Steadiness: The Gift of Consistency
“However the seed is planted, in that way the fruit is gathered” is a Buddhist saying which seems particularly pertinent to being steady in our practices. It’s about showing up consistently and it’s during challenging times, such as this global pandemic, that we become aware of what we have harvested based upon choices we’ve previously made.
What have you been digging into your soil? Is it ripe and juicy or heading for the compost bin?
Practices such as meditation, mindfulness and deep relaxation can have an elusive feeling of “is this doing anything?” I had many false starts in my meditation practice because I didn’t fully understand how much it would enhance my life as the end goal wasn’t apparent. Well, let me share something with you…there is no end goal; only the present moment, which happens to ripple out into our future moments.
A profound lesson I had in establishing a long-term daily meditation practice happened in July 2006, when I was studying yoga therapy with a stoic teacher. It was challenging as I had many reasons to not get on my cushion, yet wanting to be a good yoga student, I practiced. Following a break, I returned to the training, saw my meditation teacher and sprinted up to her saying, “I did it! I’ve meditated every day for five weeks!” As she dryly looked at me, her response was simply, “Okay.”
What?! That’s it? No pat on the back? No words of “You’re amazing, what a fantastic yoga student you have become!” It was a major light bulb moment. The practice wasn’t for anything but me. No ego. No glory. And I want to share with you that I haven’t missed one day of meditation since that time. Not one. No matter where I am in the world, my daily sitting has seeped into my being so deeply that it is part of who I am. It’s as though not doing my daily practice would feel like leaving the house without brushing my teeth.
One main benefit of the steadiness of the practice is that I don’t fall apart when things get challenging. It doesn’t mean times aren’t hard, but my reactions to the stressful times don’t tear me apart. I’m able to better surf the waves of uncertainty. And I notice it particularly now. My practice has a sweetness to it that I hadn’t noticed before. It’s one part of my life that hasn’t been impacted by the global pandemic. It’s that part of me that is still “normal.”
Digging into our yoga soil on a daily basis by undertaking some aspect of our practice – whether it be rockin’ a challenging vinyasa practice, taking three mindful breaths, or just laying down on the mat and not doing anything – is where you find the long-term benefits. The support and impact of our practice may not be noticeable and obvious immediately, yet we see a glimpse in moments when we’re looking for solace and grace.
Perhaps this is the time to deepen the quality of your practice and welcome, honor and acknowledge the beautiful gift of consistency. Maybe this is the time to find gratitude in the steps you have been taking to enrich self-care and self-love; the art of our individual practice brought forth throughout the millennia.
Jayne Robertson is owner and instructor at Desert Yoga Therapy in Rancho Mirage. For more information, visit www.desertyogatherapy.com, call (760) 456.5160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org