I’m someone who enjoys routine. I perform well at work because there are procedures and protocols that spell out exactly what is needed, giving me a roadmap for praise and success. Working a job is easy but coming up with the procedures and protocols for life entails a bit more work, and sticking to them can be damn near impossible. Once I get my daily routine for life working, it seems something always seems to take my attention away from what is working and I’m back trying to figure it all out so not to have to reboot again. But my routines seems to be winning for me, so what really is the problem?
Two years ago I posted a meme on Facebook about the death of Ego. Two weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend about balance, feeling I would work hard on my spiritual practice and career goals while also going out as much as my friends tend to like to party. Two days Facebook reminded me of that meme and all the lights went off. Ego tricked me into thinking he wasn’t as big and bad in my life as he really is. Ego told me I can have balance but now I see there still needs to be procedures and protocols in place to be able to come back to center after the party is over. I never could figure out what was needed to have it all, and really I just didn’t want to take the necessary steps to iron out all of the details before trying to run with the limited structure I have.
Daily practice is something I read often during my spiritual studies, as well as casually seen in self-help books and programs. As much as people feel that are free spirits, captain of their own ship guided by nothing but the wind; I can’t do that. I need structure and routine so I know where I’m guiding myself. This idea that control isn’t organic to our being isn’t something I can subscribe to, but I know with balance, structure won’t seem like a four letter word. The interesting thing that truly upsets me is I don’t tend to mind seeming rigid and about my path. I don’t mind declining invitations out if it interferes with being productive on my path, but my friends do. I feel the pressure so often to be social so I skip a night of study or I don’t meditation while on vacation and all of a sudden I haven’t been in my practice for a week. I love my friends as I know many of you do but sometimes, their will takes over and I’m left restarting, but no more.
There hasn’t been a time when I haven enacted and stuck to a daily practice and not felt the benefits every day. I sleep better; I wake up happier. I feel connected to the Dharma and the Universe so why would I every stop? A daily practice that benefits yourself is work. Why does everything that truly benefits one’s growth have to be tough as all get out to maintain(rhetorical question)? With all the benefits that have been proven to make my life balanced and sweet already known to me, I still find a way to allow the work to cause me to stop what makes me whole, and I sadly put blame on friends and family who are doing nothing but wanting to spend time with me.
If you are looking for a blueprint towards your own daily practice you have come to the wrong place. I’m here to share with you what a daily practice brings to your life. For me, it has brought me closer to myself. I feel good when I can see I am sticking to healthy habits daily. Often times I don’t want to stray from my routine but when I feel tired due to having to maintain such a life, my old ways pull me back to the lazy life I used to have that kept me stationary and in my room. The fear that I might retreat to my old ways scares my friends into reacting in a way that causes me to take on their fears but also has me forgetting the work I had been doing to know myself and how to move forward mindfully. I’m at a level that I am able to absorb this information. What I have found isn’t new but the mental blocks and blinders aren’t present to hamper proper action towards finally make it a part of my growth.
We often times don’t maintain practices that are beneficial to ourselves. Maybe we think the wrong things are helpful, and for me, I have noticed I knew what to do but the effort was so overwhelming in my head I choose to do what was easy, finding what was easy usually wasn’t the best for me. And a lot of what is easy isn’t bad just doesn’t propel me to the place and space I want to be. I challenge you all to look deep at your daily habits and make the tough decisions. Look at your goals and why you might not have reached them yet. Look at your feelings on work and check how much work and effort you put into things that only serve a limited purpose.
Has a daily practice worked for you? Do you have ideas and a blueprint you feel might help others? Leave a comment at the bottom and share your thoughts and ideas. We are all in this together.