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The Little Gifts of Daily Practice

The subtle colors reflecting in this lake were a gift to me.

All I Had to Do Was Keep Showing Up

When I was a nature photographer, my only real job was to keep going out every week. I couldn’t control the weather, the light, even the subject matter that was available. I could only control one thing: whether I went out to photograph or not.

And when I did go out regularly, I was often surprised by what I found. I call them little gifts. The subtle colors in the photograph above are just one example of thousands of little gifts that I received by showing up outdoors with my camera every week over the years.

And it’s funny, since I stopped photographing, photographic gifts like this stopped coming.

Same with Yoga

I was doing my yoga this morning as I have been every day for the past couple of months. And here they came in yoga form: little gifts.

I noticed this morning that my head naturally reaches a little closer to my knees as I do my sun salutes. I noticed that my balance is better, and my legs are a little higher in the tree pose.

These little unexpected gifts touch my heart. I feel grateful. Because all I did was keep showing up. There’s no way to force that kind of flexibility. It is a gift.

That’s Why I Like Ongoing Practices of Various Kinds

It takes the forcing out of it. There’s no pressure to get it today when I’m engaged in ongoing practice. I just keep showing up and, of their own accord, these little gifts keep coming.

And when they do, I’m even more inspired to keep up my practice. And when they don’t, I’m okay too. Because I know these little gifts are not my job. My job is just to keep showing up.

And It’s the Same when Doing The Work

I like to do The Work of Byron Katie as a practice, just like I used to photograph, and just like the way I do my yoga. My only job is to keep showing up.

The little gifts come when they come, and don’t when they don’t. It’s not my business. Sometimes, an insight pops out at me. What a gift! Other times, I notice during the day that I’m not getting triggered by something that I worked on previously. Another gift!

It’s almost not even a big deal to receive these gifts, yet they make me feel grateful. They make me feel warm inside, because I didn’t create them. All I did was show up. As if I were showing up for a meal that someone else had prepared.

I Love Doing The Work this Way

There’s no pressure to break through, no idea in my mind to fix myself, no desperation in my work. Just honest exploration—objective inquiry as best as I can do.

And the little gifts keep coming…

Have a great week,

“This gratitude is not something you can look for or find. It comes from another direction, and it takes you over completely.” Byron Katie, A Thousand Names for Joy