Facebook. Eating patterns. Routes of travel. Thought patterns.
I find thought patterns to be at the base of all successful transformations. It is when I can find the thought pattern that I hold the key to the habit—whatever the habit might be. The state of mindlessness defines habits. When we have the power to unlock the habit, we are free to edit or delete it as we wish.
One of my most successful habit transformations directly resulted in editing a recurring thought pattern.
I hated, HATED cleaning and tidying the house. I hated the mundanity of it. The feminist in me protested that it should even be my job in the first place (even though I have lived alone a significant portion of my life when, yeah, it was my sole responsibility to clean my house or not). I resented that I hadn’t made the money to have someone else clean my house.
I thought about these things A LOT.
I would sit around and not clean the house while thinking about how much I hate cleaning the house. I didn’t make messes so that I wouldn’t have to clean. How do you not make messes? Limit life experience, that’s how. I would clean in the occasional and excruciating sprint/marathon cleaning event to prepare for impending guests and it would always feel like I had just cleaned the tip of the iceberg. The entirety of the mess lay beneath and the house only looked clean. Underneath, my household systems were a mess and a large part of my household frustration was my inability to deal with my problems.
In fact, I thought about cleaning so much so that when I finally did start cleaning with regularity, I noticed that I thought about cleaning less. A lot less. It turns out that I didn’t hate cleaning. I hated thinking about cleaning. Convenient that cleaning is a habit—a beautiful, orderly, mindless habit.
But how did I bridge this gap between the old self and my old habits/thought patterns and the self that I aspired to be? How did I drive from the one place to the other?
My prayer was a last ditch effort, though I had prayed before for a clean house many times. Of course, prayer came after feng shui-ing my home. After I had meditated, affirmed for decades, visualized. I had visions of making a million bucks so I could hire a maid, the substance of these visions never materializing. It became obvious to me despite all of the believing and work that I had put into miraculously creating a transformation that there was, seemingly, no way around cleaning if I wanted a clean house.
So finally I asked for the desire to clean.
“Please God, make me want to clean.”
And it worked.
As simple as that, and in that moment too. Because when I asked, in that way, I realized that the problem was never about money or my relationships with other members in my household or the relationship of my gender to the world. The problem was in my heart: this deep resistance to taking responsibility for my environment, accompanied by fantastical notions—that could all happen, I believe this—but used as the excuse for my lack of responsibility.
Once this epiphany occurred, and boy, it was a big one, the house fell into order quickly with my dedicated efforts. A large once-over centered mainly around the organization and culling of Stuff that, it turns out, got in the way of cleaning in the largest way. And then a regular daily habit (and I do mean everyday) of floors, counters, laundry, clutter, and daily chore. The house became immaculate. And ordered. And a pleasure in which to spend time. And a safe haven for my new daughter that necessitated my Hail Mary prayer.
It turns out that I love order. And beauty. Something I would have never realized had I continued fighting myself.
This is how thoughts can get away from us and control our lives. And while I am the biggest proponent of designing your most magical life, I have seen a fantasy used too many times to replace real life. Kinda like the difference between habit and engagement, there is the state of fantastical thinking and dreaming that can never hold a candle to the deep reservoir of feeling that is living within your life’s purpose.
I made a diagram of the process I embraced to make change. I couldn’t fit it onto one sheet of paper so this journal prompt is three pages long. College ruled. Sorry, for those of you who freeze up at the expanse of paper before you. A big fat you-are-welcome to those who think one page isn’t time enough.
The journey this exercise follows asks for larger and larger increments of divulging what is in your heart. I had to add the synchronicities section and an idea graph as the revelations I received from the connections of the short form page necessitated the addition.
I can’t wait to hear about your epiphanies.
~~ Tifany ~~
Leave a comment or join our Society on Facebook. We would love to connect with you and share your epiphanies in your inspired life design.
Bonus thought experiment:
Decide if you could use your social media connections to specifically change a situation or event in your life. Think harder if all you can come up with is spread love, man. You don’t have to instigate this change or act on it in any way if you so choose. Just to imagine a larger network of help and reward. This is a ridiculous dream assignment.
Next week: The Un-brainwashing.
I have dedicated my life to using my powers for good. I invite you next week to consider a life that doesn’t include what you do not want. I have the secret.
It’s a Wonderful Life.
Speaking of movies, our resident fictional character and film critic, Heroine Taylor, will be arriving to discuss the merits of this film with us and the implications we can utilize in designing beautiful, lovely well-designed lives. She’s a firecracker, that Heroine…Can’t wait to hear what she is on to…
Until then, love.