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The Practice Of Living

Creative Commons License photo credit: BigTallGuy

Somewhere between what should ideally happen and what actually happens is where we live. Where we engage the practice of living.

Things don’t always happen like they should. Or like they could. I don’t have to tell anyone this, we all know it. But still, we find ourselves disappointed when things just seem like they don’t work.

We look around ourselves at the government, pop culture, at our own families and communities, at our own lives and say “Things shouldn’t work this way!” And we are right, in a way. Things shouldn’t work like they do. But they do because…

We are Learners

And this guarantees that things won’t be ideal. We don’t always do what we know we should. We don’t always understand our task. We let things from the past get in the way of things that are happening now. Things aren’t ideal because we don’t know the way. We are trying to find our way. And along that route is the “way things actually happen.” And that’s OK.

I write fiction. It would be ideal if I didn’t have to go to work and commute because then I could spend a lot of time writing. But what do I actually have? I have lunch hours and the weekend. And I practice making that work, because it’s what I have.

I also meditate regularly, but I find it difficult to be consistent. It would be ideal if I meditated a half hour (or more) in the morning and in the evening, but I can’t really find that time, and I don’t have a lot of practice sitting for that long. So I sit for 10 minutes a day consistently (and even then I have trouble). It’s what I have right now.

Work with What You Are Given

We don’t always have what we need and if we do, we are not always sure what to do with it. In this situation all you can do is work with what you have. Let go of the ideal and commit yourself to the space between the ideal and the actual. I don’t think you can exist anywhere else.

When you are in that space you can strive to bring things closer to what they could be, while actually dealing with what is. And this is all you can do.

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  1. Beautifully said and very inspiring Amanda xo

  2. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Thanks Leigh-ann! 🙂

  3. Amanda, thanks for the reminder!! Sometimes I forget that even though I may have always done something in a certain way, due to my past or conditioning….I can change and work with what I have and what I know!! Have a great Day, girl 😀

  4. Nice work on describing everyday life. We are where we are and there is no point in denying it. The only place you can move forward from is your current spot so it is worth understanding it.

    Also it is good to take the time to appreciate and enjoy what is now. There is no point in not enjoying it just because you think it ‘should’ be something else.

    Everything is just feedback that who you are currently being and the actions you are taking is putting you exactly where you are.

  5. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Eden – Thanks! It really is hard to let go of things as they have happened in the past. 🙂

    Hi Jarrod – Right, without an understanding of what is happening now, you can’t really move forward.

  6. Beautifully said and very inspiring Amanda xo

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