One of the things that I’ve been working on is consistency. I lost 40 lbs. last year through working with a nutritionist (go to Nutrition for You for more information about their program) and really had to be very consistent in watching what I ate. I’ve also been a race walking coach, and a musician (both singing and playing the hammered dulcimer). For all of these things, I had to practice to get better at things.
Practicing for me is more than just doing something over and over again, but also about the intention that goes in with it. I have to think about what I’m doing and decide if I’m going to do it a certain way or not, regardless of the activity I’m practicing. In order to get better at something, you’ve got to do it a lot so you get past the intentional part about it. You just do it. Malcolm Gladwell stated in his book Outliers that you need to practice something for approximately 10,000 hours in order to be an expert in a field. I’d be doing something by rote after that amount of practice.
So, what am I practicing? Well, as my goal is to merge this professional and spiritual development realm, I’m looking at what I can do to practice both at that same time. Here are the things I’m focusing in on (for the moment).
- Daily Meditation: I get up every morning and meditate for about 25 minutes. I pull a tarot card and read up on what some interpretations of that card, and then reflect on what’s going on in my life now. Then at the end of the meditation, I tweet about it. Yes, tweeting as a spiritual practice. I’m getting better at tweeting, and I’ve gotten some great responses to my tweets, so I’ve got to keep the fan base happy. (Note: if you see some characters at the end of each tweet, it’s the tarot card I pulled that day.)
- Health: I was really good at entering everything I eat into an online food log, and have gotten off the wagon. I’m also trying to get back into the gym and get some more exercise (which has been harder since I’m still recovering from my illness/hospitalization a few months ago). I’m being more consistent than I was, so it’s all about the improvement.
I practice so that I can hopefully do these things at times when my mind doesn’t have the capacity to think about them and make the right choice. I want it to be automatic.
So, what are you practicing?