Cut it out

As habit patterns go, I know, when trying to kick a current habit, it is helpful to create or assign a new thing to put in the old thing’s place.

The way a person quitting smoking would take up chewing gum.

On the other hand, often times we pick up something new without putting anything else down. We shift the weight of the load to balance everything we’re carrying rather than put something down to lighten the burden. Metaphorically then, we add (or attempt to add) new habits, more responsibility, additional tasks on top of an already very full life.

David Whyte (whom you may remember as one of my recommended poets; I’ve also been listening to his lectures and talking/writing about him in my yoga teaching), says that we have to say No three times for every time we say Yes. The object, he says, is to get to a tremendous kind of yes inside, but it takes a radical simplification—a lot of No’s—first.

This idea (which I’ve celebrated before) combined with Danielle LaPorte’s fabulous Stop Doing List lends itself to a new sub-section to the Book of Me: the things I want less of in my life.

My Stopit List

  • Cut out the word “busy.” We use it as a badge of worthiness these days and the fabulous comments on this post really sealed the deal. No more I’m sooo busy.
  • Stop interrupting. It needs no explanation—it’s rude and arrogant. Stopit.
  • Don’t get on the computer before 9 am. I’m not going to be notified of a yoga emergency by email and I want to get on Facebook only to see if someone said something about me overnight. In fact…
  • Stop checking Facebook (and Twitter) before and in between every thing you do. (See above.) Get over yourself.
  • Don’t get on the computer after 9 pm. I would say earlier, but I have to be realistic.
  • Don’t eat white sugar during the week. This is a new one for me, and it will be VERY challenging. I might have to avoid Magpie all together.
  • Stop signing up for every online course, e-book, podcast and teleclass that comes around. This year alone I have acquired or participated in dozens of various online publications and programs. And they’re fabulous (the ones I actually read/listen to). And… the are all centered around the same basic theme: How to be more yourself. At this point, I have ample information, advice and resources to get me started. And in the end, (un)fortunately, I’ll never learn to be me from someone else.

There are times when the affirmative approach is more effective, but boy does it feel good to name the things I want to stop doing. Right now, adding or swapping these habits for other, even more positive, activities feels crowded. I am looking to create some white space, some silence.

Simplifying.

Radical!


Photo credit

So what about you? Is there anything you’d like to declare on your Stop list?

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6 Responses to “Cut it out”


  1. 1 Liz July 22, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    I like it. Good luck! xo

  2. 2 Kelly July 23, 2010 at 1:55 am

    STOP checking email as soon as you open your eyes in the morning! JUST STOP!!!!!!!!

    Please. I beg you. Stop. At least wait until you’ve written a page of something in a notebook and made yourself a cup of coffee. Then, email your heart out, honey.


    You’re right, that does feel cathartic! Hope it works!

  3. 3 Madeleine July 23, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I had to make a decision to only use the Internet for the fun, social network-y stuff twice a day, for 15 minutes each. Which is why I usually just lurk your blog…no time for comments!

  4. 4 blogasana July 24, 2010 at 2:48 am

    @liz – thanks!
    @kelly – YES! i’m shaking fists at sky with you!! rock on witchya bad stop it self!
    @madeleine – specific limits are very good. please continue lurking when possible.

  5. 5 Amanda August 2, 2010 at 3:40 am

    So true and so well said! Reduced computer usage has been on my list. I was succeeding until I bought an iPhone. So…a new Stopit has been added. And of course…white sugar. Progress is being made thanks to some similar Stopit thoughts. Now to keep it up!

  6. 6 jacqueline September 30, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Thank you for this – I have been thinking a lot about the word busy and have just written a post here: http://goodwolve.blogs.com/moxielife/2010/09/stop-being-busy.html

    Loving your blog, by the way! – Jacqueline


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