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holy habits?

January 31, 2013

JPRWhiteonWhiteOK ‘discipline’, again…

I like the idea of ‘soft discipline’ (it’s best if you), but dislike ‘hard discipline’ (you should). Don’t we all?

We all subscribe to cultural norms whether we buy the t-shirts or not, and in turn we all soft or hard
discipline ourselves to think in certain ways.

I shy away from many harder disciplines especially superstitious, ritualistic historical ways.

I guess there always has to be motive, or reason.

For the last few weeks I have made the decision to “shave my facial hair” almost daily (otherwise known
as my “shrew”). To be clean shaven – not something that I have made a habit of in the past.

I have been entertaining the idea of ‘habits that help focus the mind’.

This is not for aesthetic, religious, or practical reasons – but as a trigger to remind me of ‘mindfulness’.

At first this seemed an odd idea, but it has produced effect.

I can’t pinpoint what effect, but it’s “a decision”, a catalyst, that reminds and projects onto one’s world
view.

It requires time and action. It’s a physical, visual, sensual and personal act. But what have I associated it
with?

Attitude, worth, image, health, cleanliness, imperfection, routine…

As a single act it’s relatively meaningless, but when combined with other ambitions it seems to resonate.

It reminds you of growth, change, time, nature…

It reminds you of ablution, presentation, countenance…

It requires a daily decision, growth just happens…

To be wild, to sculpt an image, or to cleanse and routinely resolve towards clarity… ?

#holyhabits ?

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4 Comments
  1. February 8, 2013 10:46 pm

    So it’s only been 3 weeks… in recognizing that we fall short, we can stand tall?
    As mentioned before, as a catalyst to help focus the mind, I have “made an effort” (have disciplined myself), to regularly shaved any slight stubble growth that’s appeared on my face. (regularly but not routinely – a “practice” not a “habit”). It’s not something that I made a habit of (practiced) in the past.
    This is not for aesthetic, religious, or practical reasons – but as a trigger to remind me of ‘mindfulness’. Like most disciplined/cultivating activity, it’s something that projects onto one’s world view.
    To be wild, to sculpt an image, or to cleanse with a resolve towards clarity… ?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been reminded that:
    Growth is an ongoing process. You cannot tame a storm.
    No matter how “right” we think we are, growth happens.
    Growth is life. Growth can be abundant, chaotic, beautiful and random.
    Life is more than our sense of self.
    Re-cognition of life, creates and promotes further growth.
    We ultimatly fail to cleanse our own countenance.
    With a little discipline or cultivation we might sense/create value…
    but we will always fall short of perfection.
    Perfection is impossible, we are essentially raw and wild.
    Life requires ongoing mindfulness, growth happens…
    …respect (if I might use such an old fashioned word) for the above is freeing.
    #holyhabits ?

    • April 9, 2013 7:59 am

      I love what you’ve come up with here. My efforts (which haven’t been daily, but much nearer to it than last year!) have just been a chance to reclaim a bit of the day for focus on God. I’ve also stuck a list of names to my mirror of people I know I should be praying for more regularly. Although I don’t refer to it every time I shave (and I probably end up with funny patches when I do…) it’s useful to have in front of me 🙂

  2. April 9, 2013 8:17 am

    Thanks Nick… I’ve moved on from the practice, but thanks, it had effect. Back to a random occasional preen,but try to continue to be mindful… really struggle to rise above the natural at times but hey onward…
    Not sure what good a prayer list would do me… I’m sure the man upstairs has is’s priorities etc – I sense right now he’s enjoying a knees up at various sub-cultural gatherings at certain holiday camps etc… happy daze.

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