Personal Practices, Or, How We Retain Our Sanity

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It recently dawned on me that I’ve let my beloved routine slide. Leading into the holidays, during, and after, I put the little things that make a big difference to my sanity on the back-burner. Starting my day with 40 minutes of yoga? Chucked to sleep in longer. A half hour meditation before bed to settle my mind? Replaced by iPhone surfing, a late-night movie or passing out early. The regular soaks in the tub with candles, a good book, epsom salts, and the occasional glass of wine? Easily dismissed for ‘more important things’.

It hit me though. All these routine things I do, I do because it’s part of my own personal practice – it’s the combination of things I know work for me. And when I’m not doing these things, I can feel it in every cell of my body.

I practice because sometimes I don’t love other people. Situations. Myself.

I practice because sometimes I find it hard to breathe and I know this is because I often choose to suppress my emotions for fear of ‘feeling too hard’ or ‘expressing too much’.

I practice because when I don’t, I feel lost. Bored. Like something is missing.

I practice because my thoughts can often get the best of me, pulling me in different directions and deeper into the stories I’ve created about other people. Situations. Myself.

I practice because movement is healing and breath is grounding.

I practice so that when I laugh when people say, “gurl, you look like you have your shit together”, I feel like less of a hypocrite because really…

Do any of us really have our shit figured out?

I practice precisely because I don’t have my shit together and if change is the only constant, how can we ever really know everything. Ever?

I practice because I’m doing the best I can and I’m a work in progress.

I practice because I often feel others’ anxiety/fear/anger/sadness and will often mistake it for my own.

I practice because I’m relearning. And learning what’s important happens when I’m less attentive to all the other noise.

I practice because I often forget the lesson.

I practice because repetition ingrains the lessons deeper into the cells of my body.

I practice because it reminds me of how much of this shit ain’t real. And what is.

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