The Value of Routine

It can be really hard to break bad habits, especially if they have positive rewards. But there are other habits that are very desirable. Automatically being able to talk, walk, and ride a bicycle, for example.

We may not remember, but it took a lot of practice to develop those skills. Now they just run as programs.

The interesting angle here is the value of routine. If we don’t have good daily habits, we leave our conscious mind in full control of our day-to-day needs. We have to decide to brush our teeth and make breakfast rather than just doing them automatically.

A good daily routine of hygiene, meditation, proper food, and exercise is composed of several subroutines. If these are not established, we have to apply discipline constantly. It often becomes too many choices, so the mind doesn’t bother. It takes the easy way out.

Microwave popcorn in front of the boob tube is a simpler choice than working out a meal plan. But simpler still is an established meal routine.

Of course, a little flexibility is fine. Variety is healthy. But our ongoing routines can make a big difference in our health long term.

The mind may assert it has free will yet it will often make choices based on perceptions of lack, insufficiency, unresolved emotions, unmet needs, and a cornucopia of unconscious drivers. Why else would fast-food places be so popular? Informed choice?? More likely an impulsive response in the moment. And then bad decisions become bad habits.

This is the value of establishing good routines. Then we’re making informed choices to engage in a lifestyle that supports our health and well-being. As we establish those routines, those programs run automatically.

Then we’re not living out our junk and the mind is freed to make choices that matter.

A similar requirement can happen post-awakening as we lose the old fetters that constricted our behaviour. When old shoulds and musts fall away, the habits that rode on them will too. This may include lifestyle habits. Some awake people I know have developed curious routines as they’ve adapted to what arose. It made little sense to assert a sense of person.

Yet even here, we need structure to support our health. Good routines without force remain advisable. Turns out both the deepest and the most surface take the longest to perfect. ๐Ÿ™‚
Davidya

PS – routine isn’t something you force or you get into mind battles. Incremental change is easier.

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9 Responses to The Value of Routine

  1. Rick Archer says:

    I love healthy routines. Yesterday was my 50th anniversary of having learned meditation, and I’ve never missed one. I heard a lecture on flossing in 1972 and have done it every day since. Check this out: https://www.facebook.com/rick.archer3/posts/10155950382550735

    • Davidya says:

      Congrats, Rick!
      I’m coming up on 44 years. Can’t say my record is perfect, but I’ve only missed a few.
      I had a little dance when I first learned but nothing like that! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jim says:

      Congratulations, Rick!!

      Also a big Thank You. You have played a quiet yet fundamental role in my personal spiritual development. We met in 1978 at Livingston Manor when you and Wally and ??? were Directors there. I left after a year, and I don’t think we crossed paths again until 2004 or so on FFL, and BATGAP.

      Through that forum that you started, and the relationships spawned there, I was able to fulfill my journey, including meeting David with his endless cornucopia of knowledge.

      If I hadn’t met you 40 years ago, I obviously wouldn’t be writing this. Pretty weird, huh? Thanks again, and here’s wishing you All The Best! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Jai Guru Dev

      • Davidya says:

        Yes, I originally met you through the old BATGAP discussion group created by Rick. Was briefly engaged to someone I met through there too. Connected with SAND through Rick, which lead to a number of other connections. Also met you in person there. Rick’s interview doubled my readers and the number on L&Ls retreats, some of which have since woken up.

        Even if he’s not trying, Rick is always connecting people.

    • Davidya says:

      Rick is also apparently much better at healthy routines. There was some irony in me writing this article as a lot of routines have flown out the window (discussed near the end). But the line “we leave our conscious mind in full control of our day-to-day needs” was a great insight of Lorne’s I thought worth sharing.

      Not that I have popcorn for dinner, but there’s work to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Lorey Hobbs says:

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