October 31, 2019
Hold it! Not the good ones! Take stock of all your habits. Keep the good ones! Think about those habits that you wouldn’t admire in someone else. At the Yesss Meditation live-in Center here in Portland, Or, new residents bring in bad habits not realizing that ‘sensitivity’ is the only rule here. Sometimes the small ones reflect on other bad ones from the guy who loudly sneezes and coughs all the time as he smokes cigarettes and pot many times during the day to the one who follows his own ‘devil may care’ about what others think.
Habits, good or bad, have a tendency to ‘grow’ and actually create other habits akin to the ones displayed. Bad habits annoy others, even the one you live with as a purported love partner. Avoiding them, whether the one doing them, or the one who doesn’t, use skillful means to address another’s bad habits, otherwise you unknowingly create another bad habit of ‘walking around on egg shells’ for fear of the others habit of not owning their insensitivity and willingness to change it. One bad habit feeds another’s bad habit!Bad habita are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.
Years ago in NYC, there was a Mayor who would actually walk the streets from time to time and ask those greeting him, ‘How am I doing so far’? Don’t be afraid to ask others about how they see you (wise idea to pick those with a positive, sincere attitude to ask). Use those you respect as mirrors to see how your behaviors affect others. The attitude of not adapting to higher habits of quality is in religions terms, ‘a sin’!
Let go of those ways (after identifying them of course) that you are ‘stuck’ in and not open to replacing with better habit qualities. Recently in my daily free speech display show in downtown Portland, I realized that few passerby’s (many on cell phones or ear plugs listening to music) constantly walked by in a fog and I’d rarely get a look, smile, good morning, hello or any recognition. Until recently, I fed their ‘zoned out habits’ by quietly just accepting until I realized a couple of things. One was that both people walking by and me were ignoring each other with no ‘hello’s’. The second thing I noticed was that many likely never got a greeting all day especially the ‘downtrodden’.
Now, as of a few weeks ago, I changed the habits of mine and many others to greet each other. Many are caught unexpectedly and manage a slight smile or just turn their head in my direction with a nice expression. Validating my new habit, and after doing it for an hour, a middle age lady that I’d never seen before came by with a beautiful salad in a see though container because something ‘spoke to her’ to give it to me (true happening!)!
My next ‘breaking of a habit’ for both me and others is to offer ‘free compliments’ written on a dry erase board! Killing apathy as a ‘bad habit’ is to let go of inner fears and replace them with loving, modified gestures. The world needs more acts of love!