Are You Stuck in a Rut and Don't Even Know It?
When I stumbled across The Psychology of Consciousness by neuro-psychologist Robert Ornsteinmany years ago it was an eye opener. I recognized his list "Educating the Intuitive Mode" as the very same set of practices embedded in all true Wisdom traditions. (Notice I said practices, not beliefs.) Ornstein listed the behaviors that awaken higher consciousness in human beings. These are the things that develop intuition, psycho-spiritual receptivity and mature functioning. I have used that list for years as a background for my work. I think of them as "strategies of the spirit".
Strategy of the Spirit #2 requires no extra time out of your day.
"Interrupt Thyself" is a practice that can be done throughout your normal day. The fancy name is dishabituation exercises. In other words: do something different or do something differently. Interrupt your habits. Develop the habit of routinely turning off your "automatic pilot".
Consciously changing your habitual patterns brings your awareness more fully into the present moment. You become more alert, more aware of your surroundings and more open to new connections and information. You will be challenging the brain to build more brain cells and neural connections. It will make you a more flexible person interpersonally and cognitively. Intuitive information is more likely to be received when we are fully present and aware of our immediate surroundings and the people in them. You will be more likely to notice synchronicities.
Go ahead: challenge the established "prison of preferences" you may have fallen into.
Break out of your ruts. They may be efficient, but they are stifling to wholehearted living and creativity. You are not written in stone. You are not your habits. Practice detaching from the excuse "that's the way I am." Challenge rigid habits and "that's the way I like it" patterns. Break out of your rut.
"The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions."
Try something new. Do something familiar, differently.
Even a small daily dishabituation behavior will have benefits. Consider doing any of the following:
- take a different route to work or school
- sit at a different place at the family table or business meeting (enjoy the consternation this creates in others!)
- listen to a different radio station or different type of music or podcast at least once a week
- use your non-dominant hand for some activities
- do a form of exercise that requires your body to move and be used differently than usual
- by a soap with a different smell, wear a different color, eat a different flavor
- turn off the TV or computer for an evening and do something else
- expose yourself to new ideas (Ted talks are a great resource!)
- visit places you have never been before
- learn a new skill, craft, recipe
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten."
So there you have it. Strategy of the Spirit #2. I'll be sharing more variations on this in the future. You may also want to read Are You Root Bound or Depressed: Resistance to Change. or Set Yourself Free: Time Management, Social Media & Depression.
(You can find a visual index of other strategies you may have missed here, or in the sidebar.) More of Ornstein's list will be added to this blog in the future, so subscribe to the blog below or on the right if you are curious.
What did you do differently as a result of this challenge? How did people react at your family dinner table or business meeting when you sat in a different seat? Funny isn't it?
Please remember to Like, Pin, Share, Tweet & Comment. It Helps!