Everything is a practice
My wife had an epiphany the other day that changed our lives, and that might help you as well:
Everything in life is about mindfulness practice.
Let me unpack that.
Everything in life
In life we do a lot of things. We try to focus on getting things done. Be present in our relationship ships. Savour the good moments. Learn from the pain. What do all these things have in common? What you need to do them well, or to get the value out of them, is to focus on the thing you are doing. This is mindfulness at its core. And there’s no activity in life that does not improve from being more focused or present with it.
When I clean the house, stress through hard work, or laugh with a friend asking what it’s about makes little sense. Each of these have different reasons and motivations. Each give me very different results. But what is shared is that I have chosen to do them. And doing them deliberately makes all of these better. Or more worthwhile. Deliberate practice is an another way to describe mindfulness.
Being aware. Doing things intentionally. Being fully alive. As children this is the natural state of being. But as our minds expand, so does our capacity to distract ourselves. Mindfulness is always a temporary state. But each time we focus, each time we do something deliberately, we get slightly better at it.
Nothing in life is static. Change is the only constant. So whatever we do, and whatever we want to be, we have to intentionally practice it. Laugh with friends. Be kind. Think well. Have good bowel movements for Christ sake. They are all practices.
“Excellence then, is not a state, but something you do repeatedly.” – Aristotle