Heightening my awareness by my surroundings.

No matter how much I’ve practiced, and how much I’ve learned… even though I’m disciplined… thinking I don’t need others to keep growing is a mistake. If I go too long without others that, by their mere existence, stretch me, my justifications become reality.

By others, I mean those that have taken a similar path that aren’t afraid to challenge me, or take on a challenge. Those that aren’t continuously looking for ways to “take a break.”

Engaging with a mix of people is helpful: those that I see all the time and therefore are more relaxed around, and those that heighten my awareness and slow me down because I don’t dance with them as much. This gives me a balance of letting down my hair and treading much more consciously. The latter helps me come back to the former more heightened with the benefit of being more relaxed. Does that make sense?

This weekend, as 16 of us, along with 2 trainers, began our course in conscious communication, we got to heighten our awareness. I know this sort of thing seems like a lot of work, but these things really do make a difference. It pulls me out of an auto-pilot that I wasn’t fully aware was happening. And I love that.

Lighten up and forgive

I think there comes a point where you have to grow up and get over yourself, lighten up… and forgive.

-Jennifer Aniston

As tempting is the need to be right, it’s a miserable existence. Not giving it the energy, letting it go, and having a sense of humor and curiosity is a blessed life. You’ll know how you’re doing by paying attention to the amount of tension in your body. To how easily you can smile from the heart. It takes a self-assured (or tired!) person to do this. Or… by doing this, you become self-assured, less tired, and joyful.

Why are you doing that? What else could give that to you?

What makes breaking bad habits so difficult is the void that it creates. For instance, I want to stop looking at my phone, but then what?
It’s not like I don’t have a gazillion other things to do. What makes it a bad habit for me is that I think I’m going to jump on for a second, but then I’m on it longer than I should be. I know that because afterwards, I feel like I just ate a lot of junk food for the soul, and I wish I could get that time back. Sometimes that time is 45 minutes, and sometimes it’s 10. But I know when it’s time wasted.
When I get on this cycle of being out of control with my phone, I catch myself flipping my screen open, then wondering why. There was absolutely no purpose.

It’s a stimulant. It gives me instant gratification a small percentage of the time. Mostly, it drains me of energy, I feel less fulfilled, more needy, and more externally oriented.
Still, it comes from a need to find joy through connection. And also a desire not to get involved in anything on my to-do list for a moment.

I identified a bad habit, how it affects me, and what I’m actually seeking.
I looked for other things that would fulfill my desire to find joy through connection while staying off my to-do list. It wouldn’t work for me to just say, go back to my to-do list. The point is, I’m wanting something off my to-do list.

What’s working for me: to call someone that isn’t prone to gossip or putting everything down, to read a book (I have a pile of them that I’ve been wanting to read, and books make me feel connected), or to do something for someone.

We tend to replace a bad habit with another bad habit. That’s because we don’t have a plan for that moment when we feel void.
Without identifying the better replacements, I’d probably just go from phone abuse to a new 9 season Netflix series with 50 minute long episodes. Or chocolate.