Adam Snider

Archive for December, 2010|Monthly archive page

A New Spirituality for a New Year

In Spiritual Practices on December 29, 2010 at 12:35 pm

As the New Year approaches, I have begun reflecting on the year gone by and looking toward the year to come.

In that regard, I’ve been thinking a lot about my spirituality. This mostly falls into the “looking toward the year to come” category, but there is some reflection to be had, too.

First, the reflection.

My spiritual practices have been all but non-existent in the past year. One thing that I set out to do at the beginning of 2010 was to read the A Year With Rumi: Daily Readings from beginning to end, one poem a day, as intended. This didn’t happen. I lasted for a few weeks, at best, and then lost the practice.

More recently, I’ve tried to take up the practice of meditation. Again, I did really good for a week or two and then I let it fall by the wayside.

Essentially, I left the discipline out of spiritual discipline.

In the new year, I hope to recover that missing element. I’ve got a few spiritual “goals” in mind, which will require some discipline:

  • Reading from A Year With Rumi on a daily basis;
  • Reading the entire Bible, following the “Reading the Bible in One Year” guide in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to The Bible;
  • Meditating on a daily basis; and
  • Attending church regularly.

The last one shouldn’t be too difficult. I already do this. This weekly discipline is easy for me to fulfill. I already know that I get value out of it. Plus, it’s also a social outing, since I have friends at church who I enjoy seeing on a regular basis (some of them, due to differing schedules, are people whom I only see on Sundays).

The other items on the list require some amount of effort and discipline on my part.

I haven’t been so good at maintaining discipline—spiritual or otherwise—in my life, recently. About the only discipline I maintain is making sure that I get my ass to work everyday. And, honestly, a large part of the reason that I can maintain that discipline is because I have someone else holding me to it (i.e., my boss). If I worked for myself, at this stage in my life, I’m not sure I’d do well.

I would like to be self-employed someday, though, so training myself to be disciplined will be good for me in ways that are practical, as well as in ways that are spiritual.

I’ll be chronicling my efforts with maintaining these disciplines throughout the year—this will, itself, be another discipline to maintain. Despite the research indicating that sharing your goals can make it harder to actually achieve them, I’m hoping that writing these things down and making an effort to share my efforts on a regular basis, I will actually hold to these and other disciplines that I want to begin/maintain throughout 2011.

I’m currently debating whether or not I should create a new blog for this. I have this grand idea in my head of starting one of those “personal development/self-improvement” blogs based on my daily spiritual practices. Making a lot of money off of such a blog would be great, but I have no illusions about that.

I know that it’s an over-saturated niche; I’d be doing it mostly for myself, but also because I truly want to share my experiences and ideas with others.

Somehow, using this blog for that purpose doesn’t seem like the right way of going about it.

This blog, I feel, is more of a personal thing. And it doesn’t just talk about my spiritual disciplines and the things that I learn from them. It talks about going to church. It talks about what I think god might be. It talks about whatever I damn well feel like, to be frank.

It’s less focused than I’d want this new blog I’ve imagined to be.

I’ll let those thoughts stew for a while. In the meantime, I’ll be practicing my disciplines and writing about them—whether here or elsewhere. If you don’t see me writing about these things (or announcing a new blog) within the first week of the New Year, please kick my ass…hard.