Or is it –
“The human spirit lives on creativity and dies in conformity and routine.” By Vilayat Inayat Khan ?
I did not expect to find two such contrasting views about the value of routine when I looked for a quote to start this newsletter. But after thinking about the two quotes, I decided that what was really missing from my life in the past 5 days on the road, might be more accurately understood from Auden’s quote, is the “positive” routines that we establish to help us reach our goals. Moving house really does change the rhythm of a day, and I am taking 10 days to pack, load, travel, unload and unpack, and for the first 5 days most of my positive regular routines have gone out the window.
Sleeping on different beds in different rooms has also thrown me off balance. I need to get some of my good routines back in place. The easiest one is my morning breathing with movement. Even doing a shortened version will be of benefit especially during this period of disruption. And while it feels strange completing the routine in environments I’m not used to, it is a great start to the day. What good habits and routines do you have that improve your day? When do you find it easier/harder to complete them?
I have also found that abandoning my routine allows for some habits that are not good for me – especially if there is lots of good food with friends or family. I enjoy food, and I dislike seeing food go to waste. Second helpings are hard to resist and dessert even harder. And if I don’t have to drive, in a relaxed environment, I find it easy to enjoy an extra glass of wine.
The last five days have been indulgent and I can feel my body responding, and not in a good way. Indulging occasionally is not a bad thing, indulging for a week or more however is not a great idea, especially when I am sitting in a car for 4-5 hours day. What triggers do you have that lead you to make choices that are not the best for your physical or mental health? What justifications do you use to make the poor choices? Run through the outcomes of those choices before you enact them and then remind yourself of the results of the good routines you have or want to commit to making. This forces you to act consciously one way or the other.
I’m looking forward to setting up our new home at the end of the week and getting some good routines back in place. Until then, I’ll make sure I at least do a shortened morning routine because I know that my good routines prepare me for the tasks ahead.
“Faithfulness in the performance of small duties gives us strength to adhere to difficult determinations that life will someday force us to make.” (Paramahansa Yogananda)