Have you ever developed a new habit successfully? or have you ever stopped your old habit successfully? To stop the old one and to develop a new one have their own challenges. How many times do you break your own commitment?
You might have heard from some people tips on how to develop a new habit. Do it for 21 days!!!! Have you heard this? It is said that a human being is a habitual being. You tend to do things that you have been doing repeatedly. What you do repeatedly will become a habit. If you want to develop a particular habit, because you know it will make you into a better you, make time to do it for 21 days. Have a determination to do it for 21 days and see after that. Once it becomes a habit, you will do it easily, no difficulty and no burden. You will love doing it. You will have the energy to do it. Energy of love. Where does this energy come from? From your heart (soul). That love is from the heart.
I have made experiments on this theory. I could share one to you that I am grateful for till today I have developed a habit of writing. I made a commitment to myself to write a journal everyday. I have been doing it for almost four years now. At the start I knew that I didn’t have any talent or skill in this. But along the way I developed the skill. So it is a new habit that I acquired.
Many times I have received a response or comment from readers of this blog ‘thank you for the post. It is such a timely reminder for me’. If you are a blogger like me, what do you feel when you have that comment from your reader? Yes, you surely become happy. Your post has a benefit for others. It might relate to her or his situation. It might give a little bit clarity for someone. It might be a ray of light and hope for someone.
To be honest, every post in this blog is a self-reminder. It is myself who is reminded.
Someone asked me where I get the inspiration to write. It is an interesting question. Everyone of us might have learned a lot. You might have read so many books, listened to so many people, attended so many workshops and seminars and trainings. What do you do after knowing all the informations? Do you relearn for what you have undertstood? Do you take take time to reflect for yourself? To reflect means change the information into knowledge. To practice means to make it into your own experience and into wisdom and to repeat the practice means to make it into a habit.
Many people learn and not reflect. I do both.
A few days ago I was on my way back from a trip, a solo trip. I took a flight. I was waiting for boarding. What do you do when you are waiting for boarding? I usually read a book, browse the internet, write journal or just observe people. Sometimes I also do some little exercise. The waiting room was an open space with many seats in rows. I had a vacation plan, so I decided to start browsing train and flight for the vacation. There was excitement while doing that. I was sitting not facing the boarding gate, so engrossed in my vacation plan in my head. I didn’t really notice the surroundings. I only realized myself five minutes before the time of taking off written on my boarding pass. I rushed to go to the screen where all flight schedules displayed. It was in another gate. I didn’t get any information if my flight was boarded or not. I was getting into panic thinking of losing my ticket. It was Sunday afternoon, to get a new ticket will be so costly. I rushed back to the boarding gate and found out that the flight would be a little bit delayed. I felt so released.
I have this experience several times. I had also missed flights, waiting for the boarding time, sitting in a coffee shop and not hearing my name was being called. I heard the call but it was not really clear. It was the last call for me. I still remember how I felt when the crew said that I had missed my flight. I was speechless dragging my luggage down to the first floor to buy a new ticket.
When you look back to your life, to what you have gone through in life, you might find some events happened in your life which was not favorable for you. You don’t want that events happened to you, because you didn’t enjoy it, but it happened. It became like a black dot to your life story. You now have passed it. If you could, you might have skipped it from your life story. But you couldn’t skip it. It has become your story. You can never erase or take it out from yours.
I remember a speech by the late Steve Jobs on connecting the dots. What he meant by the dots in his life story was all his failures and unsuccessful stories…..the fact of his own birth from an unwed woman, his drop out from college, the story when he was fired from the company he built, his dealing with his sickness. All was unfavorable events, full of hurts and struggles. In his speech he said that we can connect those dots by looking backward. It is completely nothing wrong with having that dots.
Very recently I conducted a workshop on healing the self. I shared some practical steps for the healing. Journaling is one of the step to this healing. One of the participant shared that she wrote the situation and the feelings, but after a while she read it again and felt embarrassed of having gone through a trivial situation and yet it made her so disturbed left hurt inside. Then she tore the paper of her journal.
Everyone of us has our own dots to connect in our life. You don’t need to skip any of the dots from your life. You don’t need to erase it either. Just keep connecting it. You can’t become a perfect you now without that dot.
In the previous post we have discussed about the different concept of healing and cure. Healing is more to emotional or mental pain. So the journey of healing the self is in fact how to heal the heart from the negative emotion like disappointment, regret, worry, irritation, jealousy, anger, fear or sadness. All these emotions leave pain in the heart.
How to heal the heart? Firstly you need to acknowledge the pain. Don’t pretend that the pain is not there. Don’t reject the pain. Accept that pain. It really needs honesty in this. Be honest to yourself. To be honest means to acknowledge that the pain is there. Secondly, you need to make time to deal with it. Address the pain or the hurt by talking to yourself as if you are speaking to someone else. Have an inner dialog. You need to be introverted in this. You don’t need to make any sound. I may suggest you if you can do this through journaling. You write the situation, your feelings and any thoughts you have in your mind. Just write it. And thirdly, use any advice or wisdom you might have heard to deal with that particular situation. You might have heard good advice many times, you might have read some from books. Reflect your situation, your feeling and thoughts on that advice or wisdom. Listen to the wise self inside you.
A friend who enjoys traveling frequently shared with me that she used to buy souvenirs from the places she visited. She collected all the souvenirs for her memories. Keeping the stuff in her home for a long time created additional work when she had to get the house cleaned or tidy. She didn’t keep the souvenirs anymore and she only kept magnetic souvenirs on her fridge door in order to be practical. They are small, nice and memorable. Now she is collecting photos more than stuff. It doesn’t take space in the house, only in the memory of her laptop. She also shared that when her laptop crashed, she lost almost all her photos. I know how she felt. I had the same experience last year when I had to get my iPad reinstalled. I lost everything, all the files – photos, videos, magazines, some documents stored in the memory. Somehow the backup system did not work. At that time I really learnt to let go. It was not easy for me. The feeling of loss was there – the loss of sweet memories.
I remember I read a book by Eckhart Tolle. It was about an old lady who was diagnosed with a terminal illness and did not have much time left. She had lost her wedding ring. She had so many sweet memories attached to the wedding ring. So when she lost the ring, she felt a really huge loss. She kept thinking about her loss, and every time she put her energy thinking about it creating negative feelings like anger, guilt, regret in her heart. Every time she put her energy thinking about her loss, she sustained the negative feelings. Reminding her that she did not have much time left, the writer of the book asked her ‘Anyway, you will soon leave the ring. Whether the ring is lost or not, there will be a time you will leave it. You will not carry the ring and everything else with you forever. Now think the time is coming now. What will you do?’ The lady was silent, reflecting into herself. After a few minutes, she smiled and said ‘Yes, I am ready’.
We have to remember that whatever we have with us now or we may accumulate, ultimately we will leave them all. We will not carry anything with us.
I met a new friend who is a coach and a writer. She has published 3 motivational books. Nobody would believe that she is a medical doctor. After finishing her medical study, she worked as a doctor in a clinic and in the evening she worked for a radio station as a radio presenter, which she had been doing since she was in college.
She shared the story that when she was younger, she wanted to become a medical doctor because a doctor looks very cool wearing a white coat. A very simple dream of a little child. And when she became a doctor, she always hoped that there would be no patients coming to her clinic. She didn’t enjoy what she was doing. then she quit the job and started doing what she likes – writing and speaking.
Another friend has a similar story. She also graduated from a medical school and ended up being a music teacher. She plays piano very well. She loves teaching. She said teaching children and seeing them play piano makes her happy.
Do what you love to do. Because you will do it with your heart and it surely will give you the most happiness. This is your passion. if you have not found your passion, keep searching.
I remember when I was having my vacation last year, I was sitting in a small vegetarian restaurant in Ubud with my journal book. I was sitting on a long big wooden table. I was sitting in the corner at the end of the table. I was there to write. I met John sitting on the other end of the same table. He is a young man from UK. We then started a conversation. He said that he had been in a very bad depression and he had been looking for some yoga to free him from this depression.
I shared with him how journal writing saved me from frustration. Since I started writing journals, I could manage my emotions much better. Through writing, I found my inner best friend. This inner best friend always listens and understands me. This inner friend is not judgemental, not criticising nor rejecting whatever I share. She will listen very patiently. She is in fact my own self. This is what is healing. Basically everyone needs someone who will listen, understand and accept. I encouraged him to do the same.
I remember his expression when he said to me “Tini, you have touched my heart”. His eyes were shining, his whole face showed so much happiness. Do not ask me how I felt hearing this. I was so happy that I could help someone that day.
When I was conducting a workshop on Time Management very recently, I asked the participants this question – what they spend their day doing. I asked them to write down their activities from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed. I did this exercise myself beforehand. I tried to be honest in writing my own list, which became a long list of activities. I found out that most of the things I do are just mundane or I do it because I have to do it, because of obligation. So it is not purely my choice and there is not much excitement. When you are doing something out of compulsion, you don’t feel the love. You don’t feel happy while doing it. The happiness only arises when you are doing it with love (with your heart).
If you really want to have a happy life, you need to check how do you spend your time day to day. Happiness is generated through doing action. You create your own happiness through choices you make.
Make sure you choose to do something related to your life mission. It can be your passion. When you are doing something with passion, you will generate the most happiness.