My Practice

**A post written from the bottom of my heart.
We are more together than alone** 

I don’t do yoga, but I do admire the approach.

Yogis, yoginis, yoga peeps, whatever the correct term is, ‘practice’.

The unhurried, calm approach to refining and moving towards a perfected execution of what they do is obvious in how they talk about their sport. They don’t arrive, rather it is in the midst of the movements, stretching, and form that they find accomplishment. The goal is to practice, grow, and stretch, not to arrive and cross an arbitrary accomplishment off a list.

The art of practice.

I rarely practice. Instead I strive to arrive, get to the end, and finish. Being in the moment and content with where I am ‘right now’ is something I am learning, albeit slowly.

Practicing means you get up, do the work, set goals, grow, and are proud of both where you are and where you are going.

Wise words scrawled on a bathroom wall

Going and growing.

  • I don’t practice, I force forward movement.
  • I shy away from embracing the fact that I am an organic being that constantly grows and develops.
  • I try to force myself to become a finished product that will never require change again.

Oftentimes, my approach to life is like climbing a mountain by going straight up.

It is possibly to go straight up the mountainside, but it is also possible that you may die in the process. Dips, valleys, switchbacks, and bends are what makes the journey to the summit possible.

In some areas of life, I am traveling through a deep, dark valley and the muck is thigh high.

I would tell you the details, but it isn’t my story alone. I am a main character in the story, which means I can tell you how it is at times: dark, hard, and frighteningly lonely.

It can be cold and murky out there in life.

Photo

At times it can feel like the valley of the shadow of death.

Then I remember the truth.

Shadows aren’t possible without light. The brighter the light, the darker the shadows.

The shadow I am traveling through is dark, which only speaks of the light that exists past the obstacle blocking out the light.

Often we think people who have it all together on the outside have no pain or obstacles. Pain is universal and we are all suffering on some level. It is when we reach out in the dark and ask for help that we find we are not alone.

Don’t practice alone.

Your pain may be hidden and your journey unique, but your struggle isn’t.

We like to hide the pain and lug it around with us and it hinders our progress to the top of the mountain. We pick it up and hold it close.

  • Dealing with pain means we have to face our brokenness.

When you take the brokenness of life and piece it back together, a beautiful mosaic is formed. The darkest moments create a stunning beauty when the light starts to pour through.

The sad moments are beautiful when put in context of your life. They are an intrinsic part of creating something stunning.

Photo

Be proud of your brokenness that has been made smooth and beautiful by the rough seas of life and keep moving into the light.

Where are you in your practice? What mosaic are you creating?

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Comments

  1. How are you so perfect at blogging the perfect thing at the perfect time?
    “I try to force myself to become a finished product that will never require change again.” ~ This is definitely one of the obstacles that I place before myself.
    I am letting your words sink in this week, and I am going to try to remember that everything is a “practice.” I do not need to rush nor force anything. Enjoy the moment, the journey, and the light that comes from the darkness.
    LPM

  2. As it applies to yoga, I wrote this on my business wall on Facebook yesterday. It’s from an essay I wrote a few years back:

    “The singular repetition of a strength exercise, executed in proper form, through a complete range of motion, dialed into with absolute concentration, is as cleansing to me as a deep breath of fresh air. For that one moment, that one repetition, I am alone in an instance that transcends time. I am not even aware that there is a world beyond my workout.” Me

    As it applies to the mosaic, this from an essay I wrote a couple of years ago on gratitude:

    “It’s a hard life; we struggle, we suffer, and we experience loss. And though it may be hard to associate gratitude with any of these, it’s an exercise worthy of the attempt. To look any negative circumstance and embrace it rather than flinch is a part of gratitude. There should be consideration for the lessons which accompany a negative circumstance. To see beyond a bad circumstance, or to just use one in comparison, applying context to a more positive circumstance, is also a form of gratitude. Of course that kind of gratitude is also directed at the self, but it’s more earned.”

    I wouldn’t trade an ounce of my pain for an ounce of gold. I am the changing mosaic of the only road I am destined to walk.

    Good show, Donloree!

  3. I love you.

    That.is.all.

    T.

  4. Beautifully written and so applicable. Thank you for sharing!

  5. This is a beautiful post and really speaks to me. I very much just want to arrive and be done with it. There’s such a drive to appear as the finished product but I think we miss out on all the messy and interesting parts. I’m trying to embrace that more but it’s hard!!

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