My racketball partner reminded me yesterday of the importance of saying NO! I shared with him how when he wasn’t able to say “No” to his cravings, impulses or routines, he became the victim of his own habits.He then lost his ability to see the big picture as he was stuck inside repetitive patterns. He thanked me for the reminder and agreed to start immediately to make changes. It didn’t change the outcome of our game, but it certainly changed his enjoyment of it!
The inability to say “No” to the urges of the mind or body means whatever you’re saying “Yes” to is directed by your ego to for fulfill the mental constructs it has trapped itself in.
This can be a very challengingl process as most avoid looking within to be responsible for unhealthy activities they are trapped in.For my students, clients and myself this is an ongoing challenge and one I focused on when I went to Columbia. I decided to break many patterns of routines to ensure I was in control and not my habits. By interrupting my own patterns I was able to break the chains of activities that didn’t necessarily serve me anymore. Habits are so easy to slip into the purpose that they once served is forgotten and they are no longer questioned. Sometimes it can be as simple as changing the order of how you do something or substituting one thing for another that is healthier. It might be in the way you eat drink, sleep, entertain yourself, go about your work or seek pleasure. The key is to do something different and say “No” to that which you were used to doing until the pull of that habit slowly fades. A simple technique I share I teach on my 7 Keys program is to use your opposite hand for everything you do today or chant a mantra every time an unpeaceful thought comes to mind.
This is also the process of ashtanga yoga, learning self regulation. You are asked to check your routines and ensure you do no harm to your body or your mind and are not hurting others with your words, thoughts, actions or inactions. Why not take some time to do an inner assessment to see what you can do to make improvements in your life. For the moment you stop making personal improvements is the day you fall into apathy and complacency to cause suffering in many forms to yourself and those closet to you.