Today, I really didn’t feel like blogging at all. I’m tired, the kind of tired that comes from too many things going on at once. There’s something to be said for a life well lived, but it comes with a much needed rest afterward. So, as I was debating to blog or not to blog, I decided that in and of itself is a great topic. How do I balance occult study and my daily life? The question is a simple one, but it isn’t so easy to answer. However, I think there are many people out there begging to know how to get the most out of their day. All I can do is share what I’ve learned, so here’s ten ways.
1. Acknowledge Your Busy Schedule.
When trying to get the most out of your day, I think the first thing to do is admit you need balance. I’m a person that needs to acknowledge my shortcomings. But, along with that, is an awareness of what I can and can’t do. If you want to accomplish a lot in a month, know it ahead of time. Just being aware that you have a busy schedule makes you usually put an added emphasis and importance on the time you do have. I know, it’s simple. It’s the age old, ‘have a plan’ scenario. There’s just something about it that works. Within an occult setting, will and intent are extremely important, this is part of that.
2. Have Reasonable Plans.
This goes without saying… for most people. There are some people, like me, who tend to push ourselves too much. Don’t get me wrong, pushing yourself is great. But, your plans shouldn’t stress you all the time. A rigorous introduction to new subjects seems successful for a majority of people. Others do prefer a more relaxed environment. Knowing which you need is a great step toward getting the most out of your day. Why waste time rigorously studying, if you literally can’t absorb more?
3. Create Your Altar Or Shrine.
Routine is important, and the way I usually ‘ground’ myself is through an altar. I use the term altar, because the space is where I do some (usually tarot based) magic working. In the mornings I’ll sit down, have a cup of coffee, and just remember deity. For me this brings a sense of calm, and it re-focuses my thoughts. It’s interesting to note I have a somewhat shrine near my front door. Currently it depicts Mary, holding an infant Jesus, while Joseph watches them both lovingly. I also have a witch themed shrine in my closet. So, no matter where I go in my house, I have a reminder of deity.
4. Take Breaks When You Need Them.
Okay, so this is one I have had to learn overly the last year (before starting this project). Everyone typically acknowledges that breaks are necessary, but few take them when needed. For me, this happened just recently. I was so excited about diving into the rest of the book I’m reading, but discovered I was a bit too tired. Take the cue, and take the break right then. Not doing so can lead to feelings of dread, loss of enjoyment, and ultimately, abandoning the project altogether. It’s sad, but remember, there’s a reason it’s a project and not a task.
5. It Takes 30 Days To Form A Habit.
This is something that helps me with new projects. To be honest, it’s one of the reason I’m numbering the days as I go along. At least for the first month, it’s important to realize you’re re-learning. Reading every day or writing in your journal every night seems tough now, but just hold on. If you can make it to that day 31, you’ll find it so much easier going forward. Now, I admit, this may not help people who are more spontaneous. Then again, it actually might, as the behavior will act as an anchor. Whatever it is, find that anchor, that small initial goal to keep working toward.
6. Incorporate Your Study Into Ordinary Moments.
There are many fun ways to do this, and some may surprise you. Because deity is everywhere, we can connect to deity anywhere. Lessons are to be found in the every day. So, why not take time to enjoy a change of pace? Watching Gladiator may not be the best way to learn about Ancient Greece, but it does showcase lessons about determination, character, and fatal imbalance within each of us. In many ways, enjoying a good story allows us a relaxed environment for our mind to wander in. Take advantage of it! Actually, it’s worth noting to pay attention to your ordinary day moments too. The urge to watch Gladiator out of the blue might tell you something too.
7. Watch for Imbalances.
Now, I know, this one isn’t so fun. Still, it’s a very necessary step in making the most out of occult study. If you’re talking too much about what you’ve already learned, are you just avoiding learning something new? Have you started to shut out the every day in favor of your studies? Are you making excuses to not study in favor of the every day instead? Life is about balance just as your studies are. When we notice an imbalance occur, this can tell us we went wrong somewhere somehow. If you admit this will happen, you can better identify your personal pitfalls down the road. Why? Cause you named the behavior ahead of time.
8. You Should Have Fun.
Occult studies are mainly to grow and learn. If you’re not having fun at least some of the time, examine why. I was able to choose a book I’d enjoy to start out with, because I happened to read a little beforehand on that same subject. But, if you never find yourself having fun, something is wrong. Challenges can be hard, sure, but they shouldn’t be permanent. Many times, this gets down to knowing what you want out of your studies. A disconnect between what you want and what you get often leads to unhappiness. Just keep an eye out for this one. Don’t commit to something because ‘you feel it makes you special’ and rob yourself meanwhile of something worthwhile.
9. Remember All Your Senses.
Admittedly, this does sound like a strange piece of advice. But, if you think about it, your senses somewhat control how you react to things. If you’re studying too long, a headache can definitely become a reality. To fix this, you might try drinking some water. Listening to music can also calm unnecessary stress. Just remember not to take in too much of one thing. In the end you’ll discover all the other recommendations coming into balance. Stimulating all your senses opens doors to the task of finding lessons in the every day. Also, it’s worth noting, most people tend to notice when others do this. I’m not sure why, but it tends to be a noticeable shift.
10. Know That Others Struggle Too.
In the end, I know this is tough to hear, but everyone struggles. No one person has all the answers. This is even true for those in the occult. Maintaining a balance between studying and daily life is more or less a journey. There’s ups and downs, and usually, everything in between. The perfect balance will fluctuate, so don’t stress out about it too much. As a general rule, just know where you’re going. But, if you find yourself in a particularly difficult place, ask around. Many people in occult forums and communities will help. I’m sure you’ll find some great advice floating around out there!