“I’ve never been able to stick to one thing.”  So many people in the spiritual community, or seekers who dabble in the spiritual community, or those who look in the window and think about the spiritual community, like pretty much everyone else in the world, want to belong.  They want a community, a family of choice, a spiritual home, someone to call “their people.”  They want the same thing in a spiritual practice or calling and so roam from one class to another, one teacher or another, waiting to fall into or be invited into that perfect place where they fit and then everything will be settled and they can just be.

What a lovely and romantic notion.  It’s the cousin of the romantic notion that a perfect partner or soul mate will mean that we never have to work at a relationship again and can give up all responsibility for our actions because our actions will be perfect and so will theirs.  *face palm*  We all have these desires, but that doesn’t mean they are realistic or even healthy.  And while we’re waiting for the “right one”, the right spiritual practice to capture our attention and desire, we sample this and that and the other, never really understanding it, exploring it, or getting the full benefits of it.  But when it doesn’t peak our interest after a couple of tries, we toss it to the side and move on to the next thing.

The effects of most spiritual practices are cumulative.  It takes time, repetition, and patience to get the full effects of them or to even get a full understanding of the practice and of what it means to you, let alone how it can be used to support others.  I don’t advocate being slavish to anything.  I think slavery is wrong in pretty much all contexts except concerning the computers and the computer industry (It’s a technical term for a common connection process) and even there they really should have found different terms.  However, you can’t know if you’re going to actually like something just from having tried it once.  You don’t know if you’ll like playing guitar from strumming it once. You can’t know if yoga is your answer from the first class (or Tai Chi or Bellydancing or QiGong or Krav Maga or…).  You have to get past the awkwardness of everything being new before you know even what it’s going to mean to you or you to it for that matter.  You know, give it a chance first.

The same with spiritual practice.  If you don’t actually practice it, bring it into your home, try it out, then how do you know if it’s for you or not?  If you don’t apply it, then how do you know what it can do?  As with most things you get out of it what you put into it and, as the effect is cumulative, you get exponentially more as you go along.  So instead of continuing to search for the right thing, the right teacher, the right program, stop and evaluate what you’ve already collected, what you already know, what you’ve already been taught and see, have I really given this a shot?  If you haven’t, why not now?