Old habits die hard, and you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!
So the sayings go, but in my experience the ones who thrive after hours and after work are the ones who are willing to let go of the past and accept the freedom to try new things or to develop the habit of a hobby.
As to habits, I guess most of us would hold up the guilty hand and admit that we are essentially creatures of habit. The trouble is that we tend to accept that we do things in certain ways that are fixed in our psyche and therefore can’t be changed. If only we could take a lesson from the pages of those who are willing to let go and realise that we may be creatures, but we are also the creators of our own freedoms.
You may remember the post where we spoke about the changes in consciousness that come with age and especially after retirement, that in the past has been referred to as a second childhood, when those who were supposed to understand had no idea what was actually happening within renewing of the branching consciousness to bring us the diversion normally related to adolescence and the possibility of quite radical change.
It is in fact a realisation by the consciousness itself that it is possible to let go of the rigours of working and earlier life to allow the consciousness to move into new avenues or branches of mind and this is seen most acutely as the elders take on a more spiritual outlook to life in general, leaving the mundane chores and old habits to the younger members of the tribe or family, with any luck!
Habits are often mixed up with rituals and ceremonies and it is the latter in which the elders can take a new responsibility for in guiding the younger members. At the same time the ceremonial guidance can often bring a more meaningful aspect to habits and rituals. Rituals I put in the category of the essential family meal that brings us all together, cementing the family bonds that should last for lifetimes.
Habits I feel are a more personal pattern such as the HPT (Highly Precious Time) on your way to work, school or walk in the woods when the daily conversation with your Soul and Body begin.
There will of course be short breaks when crossing a road or listening to your teacher or concentrating on intricate jobs or dangerous machines like driving a car, but it is the kind of conversation that allows you to foster the feeling of Well-being in Soul, Body and Spirit, which is easily continued later, not as a timed habit per se but when you feel that the moment is right.
At whatever age habits have a habit of sticking to the regime that you set for yourself, but they have no need to and it is not a difficult job to rid yourself of a habit unless of course it has descended into a tick! No, you can easily, for most habits just replace a habit with a habit. For those who have developed the tick to remind themselves of their existence we understand the essential nature of that tick both physical and verbal that has become part of your way of being.
When Eugene spent his time in the monastery it was a very modern habit not to wear the normal monk’s habit since they were working out in the community and he wore what we called mufti, not that he was an expounder of Muslim Law being a catholic monk, but the civilian dress of one who would normally wear a uniform, in other words just plain clothes which was considered more user friendly with a simple wooden cross on a leather thong or string around the neck. Even in those days jeans were quite acceptable having become almost a uniform of the young and not so young!
As we age we should understand that with changing consciousness it is perfectly acceptable also to change habits. After all in retirement we should have the time and the incentive to realise that we are free to pursue happiness, our true and only goal and something in my view we should have realised from the very start.
With the advent of the many ways to use the Internet it seems that many are able, these days, to enter a partial retirement at an early age only working one or two days a week and therefore spending the rest of the week in the pursuit of happiness, as if it was anything different than the habit of our normal work ethic.
Not forgetting of course that happiness does not rely on anything outside of ourselves and is dependant solely on that elusive level of consciousness.
Make finding that level your new habit. With Love, Hanukah