Can you remember the first time you rode a bike? How did it feel? Exhilarating? Freeing? Fun? You may have felt a sense of accomplishment for sticking to it even after falling or crashing. And once you got the hang of it you probably couldn’t wait to get back on your bike and ride again. Finding a spiritual practice that resonates with us can be just as exciting. We want to immerse ourselves in it. Suddenly, we see the world differently—things start to make sense, we notice how everything is connected and feel inspired to share this new awareness with our friends and family.
Yet, after a while the path may seem a little less exciting. Our spiritual practice isn’t shiny and new anymore. At times it feels routine, and well, somewhat boring. When this happens we tend to place blame on external things in our lives, like career or relationships. When we fall into a spiritual slump, it’s important to reassess our lives so we can reignite the passion that once guided us. In doing so, we may find that our discontent has less to do with what is going on externally and more to do with what’s going on internally.
The good news is the wisdom of Kabbalah offers tools to help get us back on track. Start by examining your spiritual work. Do you find yourself only sharing when it’s convenient or easy? Have you whittled your spiritual practice down to the bare minimum or what has become routine for you, like attending weekly spiritual services? Though joining our community to do connections is a vital part of our spiritual work, it is necessary to push beyond our weekly tasks in order to reach our fullest potential.
Do you approach sharing with enthusiasm or does it feel like a duty, like another task on the to-do list? Remember, real sharing keeps us connected to the Light of the Creator. Although it can be inconvenient, remember that the more uncomfortable it is for us, the more Light it reveals.
True spiritual work, the kind that can reignite our passion for sharing, is sometimes difficult. When you find yourself resistant to sharing, that’s when you know it’s exactly what you should be doing. “But I share with others all the time,” you may be thinking. Passing a few dollars to a homeless person or dropping off a bag of used clothing at a shelter is indeed sharing—and no doubt, worth the effort. However, from a kabbalistic point of view, if it didn’t feel uncomfortable, it doesn’t qualify as true spiritual work.
The more we reach beyond our comfort zone, the more Light we bring into the world. Make a commitment to go out of your way to help others. Accompany an elderly person on a trip to the grocery store, tutor your niece twice a week, or organize a community clean-up day at your local beach or park. Helping others shakes up our spiritual practice as long as it’s an act that is out of the ordinary for you. As soon as an act of sharing becomes a regular part of your life, think up a new way to share that stretches you even further beyond the boundaries of what’s familiar. Keep it fresh and you’ll seldom find yourself stuck in a spiritual slump.