What Do You Practice?
Excruciatingly painful and slow is this process of growth and change at times and I stumble and fall and land flat on my face only inches from where I started. That is how it feels sometimes. Meditation is indeed a practice. Every day I get up and meditate for twenty minutes after breakfast. I am striving for stillness on some days, peace, or acceptance on others. I use the Headspace app and really try hard to put the things Andy Puddicombe is teaching and espousing into practice. That word “practice” is at the crux of it all
I am 53 and I am a new to this whole thing. I am studying daily how to be a better person. I am trying to understand how to apply all of the lessons I am taking in through the app to the life I have constructed for me and my family. Each day I try to practice the techniques I have learned and apply them to my daily routine. I try to be mindful and thoughtful, observant and uncritical. I remind myself that others need patience and respect and consideration all while trying hard to not take myself quite so seriously either.
Practicing meditation is not just sitting for so many minutes a day and clearing your mind, it is applying those moments of clarity and calm to the rest of your life. It is taking the stillness and serenity and breathing and somehow attaching it to the mind that has to grocery shop and deal with customers and coworkers at work, and perform the hundreds of little tasks one does throughout the day. It is a reframing, repainting, and reshaping of the routine. What was once automatic and mundane becomes interestingly significant and meaningful.
I said to my husband on Valentine’s Day that I had learned from my meditation practice to live life more fully. I feel I was a water bug skating on the surface of my life never stopping to sense what it meant, how it felt, or how it looked. I can see below the surface now and I am connected and interested in all that surrounds me. I still have to practice every single day, and I know that I always will. But I am totally okay with that. I enjoy the routine. I look forward to trying again and again to be calm and still and thoughtful.
The biggest challenge is balancing it. I have learned that while I possess a talent for seeing people and things with great detail and clarity, I have a tendency to zoom in and lose the overall effect. My analyses become too consuming and I get drawn into the minutia. I learned in a course I am retaking with a new friend that my superpower is insight and my Kryptonite over-analysis. Brene Brown explained with superb clarity that we have a tendency as humans to take our strengths and abuse or overuse them and they can morph into our greatest challenge.
I have been struggling lately with a sense of frustration but I believe that with the use of my new tools I will stand up stronger and more confident. What new tools have you discovered and how are you using them in your life? Do you have your own daily practices?