What are you practicing?

Something that's been burning and churning around in my head seems to be a pretty good method of inducing introspection, the simple question "What am I practicing?"

It's rooted in the notion that the most basic premise of neuroplasticity that you'll get more efficient at doing whatever it is you practice. It's a slight twist on "What am I doing?" with a built in reminder that you're getting better at whatever you do. At the same time, it's an invitation to question whether or not you want to get better at what you find yourself doing at the moment you ask it. That line of questioning conveniently leads to the opportunity to compare what it is you're doing, what you're practicing, with the goals you have.

If you want to take the introspection a little bit deeper - if practicing introspection is one of your goals, you can hit yourself with the followup question: How is this serving me?

As far as I can tell, everything you do is in service to you in some way, shape, or form. When it's not readily apparent how what I'm doing is serving me or when what I find myself doing is not in alignment with my goals, I like to examine it from the perspective of identity reinforcement. I've found this to be a fairly efficient mechanism for uncovering beliefs about myself that like to hide under my conscious awareness, and often find my unexamined actions to be reinforcing those beliefs.

Less now than before (as I've been practicing) I would find myself scrolling through my social media stream in search for identity markers. Scrolling through the data flow in search of resonance - things that I could plus, share, or comment on that would signal to myself and others: I'm here, I exist - this is what's important to me. 

Increasingly though, my data flow seekings have been more about self-education - arming myself with the knowledge and tools that will serve me on my journey from who I am now to who I want to be.

Image source:  http://www.deviantart.com/art/Capoeira-10498827