Coping with the Ups and Downs of the Path
>> For the past few days, I've felt very much less spiritual, as if I'd undergone some sort of shift in consciousness reverting back to the way I used to be. My desire to keep up my practices and my level of discipline has dropped quite dramatically and for no apparent reason. I'd like to keep up the practices, but how do I get that spirituality back when everything else in my state of mind seems to be working against it? <<
Chin up! What you're experiencing is perfectly normal. We are creatures of rhythm who live in a rhythmic universe. Ups and downs are natural and unavoidable. Take heart though because you'll find that while you do still have ups and downs, your ups become higher and higher and your downs become higher than your former highs. It's a progression.
I suggest that you "go with the flow" and make the best of your lows. Most of all don't beat yourself up over them and feel like you've failed and you're an awful, useless excuse for a human being! ;-) Often, that will exacerbate the situation as you develop an underlying resentment, both against yourself and the Work.
Try to retain at least a self-conscious perspective during your low periods. By this I mean, don't let go of self-examination and of trying to be the best you can be as a human being.
This is only your first dip. After a few more, you'll get the hang of it. I suppose it's a bit like surfing -- between the waves, you paddle like crazy trying to position yourself perfectly so you can take advantage of that next wave, the one that's sure to come.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
02 Mar 2002