How Daily Practice Can Change Your Life
You know what they say about the chicken and egg situation, right?
No, seriously. I don’t have an answer; I want to know what they say. I never could seem to figure out which came first.
Which is why I’m in the quandary I’m in.
In November, I did a 30-day practice of writing every day. My goal was just to get one blog post down per day. It didn’t have to be perfect, and I couldn’t let myself edit it (or at least not much since that’s apparently a very hard habit for me to break!).
I really had no expectations of how it would go. But for some reason, I was very committed to doing it.
I think that reason is that it turned out to be awesome.
Writing every day helped me get into a groove with writing. Of course, I’ve been writing a few times/week for several years now. I know that some people would find that alone to be an intense amount of writing, and honestly, so did I sometimes. So writing every day? I didn’t think it could be done, especially with how I write (which is, I’m pretty sure, what all writers say!).
Turns out, I was wrong. (Love it when that happens—at least in this kind of context!)
Daily Yoga Practice
Even more surprisingly, it also turns out that (lo and behold) the same is true for my yoga practice. When I practice every day, I get into a groove with it, too. Like my writing practice, I start to feel itchy and scratchy if I miss a day. Suddenly, it’s no problem for me to find time to get on my mat, whereas before I chafed at the idea that I had even five minutes for a few forward bends.
The other interesting thing I’ve found when writing and practicing yoga on a regular basis is that they develop very similar skills—so that they seem to be speaking to each other. It’s hard to tell which is instigating what. Hence my chicken-and-egg dilemma.
I don’t want to get the order wrong and completely lose my ability to do either.
Because when I’m on the yoga mat, I feel my body and my breath. I’m really tuned into them (at least most days!) and over time, I’ve developed a much deeper awareness of my body. (Although every time I discover something new, I’m shocked by how little I know, which is kind of part of the fun.)
The same seems to be true for writing: The more I write, which really boils down to paying attention and being conscious in my life, the more I find things to write about. And the more I note things in my daily life that might be fodder for writing. And the more I actually trouble myself to write those things down so I can come back to them later.
The Creative Life
I never used to think I was creative. I thought that was for the kind of cool, effortless people I’d never be.
What I’m realizing now, though, is that there is no such thing as the creative life, and there are no magic beans to make it happen. Life is creative. All we have to do is pay attention and do our practice(s).