Whilst most of us will never know the true grinding poverty experienced in the Great Depression, we are all feeling the effects of a tough economy, with difficult choices to make about how we spend whatever money we still have. When writing your weekly shopping list becomes an art form in economising, it may feel hard to justify spending much on your spiritual life. Retreats, courses, therapies and books seem like an unaffordable luxury when compared with the basics of food, utility bills and the mortgage. Yet, without nourishment, our spiritual lives may fade, becoming bogged down in the daily domesticity, bill-paying, penny-pinching, payday loans with bad credit programs. It’s time to apply the ‘make do and mend’ principle to our spiritual lives.
To develop your spiritual practice (or start on a new path), without spending what you can’t afford, work within these basic parameters:
All you actually need to develop your spiritual life are your heart, your mind, and your soul. The additional ‘bells and whistles’ — crystals, candles and cards — are useful tools, and often bring an enjoyable element to our work, but they are not essential. What spiritual fulfilment really requires is faith, will and focus.
Decide what your priorities are. It is tempting to spend money on the outward extras that enhance your home and make you feel like a spiritual being. For example, you could spend an awful lot on jewellery and accessories that remind you of your chosen spiritual path, but although they might make you feel good, they do not necessarily teach you as much as books and periodicals. As in all aspects of life, when budgeting, work out what you must have, as opposed to what you’d like to have.