What keeps you in great shape? Do more of that!
“Reward what you like and pursue what you want.
For now, forget about what you don’t like
and don’t want”.
– Rob Brezsny
We have little routines each day, including our “family traditions”. In the mornings I make breakfast and pack lunches. When Shanti comes home from school, we talk about her day. We have family dinners at home every night – We all treasure these dinners together. We have Turkey Taco Tuesday, test recipes on other nights (but still have our standby favorites) and on Sunday nights Grandma joins us for dinner at our house. On Sunday mornings our family does Kai Chi Do with anyone who will join us.
At work, Charles does Kai Chi Do every morning (He LOVES it!) He has his schedule of groups and clients each day. He has his lunchbox and his man purse and his Bose. Shanti has her schedule of dance classes. I have my work schedule and my daily To-Do lists (complete with yellow stickies).
Our family routines are as important to us as the routines of showering and brushing our teeth every day. They keep us grounded, give us continuity, and have a warm familiarity. There’s a certain amount of predictability that feels very stable and comforting. And we make happy memories.
These are some of the things that keep us in good shape. I don’t mean our muscle strength and flexibility – although Kai Chi Do certainly helps with that. I just mean our daily sense of well-being – our mental hygiene.
We also look forward. Not just looking forward to special events and occasions. We just look forward. We focus on what we can do to improve our present moments and our future. We don’t dwell on the past. And don’t spend a lot of time thinking about things that hurt us or trying to figure out “why” things happened the way they did. We don’t nurture blame or regrets – We may have some – We just don’t feed and water them and eventually they lose their roots.
One of my clients once told me he had “Lot’s wife syndrome” – He said that he had a bad habit of looking back. Remember what happened to Lot’s wife in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah?
When we look forward, we look at “what” and “how” – clarifying the vision and learning the method of what we want. These days we’re less captivated by worry – We spend less time trying to figure out how to avoid what we don’t want. It’s just a lot more direct and constructive this way. It just feels better.
And you see that’s such an important signal right there. Find the things that keep you in great shape – the things that increase your sense of well-being, the simple daily routines, the mental hygiene, the healthy habits – and do more of that!
There’s less room in your life for what you are trying to get rid of, if you fill your mind and time with the things you cherish and adore.