by Sarah Petruno, Shamana
As a mom and a full time shamanic practitioner, teacher, and blogger, I’ve had to navigate the delicate balance between being a mom and having a family, while also maintaining a space for my spiritual practice and work.
It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve found ways to make it work - and be successful at it, too.
Whether you’re just starting out with your spiritual practice, or you’re an old pro looking to streamline your business, these are my top suggestions at making it work and work well.
5 Ways to Make Time for Your Spiritual Work - With Kids
1. Get your partner on board (or arrange childcare)
If you have kids, in order to make any time for quiet space and focus needed for building and working within a spiritual framework, you need to have your kids otherwise occupied to have any hope for success. For me, this means a supportive partner that understands that this part of my life, and just as much of a priority to me as getting exercise, sleeping, and brushing my teeth. If your spiritual work is important to you and you want to make space for it, let your partner know and get them on board to allow you the time to do that. You are absolutely entitled to you-time just as much as they are, and it makes no difference what you do during that time.
If, for whatever reason, this is not an option for you - there are other ways. Arrange for childcare or do all your spiritual work after they go to bed, which leads me to my next point.
2. Commit the time
If you want to make spiritual work a part of your life, you have to set aside time for it. Just like if you wanted to make time for a new exercise routine or a new hobby, you’d have to actually commit the time and space in your day to actually do it. This is an absolute must. When I was first starting out, I decided that I wanted to do something spiritual every other day, after dinner, for at least 30 minutes. That was my schedule, and I stuck to it. I let my husband in on this plan so he knew that I was going to be unavailable during that time. When you pencil it into your calendar, and let everyone know that you are unavailable during this time because you are going to be doing another activity - it’s more likely to actually happen. Leave the house if you have to. Go to your backyard, or a nearby park. Make it after bed so you won’t be interrupted. If it’s important to you - you find. a. way.
3. Set up a sacred space
I know, you’re already saying, “but Sarah, my house is so small, I don’t have any extra space for this.” I get it. Early on in my spiritual practice, I was in a 1 bedroom apartment - No. Extra. Space. Or so I thought. I had an unfinished basement in which I laid down a thrift store rug, card table, chairs, and a lamp. I hung a few curtains and got some candles. It was meager and cost no more than $20 to get it set up, but it was my sacred space. I also used a chair in the corner of my bedroom for meditating and doing readings/healings. Set aside a corner in a room or a square of your basement, whatever you need to do. When you make a space for your spiritual work, it makes it feel more legitimate and less like something you do to relax before bed. A space gives your practice a tangible, real presence in the physical world - this is where you go in the physical world to do spiritual work. Even if it’s a chair in a corner, it’s still your spot. Sometimes, bringing your spiritual practice from the intangible meditation space to a physical spot in your house is all you need to make it real and motivate you to turn it into something.
4. Put it on your to do list
What’s on your to do list right now? Laundry? Making Appointments? Backing up your kids’ pictures?
Do you have your intention to read one chapter of your spiritual book on there? What about your plan to get that blog written, or your hope to do that one meditation you’ve been putting off?
Add your spiritual goals to your daily to-do list just like any other thing you want to do that day. When they’re on your to-do list, looking you in the face each time you check off a mommy, daddy, or family task, you are reminded of their priority in your life - and your desire to get it all done kicks in and motivates you to do all the things on the list.
So, if you want to complete one section of that at-home course, read one chapter of your book, or write a blog post - put it on the list!
5. Set boundaries with your kids/partner
This one can be hard to do, but it is oh-so-necessary. I started telling my daughter early on that mommy had to go do work now, and then I’d disappear to my sacred space. Or, if I needed to ground while she was with me, I’d tell her that mommy needed a minute and ask her if she could wait. While she doesn’t always want me to work and doesn’t always listen, she mostly understands when it’s time for mommy to work that means mommy is unavailable. In our house, this also means baby gates that block entry to the spiritual workspace and boundary setting with my husband, too. Nowadays, when I draw the line in the sand that says “It’s time for me to work now,” everyone (mostly) understands this is a priority and we work hard to enforce that boundary. With kids, it’s of course a work in progress, but the more you reinforce the boundary, not only does it become easier, it also teaches the importance of having your own boundaries.
Having kids and getting any work done at home can be a challenge, but if you consider the number of parents that work from home on non-spiritual practices, you can see that parents find a way.
Start slow, take what works for you and leave what doesn’t, and over time, you’ll find a way too.
I’ve brought my family with me, too, on spiritual pursuits. Energy scanning, sensing, and perceiving can happen on family walks, as can discussions and ponderings about the spirits of the natural world. You can teach your kids while you teach yourself. For many years, I did spiritual work nightly between 8:30 pm and midnight after my daughter went to sleep. I set up a $20 sacred space with the entire contents from a dig-and-save thrift store, in my unfinished, humid, and dark basement. If it’s a priority to you, you’ll find a way. You just have to make it one.
LAST UPDATED: October 28, 2015