I Successfully Changed My Habits!

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

November 4th, 2009 • Living with Chronic PainPrint Print

Clutter-free table!

Clutter-free table!

Unbelievable. Last night I started heading to bed at 10:00 pm. I ended up cleaning up the kitchen, living room, and bathroom before calling it a night, but that was equally amazing.

For starters, I was away from the computer for two whole hours before going to sleep. Unheard of. (I must admit I was tempted to tweet how cool it was to be away from the computer. But I did not succumb.)

Next, I found that although I was initially super-duper resistant to cleaning when I was tired, it proved to be kind of meditative. I got to reflect on the day drawing to a close and to prepare for a new day with a new energy. 

That got me reflecting on the Jewish value for cycles of the day and night, and on the principle of Shabbath — a time when you just put things aside and let them be where they may, without engaging in changing them. Because believe you me, I had a million ideas and “oh I have to do this” thoughts flying through my head. I kept wanting to run to the computer to deal with this or that right away. But I decided that I would just have to remember it all the next day.

In addition, getting the house in order in the evening was like giving my “tomorrow” me a gift – having peaceful energy in my home, instead of chaotic and frantic energy; having access to counter space (imagine that!); and having a clean cutting board, knife, pan, and dishes for making and eating breakfast, as well as a clean table on which to eat it.

Making an Omelette

Making an Omelette

Then I read a bunch of inspirational quotes before turning out the lights at midnight.

I can’t say I slept well. My body was very tired but didn’t get shut eye for about an hour. I had quite a bit of pain on both sides of my body, which seriously sucks if you’re a side-sleeper like me. Oh yeah, and I had this asthmatic type cough. But I took some Umcka; the cough calmed down; and I was able to fall asleep shortly after. I did wake up here and there throughout the night, uncomfortable, but I was able to get back to sleep.

Then, lo and behold, I woke up shortly after 8:00 am! Like, me with open eyes in the morning! Woo-hoo! Again, I wanted to run to the computer to report on this amazing occurrence, but I refrained. I waltzed into my clean and airy living room, and my oh my – already the energy was so different. I felt calm, peaceful. I really enjoyed not crashing into my day, but rather, having quiet alone time preparing my meal and eating it slowly.

Morning hair

Morning hair

One of the quotes I read last night was from someone who proposed starting a new religion whose single commandment is, “Enjoy yourself.” I took pause at that one. I know it’s partly because of pain and limited energy marbles, but I am so often so focused on going going going while I can, that I don’t stop to enjoy where I am.

I’m officially taking steps to change that. Since putting out into the Universe 24 hours ago that I am changing my habits, I have gone to bed earlier, woken up earlier, cleaned and therefore changed the energy of my home, and stayed away from the computer for two hours before bed and one hour after waking. Zowee!

I think next on my list is getting back into the habit of biking to and along the beach. Oh yeah, and getting some semblance of a social life in gear. I’ll keep ya posted on those.

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