We’ve all heard the saying “practice makes perfect” and though the saying has a valid point and good intentions, we're not big fans.
Maybe it’s the word “perfect” that makes us turn away with a rebellious tone. Or the stressful idea that if we aren’t constantly practicing, or want to take a break (*gasp*), then the time and effort we did invest in practicing will be deemed “not good enough.”
Either way, we both are looking for a replacement for this outdated saying. The fact of the matter is that practice does make you better. And the ability to show up consistently when trying to improve on a skill is crucial to success.
Meditation and yoga are both considered practices, because in order to become good at either one and receive the benefits, you have to continue to show up and practice. Both are skills, just like playing the piano, giving a great speech, or competing in a race. You get it - if you want to be good at something, then you have to practice.
For us, yoga and meditation are the tools that help us with anxiety, depression, parenting, comparing ourselves to others, feeling inadequate, over extending ourselves, low self esteem, people pleasing, wishing we had more… just to name a few. The more we show up consistently each week, the more we are able to help ourselves solve our own issues. And sometimes the problems we convince ourselves that need fixing, end up fixing themselves!
The fact of the matter is that committing to show up to class, spending quiet time alone with our thoughts, feeling our emotions and bodies, and responding to our needs is hard work because we aren’t used to it. We have been reacting to our needs, numbing our emotions, and ignoring our bodies’ cries for rest for so long that doing the opposite feels strange and even annoying at first.
But we have noticed that when we show up to practice yoga and meditation, it becomes easier. And with regular practice, we feel strange and annoyed if we miss class. We show up each week not because we strive to be a perfect meditator or yogi, we show up to develop a better and deeper relationship with ourselves. This is our weekly pause to check in with what we need. With all the responsibilities and expectations we juggle every minute of everyday, we deserve to treat ourselves with love and respect for an hour to two each week.
When we show up we are proving to ourselves that we are worth the time and effort and energy it takes. And as we continue to practice, it gets easier and our mentality shifts from “we have to” to “we want to.”
We all know that life has its own agenda, and it’s not uncommon for it to get in the way of our practice. Instead of our negative reel taking over and being disappointed, we can allow ourselves some grace to not be perfect, to skip a class here and there knowing that we’ll show back up because we’ll miss the way it makes us feel.
So if “practice makes perfect” is the old school, rigid way of thinking about our goal for success then we would like to apply a modern twist. How about: “showing up for yourself makes life more enjoyable.”
Maybe it’s not as kitschy, but it’s definitely less harsh and more realistic. Any suggestions on a better saying? Leave a comment below!
Ming-Wai + Ming-Cee