Practice is essential to having choices in how we live our day-to-day lives.

Practice is what we do when we aren't under pressure so we have reliable skills available to us in a more intense situation. Fire drills ensure everyone knows his/her responsibility in the event of an emergency. We practice our golf swing on the driving range before we play the course. I practice being aware of my emotions without getting hooked by them when I'm alone so that I have reliable skills available to me when I find myself in a difficult situation with another person.

Without practice, the emotions that emerge during the course of a day can cause us to drift away from our goals and dreams like a subtle current.  And the strong emotions that come with difficult situations can be completely disorienting, like a rip current that whisks us from safety to deep water before we've even realized what happened.

The abilities to learn from the past, be open to our present moment, and recognize where we are in the bigger picture of our life story help us to stay on course or re-orient after a dis-orienting event. 

The practice that works to strengthen these abilities is unique to each person. Each of us must find our own practice. We must follow our own path. Choose a practice that works for you today. Don't wait for life to calm down. Down wait until you have more time. If you can't imagine how to start, try taking 3 deep breaths before each meal or snack. That's a fine place to begin.