I’ve been listening to Gabby Bernstein talk about having a spiritual practice. And then I was re-watching a video by Bo Eason and he was talking about how those who are great at what they do focus more on the practice than the game, so that when the time comes, when the opportunity comes, they are ready – to perform at their best.
And I’ve realized I need a practice. No, I need to learn how to practice.
I need a spiritual practice, and a physical one, and a financial one, and a relational one.
Practice is defined as a) the actual application of an idea, and b) the habitual procedure or way of doing something.
It’s basically consistent ongoing action.
Yeah, I’ve always been bad at that. And it’s time for that to change.
Do you remember writing papers in school? Were you a procrastinator?
I wasn’t. I’d get the assignment, make note of the due date and start and finish the paper right in the middle of that timeline.
But you know what I never did? I never revised my first draft. I was a decent enough writer that I’d always write it, and turn it in to see what would happen. I almost always got A’s.
And so I never learned to hone my craft, to keep working at it, to make it better.
For the last 10 years I’ve been a multi-tasker and a generalist, both at work and at home.
I’ve decided it’s time to change that. It’s time to simplify and streamline and narrow life down to a few things, and do them really well.
That’s another reason I haven’t developed a habit of practice. When you’re doing a ton of different things, if you tried to do them all on a regular schedule, it’d be overwhelming. When you’re keeping plates spinning, you can’t be in that place of routine and regular practice of key activities. You don’t have the time or the mental capacity. You’re not making space for that state of mind that accompanies practice.
I was watching a live teaching recently by Morgana McCabe Allan where she talked about having places for thoughts, notes and ideas so that you don’t hold them in your head. I’ve heard this before, but I was freshly convicted.
It’s time for me to stop living a haphazard life and become intentional in my every day living. And whatever hinders me from that needs to be put in line or cut out.
At first I’m not sure how to change a habit that is so ingrained. I’ve found I have a deep compulsion to address things in my life randomly, and a strong resistance to consistent order.
How do I begin to change?
As I literally sit here and ask myself that question I realize I can start by looking at the habits I have changed and the practices I have started. And the big changes my husband and I have made in the past year with our family.
I started a journaling practice for the first time about a year ago and that has solidified into a consistent part of my life. I’ve also been consistently cultivating a mindset of gratitude and a dialogue in my head around giving myself permission to be happy, to feel good, to expand my awareness, to accelerate my personal growth, to seek and expect to change my life in increasingly dramatic ways.
I’ve been cultivating a mental state of expecting growth, joy, peace, and transformation.
So I’m seeing the fruit of that every month, every week, every day.
Ten months ago I quit my job of 9 years. Seven months ago I started making money on my own. Five months ago my husband changed jobs. Four months ago we sold our house of 5 years and moved. Three months ago I started homeschooling.
Two years ago I set my intention to change our lives dramatically and as I pressed into that with God what I found was that the first order of business was for me to change on the inside. And then at a certain point in that process things began to transform externally in our lives in big ways.
So now when I feel the need to go to a deeper level with personal disciplines, and I have a desire for further external change, I realize that one has to precede the other.
Which means the question is simply this: What mindset and attitude do I need to cultivate to become the person I’m meant to become in the course of this next season?
Centered. Confident. Patient. Aligned.
That’s my mission.