Be okay with looking like an idiot. Be okay with the proverbial basket full of wadded up paper.
As one of my editors used to say, “You can’t fix an empty page. So write something, damn it!”
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