|Replacing old habits with joyous behavoir...|
|...brings joy-filled results|
Day 4 of Your Year To Wellness
I spoke to a friend yesterday who suffers from the same addiction I do. We are connected by our mad lust for popcorn. He had been without popcorn for three days but had to go to a book store that was next to a movie theatre and he could smell that demon corn. For you it may be fries, the office doughnuts or even your specialty coffee from the specialty coffee shop that’s right on your way to work. You may have made a commitment to stay clear of gossip, internet shopping, negative behavior from others or simply talking too much. You made a commitment to yourself to be balanced and well and somehow you’ve made to day four, but last night, the struggle was harder than you had imagined.
When you remove something that you are addicted to or for those who are in denial, accustomed to, you need to replace it with something else. Even behaviors and habits that are not good for us serve a purpose and fulfill a need. When you remove it, you should replace it with a healthy habit.
Here are 5 things that will keep you energized and committed toyour goals.
· Learn something new--Whenever I am removing some old idea or habit from the tape that plays in my mind I replace it with something new. Learning new things energizes the mind and helps to keep it nimble. A few days ago, I received a most wonderful gift from a man I never really met. Al had been in the audience at a lecture I gave to the board members of Christus Health group and heard me say that I enjoy country music, especially Patsy Cline. Years of driving across the states out of range of anything but a Country and Western station forced me (and believe me I did not go willingly) to remove my bias and listen. This wonderful man loaded and sent an Mp3 player with over 1,000 county tunes recorded from 1916 to present. He included a cataloguing of the songs by date of their recording. I plugged the gift in to the house stereo and danced and sang until my kids begged me to stop. Then I switched to the ear plugs and sang some more. When I got to a tune that had yodeling, I laughed and imitated what I thought would be a black yodeler. Then it hit me, I was mocking something because I didn’t comprehend it. My lack of ability was the source of my lack of appreciation and I saw something in myself that I did not like and therefore wanted to be rid of. I went to my computer, searched for how to yodel and immediately hit on a young hip woman giving a yodeling lesson. In a few days I’ve gotten pretty good. (Okay, I think so.) Now, when I find myself wanting to criticize something I don’t understand, I practice my yodel. WATCH OUT YODELERS, I’m coming.
· Give something away/Recycle—I don’t know if it’s my age or if I’m hanging out with more enlightened people, but recently, I’ve been hearing the same thing over and over again. Folks have been telling me that they have too much stuff; that they need to lighten their load and get rid of all the stuff they have lying around. After you’ve tried to store your Christmas presents, you probably realized that you already had lots of what you were just given. That’s because people give you what they know you already like. RECYCLE. Lighten your load and your heart by giving things to people who can make use of the items right now. The act of giving will truly redirect the focus from your craving for what you are trying to give up.
· Say “Thank You”—Showing gratitude is a powerful way to bring balance to your life. People who don’t appreciate what they are given are rarely satisfied. Before I had Al’s present hooked up to my sound system, I was writing a thank you note. I’m not always good at writing them, but I found the act itself gave me a feeling of a joy. It is also imperative that you tell yourself thank you. The Year To Wellness program begins with three days of gratitude. Write a thank you note to yourself and actually mail it back. You will be amazed at the timing of your own letter.
· Fill your Time—If you don’t fill your day with what you need to do, others will fill it with what they want you to do. I have taken to listening to books on tape in the morning and while I exercise. I am a huge reader, so I was amazed by how much I am enjoying listening and being read to. I am immediately taken back to elementary school when we had reading time. We’d sit wide eyed waiting to hear (and mentally see) what might happen next. Too often, I’ve taken calls while I’m walking or doing my stretching exercises. I’d listen to the problems and gossip that was offered and then add my own mess to the pile. By filling my time with what I need to get done and what I enjoy, I no longer have time to take on the stuff of others; something I’ve done for too long. If you’ve always wanted to write a book, or trace your family tree, do it. You’ll be surprised by how much time is available when you are no longer available for things you don’t need.
· Take a Bath—Okay, go ahead, I hear you calling me crazy, but when is the last time you actually ran a tub of water, got in it and just sat there? We are so busy running here and there that we jump in and out of the water our body desperately needs. I try to bathe every night that I am at home (too OCD for the hotel tub.) This takes me to another big thank you. On the same day I received my country MP3 player, I got another wonderful gift from my friends at the International Spa Association. This is a group of people dedicated to wellness and the spa industry. They run and operate spas promoting wellness in our everyday lives. Among them are the people who have brought us things we take for granted like jetted tubs and foot soaks. All of the wonderful skin care products you use and even the massage movement were made main stream by people in the International Spa Association. This week, my manager and sister from another mister, Jeanine came in with a huge box. We saw the return address and immediately opened the package. It was filled with wellness goodies from this years’ ISPA annual conference. Jeanine and I delighted over the face masks, eyelash enhancers, shampoos and bath salts. Even the folks who work in the spa industry get excited over the ISPA swag bag. The day went by quickly and I stayed committed to my tasks because I knew I’d be rewarded. That night I bathed, yodeled and thought of how grateful I am for the life I have.
When you remove the things you don’t want in your life, replace them with things your life needs.
“If you are not busy living, your body is busy dying.”John J. Rattey
Stay focused and committed to your wellness goals by adding things to your day that keep you well.
Peace and Purpose
Bertice Berry, PhD