How often do we hear people around us or on the internet say some variation of “I really wish I had more time for ___” or “I wish I wasn’t so busy, I just cant find the time” in relation to working on and developing their spiritual practices? The answer, if we are really honest, is that on some level we all have thoughts and behaviors like this. The journey to spirituality is a directly intentional one.
In much of the developed world, there is a culture of work hard, then work harder. There isn’t much room to explore person passions and hobbies because we must always be striving for the next goal, the next mountain top, grinding for the next paycheck. This way of thinking has made many of us lose touch with the things and people that are truly important in our lives. In a culture where its common to spend more hours at our job than at home, it is no wonder we aren’t “finding” time for things like developing spirituality.
When we say to ourselves, “I wish I could do ___ but I just can’t find the time” we really mean “the idea of this sparks a passion in me, but that spark is not a priority” and thus, we let our spark die. One of the biggest side effects that occurs when we don’t prioritize our passions and self-development (emotional, physical, spiritual) is to find ourselves in ruts of depression, anxiety, etc. This is not to say that we couldn’t or won’t find ourselves battling these struggles when we DO prioritize our passions, but they become much easier to navigate and manage.
Reading this, you might be like, “ok that’s a nice opinion, but it just wont WORK.” And I get that, I’ve been there. Every year when legislative season starts I feel like it won’t work for me either. But it’s been a priority of mine to commit to my spiritual path and so I carve out a minimum of 10 minutes a day to read, listen to, or write about my spiritual journey. To really develop it requires more time than that but sometimes lets be real – life gets in the way.
How do I hold myself accountable exactly? I turned on the “screen time report” feature on my phone. My thinking was that if I was finding time for bullshit on my phone, I could allocate some of that time to developing my spiritual practice. You’d be amazed at how much time you actually spend on your phone once you turn it on. This was my screen report last week:
You might see this and think, “holy shit Temp, you spend an average of 7 hours on your phone A DAY” and the answer is YES. But not in the way you think. Some of those hours are times my phone is playing music (I’m not actively on it), time when I’m working as an influencer, some of them are personal ,and some of them are for my passions. When I first turned on my screen time report, I was averaging 5-6 hour days of just NOTHING. I decided, “you know what, fuck it. I’m going to make more time for my craft” so that’s what I did.
I downloaded kindle books, library books and audiobooks through Libby and Overdrive, free reources, blogs, podcasts, and other sources of written material and I reallocated my time. When you’re bored, whats the first thing you do? For me, it was picking up my phone to scroll instagram. Now, I open a kindle book on my phone. I trained my brain to use the phone FOR my development vs against it.
Maybe you’ve read this and think, “well I don’t spend that much time on my phone and I STILL don’t have time”. First, I’d challenge you to turn on screen report and wait a week to see how much time you really DO spend on your phone. Second, let’s start with finding time you “waste”. Is it during your commute? Workout? Work? When you wakeup and sit in bed for 20 mintues before moving?
This is the time we will allocate towards your growing spirituality. There are so many ways to grow that DON’T involve instagram, twitter, discord servers, etc. My favorite way is to download blogs, podcasts, ebooks, and audiobooks. I listen to audiobooks and podcasts on the way to work, which is 15 minutes of my day dedicated to just expanding my though in that manner. Even if I don’t manage to carve out ANY other time, I have something to think about throughout my whole day.
What is one way you can expand and grow? I’d challenge you to try it for 14 days and let me know how it goes! Let’s make time for what’s important this year!
Temperance Alden is an Occultist, Folk Witch, and Author of Year of the Witch (2020). She is based out of South Florida.