A Dedicated Life Practice

This morning I saw a woman running around Bernal Hill, wearing nothing but a turquoise bikini and green running shoes.

My mind instantly started in with the stories… training for a triathlon… the morning after Halloween… losing a dare…. Very entertaining, all of the tales my mind told. What finally came to me, as I inwardly cheered her on, is this post about dedicated practice.

What is dedicated practice? Well, it’s not a sprint. As one of my teachers, Judith H. Lasater, says: discipline requires consistency. That means we get up and do it — whatever it is — every day, every week, for weeks, months, and years. Even when the mind hollers that it’s too hard or the bed is just too comfy or the air too chilly, we still go ahead.

My biggest inspiration right now for dedicated practice is my partner, who has gotten up early every morning for a couple years now: to swim, run, go to the gym and/or do yoga. And she has made amazing strides, literally. On the mornings when I don’t want to roll out of bed onto the mat or cushion, she inspires me with her willingness to jump into a cold pool or sweat the miles.

Running around the hill in a turquoise bikini has great shock value… and what would it be like to do this every single morning?

Taking something on as a consistent practice — and it could be anything— trains us to be steady and courageous in life. This one is difficult for me, as someone with a branching mind that loves starting new projects. Finding a steady pace becomes its own, dedicated and deeply rewarding life practice.

Here’s a handful of links, just a few examples of dedicated life practices: a painter, a tree sitter, a woman who wore the same little black dress for a year, a political activist, and a poet. Who and what inspires you toward a dedicated life practice?

 

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