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N.O.W. (Notice Open Wait)


"When I look at my habits as practices, as something I am teaching myself, instead of a fatal flaw that I can never change, I create enough space to identify what I am doing that doesn't feel nourishing. Then, if I choose to, I can move into the mood of being a creator, of shaping my life." ~ Jennifer Louden

Think of the last time you found yourself in one of your not so healthy habits or patterns. You know....those behaviors that leave you feeling out of whack afterwards. Activities like negative self-talk, overeating, gossiping, or binge shopping.

Take a few moments to recall your most recent habitual experience. As you bring the experience to mind, slow it down and see what you can remember. Notice what may have happened right before you engaged the habit/pattern. What particular circumstances, timing, thoughts or feelings were you experiencing? Write down what comes to your mind. If you're feeling creative, you can draw or doodle what you remember as well. Be curious and lighthearted in your approach. Allow yourself the time and space to gently explore what is there. Then, ask yourself "What did I really need/want in that moment right before I engaged the habit/pattern?" And again, take some time to write and/or draw what comes to you. Your answers and insights will point you to a new intention and practice that will help you stay connected to N.O.W. and align you with your deeper intentions.

For instance, let's say your habit is to over indulge on sweets. You notice that it usually happens late at night when you're feeling tired and bored, maybe even a little lonely. When you ask yourself what you really need/want in that moment you realize that what you want most is to feel joy and comfort. So then you ask yourself, "What resource(s) can I call on to help me connect with a sense of joy and comfort? Perhaps it's listening to some beautiful, soothing music or wrapping yourself in your favorite soft blanket or going outside and looking up at the starry night sky. Whatever it may be, it can become a powerful tool for change.

So, when you feel yourself about to drift into the old pattern, you can stay in the N.O.W. by noticing what your feeling and experiencing, opening to the moment by taking a few conscious deep breaths, and waiting in a gentle pause for the unconscious impulse to pass. Then you can bring in a chosen resource to help meet your deeper need/desire in a positive way.

As a powerful agent of positive change, here are some additional wonder questions you can ask yourself: