Daily Practice

Earlier this week I experienced a crisis in confidence and a sense of hopelessness.  I should have seen it coming.  As I posted earlier, I am supporting my parents through end of life and assisted care requirements.  It is an emotional time.  Combined with maintaining my work schedule, home requirements and a summer cold; sooner or later it was going to catch up with me.

It occurred to me this week that maybe I won't reach some of my goals.  It occurred to me that maybe I will have to revisit my expectations in light of what I am able to do and the current demands on my time and energy.  For the first time, in a long time, I felt a loss of hope and the emptiness in the soul that it creates.  It was time for some self care.  Nutritious food, and a good night's sleep and I am feeling better this morning.  It is also time to get back to my daily practice.

One of the key concepts behind this blog is the ability to leverage creativity to create a self sufficient retirement.  Anyone who has worked in a creative environment learns that daily practice is essential to continue to progress and be creative.  I have been a creative most of my life and know the benefits of having a good daily practice.  It grounds you, gives you a focal point and gets your routine back in order.  It counterbalances those moments when you feel the crisis in confidence.

There is a story about Pablo Casals, the wonderful Spanish cellist.  He maintained a hugely productive schedule until late in his life, despite severe arthritis. It is said that in the morning he would wake up and come downstairs with his hands in fists and his back bowed.  He would sit down, pick up his cello and spend 20 minutes doing scales and exercises - the same ones he had done since childhood.  After 20 minutes his hands were normal, his back straight and there was a spring in his step and the energy for a full day.

Daily practice for me is listing three or four things I am grateful for, three areas of focus for the day, a paragraph or two on what is happening in my life and how it is affecting me and then 10 ideas on an area or subject of my life that needs attention to stimulate my creativity.  It takes about 15 minutes and helps me restore a positive attitude, and a creative approach to what is ahead of me.

This week I am going to take it one step farther and revisit my 90 day plans and my Dreamlines.  It is time to reaffirm my dreams and the projects and activities that take me there.  I am not ready to give up on my dreams.  I am not ready to give in to hopelessness.  But, I do need to recognize my emotional and physical limits to what I can do.  Most importantly, I can reach out to those around me to support and assist me in the journey.

None of us can redo the past, and the future is yet to be defined.  The game is not done until we say it is done.  Today, just for today, we can appreciate the beauty in the world around us, focus on three things that move the ball a little bit and stimulate our creativity and our minds to new ideas.

What is your daily practice?  Writing, drawing, playing a musical instrument?  What do you need to do every day to keep healthy, active and mentally alert? What dreams to do you need to revisit and rekindle?  We are never too old to stop dreaming, doing, learning and living.


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  1. After reading this article, which was very poignant in parts, I decided to practice my flute tonight.


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