I was driving in the car with my mom today and we were chatting about deep things, as we often do, when the subject of personal practice came up. As much as I have grown and learned over the years in the arena of growth and spirituality, I have often (in the past) fallen just short of taking my knowledge and applying it practically in the form of a daily practice. I mean, I have done lots of yoga, meditation, hooping, divination with cards and the iChing.. etc etc. The thing is though, that in doing these things sporadically and only here and there, you can fool yourself into thinking that you are reaping the benefits without actually... well.. reaping the benefits. It would be like eating a healthy meal once a week and proudly proclaiming to all your friends, "I am a healthy eater!". But if you are eating junk the rest of the time, you are not going to walk, talk or feel like someone who makes eating healthy a part of their lifestyle, not just a check on the list that makes you look good on social media. In this convo with my mom I realized that I had somehow managed to fool myself that I was doing everything I can to live a healthy, growth oriented life. It wasn't until I implemented a daily ritual (without fail, even on Sunday thanks to Kyle Cease's 100 day challenge) that I got what I had been missing. In essence it's like I ate one healthy meal once and thought; well.. I guess I will be healthy forever now! Effort, DONE.
Your daily practice is like food for your soul.
If you want to have inner richness, vibrancy and insight, you HAVE to feed yourself what you need. You wouldn't expect yourself to be brimming with energy if you didn't feed yourself enough or only ate donuts all day. In kind, don't expect to be at your best if your spirit is bogged down with the crap that accumulates when you aren't have a daily ritual that clears and renews your energetic system. To be clear, you will still have crappy moments, the difference is you will have the inner resources to weather whatever it is far more gracefully. Your daily practice could really be almost anything. As long as you feel brighter and clearer after than when you began, and you can commit to sustaining it every day, than you are on the right track! Yoga, meditation, hooping, walking in nature, gardening, writing in a journal, mirror work, chanting, playing music, knitting or cartwheels. Yep, anything. Here is what I am currently doing:
First thing in the am (before food, coffee or anything else except going to the bathroom), I meditate for 47 minutes, then 20 minutes of movement of any kind (I rotate through, yoga, dancing, rebounder, HIIT and hooping. I also made a commitment to write a blog every day and do a 20 minute practice of "Kylego" from Kyle Cease's workshop.
Some great meditation tips HERE
But, even if I had just committed to the morning part of movement and yoga, that alone has reaped incredible benefits in the mere week I have been on it. I cannot emphasize enough how there is just no way to see and feel what you will gain from the outside of actually DOING something. I don't know about you, but in the past I was a bit of a master at fooling myself into thinking that just knowing intellectually was enough. I am here to remind you, from an embarrassing amount of personal experience, that it is most definitely NOT. In some ways, having an intellectual understanding of something, to the point that you think you don't have to actually do the things you think you already know, is even worse than not knowing the thing at all. In short, knowing that you don't reallllly know is far preferable to thinking you KNOW. Thinking you know, especially paired with a reluctance to do the actual thing, just serves to make you insufferable to be around and obtuse to how stuck you are.
I am inviting you to look around at your life, knowledge and skill set. Of all the things you know how to do or see the merit of, what are you NOT doing that could be just the thing to feed your soul till its plump and spilling forth with love and inspiration? Hint, its often that thing that you get really annoyed with others for NOT doing ;) Example; I used to get really annoyed with the man in my life for not exercising. Then I realized that *I* am not exercising... duh! I still want him to exercise, of course, but it's far easier to just let go and focus on changing ME, instead of him. It's like a weird little passive aggressive nudge from your soul. ha!
We are all in this together!
xo ~ Anah