Daily practice has many rewards. I’ve been doing a morning practice, consisting of meditation, a blessing mantra, and a 3-card Tarot spread, for nearly 10 years. It takes me 15 or 20 minutes each day, and it’s now a given part of my morning routine. I find that it keeps me centered and grounded in what’s real. At other times of the day, I can draw on the energy of that practice, either by breathing and re-focusing on how I feel when I’m meditating, or by recalling the cards I drew that morning and using their advice to help move through the challenges of the day. The daily reading has also helped me learn and integrate the meanings of the Tarot cards. And in the big picture, keeping track of which cards I’m drawing most helps me see the rhythms and cycles of the life lessons I’m learning.
It took me a long time, even though I’ve been taking yoga classes off and on for years, to come to a regular home practice of yoga. And even when I’m most focused on it, calling it a daily practice isn’t accurate – it’s more like 5 days a week. It’s very worthwhile, though, on all levels. The exercise helps my physical strength and flexibility. Yoga, I find, also helps keep my mind nimble and my emotions on a more even keel. And spiritually it helps me be more open to the Beauty and Wonder of life.
I find that I need a gentle approach to self-discipline. If I’m too strict with myself, I soon rebel, and there goes the regularity of the practice. Yet, especially while getting into the groove of a new practice (or getting back to one after a lull), I do need to be somewhat firm in reminding myself that, although that new novel does beckon enticingly, and I may have interesting e-mail to reply to, I probably ought to do my practice first.
Ideally, the practice should be one that you’re inspired to do, so that making it a part of your regular routine seems natural. It can also help to have a friend to practice with, or at least to compare notes with. Try it – perhaps by committing yourself to two weeks or a month of your chosen practice – and see how it feels!