Day 23,722: Looking Outside vs In.

Years ago, the only people I knew who had a practice were dentists.  I never questioned the word and just accepted that dentists had practices while doctors had offices. Even though doctors studied the practice of medicine, I never visited the MD’s practice.

When I was learning piano, I always had practice. It was a daily grind, often shirked. Like going to the dentist’s office in the years before Novocain, it was brutal. I liked playing piano, but hated practicing at it. Whenever I was called to practice, I’d somehow find a way to go outside and play at something else.

Related Post: Stemming The Tide of Seriousness

In the seventies and eighties, people were learning about Zen Buddhism and then meditation, which is always referred to as a practice. Yoga is turning into a practice as well.

I’m wondering if blogging daily can be considered a practice? It would feel special to have one. According to Merriam Webster it might be. Who knew?

Turns out a practice is not only repeated exercise (as in Yoga), and to pursue a profession (as in dentistry), but also to perform or work at repeatedly so as to become proficient (as in blogging!).  That’s not really true.  I didn’t start blogging to become proficient just prolific – quantity vs. quality.  I’m not a patient person, don’t spend a lot of time on any one thing, and love short stories over long novels. Hence, writing a post is hands down easier than writing a chapter.  Perhaps I have a postice rather than practice?

Somehow having a practice seems so sophisticated and civil, far better than developing a habit, which has more negative overtones. Practices always seems to come with training, or mentors, or a skill set of some sort, whereas habits are just things you do repeatedly and mindlessly.  Maybe that’s the difference? A practice is mindful (Buddhist influence again) whereas habits are not?

If that’s the case, there are so many things I have to start turning into practices, not the least of which is eating slowly (mindful eating), listening (mindful attention to someone else) and politeness (minding my manners).  It’s exhausting. For now, I’m only ready to commit to blogging and an occasional visit to the gym.  It’s all I can handle because, as in my early piano days, I still like playing outside more than practicing in.

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Daily Focus on Gun Sanity:  It was lost on no one that one of the young speakers at the #MarchforOurLives was 9 year-old Yolanda Renee King, Dr. Martin Luther King’s granddaughter.  Dr King once said: ” I have a dream.” Yolanda King said “I have a dream Enough is Enough.”  Dr. King once said: “The time is always right to do what is right.” This year, young Yolanda King said: “All across the nation we are going to be a great generation.”  They already are. Thay are already stepping up to do what is right. Dr. King would be proud.