The Power of Practice
We’ve recently moved through the peak of Summer. During the last two weeks I witnessed some of the most extreme behaviors from people in every area of my life. The peak of summer is the utmost Yang time of the year. Another way to think of this time is that it could be vary active or have the potential to be very active for you. Whatever has been unconscious in your life will tend to surface at this time. In other words, anything you’ve been putting off or avoiding will make its way to center stage for you to address. For some of people, these un-dealt with realities have been overwhelming. As a witness to people’s overwhelment, I’ve felt frustrated only being able to offer words of encouragement and comfort. A metaphor that captures this feeling is watching someone you love spin in an eddy, and it’s too dangerous to rescue them.
One thing I’ve learned over the years in the healing arts is that I
can’t do your healing for you. I can try to make the path to healing
clearer and easier to tread. You ultimately have to walk the path yourself.
You can only rely on others to a certain extent before you have to rely on you.
I remember being really depressed after breaking up with my first love. I was in utter grief for a few months. One day late in the summer afternoon I was sulking on the kitchen table, starting to tear up as grief engulfed me, and like she had so many times before, My Mom came over and put her hand on my shoulder to comfort me. Seeing this familiar scene my Dad told my mom to back off. I was stunned and hurt. For a moment, I thought my dad was being cruel. The next thing he said changed my life forever. He said, “right now, you have to pick yourself up and move forward” In that instant, I knew that I was the only one who could get me out of this deep rut. Little by little, day after day, I did just that. I pushed the sadness away from my heart and started to focus on what I wanted. After six months I felt better and after a year I felt depth in my emotional awareness and renewed strength to let love in again. It was also during this time of great loss and sorrow that I turned to my meditation and chanting practice. Rather than yearning to connect with a person for a sense of fulfillment, I directed that longing to meditation. I foraged a relationship with my own Great Heart. As a result, over a year later, a profound strength emerged and permeated my entire life.
If you don’t have a practice to fall back on when the hard times come you’ll be tossed like a tumble weed in a tornado. To truly remain steady in the storms of life, you need a regular practice that centers you.
I prefer meditation because no matter how the body changes you can practice it. Even if you get solace from running or swimming that can be a practice. Your practice is something you do regularly that centers and strengthens you on some level. The steadiness of the practice will support you when the tough times come, as they do for all of us.
I love the Ayuvedic saying, “Where there is breath, there is hope” I like to expand the quote to, “Where there is breath, the heart beats steady, your destiny awaits. As long as you are breathing something beautiful can happen in your life” During this intense time of the year, remember the things that center you and go to them with hope in your Heart.