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Practice changes everything

The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. – John Milton (1608-1674)

Want to change your life? Change your practice.

Want to be loved? Change your heart.

Want the world to be different? Change your mind.

But don’t expect anyone else (or your church or your family or your community or your whatever) to fix you or change things to make your life better.

Our grasp of heaven is always in our hands and we are in the hands of God whose love for us is always present – even when we aren’t willing to accept it.

I began this blog on the first Sunday in advent with a post about practice and then kept the practice of writing a new post everyday through advent.

In the new year, here are some of the practices I plan to do regularly in 2013.

Practice compassion. Practice loving the way I want to be loved. Practice being a good and faithful friend. Practice forgiveness. Practice praying. Practice being open to new ideas. Practice dancing. Practice changing my mind. Practice singing. Practice writing everyday. Practice long distance walking. Practice letting go. Practice mindful and healthy eating. Practice playing the piano and the organ . . . practice, practice, practice.

The best part about developing new personal practices is that I know I don’t have to get it “right” the first time. Or the second time. Or ever. I just have to practice. If I do, I will get better at the skill that I am practicing and over time I will begin to see the change I desire. And even more fun – when I make changes, the world changes around me. Our healthy and healing practices touch everything around us just like this beautiful egret’s shadow is reflected on the earth.

As the new calendar year approaches, I invite you to let God be God for you and learn how to bask in the presence of the Divine. I wish you loving kindness and happiness all your days. Many blessings for the journey that lies ahead in 2013!

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