What do you want to Grow? The magic is in your practice.

What do you want to Grow? The magic is in your practice.

We talk about practicing yoga or meditation and how that can greatly enhance our lives.  We practice our sports and instruments to improve our skills and rehearse speeches or lines for a play to memorize and create smooth performances. 

The reality is that we are engaged in a practice every day of our lives.  It is not just an activity that we attend 3 days a week or put aside 10 minutes each day to sit with our thoughts, it is anything we are doing repetitively. 

Shauna Shapiro, Ph.D. just released a new book, “Good Morning, I Love You,” whose main premise emphasizes, What you practice grows stronger.

“We are practicing something all the time-not just when we’re meditating, but at every moment.  This means we are growing something all the time.  So the most important question becomes: What do you want to grow?”

Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Mentality was his legacy in teaching the world that showing up each day to be better, is a way of life.  Everyday!  It is just a heartbreaking loss and my prayers go out to all of the victims and their families. Please view Kobe talk about his Mamba Mentality:

We often forget that it takes mindfulness and effort to make progress when we are changing behavior or achieving our goals. We start off having such enthusiasm and excitement when we begin our quest for a meaningful and cool pursuit. It all seems so obvious that there should be a success, but wait…then there is little follow-through and consistency. We say to ourselves, “After a year, I’m still not where I want to be.” That’s because there was not a practice in place on a daily basis to get you there! I have had this same conversation with myself many times in my life. Ugh!

There are no hacks or short-cuts, nor should there be, for accomplishing things that only the process of hard work will teach us about our strength and determination.

I recently discussed with our high school ski team about using power words or mantras to help them direct their focus to the energy and mindset wanted before races. The mantra could be considered a quick fix to get the mind in the right place, but here is the deal, you must practice it over and over again for it to activate the powerful physiological and psychological effects. Mental tools become useless if they are not applied on a continual basis. The skier that says, “I am going to suck this run,” is stuck with this negative tape leading the way rather than “attack” or “I am power!” Which words will give the skier the best chances to do their best? So apparent, yet strong automatic responses can only be overcome by a conscious repetition to replace the old mental junk!

As Shauna Shapiro states, “If we are practicing judgment, we are growing judgment. If we are practicing frustration, we are growing frustration…What we practice grows stronger.”

What if we practiced happiness, grace, forgiveness, and mindfulness? They would grow of course. Every intention, thought, and behavior fires particular synapses of neurons in the brain. Just like driving a vehicle in the sand around and around producing deep ruts, the same happens neurologically with synapses. They become deep grooves with repetition and practice that become our go-to way of responding.

Our Practice is a life-long process of attending to and actually doing what will align us with our deepest desires and best self. Kobe’s Mamba Mentality is a way of life, to have an exceptional life that is in continual growth!

May we always remember this.

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The Goop Podcast: Shauna Shapiro Interview, Why Self-Esteem is a Fairweather Friend.

Shauna Shapiro, PhD, Good Morning, I Love You.