Ok, I am giving myself three days to drop a simple habit.
Why three days, you may ask? Well, because it is a piece of homework I was given when I was fourteen and I never really acted upon it. The teacher in question was J. Krishnamurti.
When I was a student at Brockwood Park in the eighties, we would meet with him quite regularly in September, February, and June, and on one of these occasions, he set us some homework! That day, he was speaking about habits and suggested that we could understand how minds work by actively dropping a habit.
It did not matter what habit we chose to drop; the important thing was to observe the workings of the mind seriously. What was most surprising is that he specifically mentioned that one could lose a habit in three days. This was unusual for him, as he rarely ever gave specific advice.
It was a long time ago and, if I remember correctly, he instructed us that the first day we needed to carefully observe the habit without any interference. The second day, we needed to observe what would happen if we stopped performing the habit and notice the movements of thought, the sensations in the body, the resistance, etc. On the third day, we could let go of it entirely and wave it goodbye.
I could not really come up with a habit at the time, and it seemed a little magical, so I ignored the exercise and never really gave it a go.
Today, some thirty-four years later, I decided to act upon it and give myself three days to drop one habit. The habit I chose to work on is NOT GOING TO BED WHEN I FEEL TIRED. It is a habit I have been struggling with since I was a child. I have tried so many things to encourage myself to go to bed early over the years that I have nearly given up on it. Yet, I have nothing to lose and intend to focus on it diligently for the next few days and use this writing challenge to write a little about the process in the next three days.
Finally, it would be nice if you could join me with the challenge or attempt to drop a habit or your own – in three days!
This series of posts are part of Incrementally– a 366-day writing challenge.
Photo by Darius Bashar