I really struggled to think of a title for and introduction to this post (hell, even the sentence I originally wrote after that first statement didn’t feel right).Perhaps it’s because I’ve had a bit of a day and my mind is preoccupied with other things right now. Perhaps it’s because I still feel a little stuck in the post tundra. Either way, the words just ain’t flowing tonight.
And I actually feel OK with that. Why? Because I am confident this is temporary (mostly). One way of viewing life is as a series of processes: habits being built, habits being broken. Most things we do are potential habits, whether good or bad.
Which brings me to the links below. I’ve been meaning to put them together in a post for a while but couldn’t figure out a way to describe them properly.
And then I realised… they’re all about habits. Habits, processes and conscious knowledge of ourselves.
So without further ado, I tip my hat to the best of the interwebs and let these inspired ideas speak for themselves:
The Anti-Crisis Loop – Cairene MacDonald, Third Hand Works.
I have to admit that I haven’t read Cariene’s blog much. The 300+ unread items on my Google reader have left my responsible time-management voice saying ‘no more subscriptions for you!’, which is kind of a shame because I reallyliked this idea and, even more, I reallylike the fact that it works wonders for me. Staying conscious of my feelings and catching myself in time to implement the Anti-Crisis Loop is still a work in progress, but it’s been super helpful for clearing my head, not only when there’s a lot of potentially negative stuff going on, but also when it’s full of ideas which stop me from focusing on less-exciting-but-currently-necessary parts of my life.
750 words – Buster Benson.
The mecca of online journalling, 750 words and its addictively cute little animal badges had me from day one. I enjoyed it so much that I wrote about it here, and was lucky enough to be able to ask Buster Benson (its creator) some questions. It’s totally private if you want it to be and you get cool statistics after every entry about your typing speed, mood, topics, character expression and frequently used words. If you’re like me and are slightly paranoid about the lack of a secure server, you can always make up a pen name that would cause giggles if it was ever revealed.
The Book Of You – Havi Brooks, The Fluent Self.
I like Havi’s site – it can be a little woo woo for my tastes but she has some lovely ideas, none more so than ‘The Book of You’. This concept is based on the idea that, somewhere deep down, we all know every thing we need to know already but there are parts of us that will deny ever having that knowledge. Sometimes it’s helpful to leave those parts a little reminder for the future, like ‘Spending an hour looking at kittens for sale on Gumtree might feel good now but you will regret it later when you a) still have no cat and b) are working an hour later than you were supposed to’. Sigh.
Action Triggers – LaVonne Ellis, The Complete Flake.
If you haven’t already read Switch by Chip and Dan Heath, I strongly recommend it. While a lot of it may be too broad-scale to feel personally relevant, LaVonne has brought one of the most user-friendly ideas in the book down to an individual level. Action triggers remind me to write something down before I go to sleep, make it easier to go running or do yoga in the morning (sometimes) and generally help out in my life. Thank goodness for them, because they help clear some space in my head for other, more important stuff than laundry.
Out of all the process-building and breaking ideas in this post, this one made me feel real warm and fuzzy inside. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at how the past has shaped the kind of person I am now over the last few years, but this offered a different perspective: what elements of my younger self do I still carry intact? What does that say about my natural desires, likes and leanings in life? ‘More than I previously thought’ was the heart-warming answer. It took me back to a time when, even as a kid, I wanted to do my own thing, put my ideas out there and create stuff. Connecting with that part of my past was a fantastic experience and I recommend this process to everyone who wants to get to know themselves better.
What little processes and habits have you developed to get to stay conscious of yourself? Tell me in the comments below!