I wondered that the date marking my seven years of blogging passed me by. Silently. Without any fanfare or notice. Have I become so immersed in practice that the measures and milestones are no longer worthy of celebration?
Every day is a new day. And each day - I begin again. There's no goal. There's no destination. There's no prize to be won. There's no end or finish line.
There's just this. My showing up day after day - regularly and routinely and without interruption - looking and seeing....noticing and feeling. Creating. Only this moment...this day...this now.
And so - this is....
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There's so much I could share with you about the discipline of practice. The fruits of a daily one such as this that I practice with my camera's lens has resulted in over 2500 published images....and that doesn't begin to count those that have yet to see the light of day. The number both astounds and confounds me. It overwhelms.
The fruits of my almost 15-year daily yoga practice are not so quantifiable. That practice - like this thing that I do here - has changed me. I can no longer remember who I was. Once.
It's not one without the other or the other without one. It's the combination of the two - the photography and the yoga...along with my daily writing practice - that's brought me here.
Now. Today. Seven years after.
I could speak to the changes in my external world. How photography has evolved. How blogging and social media have become the chosen medium thru which to show and share. How yoga was once a little-known (in this western world) meditative..contemplative practice. How it's popularity has expanded and exploded so that its teachings have become a part of our everyday consciousness and conversations.
I could speak to the changes in my family's life. To the three children who were once so central to everything and all. Grown and gone. Living lives of their own.
And - of course - I could speak to the many many changes within. Now deeply embedded....rooted in my head and heart and soul. All this has become a part of me.
But - what I really want to speak to are the lessons learned. The unexpected ones. The ones no one ever mentions. Those ones that are earned and learned thru the passage of time and experience and - yes - practice.
The gift is - that there is no end. Practice is the intention...and the intention is the practice. There is no other purpose.
And yet - I've learned - that goals are an important and necessary part. That a creative practice without any means of measuring progress can be disorienting. That setting a goal and working towards its attainment provides an important sense of accomplishment and completion. Finishing a project...crossing a finish line...reaching an end - just plain feels good. Perhaps the prize is in deciding whether this day's practice is for the sole purpose of practice...or when that same day's practice is a means to an end.
Perhaps - one of the most important lessons I've learned - is simply this. That the bravest...boldest...kindest part and piece of the discipline of practice - is knowing when to choose rest.
I'll be thinking a lot about that as I begin - again...and again...and again - here and now and today....and in my 8th year.
"Your home is that thing to which you can dedicate your energies with such singular devotion that the ultimate results become inconsequential."
- Elizabeth Gilbert
With palms pressed...I bow to all of you with gratitude. Thank you all for joining me on this journey.