What Practice Looks Like–Reflection 1

One of the most immediate changes I’ve noticed since adopting practice as my guiding principle is that I’ve had to give up my all-or-nothing way of thinking. I am definitely a  black or white thinker and doer. If I don’t think I can do something perfectly, or if I don’t think the end result will be perfect (often on the first try), I won’t do it. I won’t keep trying; instead, I will see the first failure as an end result. Roadblocks are not detours; they are the end.

Living with a practice mindset has thrown those beliefs out the window.

Example 1: We were visiting family this week and I wasn’t able to maintain my exercise practice. Before, I would have used that as an excuse not only to not exercise, but to eat anything and everything because I was on “vacation”. This time, however, I chose which things I was going to do and which I would let go of for the week. That meant that I found time/space/energy to do my #PlankADay, continued drinking calorie-free, and wrote in my graditude journal. No, I didn’t make my weekly mileage goal. But, I am also not starting the week hungover from soda overload, back to square one with my core work, or resentful of being thrown off my routine. Instead I am able to look fondly on the week we spent with family, and move forward without regret.

Example 2: We have been living with one garage door opener for almost a year, and have wanted a keypad entry for the entire 6 years we’ve been in this house. But, because the garage door itself isn’t in the best condition (it’s fine–it’s functional, just not the prettiest one on the block) and we couldn’t afford to replace it (it was low on the priority list), we lived without. Not happily, mind you, but just without. Fast forward to this week, when my mother in law asked my husband to replace her garage door opener ($20). He did it in 5 minutes.  The first thing I did when we got home was go buy BOTH a new opener and keypad ($50). 20 minutes later and for the cost of a dinner out for our family of 5, we were all set! By focusing on what we could do, and actually doing it, we made ourselves happier and increased our peace of mind. And you know what? The garage door no longer looks so bad. I can cross new garage door off my list!

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