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 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.
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.
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 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.