Sunday, November 15, 2020

What I Learned About Mastering the Art of Showing Up

This last week concluded the ten month program of Brooke Snow's "Mastering the Art of Showing Up" course. I wanted to jot down my thoughts, what I've learned, and what I hope to continue to do. 

I've always been interested in habits and being consistent with that. At age 14, a week prior to receiving my patriarchal blessing, I thought it would be a good idea to study the scriptures each day leading up to the blessing. In that blessing it talked of the importance of studying my scriptures daily so I just nonchalantly made it a goal to never miss a day. That habit, consistently over time, made the biggest difference in my spiritual development. It's a relatively small thing, but how it changed me and changed my life was bigger than I realized at the time. Since then, I've known that 'out of small things proceedeth that which is great." 

Overall in this program, what was emphasized again and again for good reason is that small habits, consistently over time, brings about great results. 

It doesn't matter if it's just three cat cows for movement that day, that was a win. It doesn't matter if it was one deep inhale and exhale, that was a win. 

And the progress might be small but that actually is a tender mercy from God. We might not see the results up front but it's what's underneath, the roots that are growing and forming. The garden proverb: the first year it sleeps, the second year it creeps, the third year it leaps. 

God intends for us to learn line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little (2 Doctrine and Covenants 64:33). The reason why that's a loving thing is because He wants us to hold onto to that growth. When we progress in small increments, we build upon that growth instead of just a burst of growth when we haven't developed that habits to hold us there. 

I thought when I started this program back in February I was doing it because I just found out that I was pregnant. Then I found out I miscarried and so I thought I needed this program to process that. And then three weeks later COVID happened and I realized this is why I felt the tug to do it this year. 

Because I was home a lot and not traveling to visit family, I had ample time to work on some habits. Here are some habits I've developed over the year that I've done consistently.

-Tongue scrape first thing in the morning
-Drink 16 oz of water after I wake up
-Move my body, exercise
-Be in the scriptures and/or general conference
-Digital sunset at 9PM
-Brush, floss, flouride 
-Open my back on my roller
-Three cat cows
-Meditate in the evening
-Read before I go to bed
-Be in bed by 10-10:15

You can probably tell that most of these habits center around the beginning and end of our day. We call this AM and PM protocols. I have done these things consistently but I have missed a few here and there. But I try not to miss it two days in a row. I practice fast forgiveness and try again the next day.  

I love that Brooke teaches that we meditate not to get better at meditating but to get better at life. We are always redirecting our thoughts in meditation because it always wanders but then we practice fast forgiveness and get right back to the present. The same for when we lose our temper with our kids or our spouse. We practice fast forgiveness, bring it back, or as she likes to call 'flip the switch', take a deep inhale and try again. 

I've tried to look back and see what the biggest change has been in my life or what growth I've seen. I think the biggest shift for me was to have a digital sunset and go to bed earlier. I'm still working on getting better sleep (we'll never 'arrive' but it's always a guiding star) but a digital sunset has drastically improved my chances of getting to sleep earlier. 

Lately I've had to work on my thoughts that maybe it wouldn't hurt to stay up a little bit later because Dallin goes to bed so much later. But I've seen the contrast and contrast helps me see so I really want to stick to my protocol as much as I can. I want to show up and be true to what I decided for myself. 

One of the questions earlier in the program was what is the one thing you can stop doing and what is the one thing you can start doing? The stopping habit can be more life changing than the starting habit. What I decided for myself to stop doing is not use my safari browser on my phone. I've made it increasingly hard to access it. Yes I can override it, and today I learned the lesson after spending 15 mins scrolling a news article instead of getting dressed, that this habit is important for me. 

I've made an effort to not look up anything on the web like email, blogger, goodreads, groupme, until I have my computer. Sometimes it's resorted to once a day and other times it's several times a day. But it's allowed me to have more time in the morning for studying the scriptures. 

Of course there are habits I want to develop and ones I want to get rid of. That's the beauty of repentance. That's the beauty of eternal progression. 

Any habits you've developed since COVID?


  1. Julia, this is wonderful. I'm so impressed with your daily discipline. You have set a great example for me, and I'm trying to do better in many of those areas. Love you...

  2. Haha Im reading this post at 11:30pm on my phone!🤦🏽‍♀️ I love your habits and all you have learned this year! I could benefit from your example!