"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."
Rooms 10-20: Change Your Shampoo
Say No To Habit
They say you should change your shampoo every six months, something about how the hair gets used to the shampoo, thus making it ineffective.
I’m no hair dresser, but fact or fiction, the principle works for me. There is memory in everything. Sometimes that memory can be a good thing, like eating green foods or keeping your hand away from the burner on the stove. But, just as often, memory can put us into auto pilot, silently pushing us to do things we don’t really want or aren’t really good for us.
We do something so routinely that our simplest actions become meaningless and unconscious—zapped of energy and purpose.
And if we’re looking for movement in our lives, we need to break the habit of mindless habits. We need to change our shampoo once in awhile. Like an old pair of jeans that become dead after a few days wear, our actions need to be thrown in the wash—rinsed, cleansed and rejuvenated.
It’s starting each day with a brand new slate, while holding up each choice as an opportunity to not only see, but react to the world in a different way.
We do all of this because we know it’s hard to move into new rooms without cultivating this spirit of conscious choice making, which is impossible to happen without facing the enemy of growth—our fear of change—of doing things differently.
Rooms 10-20: Change Your Shampoo and 10 Other Unconscious Habits.
Yes, the room is change your shampoo. And, no, not metaphorically. Really, change your shampoo. But, don’t stop there.
While you’re at it, trade in your old toothpaste. Do baths instead of showers. Try new pajamas, no pajamas, your kid’s pajama’s.
Change what you wear to work. Your hair style. The TV shows you watch. Try sleeping on the other side of the bed, or taking a different route to work. Turn off Sinatra, try grunge. Wear a hat, take up shawls, go barefoot.
Find at least ten other habits to mix up and change this week. 10 rooms!
Of course, you’ll find no shortage of things to change in your everyday life. Just don’t judge your changes. You’re not making decisions that will affect the rest of your life, you’re just learning to see in alternative ways, which is where the heart of habit changing begins.
It is not just recognizing that there is choice in everything, but that each choice brings something different into our lives. It’s experimenting with everyday life.
What will your choices bring you? Hopefully, something eye-opening and new.
Remember, change doesn’t begin by shedding our worldly possessions for a motorcycle trip across Alaska. It starts with one seemingly insignificant act of mindfulness after another.
So, go ahead, change your shampoo…say no to habit…and hello to choice.