The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.
– Warren Buffet–
One of the worst chains of physical and mental habit is procrastination. Without action, there is no result.
We can dream, hope, and think our wishes will come true but they will only remain dreams if they are not followed up by action.
The pain of breaking the chains of habit are perceived as greater than the pain and the fear of facing an uncertain future. It is the reason we stay in dysfunctional relationships, fail to change an unfulfilling job, and refuse to change a diet that is ruining our health.
The universe will inevitably test your willpower
So often when we are on the brink of giving up in walking through that long, dark tunnel of obstacles, the breakthrough comes in the most unexpected ways. We climb a hill. We reach the top and then we find out that there is still another hill to climb. It is in such moments of despair that most people give up.
It is almost as if the universe is testing our willpower, creativity, and clarity of thought on the walk through life.
The yin and yang, the law of opposites, is an active process of life force, “qi” energy, swinging us from one extreme to the next in the never-ending cycle of growth and change.
Finding the balance between the extremes
The first light of dawn can only be seen in the darkness. Deep happiness is a feeling that is all the more intense after we have gone through the experience of sadness. They are both intense feelings. There is a fine line between love and hate, as William Shakespeare vividly portrays in “Romeo and Juliet.”
The moral of the story is that nothing good can come from blindly embracing fully one or the other.
In Act 1 Scene 1, Romeo is well aware of the close relationship between these two strong emotions:
“Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love.
Why then, O brawling love, O loving hate,
O anything of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness, serious vanity,
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms,
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health,
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.”
When we fall in love we tend to see the other in a rose-colored hue of positivity. Love appears all-encompassing and we are blind to character traits or habits that are difficult to reconcile.
The disappointment comes later when we move in with each other and the fights start over who is responsible for the grocery shopping or cleaning the bathroom. Shattered hopes and dreams of what an idealized relationship never was or could have been is one of the main reasons for the breakup of so many relationships.
Extremism has its roots in fear and lack of grounding
Much of the animosity in the political divide comes from the same energy—embracing either the right or the left of the spectrum without seeing the nuances in between. The one is the shadow of the other. Both extremes have a shocking level of intolerance and are rooted in fundamentalism that prevents them from listening to each other.
The tendency toward extremist positions is rooted in uncertainty and fear from a lack of grounding.
Mastering the mundane to grow spiritually
The Chinese masters placed great emphasis on this aspect—not only as crucial in the martial arts but as a life philosophy.
Without a solid foundation in dealing with the mundane, any type of self-development will come to naught.
The ancient Jewish sages went further in teaching that if we fail to master the normal daily activities such as looking after our health, family relationships, and livelihood, we cannot hope to advance to higher spiritual experience.
Thus, a good portion of life in the monastery is spent in cleaning, gardening, and other menial chores. It is not only a practice in humility but stems from the knowledge that mastering the mundane is the gateway to loftier spheres.
Physical exercise and the mindful carrying out of mundane chores are excellent for grounding. If your work is mostly in a sitting position in an office, it is crucial to use breaks for walking or another low-impact exercise.
Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker
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