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The Rhythm of Enduring

How do we dedicate ourselves to rituals that generate the change we actually desire? How do we endure when we hit a wall? This is at the root of when we talk about self care, resolutions, goals, desires, longings, cravings, stuck energy, … we’re asking how we can support those in the long run. We want to know how to sustain ourselves with enough consistency of an effort that it will naturally produce the byproduct we’re after.

By engaging with a meditation practice every day we get to experience the byproduct of feeling more calm amidst our daily chaos. By devoting to patience in more moments of our days, the natural byproduct is that we don't get as worked up when someone is inevitably testing it. By picking up the guitar every day to practice repetitive drills, we can more seamlessly converse through our instrument with more groups of musicians. Basically, you want to lift that heavy thing? You have to start by lifting the light thing. Every. Single. Day. 

The natural byproduct of devoted, dedicated, committed effort to a single practice is much more potent than the outcome of some devotion to many different practices. Sure, the diversity of interests may produce some other outcomes we desire, like feeling well-rounded, multi-faceted, interesting to others and so on. But the temptation becomes that we add more. We go wide rather than deep. And so we experience only the surface of each by dividing our limited resource of effort across many spaces. What happens when we pour greater amounts of energy towards a single small facet of our lives? We devote, we flex, we repeat, we tire and we try again. 

What brings us back to the practice when we tire of it? This is the root of endurance. We have to get clear about the anchors that pull us back to dedication. We have to identify a strong enough belief that this facet of ourselves is worthwhile so that we choose to come back to that practice over and over and over again when we inevitably steer into old ways.

Eventually the steering away becomes less frequent. Eventually the practice of efforting becomes the instinctual habit, the one that becomes effortless. As you continue to evolve into what you’re becoming, these new habits become the anchors that pull us back to dedication as we begin to transcend into newer practices towards what we desire. And this type of evolution – as is true of any evolution – is slow, consistent and ever-unfolding.

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