For several weeks, I’ve been on an extended hiatus – spending hours late into the night reading science fiction, following sports, skimming news headlines, studying the bridge column, chuckling over the comics, solving Jumbles. These and similar activities were entertaining, but not deeply satisfying. The enjoyment did not bring joy. I was entertaining myself, but not nourishing myself.
My soul has been hungry – and the more I fed it poorly, the hungrier it became.
Sleep suffered. Exercise suffered. Spiritual practice suffered – as did my writing practice. Weekly Wisdoms have become “periodic posts.” (Actually, Periodic Posts may be a more appropriate title for this blog.)
So, what am I learning as I review this period of spiritual hunger and see the cycle I’ve caught myself in?
Mainly this: Slow down and listen! Don’t run from the hunger. Attend to it gently from the wisest, most loving part of myself.
When I slow down and listen, I can feel the difference between a sugary treat and food that really nourishes. At the spiritual level, I can feel the difference between what deeply satisfies – and what doesn’t. I can feel the difference between escape and true connection.
The quiet feedback from deep within is a trustworthy guide. In my case, it calls me to care for my body with good sleep, nutrition and exercise. It calls me to nurture my soul with regular meditation and QiGong practice. It invites me to soften to the beauty of each moment and surrender to the mystery of oneness.
When I listen deeply - caring for body and soul - all those other entertainments, done moderately and mindfully, can shift from escapes to sources of joy – no longer hunger games.