Tuesday, April 29, 2014

carving out your own practice

One of the benefits of a tradition is that often said tradition has very defined practices that you can fall back on and follow, which is especially helpful when you're new or when you're attempting to create a disciplined practice.

Some people thrive on traditions and structure, while others do better with a looser, freer form of practice.

Honestly, I suspect I'm a bit more of the former (structure lover). Call me a Capricorn but it's true. I simultaneously chaff and thrive on structure. I chaff over the rigidity of structure and long to be free of it, all the while, doing my best when I have some sort of guidelines. It's not always something I like about myself but I have come to accept the truth in it.

As I move towards creating a practice of my own, I see how this need for structure and freedom is both frustrating and invigorating. Some days I completely just do my own thing, others I follow the structures I've been taught.

In the end, I find that what is working best for me is fusing me into the structures by loosening them up, adapting what I love in the structures and making them my own. For some reason, carving out something from nothing is daunting to me because I find it hard to remain consistent when I do so. I forget from day to day (or rather sometimes week to week) what I did and didn't do, what worked and didn't work, etc.

So I'm borrowing the general framework of what I know and infusing it with what calls to me that day, thus I have just enough structure to keep me focused and self-disciplined, but enough freedom to feel like my daily practice speaks to me and my needs that particular day.

For me, loosely, that looks like starting with some sort of relaxation technique like breathing or yoga, then a prayer or blessing, before moving into meditation and then a closing prayer/thank you of sorts. It's very simple but it works for me right now as it starts my day off right.

There are other exercises I'd like to add in but for now, like journaling (art and written), elemental working, divination training, etc, but for now, this is what works for me consistently. The rest comes and goes based on what life looks like at that moment. For someone who sort of craves structure, it gives me just enough to feel secure, but enough freedom to appease my resistance to structure and space for exploration, which is exciting and a little scary for yours truly! But since I like to over-complicate and over-think things, the looseness of the practice is a good exercise in letting go and flowing.

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