mind habits

30 Apr

Mind won a round last night.  Instead of going and doing something, I chose the easy path of staying home in my comfort zone.

Breaking the long time, heavily-grooved patterns can SEEM really, bloody hard.

I think this is my task right now.  I can focus on the instances where I am successful, but in reality, I recognize some patterns that seem so close to the core as to actually BE me.  These patterns are not the definition of a person, they are just familiar.  They are habits of how one tends to inhabit the world.  In-HABIT – what an encoded word!

Actually many of my habits give me such nice interactions:  the cloak of accommodation, the hat of approachability, the gloves of kindness, the air of acquiescence – these patterns have gotten me far in the face to face dance with others.  But now the ground is shaky – All is in flux when you start messing with the early programming.   I don’t know how to be anymore.  This  is good.

Besides the habit of nice, open, accommodation, I also retreat.  I love to be alone.  I love the familiar.  When trying to socialize, I feel such strong resistance.  I am lifting a 10 ton car out of the road, I am bending solid steel spoons, I am groaning with the strain.  In one mind state such EFFORT, then all of this can fall away and the 10 ton car becomes an imaginary feather.

I can psychoanalyze why but that doesn’t stop the fact that in times of mind stress, habits return; they drop down like a trap door around the spaciousness, as quickly as a rigged mouse trap pops over the head of the rodent – POW,  my pattern and  I’m back to my shoe box house.

Writing this down makes my habits here seem so SILLY.


Social gatherings, oye,  my Achilles heel.   I will get out of socializing faster than you can say boo.  But here is an interesting thing – when I go out of my comfort zone, I am richly rewarded.  Every path walking friend has come about because I stepped outside of the marga identity and did something different.  Living this life for me, is recognizing the paradox in learning when to go with the flow and when to step out of the stream and do something that feels uncomfortable.  Taoism is not describing a passive  practice.  The Vedas are not describing a way to walk from birth to death as a ghost.  Meditation and walking with awareness are not about staying the same.

So last night there was an improv gathering at the Riverdogs baseball game.  The mind won.

I had arranged a ride for Eden to get to her play rehearsal.  I had finished my work.  I made the night clear and knew the value of getting to know everyone better so I could be more comfortable on stage and open to the moment with people who were not “strangers!”  Granted it was pouring rain…

These improvisors who were gathering are the nicest and most open people I can imagine, which makes it all the more SILLY!  My mind habit of social anxiety kept seeing images of myself having to walk in alone, sitting by the most standoffish person, playing a scenario where i actually make things worse by showing up. Instead of seeing myself making friends, I see myself alienating others.  This is the power of the mind.

I had the most magnificent walk in the rain around my neighborhood alone,  I  got some extra work done ,  I got a good night’s sleep, and I am in good shape to face this new day.  I had a good night alone, but that is not the point here.  The quiet voice of awareness feels like a gentle prodding for me to be new and fresh, without the burden of habits and patterns.

Every moment always gives me the opportunity to make a new choice.  Here’s to new choices for me and for you with whatever your mind habits happen to be!

11 Responses to “mind habits”

  1. seeingm April 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Well, hello there sexy lady, from your friend M, who on a Jungian Typology – Meyers Briggs test scores as an INFP… lol (don’t believe in being stuck with labels, but with a background in psych, I do know testing can give some insight and provide a mirror as to where one can begin looking at what one could overhaul, change and grow within). There have been more times than I can count that I honestly would rather have gone to the dentist than attend some scheduled group gathering or social event. 🙂

    Interesting exercise to test yourself if you have not done it before: http://www.humanmetrics.com/ They have a free version which can be accessed in the top left box.


  2. marga t. April 30, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    INFP 😉 sister!
    Haven’t thought of those letters in a long time. I am Observing and appreciating
    Patterns of cocooning and testing flight – and wishing ease for all (me as well) for the knowing of which when.
    I always like that I hear 2 things in this one phrase: turn and face the strange, and turn and face the strain –
    I bet a dentist could run a thriving practice with patients visiting for the valid excuse to avoid the parties!
    Heart is ever grateful for your sharing and deep, open eyed diving into the deep abyss of love and transition, creation and destruction. X!m

  3. Awake April 30, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    That walk in the rain in the neighborhood sure sounds nicer than the social gathering to me sync sister 🙂

    • marga t. May 1, 2013 at 1:27 am #

      So right on, Erin! A new day, a clearer view – the walk was a delightful gift! Sometimes getting clear is like shaking up the Etch-a-sketch back to a blank screen. Such a public mirror – this. HOw’s the dance coming along? 🙂

      • Awake May 1, 2013 at 1:58 am #

        yes, Etch A Scetch, I like that! I had a walk tonight in the rain/snow, I’m learning ACCEPTANCE. Still working out the choreography for the dance LOL!

  4. caimbeul May 1, 2013 at 4:40 am #

    Marga I love it. My only social struggle is why a wilderness hermit blogs- I battle that daily. Just discovered that my reader lost you so I’m resetting following. Glad it was that and not that you quit writing.

    • marga t. May 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

      Good to know that even in the wilderness the social struggle still emerges! Now I can stop glorifying the simplicity of the life of a hermit 🙂 The impromptu social gatherings that thrill me are with trees and birds and squirrels, etc. aren’t those so lovely! So very happy to see you again, M! WordPress mysterious ways, making me wonder who may have been disappeared from my awareness –

  5. 1EarthUnited May 4, 2013 at 1:43 am #

    So did you have fun at the Improv? The mind gets in the way of fun sometimes, perhaps you can do a skit about that, haha. 😀

    • marga t. May 4, 2013 at 3:59 am #

      The gift of this improv life chapter seems to be more letting go of mind 🙂 So far, it has been a bit uncomfortable, but I’m bravely moving on with the dance. It does seem some places (for each of us) bring up where finding the still point may still be a challenge – custom made environments for learning ! Improv is one such area for me, maybe. From some of your posts, seems that you work in some fascinating realms! Hope you are enjoying your flow, Maddy!

  6. orbphotog May 5, 2013 at 4:38 am #

    I too shy away from socialization… Sometimes one feels lonelier in a crowd and sometimes one needs the crowd to realize one is not alone. But, I don’t think I’ll ever really care to socialize, it is more of an exercise in relationship behavior than a predilection.

    • marga t. May 6, 2013 at 11:37 am #

      Thank you for sharing this, Cheyenne. I think I am polishing away some residual dust from childhood chastisement for my introverted inclinations. Solitary walks in nature fill me up, while socializing drains – what more information do I need? 🙂

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