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Getting Over Spiritual Boredom

All good things can get tiresome after a while. Consider your favorite dessert. Crème brûlée? Chocolate lava cake? Tiramisu? No matter how much you love it, if you had it everyday you’d probably find yourself feeling less than enthusiastic about another serving. You might even find yourself craving plain old vanilla ice cream just to shake things up a bit.

Our spiritual practice is no different. When we take up a spiritual study and practice for the first time, it can be exhilarating. Everything starts to make sense—we become more self-aware, and begin to see how everything is connected. We want to share what we’ve learned with our friends and family. Yet, after the newness has worn off and our spiritual practice becomes routine, it’s possible to lose some of the passion we initially held for it. At times we may even find ourselves going through the motions, feeling less connected to the texts, prayers, or songs.

It’s natural to get bored of the things you love from time to time, no matter how great they are. When this happens we can sometimes confuse boredom for a lack of inspiration from different areas of our lives—career, relationships, home situation, etc. In actuality, boredom has little to do with what is going on around you and more to do with what is going on within you. “Dullness and boredom come from unmet or abandoned potential,” says Michael Berg. “It's television ratings soaring. It's playing computer games when you were meant to compose sonatas. If you're not doing what you were meant to do—and each person was meant for something astonishing—you'll never enjoy contentment.”

Boredom can actually be an alarm letting you know that it’s time to make some changes. It might be time to break old patterns, try something new, or step outside of your comfort zone. Recognizing this early on is important so you can take steps to renew your passions before boredom evolves into apathy.

There are two categories of spiritual work. The most common is what comes easy for us. Some things are part of a routine like praying or attending weekly spiritual services. Others, like helping someone out, come easy when they are convenient. The other kind of spiritual work is that which is difficult; it ventures outside the realm of the ordinary or what is easy so we tend to resist. Perhaps, we are not feeling well, are tired, or just plain don’t feel like doing it. No matter what reason compels us to resist, this is the work that we must push ourselves to do. The key to reigniting your passion for your spiritual practice lies in doing the uncomfortable.

Create a project for yourself

Identify your unique gifts and think about how you can use them to benefit others, even if it’s simply the gift of time. Helping others gives our spiritual practice a jumpstart. It reminds us what we love about connecting with others. Help an elderly neighbor pull weeds and plant new spring flowers. Commit to driving your nephew to baseball practice twice a week. Offer to clean up the graffiti outside a local small business. Can’t think of someone who needs your help? Seek out a nonprofit organization in your community, most of which are always looking for more volunteers.

Share, even if you think you can’t

When we give effortlessly, like giving someone something that we were about to throw away anyway, we may have done a good deed, but we have not actually shared from a kabbalistic point of view. The kind of sharing that reignites your spiritual passion is the kind that is difficult to do. The more we stretch ourselves in our efforts to share and the more selfless we are in the act, the more Light we receive. This Light has the power to renew your spiritual journey. Share your resources, share your time, share your knowledge. Just share.

Seek out a spiritual teacher or a study group

You can deepen your understanding of spiritual texts or concepts by connecting with others. As much as we may think we understand, learning is a lifelong process. Conversation and even debate can fire up your spiritual enthusiasm. Try to see things from another’s point of view. Whether you agree or not, looking at your practice through the eyes of someone else can shed new light on old ideas. Challenge yourself to read new texts. Through spiritual education we can transform, grow, and shake off spiritual boredom.

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