One of the most frustrating problems I have with spirituality is that I let it get too complicated. I start with the best of intentions, but soon find myself overwhelmed with spiritual clutter. That’s when I realize it’s time to simplify my spirituality.
But how do you streamline your spirituality without feeling like you’re betraying god or the universe? First, you need to clarify your spiritual purpose. Then, you should determine your main spiritual activity. And finally, you must focus your spiritual education.
Here’s how to make your spiritual life more efficient.
1. Clarifying Your Spiritual Purpose
Your spiritual health is important, and one aspect you need to consider is your purpose. This isn’t any ordinary goal or career ambition, but a holistic understanding of who you are.
When you streamline your spiritual goals to just one, it helps put everything else you do into perspective. Instead of worrying about a long list of rules, you can reduce that to a single character virtue that you live out every day.
The New Testament is a great example of this. Jesus told his followers that the commandments could be reduced to just two: “love God” and “love others.” The Abrahamic faiths have a philosophy that humans are made in the image of their God, so that means the two commandments are actually the same thing.
The point behind the teaching of Jesus is the importance of having a spiritual purpose guide your life. All it takes is one clear virtue that you live out every day to make your spirituality more efficient. Everything else is just an embellishment.
When I streamlined my spirituality by finding my purpose, I realized that I was a truth seeker. This helped me frame my approach to be more intellectual. I then began to naturally act with more honesty and analysis.
Your spiritual purpose will be unique to you, though followers of a traditional religion may choose to adopt the standard spiritual purpose of their faith. You can, however, always adapt it to a more personal expression.
2. Determine Your Main Spiritual Activity
Some spiritual paths are more straightforward than others, and some traditional religions can be well integrated into the cultural calendar. But there are times when the individual or the spiritual community a person belongs to asks for too much.
When you find yourself overwhelmed and overscheduled with rituals or obligations, then your spirituality can feel as if it lacks meaning. It’s the quality of “sacred” which makes one act normal and another spiritual. Going through the motions isn’t going to help you. Quality versus quantity should always drive your spirituality.
Everyone has a different limit, and it will take some time to find yours, but if you feel as if you’ve spiritually overextended yourself, then you need to pare back what you’re doing.
A good practice is to identify your main spiritual activity. For some, this might be daily meditation and others following a lunar ritual calendar. Your main spiritual activity may evolve or change over time as well.
But find one spiritual activity which means the most to you and which you don’t want to miss. This will help you focus your attention and energy where it will best serve you spiritually.
My main spiritual activity is tarot. I’ve found that it helps me to examine my life in a critical, but loving way. This works well with my analytical approach to spirituality because it forces me to use my intuition to find the truth in myself.
Don’t underestimate the power of your main spiritual activity.
3. Focus Your Spiritual Education
Part of your journey is growth, and that means tending to your spiritual education.
But some people go overboard. They view knowledge as something which can be hoarded like trophies, so they spend an undue amount of their time learning about irrelevant and obscure spiritual topics.
There’s nothing wrong with broadening your education, though you must be aware that the time you spend learning one thing is time you’re not spending learning something else.
I frequently fall victim to this. Instead of looking into an area of immediate spiritual concern, I’ll research another topic instead. Then I forget everything else as I chase down that shiny gem. Unfortunately, my spiritual growth usually suffers because of this.
There was a point where I was so devoted to learning about paganism that I forgot to do any spiritual rituals at all! I loved what I learned, but it wasn’t immediately actionable for me and came at the expense of time I could have used elsewhere – like in developing my intuition.
Make sure that you identify the reason you’re looking into an area of spirituality and whether you’ll have the time to pursue it. If it’s just curiosity, then you don’t want to spend sacrifice meditation, journaling, ritual, or whatever your main spiritual activity is.
Choose instead to focus your spiritual education on an area of growth that’s important to you right now. Only satisfy your curiosity in other areas when you’ve made some progress in the other.
Spiritual clutter is an unexpected and frustrating issue that many people find themselves dealing with. If it happens to you, take stock of your spiritual practice and begin simplifying your approach.
This can seem like you’re limiting yourself, but I’ve found that streamlining my spirituality has refreshed my practice and helped me do more of what I need to do to grow.
Making your spirituality efficient is letting go of what no longer serves you and embracing what gets you closer to god or the universe.
I’m glad I made the change. What will you do?