Lapses in our spiritual practice cannot be cause for beating ourselves up. If we wish to practice forgiveness in our lives, it has to start on the inside by allowing ourselves to take sabbaticals every now and then from even our most cherished practices. An attitude of acceptance is the best approach - "it is what it is" is a good affirmation. Self-acceptance is spiritual maturity.
I speak from my heart today, as I realized this morning as I was journaling that it has been many days since I have written and meditated. I hadn’t journaled since Tuesday - and today is Sunday, so you can count the days yourself. I am sorry for my lapse because I promised to you several months ago in this blog that I was committing to a daily practice. But I am proud to look back over the week and appreciate what I’ve done instead. I’m really grateful for this break in my routine, because it has produced such richness. I give myself permission to take a short break from my mediation and journaling practice. And, I am glad to come back to it now.
The week has been one of discovery and learning for me. I attended a three-day train-the-trainer class to learn about CoreClarity’s approach to training people to recognize and play to their strengths, rather than fixing their weaknesses. This positive approach to team-building and individual productivity was transformational for me, and I know it will be transformational for the organizations that I hope to bring it to. The training was exciting but it was also exhausting because of the deep inner work that we did. Plus, it was an hour or more commute each way to the class for me.
But, an amazing result came out of those long commutes - I created a dream for where I wanted to be in five years. I was inspired by my business coach who invited me to her birthday party last week. I couldn’t attend because I was out-of-town on business. What she invited her friends to was not a "come as you are" party, but a "come as you will be… in 2013" party. Come as you will be in five years - now that’s a fascinating challenge! As I battled rush hour traffic this week, I turned off the radio and mentally envisioned where I would like to be, what I would like to be doing, and what my life is going to look like in five years. I have captured my dream in my journal, and I hope to make a story-board (a visual depiction) of my dream also. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I look back now and am happy that the space in my practice allowed me to do this inner work.
We must give ourselves permission to take breaks from our spiritual practices. We can just notice them, just as we notice our thoughts come and go during meditation. The trick is in getting back into the practices. In meditation, we notice the thoughts and let them go - and then direct our minds back to the breath. We must direct our lives back to our practice in the same non-judgmental way.
That is what self-forgiveness is all about.