I was reading Gypsy's blog, Barefoot in the Sand and found myself nodding along as I read. She was talking about making a renewed effort to take time for her spiritual practice on a daily basis.
I have similar problems, most of us do. Rush rush rush, we don't seem to find a few minutes for ourselves on a regular, daily basis. I have mentioned this before and the response that I nearly always get is along the lines of; don't feel obligated, fit the time in here and there, you don't have to do ritual when you don't have time.
The problem for me is not that I feel obligated....what I feel is a craving.
I came to Paganism and associated practices such as meditation in middle age. I lived my whole life with a wrathful god looking over my shoulder and a negative voice in my mind chiding me all day, every day in an eternal chant of blame, guilt and worry.
When I embraced Wicca, I gave Abraham's god the boot without a qualm. I leaped into rituals to the Goddess and magick with great enthusiasm and little effect for a long while. When I first practiced meditation I experienced the usual frustration and disbelief that this could actually accomplish anything.
When I finally started to learn how to draw energy and release it and then gradually began to experience the energy and the effects of ritual and magick, when I finally experienced the profound sense of awe in performing a full moon ritual to honor the Goddess, when I finally started to learn to meditate....I did not want to go without the benefits of practicing the Craft.
So it is not a matter of feeling obligated to spend time this way...it is a positive addiction and craving.
When I take the time and do a ritual for the Goddess I feel at once connected to this planet and at the same time aware of how a mere scattering of dust we are in the universe. When I take time to do meditation, my entire day is different. I am grounded. I am less likely to experience road rage on my commute, to be frustrated with a co worker, to join in the daily complaining. I feel connected to the energy of the planet and it grounds and calms me.
Before any of these experiences came into my life, I certainly didn't miss them, I thought I was just fine
Now, like any addict, I crave my fix. I crave being grounded, feeling at peace, letting the noise in my mind fade into the background. I do need this time for myself and I need, like Gypsy, to make the time happen, no matter what.