"Practice doesn't make perfect.
It just makes you better."
-- Tawa Suleman
This is the seventh post in a series of posts on gratitude and thankfulness.
The following quote by Rabindranath Tagor is one of my favorites and it is a place that I have arrived at which brings me much joy. "Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky." I do believe that it is gratitude that brought me to this place, and one other thing: practice.
Becoming aware is good, and what is better is putting that awareness into action in my life. One day it occurred to me that I needed to practice it. It's sort of like having the workout machines in your house and never using them. It doesn't make sense and it doesn't help. Practice makes use of that which I have learned and in the practice, my learning is expanded.
My ego is still intact. I still have those ego thoughts. However, the difference now is that my ego is no longer in charge. I used to think that I was supposed to feel that way, and I have learned that I am in charge when I choose to be. Practicing being in charge has brought this to fruition.
It is one thing to know a thing and another to put it into practice. So, I have learned with joy to practice all the time. I do it now everyday, even all day long. Here are some examples.
When I'm driving somewhere, I practice the intention that I will enjoy my travel, that it will be safe and efficient travel and that I will arrive in a timely manner. It is calming as I was rushing to an appointment in the next city. Yet, my ego jumps in an I get tense and my heartbeat increases speed and negative thoughts about being late wash over me. I sense this immediately, and now I take a deep breath, and repeat my intention and I am calm again. It is amazing how many times I have arrived on time when that seemed impossible.
I'm at the grocery store, or some other place where I am getting in line to check out. Just this morning, I had a guy cut in line quickly in front of me and I welcomed another opportunity to practice my patience and joy. Sometimes, I offer people to go ahead of me just for more practice. It is fun and interesting and I never get upset anymore in lines. I don't seek lines out; however, I don't worry about them.
A client hasn't paid their invoices for a few months, or a client leaves our services owing a balance, even sometimes a significant balance. This would have made me very upset in the past, and I might even watch my ego try to upset me for a few minutes, but then I take charge (practicing) and talk myself through it. I have not paid people in my past sometimes, so I cannot be the judge here. If they no longer want our services, that is okay. If they won't pay the balance, that is okay. I will ask for it, but I refuse to pursue it, for in the pursuit of it, I am the one upset, and I choose peace. In fact, this has become our company policy. We put our focus on those who do and want our services.
These are but a few of the real world ways I practice my gratitude. I no longer have storm clouds in my life, and those clouds that come passing through instead offer contrast and interest. It is gratitude that allows this to be and it is pure joy as far as I am concerned. People can be upset all around me and I still get to choose.
And I Choose Peace, Love, Joy, Appreciation, Enjoyment Through Practice.
Spread Some Joy Today--It has to start with you and me. We must serve joy to ourselves, then others will see it and want it for themselves.