“I want to start a new practice, but—” my friend, Samantha, said.
I waited, listening.
“But New Year’s Resolutions usually end in disappointment—for so many people, including me,” she said.
I understood how she felt.
Many people make New Year’s resolutions, and they are good for a few weeks. Then they drop the new behaviors.
When making resolutions that include the God and Goddess, choose wisely. Yes, They are forgiving, but don’t set yourself up for failure by overloading your schedule. Some people promise the Gods that they will do a daily ritual, and it may prove to be too much of a commitment.
Here are the three insights for you:
1. Devote a specific time of the day or night.
Choose a specific time because that will help you and your body remember the action you wish to do.
For example, let’s say you want to start a meditation or devotional practice to a specific Deity. Be careful about the time you choose. You’ll likely have work and family considerations to take into account. Some parents find that setting a time before the kids wake up (or after they go to sleep) is a good time for their new spiritual practice.
When you get used to doing your meditation or devotional practice at a specific time, you create a rhythm that supports your new practice.
2. Make it easy and automatic.
The idea is to connect your new practice to something you’re already doing. Make the process into something that is automatic. You could do a chant right after you brush your teeth in the morning. Connecting your devotion to something you already do will help you remember it.
It’s even better than just remembering the new practice. It’s about putting something in that becomes part of your natural pattern of actions.
3. “If you mess up, get back on the horse.”
If you mess up it’s okay because it is part of the process. If, on a particular day, you’re thrown off schedule, and you miss a meditation session, get “back on the horse” as soon as possible. One of my friends misses a morning yoga session, and she picks it back up after dinner that same day.
In earlier years, I would cut myself down when I made a mistake. I still need to make efforts to remind myself, “Making a mistake is part of the process. The Gods know I’m doing the best I can.”
See if you can course-correct without being mean to yourself. The Gods love you.
May these insights help you on your path.
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