I saw a funny reel on Instagram last week. The audio was a dialogue between a Person #1 who was amazed at the ability of Person #2 and was asking how Person #2 got to be so talented. Person #2 keeps repeating herself over and over again: "Practice. You need to practice." All the while, Person #1 doesn't understand and continues to become more and more exasperated.
This makes me laugh because it is so relatable! I have people tell me that my intuition is incredibly strong. How am I able to pick up on past lives? How could I possibly know that information that they asked about? How can I feel so strongly? I just want to look at them and say, "Practice. You need to practice."
When I started on this path, I did not even believe in intuition. Then, when I came around to it all and wanted to develop my own, I was a mess. I didn't know where to start. It took me years simply to understand my own intuition, let alone to reach out into other people's energies. I made mistakes. I was frustrated. I was too nervous to tell anyone.
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali addresses the idea of practice. In Chapter 1, verse 14, he says, "Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time, without break, and in all earnestness." In this sutra, he gives us the recipe for a successful practice.
Practice is successful when:
- Attended to for a long time: It will take more than one week to master a yoga pose, a mindfulness technique, a musical instrument, a sport, etc. You must be dedicated to practicing for a long time. Years.
- Without break: People often tell me that they have tried mindfulness many times but it just won't stick. It must not be for them. When we dig a little bit deeper and ask how do you practice, the answer is usually "well off and on, every once in a while, etc." If your practice is to be successful, you must be consistent. Off and on will not get you there.
- In all earnestness: I remember trying to read biology textbooks in college. I would be assigned page numbers. I would read the pages though at the end, I had no idea what I read. Technically, I read them but my mind was not focused on the task at hand. I was not earnest. If your practice is to be firmly grounded, you must pay attention and focus while you practice.
The spiritual path is like any other journey. It is messy. It is frustrating. There are moments when you want to give up. Spiritual growth is not a magical thing. Some people are not better at it than others. We are all on equal footing; however, practice is required.
Practice is the only thing that will get you there. Well attended to for a long time. Without break. In all earnestness.