practice what is difficult

start with what is difficult:

practice surrender, if you're afraid of losing control.
practice patience, if you're always rushing through everything.
practice love, if you're always feeling lonely and unloved. 

if you are in a situation you hate, you have two choices: change your circumstances or change how you react to your circumstances. actually, these are the same choice:  you cannot change anyone else but yourself. and if you do not change yourself, you will find yourself in the same situation again.

different names, same people. different location, same mindset. same you, same problems.

this is not to say that it is easy living somewhere where you are different. this is not to say it is easy being different. being liberal in a place where you are surrounded by conservatives on all sides is hard (been there, done that).

you have to make it easy, by practicing ease.

if you want more patience, practice patience.
if you want more love, practice love.
if you want to be free, practice freedom.
if you want to be brave, practice bravery.

all of these things can be practiced in small, easy steps. if you're scared, talk yourself through being brave in a small situation that isn't as scary as leaping out of a plane (for example). small steps help you work the muscle, help you practice.

one of the best things about life is that even if you don't actively practice, life will throw you into situations where you will be forced to work on what you need to learn. this is also one of the worst things about life, because it is sucks.

the new mom practices patience with her newborn so that by toddlerhood, she is more patient than she was before. and so on... we are learning and practicing and growing everyday. everyday we have the opportunities we need to practice.

the goal isn't perfection.
the goal isn't never-ending-bliss.
the goal isn't the cessation of pain.

the goal is living, one foot in front of the other, one breath at a time, living in the moment, fully.

along the way, you'll loose a lot of baggage - it will either be torn from you, or you'll let it go. you'll surrender to what is (or you won't - your choice). you'll make mistakes and be the brunt of other people's mistakes. big mistakes, small mistakes.

and what you practice every day will get stronger, will get easier.

it's up to you what you choose  to practice.

it's all up to you.