Three years ago, I started a blog. Revelation time: “Written by Ay” isn’t my first.
That first, well, the blog to which I’m referring, was titled “Married with a Degree” and did not last through the year it began. You can search, but that old blog lives no longer. (Great title through, right?) My sense of discipline in posting rather lacked, and I becoming increasingly irritated with the theme hole I’d dug myself. The writing embarrassed me, I lacked the confidence to make it more than it was, so I deleted it and stepped away from the blogosphere.
Lately though, a post from that blog keeps coming to mind, written by my direly introspective self about practice. At the time I’d realized the skill I’d yet to learn, that I needed most to focus in this new stage of life, required practicing practicing. I had little practice in the art of practicing growing up. Things came easy to me (English, friendships) or they didn’t (Chemistry, running). If it wasn’t easy, I’d give up. Maybe I wouldn’t drop the class or sport, but my lack of confidence would force a mental resignation. Or, in the case of writing, I’d quite before ever getting started.
This seemed like a huge epiphany at the time, and I proudly wrote and wrote and practiced practicing, for a while. But here I am, years later, delving further into Yoga, into Buddhism, into myself, and the idea of practice stands up front and center.
Practice, and all is coming. –Rumi
The need and concept of practice is still true, and still holds weight. In fact, the idea has held weight for thousands of years in Yoga. They don’t call it a “Yoga practice” for nothing. One never does Yoga, because no one can perfectly perform each and every pose. There is always room for improvement, more to learn, physically and mentally. And that’s what is so wonderful about the practice, that’s what pulls me into Yoga, and keeps me from giving up. Just a few days ago while beginning the Yoga Sutras translated by Sri Swami Satchidananda, “practice” featured in the very first sutra:
We cannot reach the goal by mere words alone. Without practice, nothing can be achieved.
I look back at that old blog post, and smile.
The lesson here is in the journey, in honoring our past, younger selves. So often we want to laugh or ridicule who we were, how stupid we acted, how naive believed. But we can’t deny that whatever we believed in at the time, we lived. We walked that path. Those steps, however mistaken, however clumsy, brought us to ourselves today. To now. Here. To the person regretting those detours and laughing at our own ignorance.
For me, this remembrance was a kind of validation. I didn’t lose the path, and while I may have forgotten, I was working toward these ideas I now value so highly before I really realized it. I was on my way, pulling more pieces of the puzzle from the pile, setting them out for later. Now, I can begin putting those pieces together.
Well, maybe a few,