Does structure have its place in spirituality?

Does structure have its place in spirituality?

I don’t think that scheduling is uncreative. I think that structure is required for creativity.
— Twyla Tharp
 
structureandspirituality

Structure! The concept of structure has been on my mind for the past several weeks. The crystal clear understanding of the vital importance of having some form of structure/organization in our daily lives occurred to me while watching gym members work out. They would move haphazardly and aimlessly from one machine to the next. Seemingly without much of purposeful intent or laser like focus. The movement pattern (exercise) was done just for the sake of doing it. As a consequence, there was no substantial progress in the fitness level. Gosh that day it finally hit me, it sank in like it never did before. There has been much resistance to planning and structuring my own path for a very long time. Never have I realized since embarking on spiritual path that I was operating in a bit of airy fairy, oh i’m-going-with-the-flow-attitude. So gym example, perfectly mirrored my current situation. This time around I finally embraced what was staring at me in face. 

My personal life circumstances allowed me to experience both ends of the spectrum, complete structure and lack of it. Now the pendulum is finally coming to the center. Yay!

Having explored many esoteric teaching for the past several years, particularly of going with the flow, waiting for a divine sign from heaven, I’ve come to realize something profound. When such approach taken to an extreme, it will keep one in a perpetual circle of floaty, airy fairy behaviors without getting anything done in physicality. What results is one meanders aimlessly through life under disguise of “I’m on-spiritual-path.” That’s a cop-out, avoidance of action. 

The only way change/growth/evolution actually happens is through intention, ACTION, consistent application, daily commitment towards moving closer to where one wishes to be. Sitting and wishing for things to happen is just that - a wishful thinking. Sandra Walter calls action - “light grounding”. In other words, doing something from the heart, acting in alignment with integrity of one’s Soul. 

There is need for structure in all endeavors, be it fitness goals, building a company, trying to be more zen by meditating more. If there is no attempt or effort on daily basis, one will never get from point A to point B. However that structure has to be malleable, flexible. Things change and so has the way in which we architect our lives. Rigidity doesn’t serve.

“Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.” A.R. Ammons

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It’s incredible how everything aligns once we are honest with ourselves and willing to see. Somehow, someway James Clear's post “Achieve Your Goals: Research Reveals a Simple Trick That Doubles Your Chances for Success” made its way to my newsfeed. He mentions a study published in the British Journal Health of Psychology, in which researchers observed how often people exercised over the course of two weeks. The results were pretty astonishing, out of three groups participating (control, motivation, intention group) only the last one had the greatest success. 91% of intention group exercised at least once a week. Reason being, they wrote a plan as to when and where they would exercise. Again, structure. 

It’s clear as to how it works, isn’t it?  It’s putting in the work, laying brick by brick. Being precise as to the intentions/desires, breaking them down into smaller steps and accomplishing them.

To paraphrase Desmond Tutu, elephant can be eaten only one piece at a time. Who also comes to mind is Caroline Myss who said that it's not enough to pray for something, one has to move feet too.

We mold our lives. Stepping fully into self-mastery of being a co-creator (frequently mentioned in esoteric circles) means taking ownership of all that we are: the good, the bad and the ugly, weaknesses and all, then transforming them into strengths so that it may serve an individual and the others. 

Ahhh what a lesson. Loved it!

With a loving heart, Anna

 
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