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how habits work...

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People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures ~ f.m. alexander 

As we were working in the studio this week, we listened to a podcast on how habits shape who we are...

When I hear information about how the brain works, the science of what we currently know, it’s as if all my ideas and understandings grow legs, walk around a bit, and reorganize to form a whole new way of seeing.

The new knowledge introduces, confirms or denies something, usually unraveling the old. Some thoughts and beliefs are like pieces of threads - you pull one, and the whole thing comes apart, ready to take a new shape. It’s refreshing mostly. Sometimes unsettling. Always revealing. 

I’ve been in the study of ‘the how of doing’ now for years, integrating and diving deeply into the Alexander technique, so this isn’t really new information, but it is a timely reminder, especially as I experience fatigue. This is a clear sign to me that it’s time to restructure my habits – the ones that no longer serve me.

Our notion of habits tends to be pejorative, but really, they begin as solutions. Getting us from here to there. A way of keeping things balanced or calming things down. Self-preservation. And if they work or get a particular response, we keep choosing them until it’s no longer a conscious choice. There’s no great mystery to it. No determination of your character as you struggle to change things up. No drama. Just a matter of deciding to do something differently. And then doing it.

Understanding how we come to form habits makes it easier to take the steps to adjust them. It's friendly science. It's your body. It's your desires. It's your agency. 

As I consider what to keep as I move forward into my day, and what I wish to do in a new way, I can approach this with a sense of play, a sense of beginning – rather than fixing something that broke, righting something that is wrong… I can say, “thank you for having been a solution and now I am moving on towards something new.”

Less agony. More curiosity.

always in motion,

fia

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  • My father was a CPA and his desk was piled high with client folders and papers and people remarked at what a mess it was, so he posted this tiny sign he had cut from a newspaper:
    “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, I hate to think what an empty desk is a sign of.”
    He would be proud of my office/studio. :>)

    Bobbie Guillory on

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