The Refuge of Practice

One prepares for stress by taking up practices or cultivating habits that support a healthy, balanced lifestyle when life is smooth and easy, when life is comfortable. Maybe you remember feeling invincible, invulnerable to stress at some time in your life. Maybe you thought bad things only happen to other people. Stress comes knocking on everyone’s door sooner or later.

Before stress arrives, you want to have things in place to help you navigate through your immediate stressors to the other side of stress. When stress hits, you may not even feel there is another side.

This is why I bring in the subject of Practice and the importance of cultivating a practice or maybe several practices in your life, your daily or weekly routine that brings you to your calm center. It needs to be something you enjoy doing. When stress hits, you want to have a place to turn to that will bring you home to yourself. It needs to be so ingrained, so automatic, that you turn to it easily perhaps without even thinking about it.

The things we cultivate as Practice in our lives becomes a reliable, well worn path. Such a Practice is a refuge. When we return to our Practice over and over again, it builds an inner muscle, an inner strength that is there for us to rely on, to build upon, to lean upon when the going gets tough.


Day 111 of #the100project

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