On the feminine side of life, we try to love things into and out of being. So the first step to break a bad habit would be to stop calling it “bad.”
Let’s say you have a cookie as a treat in the afternoon at work. Maybe it’s a chance to get away and enjoy life? Or be social? Or feel like you’re getting a present?
Whatever it is, there’s something good there, or we wouldn’t be doing it, right? We need to figure out what desire it is fulfilling before we can break the habit.
For instance, I started smoking when I was young. After years of trying to quit, I finally saw that smoking allowed me to breathe deeply in a way I usually didn’t. I was a mouth breather so I never had a chance to stop and breathe fully through my nose, which slowed things down and sent a message to my nervous system that everything was ok.
Smoking gave me a little break from the craziness of life, so I could return more calm and at peace. And it left me with a little buzz (I hope I’m not convincing anyone to start smoking with such a glowing description).
Once we see what’s good about our habit, we can start finding a different, healthier one to replace it with.
How to Break a Bad Habit
Habits don’t go away by pushing or hating – I learned that the hard and long way (6 years of trying to quit). Rather, they fall away gently and gradually, when we find something better for us that fulfills our desire; something that makes us feel alive, nurtured, and powerful, rather than full of regret. We often replace the habit with something meaningful enough to make us want to choose it. By filling ourselves with something meaningful, it is suddenly much easier to break a bad habit.
What can you replace your old habit with this week, Mama?
I am going to do what I replaced mine with over 20 years ago… breathe deeply in yoga. It’s been 20 years that I’ve been getting the same wonderful pleasure of that deep breath without having to have a cigarette to make it happen.
Now I get a feeling of calm, of taking a break from it all, and yes – even a little buzz! – from my new breathing habit.
Learn breathing practices that will balance and ground you in our meditation power practice… enjoy!