Habit. (and not the kind Nuns wear)

little-robot-scene

Since my retreat in October, I’ve been immersed in a state of forgiving mySelf. In the past, I’ve been known to blame mySelf and take responsibility for EVERYTHING. Seriously. I mean everything. Even stuff that didn’t have anything to do with me.  When I take responsibility for stuff, it provides me with the illusion that I have some control over the stuff. Whether I’m successful at dealing with all the stuff doesn’t really matter. In fact, it’s better when I can’t handle it all because then I just reinforce the self-fulfilling prophecy around not being enough.

This coping strategy (yes, coping strategy) probably started when I found myself in situations where I felt out of control. As a wee-small person, it must have felt like it alleviated some of the confusion/pain. As a big-adult person, that coping strategy…that habitual way of dealing with the feeling of being lost and out of control isn’t so helpful. It mostly just gets in the way of all the amazing unexpected stuffs coming into my life.

My body reacts to lots of the situations I encounter throughout the day. The problem begins when my body reacts to a NEW situation in the OLD way. While my brain is capable of perceiving a NEW situation, my body feels like it’s old stuff. It doesn’t take long before my change-quotebody’s experience convinces my brain that no, this really isn’t new, it’s old. My body convinces my brain that because the stuff FEELS old, we should throw out any of the new habits we are creating around this particular kind of situation (insert eating, drinking, smoking, relationship stuff, school stuff…etc.) and react from that old place. That old reaction may have been helpful in the past, but that old reaction, in my body, isn’t helpful anymore—but my body doesn’t understand. My body feels as if whatever started the habit of responding in this way is happening RIGHT NOW. My body doesn’t know the difference between what happened in THE PAST and what is happening RIGHT NOW.

 

 That makes sense. (This is where it gets good.)

 

In order for me to help my body understand that we are in a WAY different place and need to learn a new habit of responding, I need to experience the reaction in my body without RESPONDING TO IT. I need to do the new thing NO MATTER WHAT.

 

Old-Robot-Woman-Falling-Apart--87552

 

No matter what.

No matter that I feel like:

My insides are coming outside

I’m sweaty and shaking

My joints are coming unhinged

My brain is going to explode with all the crazy making filling my mind

 

I need to do the new thing EVERYTIME my body responds in the old way.

Withdrawal. It kind of feels like withdrawal.

My body craves a response. Just like if I habitually smoked cigarettes, when I quit, my body is going to crave the nicotine. Once I’m no longer craving the nicotine, I need to deal with all the other triggers in my life that cause me to want to smoke.

Eatinghabit-loop

Drinking

Hanging out with other smokers

Driving

*Insert whatever might trigger your desire to smoke

 

Oliver-Burkeman-habits-001

 

The same thing for habits of the mind! Just because your habit can’t be seen with eyeballs or held in your hands (like cigarettes) doesn’t mean the habit functions in a different way.

 

Back to this forgiving mySelf thing.

Yes. Forgiving mySelf for whatever (whether I did it or not or knew or not or… forgive and LET. IT. GO.) has opened a pathway to some major healing. As I shift into this new understanding of Me, I’m using less energy holding my shit together. If I’m using less energy to hold things together, there’s more energy left to continue manifesting the life and world and Multiverse in which I want to play and love and be ALIVE.

Back to the habit thing.

Whoa. Dudette. Dude. I’ve created some pretty interesting ways of getting things done—or not getting things done.

And where does all this lead? (I wish I could put sound effects here…duh-duh-duhhhhhh)

…Upper Limit Problem

All these habits I created to help me feel safe and keep things in control? Those habits aren’t helpful as I try to create a life based around my PRESENT DAY values and beliefs. My body is responding to some outgrown way of dealing with the world. While I’m experienced and good at holding things together in the old way, that’s all I’m doing.

 I don’t want to hold things together in the old way.

habits

I want to participate in the conscious decision to care for my family, my relationships, my art, my business, this World, without Upper Limits. I want to see just how much LOVE and SWEETNESS and ABUNDANCE I can open up to. UP. UP. UP. HIGHER. HIGHER. I want to see how much LOVE and SWEETNESS and ABUNDANCE I can create, NOW.

Not in 30 minutes, not tomorrow, NOW.

Sigh…there’s a part of me that’s excited about the possibilities. Part of me is grateful for the healing I’m experiencing.

…and

There’s a part of me that wants to crawl under the covers and hide.

That whole body reaction I described earlier in this post? I’m feeling it. RIGHT NOW. Just writing about the change makes my skin crawl. I’m kind of scared and anxious. I feel like I’m dreading all the little tiny things that I MUST do in order to start creating the new habits.Old-habits-die-hard-People-never-change-if-this-is-true-then-what-change-management-is-...-1

BUT. But, I’ve already started shifting my perception and I get that it’s going to take time and I need to do one thing at a time and this isn’t a recipe for diving head first into a million new habits and changes.

                                              I’m feeling a little shaky.

               This feels familiar AND very different.

Guess I’m going to focus on the very different. I know the old stuff Isn’t helpful. Might as well try some new habits.

habits wordle

Leave a reply