I used to feel so insecure in social situations, that alcohol felt like the only way to lighten up around others.
I used to be so reactive, that I would retreat or lash out at the slightest hint of criticism and avoid doing anything where it felt like there was the chance of failure.
All of this felt like who I was and it felt as though I had no choice about any of it. I would go to bed at night exhausted and wishing to wake up as a different person in the morning. I was praying for a miraculous transformation.
The irony is that the miracle was available, just not in the form I thought. All the time I spent wishing for sudden change could have been spent practicing.
Through daily practice, we can dramatically reshape our personality – how we respond to what is going on around us and to what we are thinking and feeling. Through daily practice, we can choose how we respond to the ever-changing circumstances of life based on what we value most.
Let’s be honest, a quick fix is seductive. But the desire and belief in a quick fix often leads to bold promises to self and others followed by disappointment and harsh self-judgment when we don’t follow through on our radical transformation.
If you were lucky enough to win the neurotransmitter lottery at birth and we naturally surf the waves of life peacefully and productively, then more power to you. But, if you are like me, and you have a more reactive nervous system that looks for threats and challenges around every corner, you can work peacefully and productively with this as well.
Awareness and acceptance are skills. We can practice bringing these skills to our present experience. We can choose action that is compassionate and courageous. We can align our lives, moment by moment, with what is most important to us. And, over time, this simply becomes who we are.
There are many ways to practice this – meditation, prayer, journaling, yoga, conscious breathing, and conscious listening. We can establish routines where we are safely challenged and stretched. We can discover things we are capable of and that are available to us that, at one point, seemed impossible. This is the miracle of daily practice.
What are you practicing right now?
My mission is to increase wellbeing in the world by helping people discover what they are really capable of. I teach practices to create a mindful and purposeful relationship with stress, anxiety, resistance, frustration, distraction, and the feeling of being stuck. The result is fulfillment, growth, and connection that is not dependent on circumstances. I offer individual coaching and well as keynote speaking, in-services, retreats, seminars, and ongoing consultation.