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Off the Beaten Path Spiritual Practices

04.19.16 | Comment?

I’m thinking of writing a series of posts on some off the beaten path practices I have. I’ve decided to give myself credit for them being “spiritual,” whether they are or not. So there.

What do I have in mind? Here’s a starter list:

  • Speaking Your Mind Behind Closed Doors
  • Assuming Best Intentions
  • Reading Something Challenging
  • Not Thinking in a Straight Line
  • Blazing a Trail Between the Center and the Margins

What’s so off the beaten path about these? Let’s just say they aren’t traditional Christian practices, like the Ignatian Exercises, lectio divina, or even speaking in tongues. But still, I’m giving myself credit for them.

Why should these count? Foucault had a little thing going just before he died on “technologies of the self.”  Self-tech, or “selfcraft” as I prefer, is something you do (more or less) regularly to change who you are.

Engaging in selfcraft works. The trick is picking selfcraft that helps you become who you need to become at this point in your life. Don’t pick up some selfcraft just because someone thinks you’re supposed to.  If it’s not shaping you in the way you need to be shaped, why are you doing it?

I’m not going to say that you should pick up the practices I find helpful. You can, if you like. But the spiritual practices I used when I was younger don’t work for me anymore. I’m giving myself credit for what works now. Even if there aren’t books about them on seminary library bookshelves.

More later. What off the beaten path spiritual practices are you going to give yourself credit for?

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