When I first read the theme of the current Weekly Photo Challenge by the Daily Post, I initially felt at a loss. This may sound strange but when I hear the word “habit”, I think of dogs somehow. I guess it’s because as a former dog owner I know how they adore routine. At any time of day you have a pretty good idea where they’ll be around the house and what they’ll be up to. On the contrary, I like to think that humans should be more diverse and more interesting creatures than our adorable pet canines and in this sense, should be enjoying variety in life rather than do the same things every single day. Then again, I admitted to myself that my life is not that exciting after all, so again I sat and mused for a while, wondering what it was that I wind up doing every day. Being an aspiring author, I guess I do sit in front of a blinking screen for many hours daily so if computer use can be classed as a daily habit then this is definitely it for me. Still, I believe that a habit should be something else really, not merely an every day attempt to chase a lifelong dream but rather, something beneficial in a totally different way. And then it dawned on me. First of all, I feel I should mention that I am a big believer in the cosmic law of attraction. Since four years ago, when Rhonda Byrne’s ‘The Secret’ first landed in my hands, my life changed seemingly overnight. It was like a veil had been removed from before my eyes and I could suddenly see clearly how the world works, how God works even. What followed was a torrent of classic books that took me further down the rabbit hole: Works by Charles F. Haanel, Napoleon Hill, Robert Collier, Claude Bristol, Jim F. Straw and Catherine Ponder took my newly found revelation to new heights and to cut a long story short, as promised in the books, I soon started to change from the inside out and can now claim to be a new man (or woman, as it were).
As my inner beliefs about the world and myself started to change, my physical surroundings started to alter as well. A lifelong painful relationship with a close member of my family started to heal as feelings inside me began to shift from the negative to the positive scale. Feelings of anger and bitterness towards everyone who has ever wronged me perished from inside me as they gradually yielded to the liberating energies of compassion and forgiveness. At the time, another little miracle happened as well. For years, I had been stuck in a job that I had no courage to give up despite the fact that it had brought me far more grief than contentment. A series of obscure occurrences soon rendered me jobless in 2010 further to my employer’s bankrupcy and despite receiving solid job offers from another company from two different divisions, both of which got later withdrawn for budget reasons. The whole world had just crumbled before my eyes but after the initial devastation, I started focusing on the positive side of my predicament. Soon, I was counting a newly found blessing: a total freedom with my time. Inevitably, I wound up exploring my creativity by writing novels and short stories and making dreams again, something I hadn’t done for years on end. Why? Because I had been too short sighted to see past the forthcoming weekend after a long week’s work, because I was too caught up in the treadmill of routine and it hadn’t occurred to me that there is more to life than this. As I continued to write, my aspirations grew allthemore and it took a very small amount of soul searching to realize that this is what I wanted to do with my life after all. Ever since I was a little girl I had loved to write but then my parents’ praise over my great performance at school had left me wanting to please them more than I sought to please myself. As a result, the twenty years I had spent working as an employee for random others, hadn’t even been a choice of mine but rather my way to fulfill the expectations of others. With my professional career brought to a halt, my lifelong dream finally took wings and I attempted to strengthen my faith by reading even more books on the mechanics of the cosmic laws. In the process, I sought to practice what I learnt and the first thing I tried to manifest in my life was a new car. Overly ambitious I know… but I thought, if the sky is indeed the limit, why not try for something substantial rather than the missing button from my shirt? The result astounded me. Despite having no source of income of my own, a dashing second hand car (but new to me!) was parked outside my house as early as three weeks later! This was a turning point for me, the time where I lost the last shred of doubt that the law of attraction really works. As I read on and tried to change my world from within, at some point I started to address the pain I still harbored over a miscarriage I had at an early pregnancy stage five years ago. That was the only time in my life that I managed to get pregnant. Needless to say, the miscarriage was a traumatic experience for me, especially as it was a defeat after painful, costly and distressing hormone treatments at a fertility clinic that went on for two dreary years. As I addressed the hurt inside, I came to a revelation. The extra weight I had gained since those hormonal treatments had left me depressed and furthermore, the reason why I couldn’t lose the extra pounds wasn’t physical but emotional. Suddenly it was clear to me that my body was holding on to the weight because emotionally, I was still holding on to the pain of my loss. So one day, I prayed for the pain to go away. What followed next, was totally unexpected: Out of the blue, a distant relative of mine started to make insistent and tactless remarks about my weight in a light-hearted manner. At first I laughed it off but as he carried on, after a couple of months of being the butt of these jokes, I wound up in tears one day, running away from a family scene in order to lick my wounds in private. Once I wiped the tears away and calmed down, that’s when realization hit me: My next of kin was actually helping me deal with the problem. He had been an answer to my prayer. It was clearly time to let go of the crippling regret, to heal and to take action. I sought diet advice on the internet at once and armed with a newly found enthusiasm, I followed a caveman diet plan that left me within a month skinnier than I had ever been throughout my married life, almost as skinny as I was as a schoolgirl. Needless to say, as those pounds were shed so was my pain about that miscarriage and I haven’t felt the slightest pang of bitterness about this part of my past ever since.
I realize this has been longwinded and I am aware that it is supposed to be a piece about daily habits. I apologize for the seemingly irrelevant content but hopefully by the time I hit the full stop, it will all have made sense. You see, further to my conscious decision to become liberated from everything that held me back as I tried to evolve as a human being and an eternal spirit, I soon found myself practicing gratitude every day. By now, I get up in the morning and open the windows and feel thankful for the warming sunlight on my face. I get in my (miraculously acquired) car and drive along my street, rolling down my window to offer a wide smile to my kindly neighbors. As I drive to town, I marvel at the generous sea view along the highway, feeling lucky for living in such a peaceful and beautiful part of the world. When I come home laden with grocery bags, I feel high on the knowledge that I am more blessed than many in my country right now who often go to bed on an empty stomach. What I’m trying to say is that gratitude is now my daily and favorite habit. I am living proof of the miracles that it brings on. It hasn’t only transformed my life, my relations, my physical body and God knows what else, but it has also given me strength to overcome anything that life may ever toss at me. And because I stick to what works, I’ve also stuck to my caveman diet. Every morning, as I make up a smiley breakfast of egg, bacon and cucumber, I am reminded to smile even wider in gratitude for everything I have learnt that has brought me here; in this space in time where I know that no matter what the future brings, for as long as I still breathe, I can always change it…from the inside out.