Habit as a dwelling or to inhabit also makes sense because a habit is something we live in.
Each part of our day will be determined and surround this dwelling, just as our household tasks are determined by the house we live in. What we can and cannot accomplish within the home dictates what we have to go out of the home to do.
The habit is something we dwell in insofar as it determines how we live and our needs. If we wish to break the habit we have to pack our bags and move out.
How do we move out of a bad habit?
Before moving we should know why we are there in the first place and how we relate to it as space. Our daily activities are determined by and surround this dwelling, just as our household tasks and our relationship to everything outside of our homes (distance, community, resources) are determined by the house we live in.
What we can and cannot accomplish within the home dictates what we have to go out of the home to do. First, we evaluate the habit as a space that corresponds to 4 major aspects of our wellbeing: Needs, Behaviours, Feelings, and Ethics. :
- Needs: Determine which needs the habit satisfies in us. If the habit is avoidance then the need is to avoid, isolate, deprive, or ignore; the underlying need is to be able to cope. Which means that if the needs of coping were met then there would be no need for avoidance.
- Behaviours: Know our patterns and inventory our habitual behaviours. When we avoid we tend to use the same
- Feelings: Understand and evaluate our emotions in relation to the habit.
- Ethics: Evaluate why we consider the habit “bad”, and how it functions in our philosophy of life.
To make this self-evaluation we have several choices:
For those who are visual in nature, picture the habit as an actual dwelling or house.
Construct a house in your mind or visually by painting, drawing, or sculpting it out of found-materials. Make sure the house meets all of the 4 major aspects of your well-being: needs, behaviours, feelings, and ethics.
What you need in a home is a symbolic representation of what you need in life.
Our homes are full of features that are indicative of our priorities. For instance, a home with a harvest table indicates that gathering people for meals is important.
Meditate on your ideal space and how it would feel. Focus on the space and fill it with the emotions and feelings it gives you. Are there spaces where you feel more productive? Or calm? Or belonging? Allow the space to fill itself and then bring your habits into the space and see how they change the way you feel.
Let the habits speak for themselves. Let them show you how they fill the spaces within you.
Write down the top 5 things you need in a home. Those are your top priorities.
Write down the top 5 things you spend time on currently.
Compare the two lists…
Arrange the five priorities and see where the habit you are trying to break is taking up space that is meant for what you truly want.
After understanding our needs, behaviors, and feelings, we can begin to plan for and find another suitable ‘dwelling’ that is not associated with the habit’s deprivation or avoidance.
What is holding you back from clearing a space for your desires? Is it fear? Or feelings of unworthiness? Take note of these things and just be aware of them.
The most important thing is not to force anything! Just bring awareness with you through your day and observe your habit as a room and you are sitting in that room and looking around, not trying to change it, not even working within it.
Objectify your habit to learn from it.