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Dog skiing & the lost art of practice

energy management journal prompts rituals Feb 01, 2023

My partner and I took our dog cross-country skiing in a pull-behind sled (apparently called a pulk) last week.

Now before you start imagining a husky pulling a sled with pride and delight, I should mention that our dog is a 10-lb Havanese... so she was in the sled.

And for the record, Mac didn't care that we went to great lengths to rent this pulk––designed for human children––just for her.

She hated it. But surprisingly, she was down with running alongside us and taking breaks in the backpack (yes, we also have a backpack for her). 

When we rented the pulk, we kept Mac in the car. As the helpful rental agent got our equipment ready, she looked at the pulk and then at us and said,

"Where's your baby?" 

Instead of going into the whole story and explaining that we were in fact going to use the pulk for our small dog, my partner shared, "We're just practicing." Lol. 

That's when the agent said something that got me thinking...

"We've never had anyone rent one of these to practice. It makes sense though!"

So here's my question for you to consider this week:

How come we practice some things but not others? 

After having pulled one of these cumbersome things around for a good 90-minutes, I know that it would be good to practice before putting a child in it. 

On this same trip, I started a new craft project (punch needling - more on that in another email!) and despite all the YouTubers saying I should practice on some scrap cloth before starting a full project, I dove right into an intricate fox pattern. 

I could've used some practice then, too. 

The concept of "practice" is incredibly important in self-care and spiritual rituals too, but I argue it differs in one key way...

In spiritual and stress-relieving self-care, the goal isn't some finish line that you can practice towards...rather, the goal is the practice itself. 

For example, I've been practicing the same kundalini kriya (an energetic yoga flow) every day since November, with just a handful of exceptions due to travel. And every time I do it, I always feel calmer, more centered, and clear about what to focus on for the rest of the day. 

It's not about getting better at the actual kriya though it does in fact get more easeful. It's about the act of practice, of being present through repetition, of ritual. 

Rituals help us recalibrate our nervous system. We feel safer and calmer when we practice because our body knows what to expect, and we're better able to get into a supportive flow state. 

Many beginning meditators, for example, make the mistake of focusing on questions like, "when will it get easier" or "when will it get automatic." I would argue that that line of thinking misses the point.

Unlike habits like taking your supplements every day, the point of spiritual and self-care practices is presence not automation.  

With that in mind, I invite you to get curious:

  • What's a practice you'd like to...practice? 
  • What kind of ritual do you need right now?
  • What energy would you like to be in devotion to? 

The more we focus our energy on a thing, the more of that kind of energy we have. 

Speaking of spiritual and self-care practices... my energy-shifting and nervous system recalibrating ceremonial experience, Metamorphosis offers a powerful way to reboot your nervous system. 

It's the kind of practice that will leave you feeling more open, clear, and empowered––regardless of what you've got going on in your life. 

Here's what a couple participants shared with me after the last one: 

"Emily’s metamorphosis workshop might be the best thing you can do after work. It's magical! Emily guided the group to clear energy, set an intention, discard what was no longer serving, and invite in something new. It was healing, transformative, and fun!

My energy shifted drastically. I felt calmer and at more peace. And left with clarity around a few aspects of my life." – Caline Raab

"Metamorphasis is the 60-minute highlight of my month. It’s hard to put into words how much I release, relax and rebirth in such a short period of time. Emily’s ability to hold space in this container is nothing short of modern magic. I highly recommend this program.” – Haley Hoover

Get your ticket to Metamorphosis here >>

with love,


P.S. Connect more deeply with the energy of your true self in the potent spiritual practice, Metamorphosis, that happens every month. Open to all, this virtual ceremony combines the power of breath work, intuitive card reading, and shamanic-style journey meditation in an approachable, East-meets-West teaching style.

Join us here >>