The Infinite Self
And then, in my mind's eye, I imagined Stuie giggle and do a facepalm.
You see, his basic message was always I'm not a guru, you don't need me, you don't need anyone, don't lean, you can, you must, do it yourself. The energy that inspired every 'guru' that ever lived, including the famous ones like Jesus and Buddah, is the same energy that exists today. It's not exclusive. It's not for the elite. It's there for everyone that's willing to put in the work. Time to get cracking, Boogaloo.
I've started with two things:
1) Daily meditative practice. I can now confirm that with meditation, like fitness, if you don't use it, you lose it. I used to meditate easily for an hour, but now after five minutes I'm watching a stream of thoughts about work, food, why the cat is making that noise, if the courier will turn up in time, and so on..ad infinitum... The most amusing intrusive thoughts are "yay, I'm meditating!!" thoughts. I manage a certain level of peace, and then get so excited about having done it that I immediately snap myself back to normal wakefulness. :-/ Yeah. That's a C minus in yogi-ness.
2) I picked up 'The Infinite Self', which is a Stuie book that outlines 33 steps or disciplines of personal growth that are based on Taoism. Instead of speed reading like I usually do, I'm spending five days on each step and am up to step seven.
What is the Infinite Self? It sounds a bit woo, but essentially, it's you. You might say, the real you.
"First you sell the ego-personality the idea as an intellectual principle. Then through discipline, meditation, opening yourself up, moving beyond fear – through coming to a more compassionate understanding of this planet – you finally comprehend the Infinite Self as feeling. Then you’ll be able to say, “Yep, I feel eternal, immortal, and infinite. I feel I am everywhere and nowhere, I dwell in the realm of spirit.”
Step five involves an exercise of breaking up habitual behaviours. It's taken me a while to figure this one out, because it's not about fixing things, but about shaking the mind out of routines. These don't need to be things that need improving (although some of mine are), just things that have become a mindless exercise and could be done differently. It helps one to live more consciously and is certainly relevant if you want to stay healthy in a world that relentlessly tries to manipulate you into automatic food choices and laziness.
I've made a list of 10 things that I do habitually, and how I'm going to shake it up for the next 10 days (so, until the 21st). It's simple stuff. I'm not aiming for complete brain overhaul.
1. Habit: Leaving many windows and documents open on my computer. I can't bear to close them in case I never find it again!! New Behaviour: Have a maximum of three things open on the computer at any one time.
2. Habit: Piling things up on my bedside table until it's a constant effort to stop the pile falling over. New Behaviour: Keep the bedside table free of clutter.
3. Habit: Whining. New Behaviour: Go 48 hours without making a single complaint or negative/judgemental statement (no whining).
4. Habit: Same coffee shop. New Behaviour: Go to a different coffee shop every time I go out for coffee.
5. Habit: Talking about myself. New Behaviour: Listen, ask people about themselves.
6. Habit: J'adore or Amarige. New Behaviour: Wear at least three different perfumes**
7. Habit: Same Spotify playlist every evening. New Behaviour: Listen only to music I've not heard before.
8. Habit: Never making time for craftwork, putting if off. New behaviour: Attend a craft workshop (I've booked in for a dollmaking workshop.. hahahahaha, oh man, I hope I can pull this off).
9. Habit: Down the river, around the health centre. New Behaviour: Take a different route on my daily walk.
10. Habit: Must be Plugged In. New Behaviour: Have two technology-free days.
** I tried 'Dune' by Christian Dior and it definitely disrupted my routine because I couldn't stand it. Nor could I make it go away! Have you ever tried to wash off a perfume? They are made to stick. I spent half a day wishing I could just leave my body somewhere and walk away. Next time, I'll test-smell before applying liberally.
What about you? Any automatic behaviours you'd like to try changing up for a week or so?
The Infinite Self on Zen Haven
To Buy from SW.com (I am not affiliated)