It is my belief that having some kind of committed, daily practice is an absolutely essential element in maintaining a balanced life. The reason I think this is because of the effects it has had on me as a person. Once I decided to fix my mind on something to the point where I knew I wasn’t going to let it go, I discovered things about myself I had never known before.
One thing I discovered was that most of my failed attempts at learning something new were caused by my half-hearted commitments. If I wasn’t willing to tell myself that I was going to do a thing, without doubt or compromise, I would almost assuredly loosen my grip on that practice within a few weeks. I found that If I use phrases like “I will try” or “I think I can do that” instead of “I am doing this,” I was setting myself up for a let down right from the start. It’s almost like I was sub-consciously telling myself that I didn’t really want to learn or that I wasn’t even capable of it. When I finally did commit myself-in a no-nonsense kind of way-I was able to clearly see my previous patterns and felt empowered to change them.
Another thing I’ve discovered from committing to a daily practice is the true depth of my capacity. We are all capable of so much more than we believe and all it takes is pushing our boundaries to realize this. It is so very easy for us to settle into things that are comfortable and familiar but if we cling to those paths for too long, we are likely to get stuck in them. In order to keep growing and developing we sometimes need to step outside our comfort zones and brush up against things that might make us a little uncomfortable. Committing to a daily practice that constantly pushes us beyond our established habits, is a guaranteed way of digging deeper into who we really are.
The last and possibly most important thing that I have discovered from committing to a daily practice, is the value of having an energetic outlet for when times get tough. Whether it be meditation, yoga, singing or basket weaving, as long as it is something you do everyday, that activity will be there waiting to absorb some of the difficult energies that life sometime provokes. All we have to do is remember to return to our practices whenever we get triggered and to focus our minds on the task at hand instead of on the object of our frustration. It is the mind that generates and holds onto stress-not the situations-and so we have to find a way to bring our minds back in balance after allowing the world to make them wobble.
Establishing a daily practice can seem intimidating at first but it is totally worth the effort. Once you get over the mental hurtles that will inevitably arise and just commit to your practice, no matter what the conditions, you will quickly uncover the treasures buried within. Anyone can do this and I think that everyone owes it to themselves to discover they are really capable of.