Practice can mean so many different things, in terms of activities – we can practice an instrument, practice running, practice baking or cake decorating, practice a sport – you get the gist.
When I think about practice, I first think of asana – moving my body with awareness; moving with my breath. But since I’ve begun incorporating a more formal sitting meditation into my life this year, that too has become a part of my practice, as has journaling. And, I’ve begun to sing a little bit again – just some vocalizes a couple of times a week for about 15 minutes - and that has become practice as well.
What I’ve been thinking about, however, is how this idea of practice can expand from just doing the activity to the way we do the activity.
Rather than think of it as just practicing asana, or just breathing, or just singing, I’m trying to think of it as the practice of being mindful and present with whatever I’m doing or engaged in: like practicing breathing and listening when my kiddo is crying about how unfair it is that she doesn’t have “X” or “Y” or “Z” and trying to be really present with her words, her feelings, her needs; or practicing patience and non-reaction as I sit at a light when it turns green and the person 2 cars in front of me doesn’t notice, and we miss the light cycle. All so that my practice isn’t limited to just the time I’m engaged in my favorite activities like asana, or singing or running – but rather, seeing how the residue of those practices (the awareness, the presence, the joy) can extend beyond that activity time and into everything that I do. This way it feels like I’m practicing all the time. While it’s still a work in progress (what isn’t?!), it’s been a fun exploration to keep my “practice “of all things more conscious, more present, more awake and aware.
Peace, Love, and Bliss!
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