Developing Spiritual Habits

Ever since I got out of college I’ve been doing “year-end reviews.” I’ve found they help me see how far I’ve come in a year, and they help me to remember the good things in life as well as the bad. This was particularly important when I was in my 20s and struggling to figure out what I wanted in life. They’re more subtle now, for a variety of reasons, but I still find them helpful.

As I finished up my review of last year, I was searching for a high-level summary or an overall theme – what will (or should) I remember about 2008 in 20 or 30 years? I had no major accomplishments last year and I had no major disasters. I did a lot of fun, interesting and educational things; I had some difficult, unpleasant problems. But nothing really stands out.

And then it hit me – 2008 was the year when religious practice, observations and study became normal behavior for me. It’s no longer a big deal that I’m doing nightly prayers, that I’m reading theology, spirituality and religious history books, or that I participated in three Winter Solstice services in three nights. I did all those things and I didn’t think anything about them – it’s just what I do any more.

That’s not as much fun as being able to say “I ran a marathon last year” or “I went to England,” but perhaps it’s laying the foundation for future growth that will be more fun to write about. Or so I hope.

May 2009 bring peace and blessings to us all!

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About John Beckett

I’m a Druid in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I’m an ordained priest in the Universal Gnostic Fellowship. I’m the Coordinating Officer of the Denton, Texas Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans. This year I’m also serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of CUUPS National. I’m a member of the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

I write as a spiritual practice. It helps me organize my thoughts and work through ideas and concepts. It helps me evaluate my beliefs and practices against my core values and against what I know (or at least, what I think I know) to be true. It helps me interpret my experiences (religious and otherwise) in ways that are both meaningful and honest.