Mesorah (Jewish stuff)

Filling Up My Spiritual Gas Tank

Yesterday the “fuel level low” notice popped up on my dashboard. Despite my love of organization and type-A personality, I more often than not let my gas get all the way down to practically empty before I fill it back up.

It’s just so easy for me to be busy busy busy and not take the fifteen minutes to go to the station and top the tank off.

Like many things, it’s mostly a matter of developing a new habit, becoming more aware of the gas level, putting a sticky note on my dashboard or something along those lines. I’m just not there yet.

I’ve found the same to be completely applicable to my spiritual state. It is so easy to be busy with life and all the mundane tasks that require my attention (some of which I even enjoy) that I find myself not attending that class, or pushing off a chavrusa, or choosing to listen to a podcast or watch something on Netflix instead of listening to a shiur.

And then I wonder why, when faced with some sort of challenge, I have a hard time dealing.

If my spiritual gas tank is practically empty, of course I have a harder time connecting to the resources of Torah that could help me deal with the problem!

It’s ironic because whenever I learn or go to a class or listen to a shiur I always feel SO GOOD afterwards, and yet it’s so easy to, and I so regularly, push it off.

I think next month I will add “go to or listen to shiur” to my BuJo tracker and bring it back to the forefront of my mind again so that I can make sure that my spiritual gas tank is always at least half-full.

How do you stay spiritually connected?

Photo by Daniele Buso on Unsplash


9 thoughts on “Filling Up My Spiritual Gas Tank

  1. I struggle with this a lot. Nothing really inspires me. I go to a couple of shiurim a week, but I don’t find them particularly inspiring. To be honest, I’m not sure I even know what inspiration would feel like now.

    1. I have also been there, where going to shiurim left me feeling distinctly uninspired, or worse. So I stopped going for a while, it seemed counterproductive.

      Does the idea of going into nature and doing hisbodedus (I think that’s the term – private meditation, I believe), or going to an art museum, appeal to you? Being in nature can be very powerful, and Rabbi Avigdor Miller wrote a lot on being inspired just through meditating on the wonders of creation.

      I hope you find the right outlet for you!

      1. Thanks for the suggestions!

        Hmm, I don’t know if nature would do much for me. I’d be willing to try it, but I’m not sure where I could easily do it as I don’t drive. There is a park near here, but it’s not really ‘nature’ just grass and a lot of dog-walkers.

        I do hisbodedus, but not in nature. It’s been really important for me in the past, but lately it’s a struggle, partly because I mostly have to do it in the evening when I’m tired, but also because I struggle to open up to HaShem at the moment and I’m not entirely sure why. I guess there is anger there, which doesn’t help. Strangely hisbodedus on Shabbat is easier, although often leads to a lot of crying.

  2. Hosting a shiur is more powerful (for me) than attending one. Today I hosted a Rosh Chodesh shiur in my home and I feel so spiritually uplifted. Then lo and behold I see you blogged about the topic!! Of course I can’t always host but it felt fun and exciting and the speaker was so great.

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Regular meditation, 30 min/day, even 15 min is better than nothing. So easy and yet so hard. (And yes, I feel SO much better doing it. Why don’t I just do it all the time?)

  4. Rivki, that is such an apt analogy. It just is. My tank felt low in all areas in 2018. No reason in particular. Just had the blahs, I guess. And planning a bar mitzvah then a bat mitzvah the next year was a big addition. I’m happy to have a little break on that and I’m really focused on my writing life again. But the spiritual life FOR SURE needs attention.

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