What happens when you break a habit?

I’m reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron with a smart and heart-warming group. The book is a platform to make you think. And the group is a platform for great discussions! It’s a cool combo.

Last week, one of the “tasks” in Chapter 5 was to not read for the week. Cameron believes that most writers stall on writing by reading. We have rebelled as a group against many of the tasks Cameron prescribes, but this one took the cake. To most of us, the very concept of not reading was repellant. And for a whole week? No way! Besides, I am working on a class at Boston University and I had to finish the reading for that. And I had a library book, nearly done, that was due back. So of course, I finished that.

But then I paused. Could I take a hot bath without reading? Could I go to bed without reading? Could I eat breakfast without a book open in front of me? I took on the challenge and here’s what happened.

  • I meditated before bed and in the hot bath.
  • I wrote a song, music and lyrics for a songwriting workshop I’m in, at night and in the morning.
  • I saw two movies with my hubby.
  • I took walks (until it got down to 12 degrees in the morning :).

I cheated, of course, by listening to an audiobook in the car. But I actually enjoyed the challenge because it was more than a reading challenge. We make choices every day even though we mostly run on auto-pilot and flow like water down the easiest path.

And the big questions are:

  • What are we doing that takes time?
  • Are we deciding how to use our time – or just running on habit?
  • Are we making our best work a priority?

Cats and dogs are so Zen. Cleo has made a new nesting spot in some stuffies on a chair. And Grace balances her manic time chilling by the fire with her favorite fox. No hard life choices for these two. 🙂

Want to see other posts on this blog? There’s a small link below to the left that will take you to the most recent post. Or check out the column on the right to see what other folks are reading. Please try the “search” box at the top of the page if you’re looking for something specific.

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I welcome your thoughts and suggestions for future posts!


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