"An ounce of practice is generally worth more than a ton of theory."
~ Ernst F. Schumacher
Making our lives better always involves practice. Our habits are like the grooves on an old-fashioned phonographic record, and only practice of new, healthy habits can cut new grooves in our brains. Researchers continue to uncover the phenomenal neuroplasticity or adaptability of the human brain, which has the capacity to alter and evolve throughout our lifespan. Every consistent focus of our attention eventually becomes hard-wired into our neural pathways, so getting good grooves comes with devoted practice.
Engaging in practice with others provides major support. Researchers discovered that "mirror neurons" fire both when we perform some activity and when we observe another performing that activity. This discovery suggests that, by mere observation, our brains may imitate not just others' acts but their mental states as well. However it works, working with a support team provides expertise to guide our practice and empathy to keep us going.
Physical therapy can hurt, but must be repeated many times to recover a bodily function. No one expects physical therapy to be fun. In fact, people know that such practice involves a greatly delayed gratification. But physical therapy patients want to walk or use their hands again, so they persevere through physical and mental discomfort, leaning emotionally on their support team of therapists, family, friends and other patients to relearn lost functions.
The practice required to recover from unhealthy patterns of behavior can be as intense as physical therapy and requires the identical commitment. Often people seeking healthy new behaviors wonder why they don't get better once they understand their issues. But just as in physical therapy, comprehending why your leg got hurt and what's needed for healing will not by itself make your leg better. You actually have to complete each daily practice.
DAILY HEALTHY ACTS
- Whatever you desire, it will require practice to get there. Conceive a practice plan. If you need help, ask for support.
- We all want greater intimacy. We all want healthy self-esteem, serene moods, and robust health. Practice for a few minutes today to deepen your breathing, to smile, to affirm your inner beauty, and to reach out to loved ones with affection, regardless of results. Select one, or all, of these actions and practice every day for the next month!
CSH - Los Angeles