The secret is a strong personal practice of yoga, meditation and mindfulness. You must be consistent over a period of time in order to realize the benefits of these powerful practices. Yes, going to a yoga class is nice once in a while, but if you yearn to find that quiet place within that can be a guiding light in times of chaos ~ Consistency is everything.
Through my own personal practice, I can tell you that life is never going to be perfect, but with a regular spiritual practice it is certainly easier to flow with the go of life. Your meditation, yoga and mindfulness practice will never be perfect either, but that’s not the point of it. It probably shouldn’t be easy. After all, you are “practicing” … Just as athletes try to visualize every possible scenario for an event, your personal practices may bring up some uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. Your job is simply to receive whatever the Ego mind throws at you, so that when life presents you with challenge, you are well-equipped to deal with it. You will immediately draw from your practices without even thinking about it, and it is only upon later reflection that you will realize why you coped so well.
Regular practice helps us to create a strong personal foundation of being in the here and now. What does it mean to be present? It means to be fully aware of your body, your surroundings and the thoughts and feelings that arise within you. It means to be consciously aware of what you are doing at any given moment. It means to listen to the thoughts circulating in your mind, and simply taking note of your tendencies. When you know yourself, the rest is easier.
How can I start a regular practice?
There are a few different ways to get started in your own practice.
- Find a class. Yoga, meditation or mindfulness classes are a great way to help you commit to practicing. Whether you attend twice a week, or just once a week to boost your own practice, being around like-minded people will help you to be accountable for your practice.
- Meditation: Pick a time of day where you can relax without distraction. Light a candle and simply pay attention to your breath. Just “watch the breath” – notice where it enters your nose, and how it affects your body.
- Mindfulness, Being Present and Aware: Try a walking meditation outside somewhere in nature. Allow the sounds of nature to hold you in the present moment
- Reflection: Reflecting on the magic moments in your life is a very important exercise. When you feel gratitude for the simple things in life, the Universe rewards you with more of the same.
Whatever you decide to do for your own personal practice is a step forward, and that is a step in the right direction!
Nicole Aracki, Certified Yoga Instructor