Here’s an excerpt from Jason Miller’s Magick Monday Newsletter for this week:
I am, right now, building a new practice for myself. This practice happens to be centered around Physical Exercise, but it could be anything really. The reason I am writing about it is that:
I am building a practice doing a little LESS than I can manage every day.
Like many people introduction of quarantine into my life was also the introduction of my ass to the couch, and my eyes to many shows and video games that I would otherwise ignore. This is particularly silly for me since I run my business from home normally, BUT the interruption in schedule and the constant intrusion of kids who are now home all day was enough to throw my attention addled brain off.
Once I woke up from my Ghost of Tushima coma, I was able to get my magic and meditation schedules back on track easily. Exercise less so. That has NEVER come easy to me. I started outdoor hikes in the morning. I live in Vermont after all, and it’s a great way to take in the natural beauty I moved here for. But of course, that get disrupted by rain. And I’m not gonna hike in the rain, why would I hike in high humidity? So, I got a Treadmill.
And I am on it twice every day. Have been for weeks now. I am building that practice the way I built my meditation, magical, writing, and music practices. Regularly scheduled sessions that end BEFORE I have given my all.
See, we all know that the more you do something, the more of that thing you can do. Start lifting 25 pound weights, its not long before you can lift 45. Start meditating for 10 minutes, its not long before you can meditate 40 minutes. Start writing 500 words, its not long before 2000 words flow. But a lot of people seem to assume that you need to PUSH through hard. You don’t.
If you do a little less than you manage every day, you will still build up more the next day.
That’s how I stay in a practice. I still have energy when I am done, and hunger to come back to it later, because I stopped before I exhausted myself.
It doesn’t matter what it is.
Like every other piece of advice though, it works until it doesn’t. You WILL hit a plateau every now and then that requires you to max out your efforts. Those times that you will need to push it harder and father than you thought possible are great milestones and singular achievements that break through a wall. Crank up “Eye of the Tiger”, and hang a Gary Vanderchuck poster on the wall and go CRUSH IT. These are the moments that get celebrated and talked up in books. MAXIMUM EFFORT!
They get talked up so much that it can make it seem like the whole practice should be like that. It shouldn’t.
Trust me. The daily regular practice is more important than these moments of Glory. Do slightly LESS than you can manage every day. That forms the ground upon which those singular “Crush It!” moments can happen every now and then.
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