As I a think about three years blogging, I am reflecting on what it means to have a practice. And the value in it.
To me, a practice is something done regularly and deliberately. It differs from a habit in the drive beyond our mental control.
For me, daily exercise or at least movement is a habit. I do not feel well if I do not do it. Eating three meals a day is a habit. I am sure I could amend my eating schedule and be completely fine with something else, but because I have made it a habit, I get hungry right ‘on time.’
But writing daily is a practice. If I don’t do it, I feel no immediate loss. I could go weeks and easily forget that it is something I do. I get value over the long term, but that is why I must do it everyday – so that I keep it up as a practice.
As I get back into meditation, I think it is the same. I do not enjoy it at the time, and in the short term I do not miss it – at all. However, I spend 34 minutes a day meditating so that the rest of my life is better. And I must keep the practice regular or it will completely slip away.
What do you consider your practices? Does my definition resonate?
(Also…it turns out that per the dictionary my own definition may be only partially correct. Miriam Webster’s online defines a practice in part as: “to do or perform often, customarily, or habitually”. I suppose my definition focuses on the first two…but the definition works for me and I will stick with it for illustrative purposes here.