A Life of Practice
A life of practice is a life of cycles. It is a life of living in the moment to the best of your ability, and recognizing that the moment is all encompassing as much as it is fleeting. There is only now.
When you practice anything regularly, you will begin to recognize the beginning, middle and end of the process. To see the moment within a greater perspective is to fully honor life. Whether you are living through an intense emotion, an injury, or a big life transition, there is always movement and growth happening.
Read this next part and then pause for a moment.
Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, start to focus all of your attention onto the sensations of your hand. Probe beneath the surface of your skin with your breath and curiosity. Take 5-10 breaths here, with the intention to only be present with what arises, in a state of non-judgment.
Notice the difference you felt by simply paying attention to one small part of your body. Did that shift the rest of your state in any way? There is not a right answer to this. But imagine if you did this small practice every day. You would slowly attune to the beauty of your shifting environment, the outside temperature, the thing your hand was resting on, etc. You would increase your sensitivity to the moment.
Practice implies a recognition of process. A life of practice is a life of welcoming curiosity. If you try this practice day after day on a ration of kindness, it will not last. But if you repeatedly offer yourself compassion in difficult conversations, moments of challenge, and emotional maelstrom, it will transform you. Maybe not all at once, but making a habit of compassion is part of what makes a life of practice doable and successful, for me anyway.
Imagine practice is a spiral; every time you revisit the same place, you have the opportunity to go deeper into the experience, notice something different, something new. Maybe that thing is you.
This chance to live in the moment is ridiculously exciting to me. It is the most marvelous thing. Learning to unfold myself in the moment, whether it be in my relationship, my body and heart or in the community, is an unmatched source of joy.
A life of practice is not always easy or rewarding in the moment, but in time, you will catch a glimpse of your potential, and you will thrive.