Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Practice

Practice makes perfect. I've been thinking a lot about practice lately.
 
I am in rehearsals with my dance company. We mess up a lot. So we do it over and over. We drill. We repeat. We practice.
 
I have been making more time for yoga classes in my schedule. It's difficult to fit in a one hour class a few times a week, but I've been really trying to do it. I try not to beat myself up when I fail. When I'm on the mat, I try not to compare myself to others, or even to myself on previous days, when I might have been more limber or more calm (or less!). If I fall out of a pose, I try again. I try to experience only my body and my breathe. It's hard, so I'm practicing it.
 
Today, Unclutterer had an article about practicing simple living. What great phrasing. Small steps, repeated decisions and actions, habits that form and require maintenance, trying again when you mess up -- that sounds like practicing the piano, right? It can also apply to practicing a simple life. The decision to turn off the television and tune out advertising. The decision to not purchase. The habits of recycling, reusing, reducing. The learned enjoyment of simple things. If I forget, or get lazy or careless, I try again.
 
And this guest post on Get Rich Slowly about the personal finance continuum reiterates the same thing -- successful personal finance is a practice. You practice saving. You practice spending less. Neither one will work all the time, so you hitch up your britches and try again. You practice making some decisions until they become second nature, and then you work on something else. Like yoga, personal finance is a practice.
 
A practice is another way of saying journey. You'll never be perfect (at yoga, at simple living, at personal finance). You just do it, and do it again, and keep doing it. You practice.
 
That's a lot of relief, actually. You're not focused on the destination. You're focused on the journey, the practice. It allows you to always try again, to always try not to make the same mistake a second time, to make small corrections or changes. There's no failure in practicing. The very act of practicing is a success.
 

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with what you said about yoga. I'm super competitive, but when I'm on the mat, it's just me and my breath and movement. And it feels so good!!!

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