I'm one of those people who both likes and dislikes familiarity. There are some routines that I cling to. When my daily schedule gets interrupted too much, I need some unwind time...I have to submerge myself in something that brings me back to who I am...kind of like a child clinging to their favorite stuffed animal when put in a new situation. But I also love trying new things, especially learning new things.
I think that there is a balance there, between doing things that we feel are a part of us and pushing outside our comfort bubble. We know that nutritionally, a variety of foods is better than eating the same thing over and over. I think the same thing can be applied to feeding the soul. I have always felt a deep inner need for things that inspire me. For things that make me feel like there is so much more in this life than we can ever comprehend. That make me feel both insignificant and mighty at the same time.
And I find that the more different ways I feed this feeling, the greater it becomes. Wonder is not something that can be let to grow stale. If we want to keep seeing the world through fresh eyes, we need to look at new things. This is one of the reasons I love talking with other people and seeing how they approach things.
Everyone has things that just work for them. Things that make their world a fantastical place. And what works for you might not work for me...but I can get a glimpse of it by hearing you talk about it! And that can make me see the things that complete me in a new light. The more we share the more we all grow.
I think that pushing outside our comfort zone is something else that can feed the soul. Sometimes it is the things that terrify us that end up bringing us to new heights. There are a ton of things that I was petrified to do, and once I had done them I couldn't imagine not doing them again. I really try to work with my fear and look at why I am afraid of things. Fear can be a signifier that something is important. Even when there is a real reason for the fear (if something is dangerous), examining that fear and finding ways to work with it in a safe way (perhaps visualization or art therapy) can help us to see how these fears effect us and what we can learn from them.
Beauty is also something that feeds the soul. And not just traditional beauty. We can find beauty in wonderful places, by looking beyond the surface into the heart of a thing. I love pictures of elderly, I think that a person's face, their wrinkles and scars, tell a story and that story can be infinitely lovely. The more I look at things that may not be considered traditionally beautiful, the less I see standard beauty as a thing and the more I see the world around me as the magical, fabulous place it is. To me, perfection is an aberration, not a goal.
I can always tell when I am depleting my spiritual resources. I start feeling down, and tired, and just not enthusiastic about anything. I know that this means it is time to do something to build myself back up. And much like when you have eaten the same leftovers for a week straight, the more I have done the same spiritual work for a while, the less appealing it is..the less sustaining.
This doesn't mean that my practice doesn't involve staple workings. I guess I see this like drinking water....it is the things you do because they are absolutely necessary. I shield, I ground, I meditate...these are the core of my practice, the water that I have to have. But I also find ways to stretch and grow. I love to try new exercises, to learn a new practice or to read about someone's spell or ritual. It's like going to a new restaurant and trying a dish I've never heard of before. Sometimes it is so great that I have to go out and learn how to make it myself...and sometimes it goes on the list of things I'll probably never eat again. But I would never know if I liked it unless I actually put the food in my mouth (or in the case of a practice, tried it out myself).