The Mike Mantell Blog

6 Ways I’ve Mis-used Spiritual Practices to Avoid My Actual Spiritual Work

Image result for head in sand

1 Using the law of attraction to avoid financial responsibility. I spent a lot of time trusting that the Universe was looking out for me, and allowing the comings and goings of financial tides to wash me around. This worked, somewhat. But I was avoiding sitting down, digging into my finances, and making a sturdy plan

2 Using meditation to avoid reality. There was a period of my life where I realllllly didn’t like some of the circumstances I had created for myself. I was feeling constant sexual anxiety, I was working an unfulfilling, inconvenient, low-paying job, and I had a weak sense of community. BUT I was good at meditating and sitting with all the discomfort. So I would retreat into my inner world to avoid making changes in my outer world

3 Using Buddhism to avoid owning my anger. I’ve long been afraid of anger (mine and others’). When I got interested in Buddhism I took it to mean that the end goal was to dissolve all of my anger. This gave me great permission to continue repressing my anger while believing I was spiritually advanced. I overlooked anger as a core expression of my human

4 Using my romance to avoid my purpose. It was a lot easier to give up my life in the name of love than to bolster my spine and send myself out into the world to blast humanity with my true contribution and expression

5 Using a spiritual tradition to avoid existential freedom. I was very afraid to create my own worldview and to take on the infinitely mysterious mystery of life. So I took on a Buddhist worldview because I was intimidated by Life and didn’t believe that I had what it took to navigate the big questions on my own

6 Using my Purpose to avoid existential fear. Sprinting forward on the tight-rope of life towards my mission became easy. It was looking down to see what I was terrified of falling into that was the hard part. When I stopped moving forward for a few weeks, and let myself explore the void I had been avoiding, shit got real, and I’m all the better for it.

I ended up eventually working my way through all of these self-inflicted traps, and heck I’m grateful to have been in them and learned from them.

As wonderful of a learning experience as it is to be in an avoidance-trap, I do think it is of value to ask what I’m avoiding, because that question will bring me towards truth.

While it’s really hard to see in your own blindspots to tell when this is going on, one great question to ask yourself is:

*–Where am I being overly defensive about my choices?–*

If someone questions my life choices/beliefs, and my response contains the essence: “shut up! Leave me alone. Don’t tell me what to do. I’m doing it right, okay?!” Then I’m probably avoiding something and hiding something from myself. 🙂

I’m sure I will continue to run from my work in increasingly clever and novel ways, and I look forward to continuing to, eventually, catch myself 🙂 Best of luck to you in the same

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.