Recently I found my mother’s rosary. I had been looking for it ever since she died in 1995 and I put it in a safe place that I couldn’t seem to find again. A couple of weeks ago I unexpectedly found it. When I opened the case and took it in my hands it was every bit as beautiful as I remembered it. My hands felt alive with all the energy held in that sacred piece of my mother. It holds powerful memories. I watched her pray that rosary for over 60 years. She always had it with her and prayed it often.
It got me to thinking about the challenges I have with sustaining a daily practice. In the interest of full disclosure, let’s be clear that this pursuit of daily practice is only about 2 years old. Prior to that, I just didn’t think a daily practice was for me. I had lots of reasons. I lacked the necessary discipline. I get bored easily. The concept doesn’t really “work” for me. Suffice it to say, I had a lot of reasons why I didn’t have a daily practice. Then, about 2 years ago I started studying with T. Thorn Coyle and soon learned that study was to include developing a daily practice.
The thing that has surprised me is how much I actually have come to appreciate and gain from my daily sitting practice. (Again, honesty demands I own that while I call it daily sitting practice, it doesn’t always happen daily. Yet, that is my goal and there is power in words, so that is what it is, daily sitting practice.) When I sit, my life is better. I am more grounded. I have more energy. My life makes more sense. I gain insights to so many things both internal and external. There are so many benefits. But here’s the thing, I stop sitting. And what I am noticing is that I seem to stop sitting when my life gets more challenging. When things are going well or at least relatively smoothly, no problem, I sit. When they get hard, before I know it days will have gone by and I haven’t been doing my practice.
This leads me back to my mother’s rosary. As I said she prayed it often, but she almost always prayed the rosary when things were hard. Which has me remembering that back when I was a practicing Roman Catholic I prayed almost everyday, but I definitely always prayed with things were hard. So I am wondering, what has changed in my life? Why don’t I still turn to what I know helps me, my sitting practice, when things get hard? Why do I do the exact opposite?
I really don’t have a clue to those questions yet, but they do intrigue me. I also would love to hear any thoughts you might have. Does anyone have a similar experience or insights?
This post was written by Elizabeth Wilson