I’ve been thinking a lot about a daily practice lately. So many people seem to get a lot out of them, but I have just never been able to do it. I started a conversation a few days ago about it on Druids Down Under and the response was really interesting. I loved hearing about what others do every day and I was so impressed by their ability to be consistent and focused on doing it every day. Here’s a little story of how I went out looking for one, let that idea go, and then found it again with a changed perspective and a lot of joy.
I felt bad initially that I didn’t have the consistency to do a daily practice every day, but seeing others and the variety of what they did, I was inspired to try to create one of my own. I wrote out a list of all the possible activities I might like to do as a daily ritual. Just small things, thinking I might choose one to try as a daily ritual. These were my ideas:
- Acknowledge with gestures, offerings or words, the spirits of place and/or land, sea and sky
- Create an altar for the three ancestors to give an acknowledgment there each day
- Chanting Awen
- Divination with oracle cards
- Looking for nature symbols for augury
- Go for a walk in nature
- Stretching for mindfulness practice
- Reading books about Druidry and/or Druidry course work
- Writing/creative time
- Spending time in our backyard circle
- Prayers eg. Prayer for Peace, Gorsedd Prayer
- Chants and songs
- Keeping a record of nature changes
- Music and song writing
I thought perhaps I could pick one and then do it every day, or perhaps create a small ritual that included a few of them at once, or put perhaps some altar reflection in the morning and some journaling at night. I still have an inkling that I might be able to do this, and I’ll keep pondering it for a long time I expect, but so far no matter how I’ve tried to imagine myself doing it, there has been this heavy hearted feeling in me. The idea of doing just one of these every day seemed to deaden them for me; the repetitiveness of it making it seem like a chore before I even began. I know truly that many people get a great deal out of the repeated action of devotionals… but it just doesn’t sit right for me at all. It’s like it takes all the spontaneity and magic out of it for me. Just my personal preference.
So in contemplating all this I decided to let it go. To admit that I am not going to create a daily practice that is repetitive and that it would mean I wouldn’t have one. I felt a bit deflated by this, until I looked at the list again. I realised that every day I do at least one of these activities already. In fact, sometimes my days are made up almost entirely of these activities.
I wondered… could my daily practice be a kind of choose-your-own-adventure, pick-n-mix variety of Druid magic rather than a repeated daily action? The thought certainly lightened my heavy heart! I thought, perhaps my daily practice can be to have this list, and each day to devote some time to at least one of these things. And in deciding that, the list came alive as a wonderful list of beloved activities that I already do every day. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t do one or more of these things!
So I kind of came full circle. In recognising that variety makes me happy and brings joy to my practice, I’ve realised that my devotional daily practice may have been there all the time. That perhaps I already had one? It might not be easy to explain to others. It might not be something I could show you in a few minutes, but it’s there every day. And that, I’m actually quite happy with.
I think I will still ponder the possibilities of a repetitive daily practice that I could commit to. Perhaps creating a short ritual I enjoy every day. But I know now it will have to include some variety to keep me happy, and that I should wait for that joy to spring out of the idea, because spirituality should never sit so heavy on our hearts. A path filled with joy is one worth devoting ourselves to, whatever form it takes for us.