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Practice. Practice. Practice.

July 9, 2013

Kitten Reads a Book: Part 5

The fourth agreement is: “Do Your Best”

If you’ve ever tried yoga you’re familiar with the term practice. A lot of philosophies, religions and belief systems use this term, practice. It means you have to keep learning, keep growing, keep trying. It means that the journey to being better never ends and the journey itself is an end.

The agreement to do your best is not just about doing the best you can at being a good person every day. Though it is that. It’s to be your best self in everything you do, knowing that your best will change from day to day and that’s ok.

Doing your best means to do your best to follow the other agreements.

It’s not always easy to be impeccable with your word. The author talks about gossip as a force of evil in the world. I have a hard time with that one. Just last night Pickle and I were making fun of one of the regulars at the Blue Moon. We call her Snow White. That’s another story. It’s hard not to gossip. So, I’m doing my best to be impeccable with my word, but I’m not perfect. I need to practice.

It’s really hard sometimes not to take things personally. My blogs are evidence of that. I’m going to my Dad’s in a few hours and I’m going to have to face my sister. She was awful to me the last time I was there. It seemed like the whole weekend all she did was try to put me down. But I know she’s having a hard time with her own circumstances. It’s not about me. But she’s my sister. I used to worship her and live for her acceptance. So, it’s really hard not to take her words personally. I have to do my best to remember, it’s not about me.

Assuming and guessing and needing to know and understand are natural tendencies. Not making assumptions is difficult. It’s going to take practice.

In the book the author tells a story of a student who asks his zen master how long it would take him to reach nirvana if he meditated five hours a day. The zen master answered him and the student asked, “What if I meditate 10 hours a day?” The master told him it would take twice as long. Here’s why:

You are not here to sacrifice your joy or your life. You are here to live, to be happy and to love. Live your life intensely.

Isn’t that a wonderful sentence? Sometimes it just takes somebody saying that to you and you, accepting it. Your life does not require justification. You are here to be happy, to live.

So, do the best you can.

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