We know regular practice is good for us, but knowing doesn’t always lead to doing. Earlier this month Anne Phyfe Palmer shared an insight from one her teachers, that if “practice is a magnet, you’ll always be drawn to it.” How can we magnetize our practices as a way to nurture regular practice? Here are five strategies.
Connect to a Source of Joy
What helped Anne Phyfe was to link practice to a source of pleasure. An avid reader, she chose to read yoga texts each morning. I cherish time in nature so I bring my meditation practice into my yard or onto a trail when weather permits. How might you connect practice to what you’re already drawn to do?
Identify a Leveraging Habit
In her book Body Thrive, author Cate Stillman suggests identifying a daily habit likely to propel one into other healthy habits. For some it’s creating device-free periods. For others it’s a good night sleep. Consider spending a week or so tracking your habits to notice what leverages you most into practice.
Reflect on How You Feel
Rather than focusing on the logistics of fitting practice in, consider reflecting on how you feel when you do and don’t practice. Embodied awareness can generate compelling motivation.
Embrace Less as More
Apparently after putting together an entire outfit, designer Coco Chanel was known to remove one item. She understood simple is often more impactful, too much can lead to disengagement. Consider taking a cue from Coco – pare down the scale or scope of your practice just a bit to increase both viability, and the particular enjoyment that comes from concentrated attention.
Get Something on the Books
One of the best pieces of advice my teacher Donald Rothberg gave me was to always “have something on the books.” Registering for a class, workshop or retreat can spark inspiration in our attitude. It also creates an easy way to step back into practice when it’s tough to muster inner motivation.
What helps you to magnetize your practice? I’d love to hear from folks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by: Ashley Dahl, MSW, CMT-P / Executive Director (she/her)