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April 17, 2020

Life As a Practice

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Life is a process. We learn new things, change our beliefs, meet new people, find new interests. It’s not fair to compare the different phases of life to each other because everything is a dynamic progression that adds upon itself to create our current experience.

I can’t help but think of the way we narrow the scope of our own lives, and when we reflect it’s the highlights and the low lights that come to mind first. These are influential moments, but they’re not representative of the life you’ve lived as a whole. Let’s take a step back and think through how this all works.

Something I really enjoy about the English language is the use of the word "practice". Doctors have a medical practice, lawyers have a law practice, nurses have their nursing practice. I love this because despite the years of schooling and hours of investment to learn the craft, it’s still recognized as a dynamic process and in practice. And it makes sense because these fields are changing so rapidly that practitioners need to be able to adjust to new information and standards.

The literal definition of “practice” in this way actually means, “the expected procedure or way of doing something”, and I love how this contrasts with the typical improvement-oriented definition of practice because it creates a beautiful blend of standardized method and dynamic exploration. This blend is best demonstrated in the way it’s used for a yoga practice that abides by the general movements and patterns of the exercise while leaving room for personal preference and self-exploration.

I bring this all up because life is a practice in this sense. There are certain rules and guidelines that we all should follow to have a good general experience. Within that framework, we each have an opportunity to discover how we can optimize life for ourselves! That is our life practice, and it’s a beautiful thing to see how our uniqueness, preferences, and connection has meaning from this lens.

You are the master of your own life practice, and it is a practice, because things will change and you’ll need to adjust. Follow your heart and explore your own practice!

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