Day 111: I Think Therefore I Do? - Stopping Harmful Behaviours
I have seen that when I fall back on a pattern or behaviour that I want to change first I think about it, think about doing it and then I work myself up in anticipation towards the point where I end up doing the very thing that wanted to stop in the first place. So for example I think about doing A then I get excited about it and decide to do it.
The first thing that came up about it is, where is my self direction as stopping thoughts? I can get my imaginary 'tennis racket' and hit the thoughts as balls so to speak, and throw them out of my field, like saying 'hey, you don't get to play on my field' 'you are going out of here'.
Because it all starts with a thought, a thought can be a suggestion of action sometimes, where you think about doing A and then you are consumed by either excitation, desire, anticipation and everything that makes you tick about doing A.
I have a dog, just now while I was writing this previous lines she came to say hi, and it was a grounding moment for which I am thankful, and it made me realize that when I stop the thoughts about doing A for example, what I am doing is: I am getting back to reality, I decide to remain grounded and not go into the mind as illusions - because I know if I entertain the thoughts about A I am more likely going to fall and do A.
It can be A, B or C, any behaviour that I want to stop. It all starts with thoughts about A, B and C, where I work myself up into doing A, B or C.
So for instance lets say I want to stop smoking, I don't want to entertain thoughts about going to buy cigarettes, nor I want to entertain thoughts about smoking but as much as I can, I have to use my 'tennis racket' as my self directive will power to 'kick' 'throw' 'make the thought disappear' form the main field that is my mind.
Because what I allow to happen on my tennis field as my mind is what is most likely going to happen. Meaning if I entertain thoughts about let's say smoking for long enough, I am enticing myself, making my desire go higher, making me consume myself with want - all of this can be prevented by kicking off that thought off from my court that is my mind.
Once the thought is stopped, kicked off from my mind, then I have to move to do something physical like prepare myself something to eat if I am hungry, do a chore, move to do some task that I have pending - keep myself busy. Because an idle mind is dangerous. Most of the falls, most of the behaviours that I repeat that I would like to stop I do when I have days off and don't keep myself occupied. Because I let my mind wander about doing A, B or C and don't direct them when they are in thought form, then they develop as actions that I do - I become possessed by them by my own acceptance and allowance, where I could more easily stop them 'before hand' meaning 'while they are in the mind as thoughts'.
Back to basics, let's stop the seed as thought in the mind of the behaviours that we don't want to participate in, for them to not become the plant as actions. And remember to keep myself busy, because if I simply kick off or ban thoughts from my mind but keep idle, not busy, then I am giving space-time to do 'whatever' and if I don't have programmed what I will do with my time and have time to do 'whatever' then it is possible that I use that space-time to do behaviours A, B or C that I have thought about that are not supportive.
A solution then would be to carefully plan my days, specially my free days where I don't have to go to work - plan my play/entertainment time, my chores time, my tasks time - do a schedule so that I don't have time to do 'whatever' as then I am 'giving away' space-time as 'soil' that can be fertilized by 'seeds' as behaviours A, B or C that I don't want to do.
And many excuses may come in, like 'it is dull if I plan my day and have to follow a schedule' but the mind will try and find any and all excuses to get its way - which is really a test of self-will and self direction - The mind will find it dull whenever it doesn't get its way - but it is not dull per se, it is only dull because we used to feed energy to the mind, experience energy highs, whereas if I plan my day and don't have unallocated time to fall for A, B or C I am not feeding my mind and getting this energy highs, and I might feel dull - But it is because I am addicted in a way to the energy, to feeding the mind with A, B, and C.
Of course then there is work to be done about A, B, and C, where I have abdicated self-responsibility in participating in them in the past as I get energy from participating in them in separation from myself. So a practical thing to do would be to dedicate a little bit of time every day, allocate time into investigating, forgiving and letting go of the points A, B and C that may appear in my mind as behaviours that I see are not best for me and for All. This way I am directing the points A, B and C to make sure that I don't repeat them.
With this planning, with planning my days and making sure each day I work on points A, B or C - and any other that may arise in my mind that is not supportive of me - then I will start living and will start giving less and less power to the mind.
That is the beginning of self-direction instead of undirected mind-living that leads into harmful behaviours for self most of the time.
First stop the thoughts, then keep myself busy AND direct the points as thoughts each day a little bit - so that over time I don't get that many thoughts of A, B or C - so they start to fade away as I work with and through them to see where I have separated me from myself. Because points A, B and C are showing me where I have separated me from myself. It is not to suppress them but to simply stop them in their tracks and say 'hey Yes I notice you!, I won't act on You thought but I will work on Why and How you exist as you are showing me a part of myself I have separated me from myself'
And so as Lao Tzu said, Stop Thinking and End your Problems.