What is the importance of practice?
As our lives progress we find that too often the same old story keeps recurring. Like a bad re-run, you can’t seem to
change the channel, yet you know that the story will not have the hap
piest of endings. How can this be so when we want a new ending so badly. We want it with our whole heart from the deepest part of our souls!. Perhaps the answer in not in the wanting, but in the action.
In many cases, I see the clients that come to me for spiritual development over several years. In the best case they come, we work on the places they desire to change, they work deeply on their practice and something changes. More often they come, we work on the places they desire to change, they don’t practice and they return with the same old story weeks, months or even years later. How can this be so? They showed up yearning for change!
The question is – were they ready, truly ready, to do the work that is required to create such change?
The ancient sage Pantanjali tells us in the Yoga Sutras that “Practice creates change when well attended to, for a long time,
without break and in all earnestness”. The Sutras are a guide to life, so how does this play out in our lives on and off the mat? Let’s see…
Our life is a system of reactions or responses to recurring situations. If we want to change a reaction into a response we must sit with it deeply and work on the new, desired plan of action every day without fail! It is like learning anything, it takes practice. Learning to live the life we would like to live takes practice as well. IT WON’T JUST HAPPEN! You must be an active participant in life. If you want things to change you must be dedicated to creating what it is you want. It is easy really. You just need to show up without fail or, as Pantanjali would say, without break.
When the old habit rises up we must see it as that. We must stand firm and grounded in our new desire to live the life we want and the desire to live in a conscious response to the world around us. Now we are taking control and releasing the victim that we have created by our own acceptance of un-checked reactions or in my mind a life not fully lived.
We can’t change the world overnight … perhaps. But we can start by picking one small thing to work on. Attend to it every day without break in all earnestness and see what happens. Pick an easy one at first and apply these sage words. If it works, you will have the courage and commitment to take on another one, and then another, and then… You will be living your life instead of being a victim to that never ending re-run ! Change is in your hands… it is all in the action!
Does Paula’s story resonate with you? Are you ready for your own personal life transformation? Consider joining Paula in her Teleconference Course Using the Sutras as Your Guide https://www.reflectionsyoga.com/types-of-workshops/taking-the-seat-of-the-teacher/ June 12th.