Zen Blog

This blog collects various internet feeds aimed towards information, experience and technique exchange in support of our shared spiritual journey.....

”Namaste - may the light in me, honor the light in you…”

Retraining Deeply Ingrained Habits of Mindlessness

By Leo Babauta

It’s hard enough to change a habit that you can physically see: going for a daily walk, sitting down to write, having a salad for lunch each day. These are easily seen, but can still be quite a challenge to instill in your life.

But what about habits of mindlessness, that you don’t even know you’re doing? Maybe you notice it later, maybe you never notice. How do you change those kinds of habits?

For myself, I have a number of mindless habits that I could focus on:

Judging other peopleEating mindlessly, especially when I’m talking to people or watching TVSitting too long and getting distracted onlineComparing myself to others or judging myselfShutting down into self-concern when someone is unhappy with meHiding things from others because I’m ashamed or afraid for them to know

Of course, these are just a handful that stand out. They’re deeply ingrained, because I’ve had them since childhood.

They are not a reason to beat myself up, or judge myself. There is nothing wrong with me for having these habits. And yet I can see how they’re unhelpful to my happiness, to my relationships, to the work I want to do in the world.

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The Practice of Listening to Find Purpose

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” ~Rumi

By Leo Babauta

Very often, our lives are so filled with busyness and distraction that we have no space to actually listen to what life is calling us to do.

Think about your day so far, and your day yesterday: how much of it was spent in busywork and distraction? Messaging, social media, videos and news, reading favorite websites, answering emails and doing errands, replying and reacting.

In the middle of this craziness, do we ever have space for silence? For creation, contemplation, reflection? And for a practice that I think we do too little of much of the time: listening.

The practice of listening is about creating a little space for silence, and then listening to what you need to do right now:

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Finding Groundedness in the Age of Anxiety

By Leo Babauta

We live in uncertain times.

Actually, things have always felt uncertain to the people who live in those times, but these days it might feel even more heightened, with the hyperconnectivity of the internet, social media and constant messaging, comparing ourselves to everyone else, and a very tense, divisive political situation (not just in the U.S., but in many countries).

It’s enough to drive anxiety through the roof for many people. I coach hundreds of people through my Sea Change Program and Fearless Training Program, as well as 1-on-1 … and anxiety seems to be a huge problem for many people I work with. I’ve seen it in my extended family and friend circle as well — anxiety seems to be on the rise, or at least it can feel that way to many.

So what  can we do to deal with this anxiety?

There isn’t one simple solution, but there are some habits we can form to help us cope — even thrive — in the middle of chaos and uncertainty.

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The Courageous Self-Discipline Challenge

By Leo Babauta

Who among us doesn’t procrastinate? Who comes up with a wonderfully prioritized plan for the day and sticks to it, without putting off the hard stuff and running to distraction or busywork or comfort?

There may be some of you out there who are incredibly disciplined, but I’d say it’s fairly uncommon.

Most of us have trouble with distractions, with doing busywork instead of important work, with going to our comforts like TV, shopping, social media, with procrastination and putting off good habits.

If you recognize yourself in that description, I invite you to join my Courageous Self-Discipline Challenge for August.

I’ll be holding the challenge (starting Monday) in my Sea Change Program, where more than a thousand people will be doing it together, supporting each other.

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Cutting Through Indecision & Overthinking

By Leo Babauta

I’ve been working with a few people who are very intelligent, very competent, and very talented — but they get stuck in indecision and analysis paralysis.

In effect, overthinking and getting lost in endless options reduces their effectiveness and intelligence by producing inaction.

Taking any action is likely to be better than inaction and indecision, but we can get so caught up in trying to find the perfect decision that we make no decision.

The answer is to cut through the indecision and overthinking with action.

Before we talk about that, let’s look at what’s going on with smart, competent people who get stuck in their beautiful minds.

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