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What do you practice?
Not the obvious — sitting for meditation, getting on your yoga mat, or placing hands for self Reiki (to mention my favorites).
What is your hidden practice, your mind’s default, what your mind does when you aren’t telling it what to do (as in most of the time)?
Every mind has a practice, a habit it defaults to. Your mind is no different.
What does your mind practice when left on its own?
Does your mind practice gratitude or self-love? Or does it practice some variation of self-doubt or self-criticism?
Transforming your default
A conscious daily practice — one you choose and continue choosing each day — changes your mind’s default so when the going gets tough — as it does at times — your mind supports you instead of digging you in deeper.
Is there a practice you enjoy but practice sporadically?
Can you restructure your practice — and your expectations — so you actually practice every day? What amount of time could you commit to comfortably? Twenty minutes? Ten? Five? Two? One?
Consistent practice is possible
Even a minute of practice consistently each day is enough to transform your life.
It’s easiest to be consistent if you choose a time of your day to practice — as you arise or go to bed, before you eat, etc. You might need some support to start that habit, but soon you’ll enjoy your daily respite so much that you’ll look forward to it, and rely on its support.
Yes, the effort you can make is enough to transform your life. As long as you keep making it. That’s when it becomes a practice.
Time to choose
Choose a practice you feel excited about. Now is a good time. Otherwise, it becomes one more thing you have to do.
If you don’t have a practice, here’s one anyone can do: breathe.
Breathing is the easiest practice because your body already practices it. All you need to do is pay attention to a few breaths. Pay attention, as in enjoying a few breaths. Not changing your breath, but rather keeping the company of your breath.
If you already have a consistent daily practice, would you like to refresh it? Here’s an idea: as you start your practice each day, think of one thing you are grateful for. It can be a very small thing. There will be days when a tiny bit of gratitude is huge.
The real secret
The secret to continuing practice is motivation. If you practice defensively — because you want to change or be better or stop talking so much or whatever — you will run out of steam.
But if you practice from gratitude and self-love — simply because you are grateful to be, and this is the person you get to be now — your gratitude and self-love will continually refresh your practice. And your practice will continually refresh you.
Why not love yourself now? If you don’t love yourself, who will?
Then let your enthusiasm to take good care of yourself — for your own sake and the sake of those you love and those you don’t even know — carry you forward through this Year of Practice.
Supporting one another
Please tell us what practice you choose in a comment below. Then let’s support one another by sharing our #yearofpractice generously, inviting others to join us.
What goodness might we manifest in the world this year with our daily practice?
Thanks so much for this lovely and timely email. I have doing a Holy Nights journal in preparation for the new year and really working on setting my intentions for this shiny new year. I hadn’t considered the idea of how I was going to practice thise intenions. This has added a wonderful new layer of wonder andexcitement ot my intentional year.
I look forward to truly asking myself how I am going to practice and set my intentions.
I have signed up for a series of classes on the practice of meditation. I have tried (unsuccessfully) so many times to meditate without “getting” it. So now I will be learning the how to’s of meditation in anticipation of taking a series of meditation classes. A new practice! I am also shakinig off the cobwebs on my self-Reiki practice. I am a three year survivor of bresast cancer and took my Reiki l just before being diagnosed…through some survivorship therapy sessions I have found that my subconscious was linking Reiki with the day of diagnosis since they happened so close together. They therapy is helping me separate the sad link betoween the two so I am moving forward to self-Reiki and my Reiki ll class! Another practice! Another practice is my commitment to daily art play! In the last year I found art journal and I love it…now I am setting aside time each day to get messy and play.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for opening my eyes to the idea of practice.
Pamela – thank you so much for the “Your Year of Practice” blog. Reiki has changed my life. It did not come over night. It was by daily practice of Reiki and saying the 5 Precepts. I don’t know of anyone who has obtained competence in whatever they do without constant practice, i.e., Physician, musician, butcher, painter, rock climber and the list is endless. I am a professional storyteller as well as a Reiki practitioner. It took me nearly 25 years of practice to become an overnight success when people started calling me for gigs rather than me call them. I still call them because without practice my skills would begin to atrophy. One of Mrs. Takata’s sayings was Practice, Practice, Practice.
My mind wanders through self doubt and self criticism.if you can really bring me out,I’ll be looking forward for your guidance with gratitude.
Jayanthi, it sounds like your mind is doing what the mind does. Only you can bring yourself out of that by establishing a consistent spiritual practice of your choice. There is no magic outside of you; the power to transform yourself is within you, and daily practice harnesses it. I wish you all the best! May 2016 be your year of practice.
Thank you for this Reiki practice gift of self love. You reminded me of this most important gift for my birthday!
Love & Peace,
Joan Garro Karuna Reiki Master
Pamela, What a lovely article. Daily practice and daily habits are what creates our day, our week, our month, and our year. It really does start with what we do each day. Thanks so much for this beautiful articulation of such an important principle.