As I mentioned in the last post, my practices have been a little hit and miss lately as I wade through another round of unwinding and not sleeping. The on and off of it is giving me a chance to observe the doing and not doing and the way I feel about both.
Some years ago I realized I often sabotaged my progress by not doing my practices. I’d start one up or get back to an old friend and do it faithfully for a few days or a week or two and then I’d start “forgetting” (helped along by often feeling too crappy to do anything). More and more days would pass between practices until I’d finally realize I couldn’t remember the last time I meditated or performed a round of chi gung.
Once it sank in I asked myself some deep questions about why I sabotaged myself. Then I set up a “watcher” to help me keep track of consistency and give me a nudge so I could put myself back on track. Ever since I’ve been much better. Not that I don’t miss days and even occasionally several in a row, but I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping track and at pushing myself to get back to it if I’ve let it go
It’s rare now for an entire week to go by without at least one session of whatever practice or set of practices I’m doing and most weeks I manage at least three or four days. The great weeks I get in six (I always allow for a day off as I feel even the good stuff needs a break). But I still have spells when it’s less rather than more.
There’s a kind of push pull at work here. At the moment it’s the chanting and some movement practices that feel so good they constantly pull me back on track. But both things raise energy, open stuck places, and thereby set the stage for more unwinding. Any time I practice 6-7 days a week during a week or two when I’m sleeping well and feeling good, the practices inevitably help to set off another round of unwinding.
While I want the unwinding to finish so you’d think I’d welcome each round, I’m pretty miserable when it goes crazy, especially from the lack of sleep it creates. I’m regularly confronting the up and the down side of regular practice. It works. And in this case that’s both great and not so great… I haven’t quite decided how many skips at this point arise from an unconscious dread of the down side…
A deep spiritual journey often has these up and down moments. Sometimes the same practice contains elements of both the up and the down. Sometimes a practice leads you into painful places or opens something that hurts for a while before it gets better. I harp on this one a bit, but I run into so many people who don’t know this spiritual road curves into shadows and down into valleys of dark nights as well as giving you peace and balance and higher consciousness, an occasional reminder seems good 🙂