So, after you get centred to be out of the moment — because practice is designed to get you out of the moment so you can be more in The Moment — what exactly do you do?
You struggle, that’s what. Struggling out of the moment lets you be more centred and responsive in the moment.
Practice is practice; both a pattern of disciplines that help you tap into the best parts of you and a rehearsal for how to tap into those parts when it really counts, in The Moment.
Having good practice should leave you well practised. It should leave you with confidence, understanding, joy and satisfaction that you can tap into the best parts of you when you need to do that.
And, like any exercise, it can’t just be soft and comforting. Practice has to be challenging and enervating, enabling you to own your own power, your own time and your own choices.
What is the struggle that goes on in practice? It’s a struggle for understanding.
How do we take all the conflicting parts of our lives — our beliefs, our habits, our training, our fears, our desires, our passions, our faith, our knowledge and so on — and alloy them into a deeper understanding that lets us be more resilient, more aware, more conscious, more centred and more brave in The Moment? How do we quiet the parts of us that react badly to challenge and strengthen the parts of us that help us respond from our highest place?
Your practice is your practice. Each one of us has our own tools and techniques that foster our own clearer understanding of our choices and how to improve them.
We can no more see our own heart and beliefs than we can see the back of our own head. That’s why we have to externalize those feelings and thoughts we hold inside before we can work with them. When people ask us not to externalize our own TG nature, they ask us to remain immature. Until we can see who we are we have no way to become better.
Because practises start with expression before understanding and clarification, they are usually based in some kind of creative endeavour. We make art, whatever that means to us. Clearly, I lead with the auditory, so I write, but I know many other people who find visual arts or performing arts to be more useful. TBB, for example, is a kinesthetic learner, so for her, practice is always tied to actually performing with her body, trying and then trying again.
I like to imagine my own practice as taking place in a kind of library, filled with stories that touch me and where piles of my own thought fragments exist, ready for me to pull from them to create new ideas that I can test in the cubicle of global narrative.
ShamanGal recently stayed in the room of a 16 year old girl and found she had written on every hard surface in the room with erasable markers. She made her thoughts and beliefs visible and exposed to her by writing them on windows and mirrors. When ShamanGal saw how delightful that was, she bought her own set of markers, and all of a sudden thought that my suggestion of buying lots of Post-It style notes made some sense after all.
When you create a practice, you have to create rituals to centre you outside of everyday life, and mirrors to reflect the parts that are usually hidden to you
And I’ll continue working the process of my practice and keep thinking this through tomorrow.