Shifting Habits

A LOT is happening in my life right now.  I'm feeling incredibly full and the richness of experience keeps deepening and for that I am extremely grateful.  Of course, as always--I'm dedicated to growth and seeing what I might be blind to in an effort to create more clarity and exist with greater ease and gift my future self with better knowing.

I've become curious lately about changing habit energy and doing so mindfully and consciously.  I'm certain you can relate to this reader, because you--like me--are human.  So I'll expound on what it's like for me to be **suffering** in a pattern, the withdrawal period after said pattern is realized and challenged--and the inevitable freedom that follows unshackling oneself from the habit (which, I should note---I haven't come to yet--at least with some of my patterned behavior, and so it is merely an imagining at this juncture but it gives me hope to think about it).

I want to share a story with you about something in my recent past...something I am currently grappling with...something that feels fresh, scary and exciting to come to grips with.  As I write this, I feel a bit of nervousness and some relief.  

My assignment for meditation teacher training was to go be alone and reflective for a few days on a self-designed solo retreat.  I admitted in my last post to feeling an extraordinary fear and resistance to this but I committed to doing it regardless because I know on a deep level, the importance of being alone---of experiencing myself in the absence of others and being busy and social media...and so I booked myself a room in Galveston in an old historic house...and knew on a deep, honest level---that this choice would not present me with the option to be fully alone.  I did it because of fear...because of my avoid being alone principals...of my fear of missing out issue...etc...but I went. 

The first day, barely interacting with others---and mostly still, I slept for many hours.  I slept and slept and didn't talk to folks, but was starting to feel the edge of loneliness creep in...the fear of being quiet with myself, which has been present for me for most of my life.  I live alone, yeah---but distraction is ALWAYS available to me if I so choose to dive into it.  And so I saw myself there...on that island...the fear of being alone.

The second day, I took myself on a long walk but certainly there were people everywhere and coffee shops and distractions abound AND I made friends with the owner of the home I was staying in and chatted with her mostly about Buddhist ideology---and about death and meaning and it felt really rich and full, but the nagging thought of not doing this retreat right was lingering in each interaction and there was a bit of shame and guilt hanging over my head.  What was/am I so afraid of? What is in the aloneness that I'm afraid to see?

I realized some things there---some important things...some really deep seated habits that are rearing their ugly heads in my life so presently lately that I could scream.  The knowledge that I seek validation from others...that it goes in one ear and out the other...that I am the only one who can validate myself, ultimately...that in not spending enough quality time with myself, I am depriving others of my FULLest, richest self...that I am potentially missing out on deeper, slower connections.  And none of this is written as a self-judgment, but rather---a series of realizations---things that I feel more ready to look at.  That it's practice, not perfection---this life.

AND so, I'm taking a look at my habits.  The ones that are most troubling. The ones having to do with people---with self-image and self-worth...the things that I most proudly teach others...are of course, the most important lessons for me to try on for myself.

I feel humble.  I feel like I'm on a journey toward self healing.  This is the work...I am willing and dedicated to doing what it takes to find ultimate freedom, contentedness with self, and meaningful, deep, honest relationships with others.  I'm dedicated.

Thank you for reading.  It is an honor to share my journey with you.