Do You Fall Off the Spiritual Wagon?

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Last week I got an email from one of my blog readers expressing deep concern about her spiritual path. She said, “I’ve been following you since the beginning. Yup, I’m an ~ing girl. And even though I have so many spiritual tools I still find that I fall off course. How do I stay committed to my spiritual path?”

This is not the first time I’ve heard this from a reader. Every week people in my lecture audiences, social media feed and blog community comment on their fear of falling off the spiritual wagon.

Does this sound familiar? Do you get super psyched about a 40-day meditation practice or a 90-day yoga challenge only to lose steam a few days in? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. For the past decade I’ve committed to being a spiritual student and teacher — and I too fall of the spiritual wagon on a regular basis. But throughout my spiritual journey I’ve found tools that help me climb right back on it.

Try my three tried-and-true steps for staying on the spiritual wagon. They’ll help you stay committed, consistent and passionate about your spiritual path!

Step 1: When in doubt, play it out
It’s easy to forget about the long-term consequences of small choices, especially when temptation (e.g., watching Scandal instead of meditating) is right in front of you. Instead of summoning every ounce of willpower to resist the urge, remember: When in doubt, play it out. That’s right. Play out the entire story from start to finish. You step away from your meditation pillow and and press play. When when one episode is over you say, “Eff it, why not watch another?” Four hours later you turn on the lights and realize hours have passed, you’re stuck in a TV binge and you think you’re Olivia Pope. Oh, and you totally forgot to meditate.

Whatever the issue, if you take the time to play out the entire scenario you’ll be able to talk yourself out of making a mistake. The key is to think your way through the whole story. Not just the fun part where you get cozy on your couch and fire up the Roku. Play the story all the way through to the end when you crash and burn. Your honesty and willingness to remember what is real will save you when you want to relapse into old behavior. Use this tool whenever you find yourself enchanted by something that ultimately will take you away from your spiritual practice.

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Step 2: F it!

When we fall off of the spiritual wagon, we often enter a cycle of guilt that sabotages our progress even more. What if you could learn to forgive yourself on the spot? Forgiveness is a choice you make. {Tweet it} In an instant you can shift from self-hatred and attack to self-love and compassion. Your simple decision to choose to forgive yourself will open the floodgates for peace. Next time you judge yourself for falling off the spiritual wagon, just say, “I choose to forgive myself now.” Then relax into that commitment and let forgiveness take over. You can also try to catch yourself in the act of self-attack. In those moments, redirect your energy by focusing something you do like about yourself. Whenever you detour, call on forgiveness to guide you back onto the path.

In this video I offer even more guidance on how to forgive yourself the moment you fall off the spiritual wagon:

Step 3: Clarity and Repetition
For nearly a decade, I’ve received requests from miracle-minded folks asking for monthly tools to help them stay consistent and inspired on their spiritual paths. I’ve heard countless stories of people diving into their practices only to revert back to old behavior after a few weeks. And I get it. It can be challenging to stay committed to your personal and spiritual growth amid all the responsibilities and noise of everyday life. Many people have told me that clear direction helps them stay on track, that email reminders let them pause their busy days and take a few minutes to meditate and center themselves.

Over the years, I’ve found that what helps me most in staying committed to my spiritual path is clarity and repetition. Each month I make a point to clarify the tools I’m applying, and I stay committed to repeating my new behaviors. I choose a few clear practices that I repeat throughout the month. This simplicity and direction keeps me on track.

After years of receiving tons of requests for clear direction I realized I had to show up for my spiritual community in this way. I felt a responsibility to help my fellow Spirit Junkies create a consistent connection to the tools and inspiration they want and need in order to stay on their spiritual paths. I thought back to the first years of my own practice and remembered how strongly I craved something that would give me regular and dependable guidance, something that would make it easier to stay focused and passionate. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice for my community to have the clarity, guidance and structure that I’ve spent so much time creating for my own practice?” In the midst of working on other projects, one thing suddenly became very clear: The best service I could offer you would be an online platform to help you stay committed to your spiritual path. After a lot of contemplation and a desire to serve your journey, I was led to create a monthly miracle subscription called Get More Gabby.

This awesomely simple subscription platform lets us stay connected on every step of your spiritual journey. Even on your most chaotic days, you can log in and instantly access the exact exercises and inspiration you need to create a miracle right in the moment and stay true to your path.

Get More Gabby is a monthly subscription platform that offers fresh, new, inspirational content mixed with some of my archived oldies that really rock. I’ll be sharing the latest and greatest content (including everything I’m exploring that month) along with my tried-and-true Gabby tools, lectures and more. My hope and intention for this subscription platform is to offer you guidance, consistency and inspiration to keep you committed to your path. You’ll no longer need to invest a bunch of effort in staying on course or spend your free time seeking direction. Instead, you can surrender to the process and allow my monthly content to keep you on course.

Are you ready for some miracles? Commit to your spiritual path and get my support every step of the way, with fresh new content each month to help you stay on track and inspired.

Never fall off the spiritual wagon ever again. Sign up now to Get More Gabby!

Do you fall off the spiritual wagon? Share your experience and questions in the comments below and I will reply!

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53 COMMENTS

  1. I know I get really excited about a new meditation plan or yoga challenge. The first day or two, I jump out of bed in the morning to get it done, not because it’s a task but because it’s something I just can’t wait to do! Then…I’m sore from all the yoga or I want to sleep in. Maybe I have a lot going on and I skip…just one day won’t hurt, I tell myself. Then, I skip the next day. and the next. Repetition is key! Once you stop you have to start at day one again. It takes a while for change to happen. You have to keep going to allow your body to adjust to this new practice/way of thinking/way of doing/way of Being.

    Thanks for the reminder, Gabby! 🙂

    1. I’m right there with you Stacy. Consistent practice is key.

      I also find it really helpful to choose commitment over perfection when taking on a new habit/project/practice/lifestyle choice. This gives me the space to miss a day here and there instead of scrapping the whole thing if I miss one. It’s a delicate balance, but worth the effort. 🙂

  2. Sat Nam. Much thanks for this today. I feel not that I am falling off my spiritual path but it is actually at this time calling me in to go even deeper.

    Once again, I feel another layer being shed, going even deeper. My journey feels like a great big onion layer upon layer. Experience, Lessons and more Awakenings. Only now, I know just what the lesson is. I have a stronger awareness of what the Divine is doing and what is currently occurring. I have a strong hunch that the Divine is answering one of my why’s…It’s almost telling me to just know that this is all with purpose. As I realize how things are shifting and people are leaving my life that once were so close – I now see what the purpose was, what the lesson was. Why certain people came into and slowly drifted out. As I shed, expand, and truly begin to be the heroine and deeper connect to my soul, my light sometimes things must end or at least slow down. Marianne Williamson jumps in my head + whispers, “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

    I’m noticing how a lot of my connections + friends have been dropping out of my life – these are newer friends within the last four years since I truly embarked on this spirtual journey / being a coach…these are sisters that I once felt so so connected to as they really came into my life at the beginning of this entrepreneurial / spirit led path. It feels a little different than when I lost friends pre spiritual path (high school/childhood/college/early 20s) maybe because I feel a deeper connection to these newer friends who are also on the same path as me.

    I’m trusting there is a divine reason for people leaving / dropping off my path. I also know that when you feel most alone is right when you need to deepen your spiritual practice. It is in that loneliest moment that the Divine is your greatest companion.

    So, I’m diving back into ACIM and taking my Kundalini practice even deepr and more seriously.

    This spiritual path is ever winding with vast amount of creatures, spirits, guides and friends. Know that as people begin to leave your life, the universe is opening up brighter possibilities. Onward on this journey, embarking solo into a new dark tunnel. Yet, this time with less layers to peel away, deeper in this onion of my soul, without fear but with courage and trust.

  3. this statement is beautiful “It is in that loneliest moment that the Divine is your greatest companion.” … stay committed to that sister. xoxo

  4. Another great page from the gospel of Gabby! Your spotify playlist keeps me focused, and it keeps my vibes at an all time high! Especially that NSYNC throwback you have in there LOL….just thought of you this morning as I read a book entitied “writing down your soul” cover page is an owl :)…all kidding aside, I find that writing everyday and committing to that is a meditation practice for me and aside from the traditional meditation, it keeps me really connected to the divine..blessings Gabby..

  5. hey gabby 🙂 just saw you speak at yoga journal in ft. lauderdale 🙂 super awesome. i wrote in my miracles book as you spoke! i have referred back to it frequently since then 🙂 i also watched your Wanderlust speaking engagement last night, took more notes!!!! WOW, i loved it! amazing. i went to sleep chanting the miracle mantra! thank you for all that you share and yes, i plan on the monthly gabby too 🙂 u rock! it is great to be a spirit junkie and know that when we do get caught up on being in the wrong wagon, we have the tools to work our way back to the spirit wagon 😉 much continued success, thank you, thank you xoxo

  6. Thanks so much for all your wise words and your commitment to helping people everywhere get back on their spiritual path. I’m having a hard time at the caught up in stress and anxiety which is manifesting itself into physical symptoms and its so so helpful to be able to steady myself by picking up one of your books or doing one of your guided meditations. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Gabby, can’t wait to see you in Sydney xox

  7. Gabby, I’ve been struggling with something. I was sexually abused by my brother at age 11. I’ve been healing this for the last 5 years and making amazing strides. I confronted him and found he was abused too by a daycare provider, he found healing through the confrontation too.
    In a few weeks, I will visit my parents for Christmas, my brother won’t be there. In all this time, I have never told them what happened or why my life shifted so dramatically when I began to remember and face this and heal it.
    I don’t believe I need to tell them, but it keeps coming up. I know if they ask me, I will be honest. And I won’t bring it up out of the blue. But I wonder if keeping it in is hindering my healing.
    I would love any feedback or guidance on this. I believe there is a spiritual solution.

      1. You’re right. I keep looking for the answers to come from outside instead of within. I just need the courage and faith in myself to go in there. I know I have it.
        Thank you for your help!

  8. I really like this, Gabby- especially the first one. Playing out the scenario in your head of what will happen if you do call the guy back, or binge eat again, or even get up and go straight for the day instead of meditating makes a huge difference. Something else that I’ve found really helpful is to have a practice that is SIMPLE, yet powerful. I used to spend an hour and a half in my practice but it felt more like a chore. Meditate, Bible read, Journal to God- it all felt very long and tedious and I wasn’t as committed because honestly, it was too long for where I’m at in my life.I wasn’t really looking at the small steps to take for massive change. Now, I’ve committed to ten minutes of sitting on my mediation pillow( my yoga block lol), putting my right hand on my belly, left hand on my heart and just feeling my breath while reciting the mantra :I AM LOVE. then just 10 minutes of journal ling. Plus the daily practice of ACIM. This has been huge to really making it simple yet powerful. Less than 30 minutes yet I feel SO connected and actually understand that I am that which I seek and crave. There is no difference or barrier. Everything is spiritual and yet spirituality is everything. That morning practice sets me up for the day, but there are so many ways to stay connected to Love during the day too. Thanks for this reminder! LOVE to you! xo 🙂

  9. Wow !! It’s timely… I was really off the spiritual wagon last week. My daughter was going all terrible two/ scorpio ( no offense !) on me and it was making me crazy !! My mind was so irrational and I was kind in a bad mood but at least I was able to see that something was off. Also, my toddler is apparently having an owl obession. I don’t know where she got this from but she saying « hibou » (owl in French all the time) and she got many owl related gifts lately. It’s kind of weird but I guess owl is the sign for all the spirit junkies no matter how small they are !

  10. Gabby,
    I fell onto your vlogs because I am looking to connect with my inner guide and start a spiritual practice. I was pulled this way today. May I ask you a question? I come from a background where I do not have that connection to that divine. I am a complete newcomer to all of this. Where do I begin? I am sure you have answered this a million times and the answer seems easy. I could use the guidance. may be I am second guessing myself, though. Where do I begin with my journey?

  11. hi sarah,
    following my weekly vlogs will be a great place to start. stay willing to practice something new each week and I’ll always be there to share the guidance.

    also, if you opt in to my list (in the banner above) you will get my free guided meditations. xoxo

  12. Thank you so much for this Gabby. I recently moved overseas and am away from friends and family and while I thought this would give me more time to explore my spiritual practices I have found myself unmotivated and often skipping out on all the things I love (my yoga practice, meditation, journaling, eating well). I try to stay connected with short meditations and intentions but I often find my ego getting the best of me. Nice to know I’m not alone, and maybe pausing Gilmore Girls and getting out from under the cozy blanket and sitting my butt on my pillow will warm me up more than another cup of unneeded coffee. Sat Nam.

  13. The best thing I ever did was committ to meditation every day. The only thing I didnt set was the amount of time it needed to be. After a month of this I truly feel more aligned with the world around me then ever before. I have found myself using meditation multiple times a day. Even just a few minutes sometimes. Its been the best and simplest way to keep bringing me back home calmly without self attack and a giant freak out!! My stress is down, my health is better, my relationships are more connected and suddenly the world seems simpler. Less overwhelming and complicated. Its my greatest tool! Go meditation! xx

  14. I finished the May cause miracles journey and I’ve never been happier my whole life. The first day of standing on my own too feet without any guidance my ego scared myself and told me that guidance only exists if you can “see” it. Although it does exist, it always did and I am sure about this. But i put too much pressure on myself about staying on track and not falling off the spiritual wagon that I forgot about myself. Thats when I fell off. One day after my journey. But I found my way back home. The day I fell off was yesterday. Today I am back and I am happy. I was guided to this post and the video vlog. You suggested to run hands across our spiritual book shelf and letting a new book be a catalyst. I recognized that yesterday I started reading a new book I got myself a week ago. That was the moment when I knew I was guided and I always will be. Thabk you, Gaby, for everything!

  15. Thanks Gabby for all your free guidance! I am in a process of re-connecting and sorting through a lot of blocks and pains while I am starting up my business. There is joy and miracles along the way too, but right now I am really challenged to have faith and trust in the money area. I know it is exactly the lessons I need right now, although it really is a very lonely energy and feeling roller coaster. While I am sticking to “this too shall pass ” and meditation, I am also accompanied by your guiding voice, which I am forever greatful. All my blessings to you!

      1. Hi Gabby! Still listening to your May Cause Miracle meditations, and today something big happened for me. The one I have been listening to the LEAST is (of course) the one about the (lifelong) issue (person) I am struggling with….yes, the F word! Today I felt really down and thought about the ways I used to try to fill that hole, with treats like a new sweater, facial, wine with the girls etc…but I know those don´t REALLY work, so I went home to my meditation corner. Enter your Forgiveness meditation! I felt sick and dizzy listening to it, and also angry when you start mentioning the light, because that is the LAST thing you want to hear about when you are clinging to your resentment and victimhood…but then I surrendered like a grumpy kid, scared of losing control, but slowly admitting it feels like a relief….I did the Loving Kindness meditation afterwards, felt so good! I feel like I have a clue now on how to continue this process, on that deep level where it all happens. Wow! I get it. Totally. The F word is so important! Thank you thank you thank you for leading the way! 🙂

  16. Hi Gabby

    This message came at such the right time, I am new to the spiritual journey and have been enjoying the benefits meditation brings however it is still something that I need to concentrate on finding time for and I don’t always succeed. My problem is trying to do it all!! I’m being more positive, exercising ,meditating, learning new yoga, trying to remove sugar from my diet and juicing all at the same time lol !! What I need to remember is that meditation helps me achieve the others, it needs to be the platform on which I base the rest. Thank you for helping me with that and here’s to the stillness xx

  17. Thanks for this article — I especially love the idea of playing it out. It’s like fast-forwarding and saving yourself regret down the road.

    I read something along these lines in my email inbox this morning about an awesome 5-minute practice to keep you on the spiritual wagon, even on days when you’re super busy. Thought it would be useful to share! (Find it here: http://loriostenfeld.com/5-minute-practice-to-stay-on-the-zen-wagon/)

    Many thanks!
    – Whitney

  18. Wow, this came at exactly the right moment for me. For the last week or so I’ve felt SO connected, SO in the flow, SO at peace. Everything was going by smoothly and easily in my life. And though I still had things going on in my life, I wasn’t really stressed. I had found my balance and I was maintaining it in a way that felt effortless.

    And now, yesterday, I got let go by my part-time job. Now I’m all caught up in this state of worry, anger, and just overall stress. I’ll definitely reach out to some resources, make that commitment and see what happens!

    Thanks for this Gabby! 🙂

  19. This is such perfect timing. I was sick all week with a hacking cough and an achy body and couldn’t bring myself to do my daily practice. After 3 days of just sleeping and sleeping I got up and just wanted to walk. I felt bad not keeping to my yoga commitment but realised this was what my body wanted. It’s so easy to get rigid and I keep coming back to Yogi Bhajan’s Wisdom, Commitment and Consistency. I’m back on track this week and while ‘my practice graph’ has a serious dip I know peaks and troughs are all part of it.
    I’ve developed a Kundalini Yoga App which is a wonderful way to build and track your personal practice and share that journey with others. The idea came through intuition in my daily practice. I felt the fear and followed my guidance to build it. It’s on the App Store or you can find it here. http:///www.sadhanaapp.com I’d love to hear you thoughts. I think any of you who want to create a daily practice will love it. I do. It really helps me keep on track x eilish

      1. It is truly even if I say so myself. I love that everything is on one screen and that I can find a kriya again so easily and that it wakes me up to practice!
        I was without it for a month recently and coordinating books, timers and music across 3 screens/things drove me nuts. I expect as a committed KY practitioner you can relate. I’d love you to try it and hear your feedback. Let me know how to send you a copy to try. x Eilish

  20. I love that the first step is forgive yourself. My natural tendency is to beat my self up about it. I also love that you suggest taking one step. It makes it doable and easy. Thank You!

  21. I am a big fan of forgiveness and trust in these kinds of things. Our inner guides are lettings us know something important when our interest wanes in a particular practice- and they’re also speaking up when we long to engage in spirituality again! Like most things, it ebbs and flows and we just need to trust and forgive, over and over. Glad this article is here for next time I fall off the wagon (and the time after that!).

    1. I think that what you’ve said is similar to how I see it. Practice makes a habit, not perfection. To expect a perfect spiritual journey is not realistic, there will be ebbs and flows, and I wonder if that is a “bad” thing? To go with the wagon metaphor, could it be that while sometimes we do fall off the wagon, maybe sometimes we’re driving it and other times we’re just passengers who needed a break from steering the wagon? Maybe that’s just ego and an excuse…

  22. Hi Gabby, never mind falling off the wagon, I just need to find mine. I’m very new to my journey and finding my way. These blogs help.

  23. I do fall off the spiritual wagon sometimes and I go back and forth about what it means. Sometimes, when I catch myself in the middle of an unexpected break – usually when I’m on my cycle – sorry if that’s tmi 😉 – I think I should just enjoy my time away, believing that when I get back to that hardcore consistent practice of 30-1.5hr morning and evening meditation, journalling and reflecting sessions, I’ll be jamming. It’s almost as if, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Do you think if we find ourselves not maintaining our practice as consistently and diligently as we typically do, it’s ok to go a few days or even a week without the hardcore organized practice? Can breaks be a part of our Sadhna? Or, are we disguising this more relaxed approach as self-compassion?

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