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Month: January 2021

5 Tools for Navigating Spiritual Doubt

5 Tools for Navigating Spiritual Doubt

Written by Amy Terepka of Ground Water Healing

It is 100% completely natural and healthy to move through seasons of spiritual doubt. Like all of life, seasons are normal, important, and necessary. Contraction is necessary after a period of expansion in order to integrate and reassess.

Periods of spiritual doubt are important. They allow us to reassess what is aligned with our true inner compass. It is actually dangerous to never doubt our beliefs. It is only with doubt and questioning that we can find a more authentic and solid foundation that may be lying at a deeper level than we had previously accessed. The more we reassess, the more we become more fully aligned with our soul’s unfolding process.

So when spiritual doubt arises, it’s important to not buy into the thinking that something is wrong with you, as self-judgment and criticism will only exacerbate your current state. When I’ve gone through intense feelings of mistrust in life, in my beliefs, in my spiritual life, I always come back to the question, “what do I know I can trust in?” or “what do I know is true?”

A few years back, when going through a particularly trying time, the only answer I could honestly find to that question was, “there’s more to life than we know, and I can’t see the whole picture.” That was it. I didn’t trust in anything or anyone else. Not even myself or my own actions. Yet resting into that one piece of knowing was just enough to allow me to cultivate some semblance of trust and allow myself to feel held, even if held by the mysterious unknown.

Five of my favorite tools for navigating spiritual doubt:

journaling

1) Journaling

Journaling is crucial for helping to organize spun out thoughts that keep our minds hijacked. And free-writing helps us access deeper into our unconscious mind for places within us that need to feel seen or heard. Set the timer for 3-5 minutes and free-write – don’t allow your pen to stop moving – until the time is up. If you don’t know what to write, just simply write, “I don’t know what to write…” When we let ourselves hash out all the fears, and let our deep unconscious rise to the surface, we have more access to our personal spiritual truths.

2) Movement

Get in your body. Let yourself know what it feels like to be human on this earth. Set a timer for maybe 5-10 minutes and allow your body to move in any and all ways it feels like moving. You will get acquainted with your body, release energy, move emotion, and find your state shifting. You can always move for longer, but setting a time limit allows your resistant mind to get on board.

get into nature

3) Being with Nature

This is my primary go-to when all feels uncertain, lost, or unmanageable. Go out to where there are no other humans. Go off the trail, and into the woods. Sit with the sounds, smells, sights, and feels of the natural world. Breathe. Be still. Listen. Sit with your back against the solidity of a tree’s trunk. Ask a plant for advice. Or just feel how you are a part of this magnificent Earth.

4) Ceremony and Ritual

When we move into ceremonial or sacred space, we innately connect in to what’s wider than our individual lives. There are as many ways for ceremony to look as humans on this planet, so I only have a few pieces of guidance. First, make sure to set a clear intention for the ceremony (ie. my intention is to discover the places inside me that cannot trust right now).

Secondly, make sure the ceremony has a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning is often setting the space (creating a container), calling in any spiritual guides, and stating your intention. The middle is the place where the magic happens, where you open yourself to be informed, moved, guided, led. It can be a wander through nature, creation of artwork, journaling, being with the Earth, or truly, whatever you’re inspired to do, opening yourself to messages.

After the middle is complete, it’s time to end. The ending is where you close the space, thank the guides, yourself, the Earth, etc., and step back into everyday reality.

offerings

5) Offerings

Offerings are our chance to participate in the ongoing current of reciprocity that flows through all of life. Reciprocity allows things to stay in balance, and gives us the experience of being a part of more than our individual state. When we give, when we make an offering, we are finding ways to honor, even in the midst of darkness or uncertainty. Hope and trust become animated through our offerings.

These acts can be as simple or complex as you’re feeling called. It can be a simple smile of gratitude for the sun in the morning. A melodious hum to honor the rain. It can be a pinch of dried herbs accompanied by a prayer for the land. It can be an elaborate Earth altar or donating to a local shelter. Whatever it may be, what I know is that when I shift my mindset to one of reciprocity, everything changes. I find a sense of belonging in relationship with what’s wider than myself.

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This post was written by Collective member Amy Terepka of Ground Water Healing. Amy helps her clients get in touch with the truth of who they are at their root through various modalities including bodywork, energy work, guided meditation or journey work, plant medicine, mind/body/spirit practices, and Soulful Embodiment Facilitation.

navigating season of spiritual doubt

How to Navigate a Season of Spiritual Doubt

It’s healthy to question the things we believe. Especially as we acquire new information and understandings of the world around us.

But what if these questions lead us into a spiral of doubt?

I’ve traveled down the staircase of suspicion many a time, and while I value my sense of curiosity and desire to fully vet and understand my beliefs, it can be a tedious exercise and sometimes challenging to pull myself back out of the hole.

The truth is, no one is immune to doubt. Not even spiritual leaders!

And when we are taking our first steps on a spiritual path and incubating our baby beliefs, it can be even easier for them to be squashed by an inner (or outer) critic.

So how do we navigate seasons of spiritual doubt? What are the practices we can use to support our spiritual development? How can we place our trust in a power greater than ourselves over and over again? What do spiritual teachers do when *they* are struggling?

Luckily, I know a Collective of inspiring individuals who can share some insights into these questions. Use the below answers to inspire, ignite, and motivate you during your own season of spiritual doubt, or maybe even spark a new spiritual revolution.

Allow Yourself to Have the Doubt

Part of how I navigate seasons of spiritual doubt is by allowing myself to have the doubt! I think by going through these cycles it allows us to reaffirm why we believe what we do, and why we do what we do. I also think that we go through seasons and cycles of our lives where things change.

If you asked me whether I believed in plant spirits 12 years ago would I say yes? Maybe. Now? Absolutely! Do I doubt my own belief in spirituality in this way and does it happen over and over? Yes, also absolutely.

Whenever I doubt, I go back to the practices that best support me to be able to do this work which is physical and spiritual well-being as well as engaging in regular spiritual practices.

To me, practice for development and trust is key. It’s like you don’t just eat a bowl of veggies once and consider yourself good for the next month, right? I do my best to do these practices regularly (not daily actually, so as not to make myself sick).

If you feel like you are trying and nothing is happening, just keep working on it. Try to trust your intuition more, and each time you do that you are also building spiritual trust that the things you are doing are good & right for you.

Angela Renzetti | Acupuncturist & Herbalist

Get Out Into Nature

The way I dance with spiritual doubt is getting out in nature – the biggest coherent field I know. I invite my doubt to walk with me in the woods. I know that Nature loves me and is very receptive and will respond compassionately to me so as I walk and dance with the doubt/the shadow I am open and receptive to messages from nature, the divine, my spirit.

It could be an animal, a plant, a sound, a human. I also return to my car with a greater sense of self, with clarity and with the knowing that I am loved and tended to. And the jewel that was embedded in the doubt has been understood and cherished.

Neave Karger | Animal Communicator

Ask: What Do I Know I Can Trust In?

It is 100% completely natural and healthy to move through seasons of spiritual doubt. Like all of life, seasons are normal, important, and necessary. Contraction is necessary after a period of expansion in order to integrate and reassess.

Periods of spiritual doubt are important. They allow us to reassess what is aligned with our true inner compass. It is actually dangerous to never doubt our beliefs. It is only with doubt and questioning that we can find a more authentic and solid foundation that may be lying at a deeper level than we had previously accessed. The more we reassess, the more we become more fully aligned with our soul’s unfolding process.

So when spiritual doubt arises, it’s important to not buy into the thinking that something is wrong with you, as self-judgment and criticism will only exacerbate your current state. When I’ve gone through intense feelings of mistrust in life, in my beliefs, in my spiritual life, I always come back to the question, “what do I know I can trust in?” or “what do I know is true?”

A few years back, when going through a particularly trying time, the only answer I could honestly find to that question was, “there’s more to life than we know, and I can’t see the whole picture.” That was it. I didn’t trust in anything or anyone else. Not even myself or my own actions. Yet resting into that one piece of knowing was just enough to allow me to cultivate some semblance of trust and allow myself to feel held, even if held by the mysterious unknown.

Amy Terepka | Bodyworker, Soulful Embodiment Facilitator, Earth Medicine Practitioner, & Plant Spirit Medicine Practitioner

Currently in a season of spiritual doubt? Find support in our Collective and sign up for our weekly wellness guide for regular inspiration in your inbox!