In my writing and teaching on presence, centering, and replacing old habits with more purposeful ones, I look to others to help me practice what I teach. One of those mentors is Pema Chödrön, an American Buddhist nun and author of many books on Buddhist practices for living more intentionally.
I can't think of a better way to begin the New Year than to pause and consider the habits we might shed in favor of ones that help us create the life we want, especially in times of uncertainty and change. Habits are invisible until we notice them -- habits of mind, body, attitude, and action. What habits would you shed? And what new habits will you replace them with?
From Pema Chödrön:
At some point, if you’re fortunate, you’ll hit a wall of truth and wonder what you’ve been doing with your life. At that point you’ll feel highly motivated to find out what frees you and helps you to be kinder and more loving, less klesha driven and confused. At that point you’ll actually want to be present -- present as you go through a door, present as you take a step, present as you wash your hands or wash a dish, present to being triggered, present to simmering, present to the ebb and flow of your emotions and thoughts. Day in and day out, you’ll find that you notice sooner when you’re hooked, and it will be easier to refrain. If you continue to do this, a kind of shedding happens -- a shedding of old habits, a shedding of being run around by pleasure and pain, a shedding of being held hostage by worldly concerns.
~~ From Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, by Pema Chödrön, page 62.
Reading Pema Chödrön's words, I become more present to this moment and to life.
I wish you a year filled with present moments and intentional shedding.