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red_robinEvery year I pick a NEW  word to focus on as a guide to how I approach my endeavors and to hopefully become a better person.   This year the new word is not coming; nothing is resonating.  I thought my word was going to be Happiness, because I have a number of books to review with happiness in the title, and yet I have found this not to be the one – I think it was the real word for last year.

I also pick a Native American Animal Guide for the year and I do that on Epiphany which was January 6th  this year.   I did a  workshop on that day and I think assisted several folks in discovering their word and Spirit Guide.   It was very fun.   My guide turned out to be DOG  in the contrary, which means I am loyal and trustworthy and an incredible supporter of other people ( like being a counselor, clergy, listener, guide, or caregiver.)  In the contrary position though, it means I need to work on being my own best friend.     I took an action right away that opened the door to feeling better about myself and my work/ history and enabled me to let go of some hard feelings – instantly.

I discovered that I do indeed need something NEW in my life and I focused on looking from the ground up.  How did I start each day? What are my habits? What is my thinking, and how do I respond?  Right away I discovered how much I like the feeling of waking up on my own – coming to the day without alarms or buzzers or bells and whistles.  I like feeling the cozy sheets, feeling safe and extending my toes and shifting my feet before I even open my eyes.  I like feeling ready to be aware, and the word JOY kept popping into my head.  I changed a habit right then and there; I now do not run over all the tasks which must be completed on this new day, instead I think of 5 things that I am grateful for – even if ZIP is wanting his breakfast and to go out.

This new exercise was feeling very good to me and I thought if I just started changing my habits who knows what will pop into my circle.   So the next thing I did was not write for a whole week.  I still went on my meditation dog walk first thing after dressing, but I did not sit down to write right away after that.  I did not open my journal at all during this week.  I did not bring up a blank sheet on the computer.  Now, I am going to try different 3 hour slots of time during the day and night to write; a week at a time.  Change a habit, this was a dramatic move but it broke down a boundary in my thinking and my actions. How else could I use this new discovery?

Then my friend Kathie posted this little riddle poem on Facebook.

Food for Thought…
I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest asset or heaviest burden.
I will push you up to success or down to disappointment.
I am at your command.
Half the things you do might just as well be turned over to me.
For I can do them quickly, correctly and profitably.
I am easily managed; just be firm with me.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine, though I work with the precision of a
machine and the intelligence of a person.
You can run me for profit, or you can run me for ruin.
Show me how you want it done. Educate me. Train me.
Lead me. Reward me.
And I will then…do it automatically.
I am your servant.
Who am I?
I am a habit.

And I was empowered even more.  Rather than try a resolution, or picking a goal, or a word, I am going to change my habits, one by one and see where this leads me.  Hopefully to be a better person and one with some NEW thinking that assists the more authentic self to emerge.

I made a list of all the habits I could muster and I put them in my journal; some are very small such as moving the stool by my closet to over by the window.  I did not find this very convenient, but it did open me up to being thankful that I have natural light in my closet and to know that a quick glance at the weather was enough to make a decision about my walk.

Maybe my new word is HABIT or maybe it is CHANGE?  What is your focus for the New Year? Did you make resolutions, did you pick a word, or did you start a new class or activity?   What works for you?

I have been asked to do a book review on the 31st of this month – so I will be changing my posting schedule a bit too. Very neat book about happiness!

If you purchase anything from this site from Amazon or Powell’s   I will receive a few beans in my bucket. Thank you.  Donations also welcome.

Related Reading:
Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit
Our Bodies Our Selves ( The Change)

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14 Responses to “Habits”

  1. Davina Haisell Says:

    About halfway through reading this post, Patricia, I thought to myself that your word was “change.” Then I talked myself out of sharing that because I didn’t want to influence you. I grinned when I read that you had already considered this.

    I love how you are always experimenting…and forever seeking. You are truly an adventurous spirit. And you do this gently. At least that’s what I pick up from your reading. Maybe you don’t always feel as though you’re being gentle to yourself, but somewhere, on some level, some part of you is. That energy comes through loud and clear from where I sit.

    Loved the point you made about learning to be your own best friend. I believe you have this in you. You just need to let it out more… or take it for a walk… 😉
    Davina Haisell recently posted..Don’t Monkey with Grammar: Comprise vs ComposeMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Hi Davina,
    I liked your reference to take my friend out for a walk – oh you clever writer you.

    I have been being extremely hard on myself lately – so I am glad you perceive gentle action – mostly it is positive action which is a gift I believe I have, but I am not very gentle with myself.

    I believe if I do not keep moving forward, questioning and seeking I will become static and festered with bugs…no one likes mosquitoes – and especially not ones of the mind
    Patricia recently posted..HabitsMy Profile

  2. Galen Pearl Says:

    A totem animal for the year–what a great idea! As you know, I always have a word for the year. It’s always a verb. My word this year is “wait.” A challenging word, as it turns out! Anyway, I like your animal idea, and I’m going to give that some thought!

    Patricia Reply:

    There is a link to the animal cards in the post…I think this book is really good and the write ups very close to the true spirit of the animals. My library has a copy of the cards and book, and several bookstores here have a copy of the book and cards for folks to use without having to purchase them.

    I have been amazed at how closely the random drawn cards fit the person’s path for that year. So often folks get cards that they think are “weird” only to have them be just what they need to guide them.

    I love when someone pulls TURKEY – life giving and the closest to GOD ( however you define that word) The folks always hate to pull that card but are relieved when the understand the spirit.

    2 years ago I pulled Weasel – and it turned out to be the perfect guide and assisted me in making some very dynamic decisions.
    Good luck with WAIT…It is really a task master of a word.

  3. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Patricia – Talk about being on the SAME wavelength (or great minds think alike). Yowza! It’s like we’re attached at the hip! Once you read my post today you’ll see what I mean…

    I have a word for you – FRIEND – and I’m sure glad you’re mine :)

    Patricia Reply:

    Good Morning Laurie,
    Yep we are on the same wave length this week!

    PEACEFUL – now there is an amazing word – I could use a bit of that as I have been downloading anger out of my system since Qigong class last Friday night…and yet, I think this clearing will be very beneficial to me – if I can just get the system clean.

    One of the reasons I gave up my Ordination is because one has a hard time finding “friends, mentors or counselors” within the community when wearing this title….I always have to travel many miles to connect with friends…
    Or cruise the internet!
    thank you for your kind word

  4. suZen Says:

    Hi Patricia,
    I think I ‘ve had a word each week! I love how you (and Galen too) sit with your words, or walk with them. Mine change so fast these days, they seem to float past me like bubbles.

    We may ALL be doing a lot of assessing, transforming, creating and re-creating. It feels and sounds like it every where I turn now. I may just be more sensitive to it because of my own personal situation. Loved that poem on habits. Boy they attach themselves to us like tatoos don’t they? It’s sometimes hard to remember that some of them are actually GOOD. They are all a choice regardless.

    suZen recently posted..Big Butts and BelliesMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Oh Suzen you make me laugh –
    I started out with word or two nearly every day this year – I could just not settle down until I started figuring out what was coming up for me often….

    I think there has been a seismic shift – I have been hearing this from a large number of people. I found the Epiphany group to be very helpful just because there were more people seriously thinking and discussing each other’s words…so that the Guide and the Word really seemed to stick to the participants.

    Lots of change going on right now….
    Yes – many habits are good…and helpful…

    Tattoos – yes indeed.
    I liked your sharing on Laurie’s post too…I AM Peace..
    You are a peach!

  5. Deb Nance Says:

    Yes. My word this year is Yes.

    Here’s my Happily Reading The Myths of Happiness. Stop by, if you can, and share your thoughts.

    patricia Reply:

    Yes is a great word and can bring a great deal of happiness!

    Thank you for stopping by and I will be right over to check out your Myth words…My post goes up on the 31st…I really liked the book.

  6. Sara Says:

    I enjoyed this post and how you progressed from discovering your guide to doing something new in your life to recognizing the need to change things up and put some habits aside.

    When I think of you, I think of someone who always willing to challenge things. You don’t just accept something; you question and really study it. You have a powerful gift in your quest for knowledge about yourself and life. You don’t give up:~) I admire this about you.

    I haven’t really thought about how I’m approaching the new year this time around. Perhaps I need to take some time to consider this. The first word that jumped into my head, however, was Serenity. I’ll explore this:~)
    Sara recently posted..On-line Dating Tip: Make First Date SpecialMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Serenity is a marvelous word and I think I would like to add that to my list….changing habits in a serene way what fun another addition.

    I really do embrace change sometimes it is just right and sometimes – oh well!

    I dig deeply because I like to feel my best and put my best forth…my curiosity is huge.
    Thank you for your kind words and for coming on by…now I need to make that first date special !
    Patricia recently posted..The Myths of Happiness ~Sonja LyubomirskyMy Profile

  7. Talon Says:

    Patricia, I want to wish you a beautiful 2013 stuffed to the brim with joy and fulfillment and whatever makes you buoyant and content.

    Patricia Reply:

    Buoyant and content – now that is really a challenge for me…
    So nice to find you here tonight as I return to the computer…
    popping over right now to see what you are writing these days – and your lovely pictures
    Patricia recently posted..The Myths of Happiness ~Sonja LyubomirskyMy Profile