Prov 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” This verse has been looping in my head for two weeks, ever since I knew I would be starting this journey. I have known that verse my whole life, but not being a “student” of thinking, I never really thought about it! How weird that sounds! I’ve learned quite a bit in just a few days.
I have learned that it is very difficult to quiet my mind, and push out those thoughts that agitate there like a washing machine. I have also confirmed what Dr. Phil has said – as you try to extinguish a behavior, it will increase before it decreases. He has generally been speaking to parents who want to change undesirable traits in their children, but it is equally true when trying to change a behavior in ones self. Procrastination increases, which I now know is my old blueprint rearing it’s ugly head – but now that I see that ugly head and recognize it for what it is, I’m starting to understand that it is a thief – robbing me of what I should be doing, then leaving guilt in its wake – which then becomes one of those agitating thoughts. And just like the washing machine, the cycle repeats.
I have learned that I am a prisoner to bad habits. Sure, I accomplish what I must – but what about those other hours? What am I avoiding by filling my time up with meaningless things? Surely time on the internet and watching some TV isn’t hurting anything. Umm, not so fast. Checking facebook, watching a show, playing a game – the time adds up. . .and up. . .and up – and keeps me locked into meaningless, time-sucking activity. I have also heard for years that you don’t just stop a bad habit, you have to replace it with a good habit. When you hear the same thing from multiple sources, it’s a clue – pay attention!
Part of this six-month journey is to form good habits. Journaling will help to keep me focused, which has always been a challenge. Look – there’s a squirrel! Oh, the phone is ringing! Better get those dishes started! Hey- who’s at the door? I need that dress clean for work tomorrow! I better get dinner started! The dishwater is cold – start over! Wait, what? I’m late for my class!
I have been tasked this week to read five things a day. That’s all. In small, manageable pieces. My old blueprint is not happy. But that is good news! It means that I’m becoming aware of where the problems are, and I can start to chip off the chunks of concrete and find out what’s really there.
I have learned that 15 minutes – (of silence with no activity) – is a very long time.