A practice is
“any coherent and complex form of socially established cooperative human activity through which goods internal to that form of human activity are realised in the course of trying to achieve those standards of excellence […] with the result that human powers to achieve excellence are systematically extended.” – MacIntyre, After Virtue, 1981
Art is a practice, medicine is a practice, architecture is a practice but bricklaying is not. A practice is something that has an intrinsic (internal) motivation to achieve excellence both for oneself and for the good of the community. It brings to mind such values as compassion, beauty, healing and enrichment for everyone, not only the practitioner.
Self love is a practice. As practitioners, we journey along a path that leads to mastery. But there is always more to learn. Even a master practitioner continues to improve her craft. By becoming skilled and dedicated disciples of self love, we inspire and enable others to realise those qualities in themselves.
“One person’s excelling in the form does not diminish the achievements of others but is a benefit to all.” – Maccarone, 2010
How is your self love practice coming along? How much time do you devote each day to taking great care of yourself, creating self talk that is positive and empowering, and fostering an attitude of acceptance of your strengths and weaknesses?
This is not just for you, it is for all of us. As we encounter women who are overflowing with love and confidence we are given an antidote to the messages of the media and magazines who tell us we are not skinny/pretty/successful enough.
What other things in your life are a practice? Yoga, meditation, dance, writing, photography …
I ask myself, what makes these particular things a practice? All of these things embrace diversity, individuality, authenticity and the value of uniqueness. My practice may be at a different level and involve different priorities to yours, but it is still a part of a body of work, a community of wisdom. New ideas, experimentation and trial and error are as valid as traditional age-old practices. We collaborate to find new truths.
What things do not fit this definition? Dieting, bodybuilding, religion …
These things preach a doctrine of a single path. There is disagreement and dissent about the right way to do things. There is competition and not collaboration. They give us experts who resemble clones of each other rather than masters who are diverse as the colours of the sky.
What are you practicing today? Where are you putting your energy?
Let’s practice self love and collaborate together to uncover excellence in our lives that we would never find alone.