Mindfulness by definition is a practice. Just like yoga, just like any sport you have to excel at, or any craft you are fine-tuning, it is a practice. But, what I’m also coming to realize as I continue to the craft and art of mindfulness is that it is also a habit. And a habit that takes a lot of support systems both externally and internally.
For me to feel like I am in my most zen place of practicing mindfulness, a lot of things have to line up, to start, I have to:
- Be eating a regular, routine schedule that is comprised of foods I know my body responds to well.
- Be exercising on a regular, routine schedule that makes me feel strong and like I’m pushing myself.
- Working somewhat normal hours at work without any major dramas/fire-drills/conflicts/kerfuffles/unforeseen stress projects coming from upper management.
- The weather should be a balmy, breezy 75 degrees for at least a week long period of time. Severe temperature swings need not apply.
- Be regularly surrounded by my closest friends and the people I love the most in the world.
High maintenance, right? YES. Because the actual realistic probability and sustainability of all those things happening on a regular continuous basis is approximately SLIM TO NONE. Life happens every day and it certainly happens while we’re all trying desperately to stack the deck of cards just right so we can control what we get dealt. Most of the things listed above get derailed by a number of factors that are completely out of my control.
But the habit of mindfulness that I have been able to sustain? That my mindfulness practice is always something I have to come back to. Whether it’s in my most zen state or my most frazzled state, I must remember to always practice, practice, practice.
Because, this time, practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes peace.