The real reason we don’t practice

The reason we don’t practice the things we know are good for us isn’t what we think.

Let’s be honest, for most of us, it’s not really about time.

We say that. But, usually the situation is much more nuanced.

We all have time. Even if it’s micro moments. When we step into the car we can pause and breathe. When we wake up we can take 30 seconds to check in. When we get in the shower we can mindfully feel the water cascading down our skin.

Of course it’s more challenging for some: people with kids, those with multiple jobs, neurodivergent folks, people with trauma (we all have trauma). Of course, we can also include those with challenging health conditions.

But still, there’s something else going on here. I think.

I’m not talking about not having enough structure. Not feeling motivated. Not knowing what to do.

Sure, all those things matter, to a degree.

However, there’s something else. Something deeper.

An undercurrent that silently and sneakily informs and shapes everything.

What is that?

Our relationship to practice itself.

We were all brainwashed to have this whole thing completely upside down and inside out.

We’re more focused on the goal, where we’re not. Where we think we should be.

We get caught up in measuring, analyzing, criticizing, to the extent that we become divorced inside from the very reason we practice:

To connect with ourselves and be with what is.

Which is the only way to transform.

If we can’t be with what is, the sensations, the energetic pulses, the somatic currents running through us, then we’ll never be able to be in a relationship with what is here. If we can’t be in a relationship with it, we can’t shift it.

Which is what we all want, right?

We want to feel different. Better. Calmer. More relaxed. More capable. More alive. More mobile. Stronger.

Whatever it is. We want it.

And we should. There’s nothing wrong with desiring change and progress. Especially if you feel like crap.

But our focus on getting to the thing leads to what I call “checking off energy.”

We want to check off the self care thing. The yoga class. The smoothie. The breathwork. The deadlifts. The shaking and the tapping.

Whatever it is, we want to make sure we just do it. And that is totally understandable. There’s nothing wrong with just wanting to show up.

Showing up is great.

But just showing up is never going to get you to where you want to go.

A different energy, a more oblique, softer approach is needed.

An approach where we’re befriending our bodies. Giving up the reigns to let them lead for a moment or two.

That’s scary.

Because for many of us, there’s a lot there. There’s a lot we haven’t listened to. There’s a lot we haven’t wanted to feel and be with. Because we’re afraid or didn’t know how.

We think we need to do it all at once. Clean out the whole garage in one go.

We don’t.

We can start small.

We can start by saying hello.

Which is the first step. The closest step.

Saying hello to your body can lead to greeting it in a way where you begin the first steps to building a relationship with it.

Being with it. Not just doing things to it.

This post was written by Jonathan Mead, who graciously gave us permission to reprint. Check him out at and on Instagram at @jonathanmead.

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