When we practise the martial arts, ballet, bodybuilding, soccer, we are performing these movements in a deliberate and continuous manner. By these conscious practice, we become more flexible in those movements.
Why can we say that life is a conscious practice?
Every day, we repeat the movements, think about the patterns and the ways of to interact with others. And in the process of repetitive practice, we become proficient in movements. If you’re constantly checking Facebook, it’s practice. Therefore, you’re forming a habit, even though you are usually not aware of it.
When you smoke, eat junk food, say the rude things to others, or nag yourself, these are the things you are practising to get better.
What if we practice consciously, and become proficient in things we really want to master?
What if, from all the skills you learn, you are more aware of what you’re practising?
If you can learn to act consciously, you can learn to practice other actions you want to master, rather than those you don’t want.
What kinds of conscious practice are you doing?
Ask yourself the following questions to practice conscious activities:
Do I want to be in a hurry every morning, or can I get up a little earlier so that I can enjoy an enjoyable morning?
Do I want to check my e-mail as soon as I turn on my computer, or can I do something more interesting?
Can I leave my dirty dishes in a mess or must I wash them as soon as I finish using them?
Can I yell at my kids, or must I practice speaking to my loved one in a kind, gentle, and emotional way?
Do I want to complain all day long or should I practice being grateful?
Is it good to waste time surfing the web or should I practice removing the distractions and focusing on creativity?
Do I want to watch ridiculous entertainment, or should I make an effort to do exercise?
Should I practise smoking, or can I find a healthier way to relieve stress?
These are just the examples. Life will show you what you are practising. And you can decide which one you prefer to do. Or maybe you’re completely satisfied with what you’re practising.
How to do the conscious practice?
The first step is the consciousness. When you’re conscious of what you’re doing, you can decide if it is the action you want to practice. Therefore, you will have better alternatives.
-Practice the consciousness. It is the first skill and the most important skill. Simply have the consciousness without feeling guilty or angry with yourself about what you are doing or thinking. If you forget,remind yourself. You can remind yourself by wearing a rubber bracelet around your wrist, carrying a charm, or marking a piece of paper every time you remember.
When you act with a better sense of consciousness, start practicing the kinds of actions and thoughts you want to master. If there are the thoughts and actions you really don’t want to develop, see if you can intentionally practice other types of thoughts and actions.
You cannot change all habits at the same time. The habit that you really change is the consciousness and practice. Other habits will be difficult to change, especially if you’re trying to change all of them. But it doesn’t matter if you mess things up and go wrong. Allow yourself to make mistakes without feeling uneasy and repentant. Just practice consciously again and again.
If something is too difficult, you can try it in smaller steps. If you can’t quit smoking, try not smoking one time. You can reduce stress with a walk, push-ups a few times, doing meditation or doing self-massage. If you can’t stop eating fast food, replace a snack with a little fruit, or add a fresh, veggie dish to dinner.
Remember that we will become proficient with what we do continuously. And the things we do over and over again can be consciously executed. That’s when we realize we are truly alive.
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