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The Importance of a Daily Practice

The Importance of a Daily Practice 

 

We live busy lives and it’s often hard to find the time or even determination to maintain a daily practice of anything. Our job’s, family or social life’s often get in the way, or perhaps we’re just to exhausted and can’t muster the strength to even be bothered to dedicate some time to anything more than watching TV and doing nothing. It’s very easy to slip into a routine of apathy and before you know it another 6 months or a year has gone by and you feel like you’re still the same person, you haven’t moved forward, you’re still in the same place you were before, you’re no happier. 


I’m not saying that by taking up a daily practice, that all your life's problems will be solved but if it's a ‘healthy’ practice, then it will definitely help.  


This practice can be anything, for me it’s the study of the internal arts of Tai Chi and Xing Yi Chuan, but it could be a musical instrument, a sport, drawing, gardening, anything that brings you calm, focus, joy and makes you present. It helps if the thing you are practicing involves a little bit of activity as well.  


I’m constantly trying to convince the people that I teach to practice more, or even better, to start a daily practice. I sometimes start class by asking how their training is going and finish by saying ‘keep training’. Both comments are often met by a smile and eyes that are looking down or away. 


I once heard someone say that a daily practice is like cooking rice. If you just turn the heat on once or twice a week, the rice will come to the boil and then cool again. But by training every day. By keeping a soft flame going, we are able to keep the rice on the boil. Then eventually, the rice will cook. 


It's a nice analogy, I think. 


For myself I really feel the difference when I train each day. My body and mind are more focused, and alert and I have far more energy. The subject is close at hand and can be replicated. Also, there is the fact that if you train every day, then you will become more skilled or even highly skilled in whatever it is that you’re practicing. 


Ultimately, it is through a daily practice of anything, that mastery is born. We don’t see someone becoming a master carpenter by practicing their trade twice a week. They learn the tools, the techniques, the types of wood, how to read the wood and perhaps how to allow their creativity to shine through the materials they use. It is something that takes years but with the correct method and dedication, it will come. 


I’m not saying that you must dedicate hours of training to your practice every day. Some days you may be busy. So, on these days just do 10 or 15 minutes. Something that keeps your toes in the water. Then on other days, you will find you have more time and will end up training more. 


Another thing to consider, is making sure that you enjoy doing the thing that you’re practicing. If you don’t enjoy it, then the chances are you probably won't train. 

One final thing is to make sure that you have the fortitude to push yourself forward and maintain your practice on the days when you really feel like you don’t want to do it. Many times I’ve found that it’s on these very days that I’ve ended up having some of the best training sessions. 


I wish you all happy lives and enjoyable studies! 





If you’d like to find out more about Tai Chi Chuan, Xing Yi Chuan, Qi Gong or Meditation, please follow the link. 


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