Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Returning to Practice

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. ~Stephen Covey

I mentioned in a recent post that I had gotten sloppy in my practice in the last months of 2022. Other things seemed to take up more time and practice was not a priority, so it kept getting shoved to the back of the line. I could feel the effects. As always, practice isn’t separate from life. It permeates life. So everything felt sort of sloppy – my thinking, my emotions, my interactions with others.

I was also less efficient. It seemed that more and more time was spent accomplishing less and less. Time is a funny thing. We think that it is standard for everything and everyone. But I’ve found that when practice is a priority, somehow that opens up the spaciousness of time to get more done, including having more down time to relax and do nothing. It’s like magic.

So how could I recommit to practice? I realized that, in line with my commitment to liberation this year, I didn’t need to “make” practice a priority that I “should” do. Instead, I liberated myself from everything that blocked practice as a priority. I love my practice, so when obstacles are removed, it naturally resumes its spot at the front of the line. Everything else falls into place, and life unfolds effortlessly. Yes, like magic.

The Chinese character for practice (pictured above) is composed of a top part meaning feathers or wings, and a bottom part meaning white or pure. Thus, the character assures us that our practice lifts us up on wings of purity to our natural state of alignment and harmony.

Whatever your practice is, may it lift you up in wisdom and beauty to joyful living this year.

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is. ~Yogi Berra

4 thoughts on “Returning to Practice”

  1. Hi Galen! Just the wisdom and reminder I needed this morning. Practice, practice, practice…. I agree that it is so very easy to drift away for those things that sustain us. It is tempting to beat myself up when I do because it seems so silly….but I guess the drift is its own punishment. Just because I know better, I don’t always DO better.

    My focus on the work of Michael Singer is really “up” for me right now but just this weekend I found myself fussing and complaining about something–trying to control and change it and I spent the good part of a couple of hours lost in the mental space. Duh! I know better. I have a way to escape that maniac in my head. But did I do it? Nope. For some reason it took me until yesterday morning to wake up (nearly 24 hours later!) and realize that I had gone down that rabbit hole. Oh well, I am sure another opportunity will pop up again soon for me to “practice.”

    So when I think about it, I don’t think of “practice” as one things…but a combination of the inner work I am doing at this stage of my life. I’m guessing that you mean that too but wasn’t absolutely sure. Either way, your post reminded me of where my focus needs to remain. Thanks! ~Kathy

    1. Thanks for that great example, Kathy. When we judge ourselves for falling short in what we think we should be practicing, we can practice forgiveness! The universe is always so generous in offering us endless opportunities to practice. Right? Ha!

      Like you, my practice is not just one specific method. I practice martial arts, for example, and meditation. I also practice qigong, inspirational reading, prayer, connecting with nature, and a host of other things like compassion, forgiveness, awareness, allowing, and more. Your comment made me realize that our practice is fluid and flexible to meet the need of the opportunity of the moment.

      Having said that, I have recommitted specifically to my martial arts practice and meditation. It has been great fun to get my weapons back out and get reacquainted!

  2. Hi Galen, I was just cleaning up my emails, and I came across this post I had not read! Wish I had earlier, it would have been a good reminder to get back to my Bagua practice. I too have been sloppy with practice for the last several months, only doing what would fix the ache or stiffness short term. It took my body screaming at me with aches, pain and weakness to finally realize that like you said, practice permeates of life. I cannot not practice if I want to live a quality life.
    Thank you-Ann

    1. Hey Ann! So nice to hear from you. Your comment is so timely because I have been sick with a bad virus (not Covid) that then turned into an infection. So I have been mostly in bed for the last 2 1/2 weeks. Man, like you said, I can feel it! My body is stiff and tired and weak. I hope I’m finally on the mend and I’m eager to get back to practice — slow to start and letting my body readjust. Thanks for the motivational comment.

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