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The Power of Practice

Article by Julianne Rice, teacher for Tuesday and Thursday 5:30 pm classes.

Practice makes progress. Practice can be a way of life. Practice loving. Practice eating well. Practice your favorite art or hobby. Practice whatever you practice that allows you time to be present with yourself repeatedly. Let the power of practice enrich you. It’s the practice itself that can be the medicine for what ails us.

Improvement occurs naturally as we practice regularly. At the same time, that precise regular practice often leads to a heightened awareness of the complexity of who we are. That is good news and/or bad news depending on how you look at it. Practicing brings up our “stuff”. Don’t quit right at the moment when breakthrough is ready to happen. You may not know when breakthrough is ready to happen. If you ever go through frustration, discouragement, inertia or overwhelm regarding your practice you can be sure that breakthrough is right around the corner.

It’s a natural sequence of events.
(Read this next part slowly – see if you can relate)
The sequence can go something like this:
interest/inspiration, effort, joyful anticipation, commitment, more effort, resistance, frustration, unmet expectations, lack of interest, resignation OR a return to interest/inspiration ….

What brings us back to the interest/inspiration stage? What fuels the fire of commitment? In my case, I bring to mind a memory. A memory of the way I felt. Felt incredible. Touched a place that was magical. Want it again. Or sometimes I practice just getting really present with what is – immersing myself so fully in the present moment that I get carried back, almost effortlessly, to those things that I know I am committed to. Love returns. Practice happens.Yay!
What brings you back?

My inspirational vocal teacher and good friend, Kath Robinson, has a wonderful take on this subject. She calls it moving from the inspiration stage of practicing to the refinement stage and then back again. At first – inspiration. We fall in love and that carries us for awhile and then the details – many of the things that don’t work show up. This is the refinement stage. We get to refine the raw materials we started out with. We just don’t give up. Jumping into that refinement process whole heartedly is a great way to move back into the inspiration stage again. Back to love. Back to interest. Back to fascination.

The power of practice is a power to be reckoned with.

Let your commitment to what’s most important to you lead you toward those things that support and nourish you.

— Julianne

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