“Use your gifts faithfully, and they shall be enlarged;
practice what you know, and you shall attain to higher knowledge.”
— Matthew Arnold
PRACTICE. What is your daily practice? Are you practicing peace or anxiety? Are you practicing how to succeed or simply survive? Are you putting into practice what you already know?
I often have new clients come to me wondering why they keep experiencing the same thing. It may be finding themselves in a dysfunctional relationship once again, or constantly running out of money. It may be yo-yo dieting or persistent low self-esteem. They may have vision but can’t seem to follow-through. They may mentally know what to do, but don’t see the desired results. I’ve learned that the difference between consistent success and chronic struggle in any area of life is perspective and practice. Your perspective – how you see and interact with the world – translates into habitual thought and behavior. And those patterns form your experience. They become “your practice.” You may have a practice of abundance or lack, a practice of passion or disconnect, or a practice of clarity or delusion.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “practice makes perfect.” Ask yourself, “What am I perfecting in my life? What am I practicing every day?” Practice is generally defined as the act of rehearsing or engaging in an activity again and again, for the purpose of improving or mastering it. A second-grader practices fractions to pass the math test. A sprinter does drills to win the relay. A jazz musician studies chords in order to improvise better. As Johann Sebastian Bach said, “There’s nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.” How are you tuning your instrument?
Unfortunately, many of us master disaster by practicing the wrong things. We practice distraction by keeping the television on. We practice dis-ease by overeating. We practice heartbreak by not loving ourselves. The Power Living Practice is called such because it’s not a one-time deal. You have to practice and live it every day. It’s a commitment to life and a consistency of conscious action. It’s not an intellectual exercise. It’s experiential – which means the principles need to become ingrained in your subconscious and manifest in your behavior – you have to “put them into practice.” To achieve Purpose With Results (true power, PWR), you must follow the Five Principles of Power Living every day: 1) Live on Purpose, 2) Tune your Mind to the Positive, 3) Honor your Body, 4) Be a Humble Warrior, and 5) Sanctify your Surroundings. Once again, it’s about self-awareness and self-control. You must first be aware of your own personal process before you can control it. Otherwise you’re allowing unconscious habits to rule you.
As a being of Spirit, begin to view your entire life as a “spiritual practice.” In yoga it’s called sadhana – a spiritual movement consciously systematized. Think of yourself as an athlete in training. Become aware of your own patterns. Then, have a “practice agenda” – a specific plan of action every day to align your behavior to support your life vision. Practice self-less service and compassion. Practice health and success. Dedicate your actions to a higher Purpose. As Martha Graham said, “We learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. One becomes in some area an athlete of God.” Practice living your best life and your experience can be truly Divine!
Today, I practice success.
I consciously define my agenda and align my actions. I understand that my patterns dictate my experience. I prepare for success by exercising the power of choice. I create a personal process that yields results.
Today, I practice success.
Listen to the Affirmation:
Copyright Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy. Power Living® Column Vol. 62.07, originally published June 2007. Teresa Kennedy has written over 70 “The Power of…” columns that are a part of the Power Living® Empowerment Series and available for syndication. Call 212-901-6913 for more information.
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