My mission for this week is to start some practices.
I’ve decided I’m calling them “practices” as opposed to “routines” because I’m an enneagram 4 and can’t wrap my head around doing anything routine, because routine = ordinary = boring. I’m calling them practices, rather than disciplines because discipline = yuck. I’m calling them practices rather than habits, because I grew up with a mom who yo-yo dieted and tried to quit smoking for 35 years, so to me, a habit is something you need to break, not make.
A practice is something a professional has, and I want to be a professional. A doctor has a practice. A lawyer has a practice.
There’s also a connection to spiritual formation, and I’m a spiritually-oriented person. Monks have practices.
But the bottom line, under the verbal window-dressing I have to do to slip these particular changes past my personality and temperament, is the fact that I’m spending too much time and energy thinking about things that I shouldn’t have to think about.
I’m resistant to the idea that anything I do is automatic. I’m a custom sort of gal.
But what I’ve realized is that making simple things that I should be doing daily or weekly or monthly things I have to think a lot about is preventing me from having the requisite free brain space to think about bigger things. More exciting things. Things that … really should be custom work. Those things aren’t getting done now. And they need to be getting done.
I’m resistant to making certain tasks more routine, scheduled and automatic because to me, it feels like a restriction to my freedom. It’s not. There is a glorious freedom in not having to make a hundred decisions. Those hundred decisions are the real restraints, tying up my time and my brainspace.
The point of developing practices is to cut those bindings. Because I have big plans for 2010, and I can’t see those plans realized if I’m bound and gagged.