Whatever we practice, we get better at, and we are always practicing something; either we are reinforcing habits, behaviors and reactions we already have or we are learning and reinforcing something new. Many of our behaviors and reactions are automatic and unconscious – we might call them ‘default’ practices. Conscious, intentional practice, on the other hand, is what we can do to change and take our selves in a new direction. Essentially, intentional practice is freely choosing a new way of being, and aligning our body/mind behaviors with our values, instead of ‘defaulting’ to old, conditioned stuff.
Contemporary science refers to how practice works as Neuroplasticity. For many of us, early and/or negative and traumatic experiences conditioned our body/mind/emotions to react, protect and defend in an automatic, unconscious way – this becomes our ‘default’. The good news is that we can consciously choose to transform those default behaviors through practice. Neuroplasticity says that what we have learned we can un-learn and learn something new. In other words, through our intentional practice – awareness and repetition of a new thought, behavior, habit or movement – we can transform. Brilliant ! Practice is our Super Power !
When we do a new practice, we are interrupting old habits and living a new pattern, creating new neural pathways in the brain, re-training our nervous system and creating new muscle memory. Sounds easy ? Well, it takes PRACTICE ! Just deciding we want to change is an important first step, but we must choose intentionally again and again to reinforce the new behavior, pattern or response. We are bound to resist and fall into unconscious old patterns, but with commitment and patience, the new practices will take hold and new ways of being will feel more and more natural.
Yoga, meditation and breathwork practices can support you in laying the ground of body/mind awareness and attention that support new practices. If you need guidance in creating new personal practices and going in new directions, my private sessions and mentoring can support and assist you with that. To reach out for more info about that, just click on the contact page to find my email. Thank you, hope to hear from you.