One of the main ‘side effects’ of becoming conscious is the transformation and changing out of personal habits.
Most of us have an unconscious habit or two that we’d like to change. As we become more aware of how our energy gets sucked into these programmed habits, we more easily shift our energy into doing things differently, and we change.
Daily habits are routines that are part of our lives, with varying degrees of awareness attached to them. Some of the routines we choose work well: getting enough sleep and exercise, meditation, eating healthy foods, being kind to other people, balancing the checkbook, communicating clearly.
Then there are the unconscious habits: until we look at them with awareness, many of our long term patterns are unconscious.
We can have habits that we acquired 10 or 20 or 30+ years ago. They may be deeply ingrained from the time we were 3 years old, watching our parents and the habits they chose. We learned from watching adults around us act, and as children we didn’t judge whether those actions were beneficial to us or not.
Some of the most important lessons we learned came from watching how others around us treated themselves, their bodies and possessions, and other people. We learned by listening to what they said to themselves, and how they talked about themselves and their bodies. We may have learned to mistreat ourselves or accept mistreatment from others by watching this kind of thing while growing up, or being told “this is just the way it is”.
Self hatred is not learned in a vacuum, but this doesn’t mean you get to place blame for your own self negation on others. This is programming and you can change it by being conscious.
This is about your conscious choices, and also when they aren’t. Consciousness helps clear out the clutter and free your energy.
The following list is intended as a gentle light in the dark of unconscious habits that take up valuable space. This is by no means a complete list, you may want to add your own.
ONE: Perfection must go. The kind of perfection I’m referring to is the paralyzing need to be perfect. Perfection becomes a problem for you when you’re enslaved by the demand to be perfect, and have no freedom to act or move or be yourself if you don’t measure up to Perfection’s cold critical eye.
Perfection demands that everything stop at perfect, which means nothing gets to change or grow or heal. There’s no room for playing or making mistakes or destroying. This energy can, quite literally, drive you mad.
Replace perfect with forgiveness and gratitude. Become friends with forgiveness, and forgive yourself for not being perfect, then find gratitude and thank yourself for not being perfect. After all that, make sure to make a mess. Destroy something that needs to go. Listen to loud messy music and dance.
TWO: Judgement stinks. Are you super critical and judgemental of others? Do you find yourself in fear of being judged harshly? You are probably picking away at yourself mercilessly, as a result. Those who tend to be very critical and judgemental towards others are even worse when it comes to themselves. Fear plays a big role in judgment energy.
Replace judgement with compassion, empathy and understanding. When you allow acceptance of what is, without need to change the outcome, understanding can follow. If you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes, even if they look like a big nasty mess to you, you may find some answers and free yourself from judgment. If you can forgive yourself for whatever you’re judging yourself harshly for, you can have compassion for yourself too.
THREE: Self negation. Denying yourself the right to exist, take up space, and have needs of your own. Putting yourself down is a great way to be one step ahead of anyone else doing it first, so look to see if this is how you are defending yourself from a possible critique.
Replace negative self talk and behavior with a conscious decision to learn who you truly are, so you can become yourself. If you’re stuck in self negation, you’re in an abusive relationship with yourself, and do not see yourself clearly. You are handling invalidation, and may also be working from martyrdom and victimhood. Even if you have been mistreated and punished by others, the work you do on you will help you see yourself clearly, and the tide will turn for the better once you do so.
FOUR: Martyrdom makes you a martyr. If you’re being a martyr, you’re going to find plenty of people ready and willing to mistreat you, take advantage, and use you without caring about you in return. You can use up your body’s health, your wealth, and your safety for others, sometimes because you lack a clear idea of your own value and are waiting for someone else to see it for you. Martyrdom can come from programming, a lack of self value, invalidation, agreements, corporate culture, Protestant work ethic nonsense, etc.
Replace martyring yourself with celebrating yourself. Start saying “no” to people who you know you want to say no to. Stop hanging around with people who take advantage of you. Learn to listen to yourself, shut out the noise and meditate, get with your inner voice and pay attention to the truth you hear, feel, and know. Listen to and feel your feelings. Only you can break the chains of your martyrdom, you agreed to them and you are the one who gets to be done with them and free yourself.
FIVE: Victimhood is no fun at all. It can, however, be a great excuse for “why” things aren’t working in your life. If you find yourself saying “they did this to me and they did that to me” over and over, stop. Listen to who you are blaming for your woes: your boss? Fellow workers? Family? Spouse/Friends/Partner? Government? If you are still blaming your parents, STOP. Now that you are an adult, your life is in your hands. All you get for being a victim is victimized.
Replace victimhood with self empowerment. Learn skills and tools that help release the past, especially rough experiences you’ve had in your life at the hands of others. Learn to not blame yourself for those times you have suffered because of the poor choices others made. Take a self defense class, learn a martial art, find a fun group that shares your interests, get out of being isolated and victimized.
SIX: Impatience with yourself, your body, and life. When you constantly push yourself faster and further, and ignore your body’s need for rest, exercise, and healthy food, you are being impatient. When you need to get there yesterday, get results now, or make things happen, you are not in the moment with yourself and your body. Your ego and overactive bossy mind are running the show. You might be in effort and survival too. Time for a reset.
Replace your impatience with: watch this beautiful video of snails. Take time out in your day for meditation and contemplation. Listen to music/sound that calms your body down and allows you to rest. Go for a walk in nature. Read a children’s book. Turn off your phone and get away from all media. Stop moving and breathe.
SEVEN: Self-imposed noise pollution. Silence makes you nervous. You need constant sound and noise all day long. When you’re home, your TV is always on, or the radio, or you are talking or texting. Texting counts as noise too. Noise pollution prevents us from hearing important information from ourselves, our bodies and spirits. When we do this unconsciously it may mask fear we have about going within and listening to our inner worlds.
Replace noise with: meditation, scheduled quiet time, driving in your car with no radio or music on. Sing instead, talk to yourself out loud, listen to your breathing, go out in nature and listen.
EIGHT: Responsibility that isn’t yours. You feel guilty and responsible for everything, and take on all kinds of responsibility that isn’t yours. Irresponsible people are drawn to you like moths to a flame, and you become responsible for taking care of some of them. They tend to have a lot of crisis and dramas and need saving, and you get to do all of that. You are easily guilt tripped into doing things you don’t want to do. This energy may have landed in your space when you were as young as 4 or 5 years old.
Replace over-responsibility with: consciousness about the agreements you have with everyone in your life. Decide to become responsible for yourself and your own actions, and then follow that decision up with cutting out any of the agreements to be responsible for people who use you and take advantage of you. It’s not personal, so don’t get stuck in making it so. If you have agreements to take on responsibility for others, they will oblige you by handing it over and expecting you to follow through. Get conscious and adjust accordingly.
NINE: Letting go of control you don’t have. Control is the human condition. We try to control events and people for many reasons, the main one being that we are trying to become or stay safe. If we have control, we reason, everything will go our way and it’s all going to be fine. The funny thing is that the more we try to hold onto control, the more it slips away. Trying to maintain control is exhausting, it takes a lot of your own personal energy to control anyone or anything.
Replace control with: Trust and faith in your spirit, and in the power of spirit. Make a commitment to yourself, to your soul’s journey this lifetime. Do you really believe you were born to spend your time here controlling? Examine the emotions you feel when you feel the need to control, what is your motivation? Is this programmed behavior from watching all of the adults controlling everything in sight while you were growing up? Learn to be conscious of your own inner control freak, and to release this demand.
TEN: Overthinking, over analyzing, and having to make sense all the time. We live in a world in which the analytical mind is more valued than the inner knowing. Facts and charts and scientific ‘proof’ weigh in as being more powerful than intuition, spirit, and feeling. This emphasis on the left hemisphere of the brain has created a dangerous imbalance on earth and inside each of us, and left many of us without access to our valuable right brain abilities. Many people also get stuck in over thinking and forget that they can use other tools and abilities to solve problems.
Replace overthinking with: play more! Do things that don’t make sense, just for the fun of it. Get your body moving. Find enjoyment in simple things, unplug from needing to make sense all the time. Take a meditation class, go to a yoga class, a sound bath, or a desert hot spring. Highly recommended: watch ‘InnSaei’, a documentary about intuition.
Image: Evening of Dreams ©Consuelo at PublicDomainPictures.net