Daily Practice

Go with the flow, but it's nice to have a few paddles that you've practised using.

When the pedal hits the metal, you need a foundation of good practice to keep a modicum of balance in place. I've been tending a family member's serious illness this past week, (my dad, he's better), and it takes every bit of good behavior on my part for me to stay centered and available. What works for me is having certain minimum daily requirements for my physical, mental, spiritual and emotional well being. I'm not legalistic about these, sometimes a week might pass before one of my DMR actually makes it onto the to-do list. But I have noticed that the more I practice these habits/skills/routines and rituals daily -- when I DON'T need them --  the easier it is to make it through the rough patches.

The MDRs change over time and sometimes the focus is on one "realm" of being more than another. But recently, these are the practices that are getting me through. These are the real ones, not the ones I wish I did, not the ones I think I should be doing. And I slip up a lot on the dailyness aspect. but they are the minimums and more often then not, I get around to each and every one of them once in 24 hours.

1. Walking, at least a mile, usually about 3 in 1 to 2 mile stints. This one works on ALL the fronts, physical, emotional, spiritual and mental. Usually at home the walks are dog-driven necessity. (We call Bandera, the coon hound, "The Treadmill.")

Bandera, aka "the Treadmill

2. Keeping my email box purged. This is not easy, and stuff still gets shuffled to some unknown folder at times. But mentally, it helps not to open the email and see 300 messages that are just kindof parked there o "in."

3. Cooking. Cooking good, simple, nourishing comfort food is both a creative and physical best practice in my life. It keeps me centered to handle ingredients and to participate in the alchemy of transforming these six things into some one delicious smelling and tasting one thing.

4. Stitching by hand. When I need a meditative moment, having some handwork to attack with the slow steady pace of a nice running stitch just gets me back into now. I carry handwork with me as often as I can, and its been essential for those hours in hospital waiting rooms. Count it practice for all the mes.

5. Affirmation and prayer. Enough said. Remember to breathe. Everything really is going to be all right. I don't have all the information. I can be present, right now, right here. Spinning out into future scenarios is always always a waste of precious energy.