BREAKING A HABIT,
MAKING A HABIT – DAY 1
Knitting, for a total beginner, takes huge amounts of mindfulness. But for my granny, who’d been doing it for donkey’s years, knitting was a habit. Her hands could knit while she watched telly, chatted or (sadly) worried.
Once an activity becomes second nature, our mind can wander while our body performs the task. Remember learning to ride a bike, or drive a car? It takes every ounce of effort and attention until we can do it. Then it becomes a habit, and some days we can reach our destination without remembering a single thing about how we got there!
But it’s our downfall too.
‘Automatic pilot’ means our minds can go to their favourite dark places to fester, predicting future doom for ourselves, our lives and the planet. It also means lots of wonderful everyday stuff goes unnoticed.
If we choose to do something totally new, suddenly we have to pay attention. We engage fully, both in mind and body.
Today’s invitation is to sit in a different seat to the one you usually sit in (with thanks to Mark Williams: ‘Finding Peace in a Frantic World’). This is less about finding something better and more about finding something different. Try it out. What is it like to have a different view of the room around you? We literally see things from a new perspective.
STOP! If you’re about to click away or you can you hear your mind objecting, notice the power of thoughts to reject change! Minds like the known and the predictable. Then they have some degree of control. But minds get stuck in a groove, and finding a new groove can be a lot of fun!
John O’Donohue: For a new beginning
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
From ‘To Bless the Space Between Us’ (US) / Benedictus (Europe)
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