The Beauty in Repetition


If you’ve been working on or with something, trying to figure something out, change something, implement something, know something, let go of something, realize something, wanting or trying something……. stay curious and let go of control.  Be patient and steady.  You NEVER know when something in you may shift giving way to great release and great creative movement. Radhe Shyam. It’s not always the case that we need to hear something new and profound to create a shift.  Sometimes we just need to give what we already know, a try, over and over and over again.  I’m talking about repeating mental, emotional, spiritual or physical techniques/ideas/practices/actions that encourage you to become present through creative inquiry and self expression, that supports your soul’s desires and gifts, that moves you forward in your life’s endeavors.  And here’s the mind f*** that I keep tripping over, again and again: It doesn’t have to be a complicated action. Ie, it can be simple.

My personal experience as an example: From the inspiration of Yogi Vishvketu, I’ve decided to practice a combination of yoga asana, pranayama, or mantra daily. Every. Single. Day.  And I have since July of this year.  Before then, my practice was a few times a week.  I wanted to continue to feel healthy and healthier in all ways, particularly with reoccurring back discomfort, mental fatigue and certain belief systems I knew were outdated, but hadn’t yet updated my internal patterning.

Daily my attention shifted between just feeling my body and enjoying it, to contemplating life in general, to how I can create this that and the other, my muscle coordination, the way I moved… it was an array of things I considered and observed.  My point being, my attention shifted day to day, but I did yoga everyday in an exploratory way and played with what was happening in the moment.  I began to peel away old tissue holding patterns in my body and created space and built strength and I honestly haven’t felt my back this open and easy this consistently, in years.  I also began to have more frequent and spontaneous mini and big realizations about how I treat this person, how I react to that, how I’ve been holding my body in Downward Dog, which I’ve done a bazaillion times before, how to remain curious in the uncomfortable, what I really enjoyed about my body, I realized where particular thoughts stemmed from, how to ground to earth energy faster than I thought I could and for extended periods of time, intuitive message kept popping up… I could go on and on.  I would giggle sometimes as the random brief clarity I felt with things at random times in the day. Keep in mind, I am human and still have yucky moments or yucky days.

The main thing I consciously did differently to help me feel presence, (and then all the stuff that was happening because of it), was yoga based practices that involved my body, breath and sound, and I did it everyday.  I didn’t do one amazing new technique.  I tried something I already knew, and I did it everyday, sometimes more than once a day.  It is so simple. I’m not trying to convince you to do yoga, I’m using my personal experience of what it was like to repeat something everyday.  There are other things I repeat daily, though I’m focusing on yoga practice at the moment. What are you repeating EVERYDAY? Whatever you are doing everyday, is what you are feeding into. What are you feeding into?  What practices do you repeat everyday?  What foods do you eat everyday?  Who do you spend time with everyday?  What do you think about everyday?  What do you worry about everyday?  What music do you listen to everyday?  How do you breathe everyday?

What do you want to nourish in your life, crap?  Do you want to nourish crap? Because you will if you live by default instead of on purpose.  Do what you know you can do.  Try what you know you can try.  If you don’t know what you know, or don’t know what to try, if you have no idea where to start, speak with someone you trust, and get the ball rolling.

Here is what’s confusing: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The difference is having enough awareness, clarity and inner guidance to know when the ‘thing’ you are doing is worth repeating to extract the nectar from it or to stop it because it’s just not helping.

Something worth repeating contributes to you feeling more alive or present.  This may include experiencing ‘good’ feelings of love and gratitude but feeling alive and present may also bring up ‘bad’ feelings of fear and shame etc, because to feel them, if they are present, helps you to feel more connected to yourself because it is in your reality; rather than ignoring or pretending something isn’t there.  To ignore is similar to feeling half alive because you would be restricting your connection to life force. Being present doesn’t always feel like sunshine and roses.  But when it does, as it will, enjoy.

Something not worth repeating contributes to you ignoring reality.  I’ve posted about this briefly before but it’s worth mentioning here, that even temporary distraction from something that is challenging for you has it’s place in the growth and healing process and is not the same as the kind of fundamental ignoring I’m talking about here. Some techniques or actions to become present to ourselves and our experience, present to others and their experience and present to the environment, even present with the cosmos, have to be repeated consciously until a shift can be made with the way we fundamentally function and perceive.  For example, you doubt that you can be in a loving partnership and may be opening up to the part of you that knows you are beautiful and worthy of a loving relationship, so you make affirmations everyday or see friends or animals whom you love and love you, or go for a walk daily, or sit quietly with your hands on your heart or play your electric guitar with the amp on high everyday or go mountain biking or whatever techniques that resonates with you that makes you feel connected, and at some point your true nature begins to unfold through you because you’ve removed energy that was blocking it, as it was already part of you to begin with. Then it doesn’t become something you are ‘working on’, or practicing, it is now part of the active realized background of your energetic foundation that shapes your experience of being a beautiful person worthy of a loving relationship; which was helped by repeating something that brought you into a place of connection with yourself.

We never really know how transformation will finally unfold, so we practice being in connection. It is worth really getting to know a practice or repetitive action and your response within it, and giving it a good try to see how it compounds on itself and to see how it unfolds you or not. Sometimes it’s not the action itself that is so worthwhile on it’s own, it’s the act of repeating it that makes it meaningful at all.

More examples: doing yoga once pales in comparison to the effects of doing it 1000 times.  Being kind to one person once in 10 years creates a different life than being kind to people everyday.  Eating vegetables once a week for years creates a different life than eating vegetables twice a day for years, washing your hair a few times a week creates a different experience than washing it a few times a year etc…  You can repeat the most seemingly simple, uninteresting, banal things and have it dramatically and directly shape your life.  It is it’s repetition that gives it great power and influence in your life. Practice teachings or actions that resonate with your truth barometer, that work with your Creative Life Force, that resonate with you in an expression you understand, and use them!  Do them.  Then do them.  And then after that, do them.

With the wisdom of your expanding consciousness you will make adjustments to your pattern of practice and re-plan as you see innately wise, but you still practice. To be alive is to be in practice.  Life is a process of practicing and repeating.

There is great truth in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s about:
abhyasa-vairagyabhyam tan-nirodhah 1:12.  Consistent effort and non attachment will help calm the patternings of consciousness. Being able to be with yourself in a mindful way instead of a robotic mind-full way is eased through consistent practice and non attachment.
Sthira Sukkham Asanam 2:46 – Cultivate steadiness and ease in a pose.

Sit steadily in your own self, and be comfortable to sit in the uncomfortable should it arise and sit in ease should it arise.  Sit steadily, with whatever you are in and repeat practices or actions every single day that allow you to become more intimate with your experiences.

It is in the presence of intimacy that we are able to become less attached to our goals and it is this letting go of them that allows us to move forward to them and through the sheer magnitude of the brilliance of being connected to the flow of life; this sounds like a grand sentence but what propels it’s realization are the little things you do every day, and then the day after that… drawn from the tremendous effort of the human will to consistently practice.