Blog: Stay The Course

Blog: Stay The Course

April 1, 2012

Sometimes it’s hard to keep practicing.

Whatever it is you’re practicing. In order to be proficient at something you have to do it daily and over and over again.

Artists practice the art everyday. Athletes practice their game everyday. Lawyers and Doctors open up a “practice.” This is so that the object of practice becomes habit forming. It’s done daily because then it enters your lifestyle, habits and even how you think of the world in which you “practice.” Only then will it become a part of you, a calling.

But it’s really difficult to become proficient at something. Usually the reason that there is a practice to begin with is because there is a desire already imbedded within somewhere. We start the journey with excitement and anticipation and even love. There’s a fullness realized, an immense power that propels the learning forward making it easy, productive and joyful again and again and again and again and then … brick wall number one! Followed by number two, three … ninety-three.

The moment our practice becomes one of results is the moment that the joy, love and anticipation begins to fade. There are other walls to scale too, like the wall that says “you can’t do this” or the most famous one that says, “what do you think you’re doing?” followed by, “who do you think you are?” This mind speak are forms of desiring a certain result. We want it perfect and we think that by being perfect great rewards will be bestowed on us. (This is another topic for another blog-post, more on that later…).

Stay the Course

So how to “Stay the Course” when all around you there are critics? (The critics are all you, and they’re everywhere). You take a break or a few breaths and then get up and practice again. This time remembering the goal or original purpose of the journey helps to re-focus the mind away from practicing for results. Connecting back into the source of your expressive power takes you more deeply into your practice. Place yourself into your circle of excellence and DO IT AGAIN. Each time the practice is repeated, there is a shifting of experience that happens somewhere in the body-mind. You will know that it’s right, that you are on your chosen course and you will get better at practicing your practice. It takes courage to keep placing yourself on the path of greater knowledge and excellence, and to keep climbing that new wall that’s placed in the pathway now and then.

Oh yeah, and stop thinking, just practice.

I love this quote from Stephen King. When he was asked how he could write such great literature again and again, he replied “Writing equals ass in chair.” It’s impossible to become proficient from the living room couch. I keep trying it but I only fall asleep. OK then. Ass on harp bench, ass on yoga mat, again and again and again.

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wish you many hours of beautiful practice and always, always, love.

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