Friday, January 13, 2012

Awareness and Practice

I'm sure I'm not the only one who reads articles, blogs or books for self improvement or personal development. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the messages - so many things to take in and put into practice in my life. I just finished one such book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. The message is simple - yet so huge at the same time - follow these four agreements in your life and you'll find happiness and be at peace with yourself: #1 Be Impeccable with your Word, #2 Don't Take Anything Personally, #3 Don't Make Assumptions, and #4 Always Do Your Best. None of those are so simple to put into practice in everything you do in your real world every day life and as much as we have intentions to do so, it so often doesn't happen.

Well interestingly, today I ran across a blog article that was just about the perfect 'answer' to my personal frustration of being overwhelmed. "Life as a Conscious Practice" . He talked about the first step is simply being aware of what you're doing, and consciously practicing the things we WANT to be practicing. In other words, why practice being angry at your spouse or a friend, when you can practice being compassionate and loving? The concept that life is a practice really struck me as such a parallel to my yoga practice - change doesn't happen overnight. I didn't one day wake up and decide to try wheel or headstand and boom, there it was (although for some people, they might be able to!). It took months of practice, of prep in other poses, of trying step by step - practice enabled me to then be able to do it one day. I'm going to try to look at the Agreements in the same way - practicing them in life, whether perfectly or not doesnt matter, it's the intention of moving in that direction that will transform my way of being. Why practice something else?

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