We are habitual creatures. Most of us don't have an awareness of how much we are not actually in control of our everyday life choices. We have this illusion of free will, but, in reality, most of us do the same things every day. We wake up, brush our teeth, watch the same thing on TV at the same time, we walk the dog around the neighborhood on the same route, we eat mostly the same foods.
It's so hard to break away from our normal routine. And as soon as we decide to make a different choice, maybe it's a healthier habit, waking up earlier, deciding to read a book instead of watching Netflix, drinking a green fresh squeezed juice instead of a soda, or a healthy bowl over pancakes, we might feel good at that moment, but, eventually, we get lost back into these old habits.
It takes a lot of energy, and self-awareness, for us to make a change, especially one that sticks.
The more habits we can put on autopilot, the easier it is to navigate and change our world.
There is a lot of science behind why this is the case. Our brain loves to create habits. It makes it a lot easier for us to navigate our lives and requires less energy to think about what we are doing. Think back to when you were 16, first learning to drive. You were hyper-aware of your surroundings, where you placed your hands on the wheel, making sure you weren't tailgating anyone. And now... well, now you can drive without thinking twice about it, one hand on the wheel, eating while driving, and, at times, driving miles without even realizing how far you've gone because you're so lost in your thoughts.
The more things our brains can put on autopilot, the easier it is to navigate our lives. The problem is, if we don't work on cultivating awareness, we will begin to sleepwalk through our entire life, eventually, waking up one day, wondering where the time has gone.
The longer we do or think something, good or bad, we create a habit. These habits and thought patterns create neural connections, or pathways, in our brains. The deeper and longer these connections get grooved, the more difficult they are to change... but it's not impossible.
Awaken awareness through practicing new habits
It takes a lot of energy to show up and live our lives with intention, it doesn't just happen. We must cultivate a daily practice to train our awareness. Some practices we can incorporate are:
- mindful walks
- present conversations
- reading a good book
In order to wake up to the experience of life that is constantly unfolding around us, we must first find time to slow down, find stillness, and be present.
Try and choose compassion over hate, forgiveness over resentment, and love over fear. Take note of your choices and bring them to consciousness.
"This doesn't just happen. You have to work, show up every day, be intentional, and eventually, you will begin to rewire your brain and you will notice life starts to lighten up all around you."
Look inward to change the world around you
This is what all of the spiritual traditions talk about when they say, "as within, so without," what they mean when they say to look inward, find peace from within, it all starts from within you.
How we feel, think, and act in the world is the world that reflects right back at us. In order to change the world around us, we must create and focus on habits of the reflection we want to see.
This is the real law of attraction. You are the key.
To keep up with how I practice this, follow me on Instagram.