I remember once hearing a friend say …
‘My practice is my life.’
I didn’t know what that meant. Hmm, my practice is my life. My practice is my life. Ok. Let’s be curious. When did I start shifting my own practices?
Seven years ago, I chose to pursue meditation in earnest. (I wrote about this process here.) Once meditation became a daily practice, something interesting happened along the way. I started building upon the initial practice of meditating. I started daily journaling after I read about morning pages in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. These morning pages were just an opportunity to brain dump what was coming up for me in my meditation. I wake up, and immediately after a bathroom break, stretch, meditate, and then journal.
But I hit a snag fairly early, I needed my caffeine - a coffee habit that I had indulged in since college so a long time. I couldn’t do my morning practice without being distracted by the need to get my coffee fix (oh no, the headache is coming 😬).
So here was the choice - coffee or meditation.
Meditation won out. I decided in order to deepen my practice, I needed to kick the coffee habit. That was a brief rough patch as I experienced flu-like symptoms. After all, it was a practice that I had been engaging in for over 20 years.
Now I no longer need coffee first thing in the morning, instead, I’m able to focus on my meditation. Ok, now I got the meditation and journaling practices down. This morning practice enables me to experience more joy on a moment to moment basis by being present and aware.
Once you start committing to practices that enhance your life, you start looking around, “What else can I work on? What else will bring me joy or calm (whatever emotions you’re striving for)?”
My practices, my life.
I wasn’t sleeping well at night so I started looking at my routine in the evening. Lots of screen time that was pinging my brain lots of useless information. How much Youtube do I really need? So I experimented, ok, let’s try no phone/internet after 7 pm. This awareness for a needed change came about because I had started with a small shift - of having a consistent 5-minute meditation.
What are some practices that you’ve been wanting to try?
So often, we run on autopilot and are creatures of habit. Wake up, brush your teeth, eat a quick breakfast, commute to work, check email, respond, get interrupted, have endless meetings, get annoyed didn’t finish your to-do list, and on and on we go.
What can we do this week to shift our normal routine?
Maybe wake up a few minutes earlier to sit in silence for 5 minutes, take a walk around the block during lunch, or eat dinner with your partner without your phone.
Until next time, as always, be gentle & kind to yourself.
P.S. If you’re ready to shift your practices and try on new ones, click here to set up a time for a complimentary call.