Someone on a discussion group quoted Iyanla Vanzant as saying "repetition is the Mother of Skill". It got me to thinking that a lot of what we practice is really not so obvious or intentional but hidden and habitual, mental positioning. The question is, what's my quick mental repetition? But rather than trying to leap ahead and start a new "good" way of thinking, it is cleaner, less mentally crowding, to practice being aware of my current "skillful" habits first. And by "skillful" I'm not being self-congratulatory or selective. More like, recognizing just what mental habits are actually happening here in me and what I'm honestly practicing myself to be good at through diligent repetition.
I mean opening the doors of honesty to see what's quickly happening in my mind. What am I really making here? And what am I constantly attempting to override or deny that I'm doing with "positive" or preferred thoughts? You know, the mental version of Botox. Doesn't humanity generate a lot of skillful delusions, like dividing life into categories, critiquing good and bad without even really knowing what's being critiqued? Don't we collectively go with assumptions and roll them into group preferences we call culture?
Once someone, I think it was a meditation instructor, pointed out that everyone's skillful because everyone's devotedly practicing ways of thinking. When you look at it that way, recognizing non-preferred habits can become a doorway. I can avail myself to see what I'm doing and feel confident in my functionality. "Hey, look what I'm capable of! If I can be this good at creating stress then I can be equally good at NOT creating stress!"
Instead of writing ourselves off as lazy, bad, mentally ill or something equally dismissive (maybe originating from voices echoing from when we were honest little kids) we can acknowledge that we've actually been practicing skills all along and getting really good at it, no matter what it is. Everyone is brilliant and skillful in whatever it is we're practicing the most. And, when we realize that we're dissatisfied, unhappy, stressed all the time, what have you, we can see how good we are at what we spend our energy doing, and experiment with different choices.
A great choice is to become curiouser and curiouser with no end of curiousness.
Hi, it's Ginger. I hope my thoughts here will add to freedom, expansion and creativity for you as you read them.