One of the questions I ask when I first meet a client after agreeing to work together is – do you have any daily practices? This question has no specific agenda, but helps me as a Life Coach gauge what kind of connection the client has with themselves, and the tools that speak to them.
When asked, people often associate daily practices with yoga or meditation. And don’t get me wrong, these are wonderful daily practices to have. But really a daily practice can look different to different people, and that is because we are all unique. Someone’s daily practices may involve journaling, dreamwork, prayer, reading the paper, sitting with a morning coffee in the garden, repeating or chanting a mantra, gardening, or going for daily run or walk with the dogs. There is no right or wrong when it comes to daily practices, it’s about what works for you and what it brings to your life.
But why do daily practices matter, really? See, daily practices are a bit like exercising, it’s about practising the muscle of reconnecting to yourself, finding grounding and turning inward. And it matters because the more you practise grounding, slowing down, the better equipped you will be to call upon these skills and tools when you need them most in life.
Life will present challenges, some bigger than others, and how you respond to them is really key. You can shut them off and allow fear to take over (even if you are not conscious that’s what you’re doing), or you can learn to be with them, and grow from meeting them.
Cultivating daily rituals that help you connect to yourself, and be present without getting caught up is really what matters. Let’s think about it this way, not cultivating this relationship to yourself is a bit like expecting everything to work out fine if you’ve never learned to swim and decided one early morning to try open water swimming with no safety device or anyone to rescue you!
Slowing down and going inward allows you to make space for all of the feelings and emotions that come with being human. It is important to learn to make space for all emotional experiences because really they are the connector between the conscious and the unconscious worlds. And as Carl Jung say, (you know the guy I keep going on about :-) ) “until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate”.
Emotional experiences hold the key to freedom, and by that, I mean freedom in how you respond to a situation, and how you decide to direct your energy instead of trying to waste it suppressing it.
My daily practices look very different today than they did 10-12 years ago when I first started meditating daily for instance. Back then, meditating was a way to help me perform better during the day and keep my head above water if you will. And it was a very noble intention but now my intention is very different.
Today, my daily practices are an integral part of who I am, how I choose to live my life. I wake up and I journal about the dreams I had the night before, I meditate daily (but at more random times since becoming a mother) and do a lot of active imagination. I also practice re-grounding and connecting to myself at regular intervals during the day especially when I move from one space to another (physical or otherwise).
So why do we struggle so much to keep up with daily practices? That’s often because a) we are too attached to the immediate results they provide us with, b) fail to connect to the bigger picture of our why we do them and c) we fear failure if we don’t keep up with them.
But remember cultivating daily practices is a bit like learning to ride a bike, maybe you won’t have cycled for a while, but you will always remember how to do it when you need it most.
So, what’s holding you back? Time? Space? Doing it with other people?
Well, I am excited to announce that I will be running a weekly free get together on Instagram Live for those of us who want to find more space, and grounding in our weeks.
Holistically Me’s Sunday Sanctuary starts this Sunday 7 August at 7pm UK time (check your time zone here) on Instagram Live (@Holistically_me_coaching if we’re not already connected). Join me and others like-minded souls for 10 minutes of going inward, reconnecting, alone but together. I cannot wait to see you there.
Until then, Holistically Yours,