Updated: May 20, 2021
Habits have come up in at least 3 or 4 conversations and at least half a dozen of my readings and meditations the last few weeks.
My observation: after a rough 2020, we're being a little more gentle with ourselves. (YAY US!) So instead of making resolutions, we're simply adopting a few practices we'd like to have, or shaking a few that no longer serve us.
I actually started studying habits a few years ago when I came across a podcast called Happier with Gretchen Rubin. The premise of her books and podcast is that we all respond differently to inner and outer expectations, and that once we know ourselves we can more readily integrate desired habits.
Outer Order Creates Inner Calm
Back in 2015 or so, Gretchen was successful in teaching me to make my bed every day, something my poor mom tried for years to get done. (Sorry, Mom). Rubin actually credits a Navy Seal for first seeing this seemingly menial task as the 'first task of the day' and as such, once completed, will set us in motion to finish other tasks. 2015 was when I stopped going to an office everyday and I needed something that would kick start my morning. So to this day I make my bed, wash my face and brush my teeth before I start my work day.
Breakthroughs Happen After the Boring, Monotonous Work
A more recent -- and admittedly a little deeper -- read was The Mountain is You by Brianna Wiest. If Happier was Habits 101, The Mountain is a 300 level course in why we fight ourselves to make changes even when we desperately want them.
Making big sweeping changes to your life is not difficult because we are flawed, incompetent beings. It's difficult because we are not meant to live outside of our comfort zones.
Our brains are designed to keep us safe above all else. And as part of that it puts us on a quest that our life will be better "when" "if" "once" [fill in the blank].
We are tricked into thinking, that THEN, we can coast and relax, but guess what.
Why not? Because dopamine, that's why.
If some is good. More is better. Repeat.
Our minds are like a little toddler (or me in the middle seat of an airplane) that will yell, scream, cry to get more of what it wants (or out of what it doesn't want i.e. the middle seat) to keep it in a safe zone, even if the rest of us knows that perceived safety is actually not good for us at all.
We want to skip the cookies after dinner. We want to read more books instead of the socials. We want to hit our step count everyday. But our brain knows that today, at this moment, cookies taste good, that socials light up our brain like the Vegas strip, and that sitting on the couch is easier than walking 3 miles when it's 40 degrees outside. That's what we're up against, friends. The mountain... well, it's us.
So, how are you doing with your 2021 habits? Man, I sure wish they all were as easy as making my bed.
Here's What I'm Reading
I finished GreenLights by Matthew McConaughey. It wasn't exactly what I expected and some of the early parts were too much "memoir" and too little "inspo", but by the end I got what I came for. GREEEEEEN LIGHT! Oh, and I listened to the Audible version so hearing his dreamy voice for 10 or so hours wasn't horrible.
Currently, I'm reading Dear Emmie Blue which was recommended to me by my friend, Alyssa who I'm hoping will write a blog for us soon. (She's also a BeautyCounter rep extraordinaire). I'm only about half way through but it's a nice little read. You definitely find yourself cheering for Emmie along the way. Here's to the underdogs!
Here's What's Diffusing
It's not really diffusing, but I'm using a LOT of
frankincense these days on my own noggin an on my LoLo dog's itchy, goopy* eyes.
A little frankincense helps keep both clear and sparkly. It really is a power house oil; one of the first ones I reach for multiple times per week.
I'm also going through a lot of OnGuard hand sanitizer spray. It smells so much better than the alcohol-based stuff. Plus you can spray it in your mask after you eat Mexican food. Ask me how I know.
Check them both out here.
Have a great week friends!
*technical term so as you can tell I am not a vet. Always use caution when using essential oils with and around your fur babies. A little goes a very long way. I put 2-3 drops on my hands and rub over his head and ears.