What Do You Practice?

That was my question to the room of 7th and 8th graders.

I got the expected answers: hockey, piano, skiing, French, multiplication tables, juggling, lines in a play. Then, without me even have to nudge them, they started going deeper. Good manners. Patience. Tolerance.

The plan was to teach this group of kids about spiritual practices. It’s difficult topic for adults to get their heads wrapped around. I figured it would be even harder for a group of kids that would rather be playing foosball. But – and if you have ever watched a sappy movie you know where this paragraph is going – they ended up teaching me more.

Well, maybe it would be more accurate to say they helped me discover new ways to think and talk about the Art of Practice.

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Plans, Resolution and and Boulders

I love to plan. Give me a stack of scratch paper and a fistful of colored markers and I am in my own little geek heaven. Other people pack for trips; I glue maps into notebooks, create timelines and research locally owned coffee shops. A good weekend is one that begins with a planning session over the first cup of coffee. I get as much joy from making the weekly menu and shopping list as most people do from cooking. I spend more time online researching and downloading planning apps than I do playing games.

Please don’t assume this means I am organized. It’s the planning itself that makes me happy. Once done, I close the app, recycle the paper or start the car and go merrily on my way.

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