Today is Day 19 of the 21 Days Gentle Journey.
Today, I would like to invite you to think about changing bad habits.
Begin by going to the center of your being and calmly identifying those things that you habitually do and that you know are not good for you. Think about those things that you would like to change, those things you would like to remove from your life. Imagine how much better your life would be if you didn’t repeat those behaviors. Once you have done that, choose one behavior to work with. Analyze and identify the circumstances that triggers it. Ask yourself, What is it? When does it happen? Where does it happen? Why does it happen? Who, if anyone else, is present when it happens? How does it take place?
Once you have reached a clear picture of this self-harming behavior, put together a strategy to face the challenge. Decide how you are going to respond once the impulse kicks in. Visualize and alternative course of action. Have a plan in place to implement at the right time. Create a mental picture. Visualize yourself taking your time and choosing healthy responses. Remember what Viktor E. Frankl said: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” See yourself powerfully in charge of what happens in that space between stimulus and response. And create positive affirmations that will empower you to make the right choices.
There’s a very simple and effective practice to change habits and make improvements in life that I learned from Stephen R. Covey, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In order to move ahead and get rid of the things that are holding us back, we just have to make promises to ourselves, and keep them. Begin with a small, little promise. Make it and keep it. Then, make another little promise and keep it. Make it and keep it.
It is important to be honest with oneself and to maintain integrity in the moment of choice. Your word is sacred. Your word is your most valuable asset. Give your word that you will eliminate the bad behavior, and keep your word. Live by your word. Keep your promises. Move on gently, one step at a time. Resist one impulse at a time. And each victory will make you stronger. Soon you will be taking in bigger and bigger challenges, and prevailing.
And when you fail in keeping your promise, don’t beat yourself down. Remember that one of the pillars of the Peaceful Ways method is gentleness with oneself. So be gentle with yourself. When you are unable to keep the promise you made — when you give in and repeat a self-harming behavior, for instance — acknowledge that you were not able to control the impulse this time, and simply recommit to resist it next time. The sole fact that you are able to reflect on the behavior is an improvement in itself already. So, don’t beat yourself down. Don’t deem yourself weak and unworthy. Bring creative visualization, positive affirmation, and promise keeping into the picture again, and know that you are on the right path to create an extraordinary life.
You are strong and worthy. You can do it.
I again invite you to visit that sacred place deep inside yourself, that place of quiet and stillness, that place of silence and rest, and listen what the Universe wants from you and has reserved for you.
Now, let’s start this day with gentleness, gratitude, a disposition to release what is holding us back, and a commitment to allow our highest selves to come to light, just as we did yesterday. Let us make of this a healthy habit.
So here are some affirmations for today, but before reciting them, you know what to do: sit down, close your eyes for a few moments, breathe in and out gently, and go to the center of your being. Once you experience that soothing peace within, say to yourself with conviction and firm commitment:
- Just for today, I will listen to the voice of the Universe and pay attention to what it is telling me to do.
- Just for today, I will heed the calling.
- Just for today, I will put myself in motion to manifest my desires.
- Just for today, I will make and keep promises.
- Just for today, I will pause, think, and make the best choices for myself in every situation.
- … and I will do all this while being extremely gentle with myself.
Enjoy your gentle journey along peaceful ways!
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. ~ Viktor E. Frankl
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– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”
– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”
– “Silent Peace Walk”