I had an aunt who lived to 99 years old. I remember on her 98th birthday, as we all sang Happy Birthday to her, she looked around and said, “It goes so quickly. There’s still so MUCH to learn.”
In part, because of that profound lesson in that moment, I begin every workshop I teach by telling my students, “I am your teacher. I am also a Work In Progress. Is there anyone else who’s a Work in Progress?” I watch almost all hands go up. And in that moment, we agree to move the bar…together. To open ourselves to the possibilities.
Today I was talking with a friend who told me “Everything I’ve learned up to now has been practice.” She was telling me about how she is making some transformational changes in how she brings her work to the world. And that the many years she has brought beauty, inspiration and life lessons has been “practice” for what she is bringing now in her Autumn years.
Now I think I understand what she meant. That we are a sum of our experiences. Yet, to me, there is no one Ta Da! that completes/ends the practice. I think practice continues. Always.
Doctors practice medicine, their entire careers. Attorneys practice law, until they retire. Great musicians practice their craft. They Practice Always. They build habits and structures onto which they constantly create. Each day provides something new to see, to hear, to learn, to understand with a new perspective. The practice continues. The work is always in progress. Or at least, I think it should.
Perhaps Life is a Practice. Something to build on, grow, change, expand, rearrange … Always.
What are you practicing today?