Want to be Nice to yourself? Get a practice!

by admin  Mar 10, 2012

nnBy Eli B. nnI played college lacrosse. One of the things I remember most about that time of my life, was going out every day for months and practicing during our season. If I missed a few shots or ground balls in practice it was no big deal. I'd be out again tomorrow and it would be different. I just noticed what had happened and kept on going.nnI had a million more shots, ground balls, and checks to play with. It was playful and light. What was one missed shot to me?nnIn the off season, I can remember sitting in the library writing papers and out of nowhere I'd get the itch to go out and practice some moves and shots. Because the field was just across the street, I'd walk the block home, pick up my stick and run out to the goal and take shots.nnAnd this funny thing would happen. I'd be out of practice. And I would kind of suck. I'd shoot and miss. And I would get upset at myself. And I would get serious.nnNow, missing a shot is normal, but for some reason in the off season it meant far, far more and I was far, far harder on myself for having not performed the way I wanted to perform.nnThere have been a few periods in my OM practice where I've taken some time off. Maybe I went on vacation. Maybe I just stopped. And whenever I started practicing OM again, it's always been a bit rough. And just like in the off-season, guess who get's beat up for not being 'good enough'? Me.nnThe last time this happened, I had one of those 'aha' moments when everything makes sense. My 'aha' moment was the realization that when it comes to OM and sexuality, having a practice offers me the same two incredible benefits I experienced as a lacrosse player.nnThe first is that, like lacrosse, the more I practice the better I get.nnThe second is the more I practice, the nicer I am to myself around what I think my sexual performance should be like; and 'better' or 'worse' fade into the background. I can take risks and follow my intuition without worrying about 'blowing it'. Then the real fun can start.nnHaving a practice in the parts of my life I care about means I can relax and be playful. It means my sex life can be what it is. And it can be amazing no matter what happens.nn nnSelf acceptance does not mean seeing ourselves as perfect, it means allowing ourselves to mess up or get off track and loving ourselves just the same. OM is a practice that teaches self acceptance; by continually reminding us to come back to the stroke we are on, to the moment we are in, to the sensations we are feeling in our bodies.