What are you practicing?
I have a 16-month-old. Have you ever observed a child at this age for any length of time?
One-year-olds are notorious for practicing. They are hyper-observant of the world around them. They watch people and study what they do. Then they practice for themselves, embracing every opportunity to hone a new skill.
Recently, I watched my one-year-old practice stepping into the shower and then stepping back out of the shower. Again and again, he practiced, for what felt like a very long time. At least a hundred times. (Okay, I’m exaggerating…) It went on so long I started to wonder if something had gone haywire or if his brain’s inner programming had been set to “repeat.”
In a sense, my one-year-old’s brain is programmed to repeat – he repeats anything he wants to learn and integrate.
The same is true for us.
But then as we age, we program ourselves to practice things we may not necessarily wish to integrate or “play on repeat.” Unlike my one-year-old, we become less intentional about what we are practicing. I can think of more than a few examples for myself.
As a mindful exercise today – take notice of what you are practicing.
Notice what you are doing throughout your day. The idea is to be mindful of what you are practicing so that you can be more intentional. We can choose to rehearse what we care most about.
There are many activities we may be practicing daily without really noticing….
-responding to emails and texts
-surfing social media
-looking at our phone as soon as we wake up
-ordering our kids around
The list goes on…
Here are some things I would like to practice…
-taking in a deep, full breath
-having 5-minute dance breaks when I feel uptight
-kissing my husband goodbye and being totally smitten
-acting silly for no reason other than to have fun
-smiling at strangers
-saying out loud what I am grateful for each day
See for yourself – what are you practicing? Is it what you intended? Are the things you are practicing an accurate reflection of what you value and wish to integrate into your life?
Meanwhile, my one-year-old has moved on to practicing putting things into the trashcan – without discernment for what “trash” is. Pardon me while I inspect the garbage for missing valuables…