There is nothing quite like routine to put you on the express lane to boredom, feeling low, a zero zest for life and most of all, disease and aging. Imagine yourself on a conveyor belt and the different points at which you do something are the different times of the day. Just a few of those points could be: 5 a.m – the alarm rings and you obediently place yourself on the conveyor belt, 7.30 a.m. – to set out for work, 11 a.m. – take a break for coffee, 4 p.m. – take another break for coffee or something more stimulating disguised as coffee, 8 p.m. – channel surf till you feel brain dead and 10 p.m. – slide off that belt and hit the sack. That is ROUTINE and you have it down pat.
“It’s a hard thing to leave any deeply routine life, even if you hate it.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden
If you are reading this article, you are a brave soul because the very idea of fiddling with a set routine sends most people into mild or severe panic. You finally have everything working like clockwork, almost, and you have multitasking down to an art. You never get off the Belt because all the things you have to do, you have to do. Routine for most is the magic formula to get through chores, work, chores again, duties, responsibilities and Friday club hopping with friends. It is what you rely on to get you through life.
So yes, routine is sacrosanct, you are exercising some form of control over your life. And hell will break lose if anything upsets it. Underlying this attitude and strict adherence to routine is the fear of losing control, of not being able to accomplish all the tasks that are helping your survive, have money, a roof over your head, food to eat and clothes to wear – your latest car or that fabulous black dress are just little somethings to reward yourself with for obeying the tyranny of the Belt.
“The human spirit lives on creativity and dies in conformity and routine.”
― Vilayat Inayat Khan
The blessed routine seems to keep everyone sane, in their boxes and in a certain lackluster existence. Consider this: If the Belt broke down when life’s inevitable out-of- the-ordinary twists and turns threw it off its deeply grooved trajectory, is it inevitable to fall into chaos, more stress and that dreaded feeling of being overwhelmed or is there another way out?
There is, and it starts with making routine unordinary. There are HUGE advantages to doing just that so feel motivated, people. Here we go:
“The vibration of creative flow – fresh, new creative flow – is very high.” ~ Julius
As you take these 4 steps, you will be embracing the new, the different, the extraordinary in every moment of your daily life and that is going to help you take everything in your stride because you will not be new to newness or different. It is a part of your everyday life. You are dishing out creative solutions, thinking on your feet and nothing fazes you. You are also in better health, lighter moods and really putting the brakes on that aging process. Nice picture? How do we go about it?
1. Make a list of all the things you do as a matter of routine at home. Argue with your teenage child about the cleanliness of his or her room, do grocery shopping on Saturdays, bake macaroni on Tuesdays and wake up every Monday with “Oh hell, Monday again!” The list could be endless and your contribution minimal in terms of creativity. And creativity is just what is needed here. You might decide to not argue with your child and forget about the mess in the room. Good idea if you can heave a sigh of relief that you’re no longer sneaking in to tidy up some of the mess and using that time in a more productive way. Bad idea if the thought of the mess is lurking at the back of your mind and finally gives you a headache at the end of the day. Take up something else to do differently.
Start by doing one easy thing differently once a week. The first week you may decide to do grocery shopping on Friday evening at a different store and buy slightly different stuff to try out. Maybe the macaroni gets dumped for the lasagna or if you’re really feeling adventurous, moussaka. Hey, it’s a change, it’s different and not so difficult. What it’s going to do for you is bring some zing into your life. It’s going to have you looking forward to doing things differently, creatively and then enjoy the newness of it. Stagnation and boredom comes in when we forget about bringing freshness into our lives, when the sameness bogs us down and there is no juice in the fruit of life as it were.
As you rev up on your creativity by just doing things differently, those aches and pains, that sense of feeling low and unmotivated, that drag in the day is going to ease off. There is nothing quite like the magic of doing things differently to add a bounce to your step and a vibrancy to your being. Pretty soon those Hell Mondays are going to be Magic Mondays.
“When you’re bored, you’ve lost direction in your life; you’re unhappy with the experience you’re
having. You don’t want to do it anymore and you’re beginning to develop a desire for another
experience.” ~ Kasey/Brad Wallis
2. Now extend that to outside the house. You are driving to work on the same route you take every single day, but this time you decide you are going to notice 5 or 2 or 6 new things you’ve never noticed before – maybe just the color of the number plate in front of you, was that bush always there, grumpy, serious, smiling people at the stop sign. Or take a different route to office, take the bus or the cycle instead of the car.
If your outfit is same old, same old look, even if the clothes are new, will you add an experimental touch of a color you’ve never worn before just to feel how it feels? How about talking less or more just once to know what that feels like and hold back a grin when others look at you and wonder? Does your month of bad hair days prompt you to try out a hairstyle that you’ve never tried before? New, new, new, different, different, different or should it be new, refreshing, vibrant, different, varied, extraordinary! This is the mantra that is going to have you walking in sleek assurance through all the ups and downs in your life because you are so used to fielding and courting the new that it’s child’s play which can be extended to dealing with crises or stressful, extraordinary moments in your life without sending you into a tailspin.
As you stretch and expand, rediscover and reinvent, you may dump some of the old activities that no longer stimulate you and try on new ones that stir your heart and your mind in new ways. Your world is yours to make!
“You should never be desiring to repeat your life. It loses momentum of fulfilment, vibrancy,
creativity, and possibility.” ~ Julius
3. Delve deeper into the moment. Stringing beads with a child as part of your newest activity, note the colors, the look of concentration or smile on the child’s face and become aware of how you feel. All of it is holding you in the Now. In the moment that you are focusing on all the sights (it could be sound, taste, touch or smell as well) and the emotions, you are focusing on the new, there is no past haunting you nor the unknown future filling you with trepidation. There is just you and what you are focusing on, all cobwebs swept away. And as you weave your magical next, you feel alive and ready for the next experience, your body is strumming with vibrant health and you have stopped the march of wrinkles and sagging skin. Worth the effort? Definitely.
4. Take some moments in the day, maybe 5, 10 or more minutes to do some wool-gathering, lotus eating, build castles in the air, daydream, imagine other realities, other realms, other lives. If you can think it, it is real. Always, always stir up your emotions as you do so. In the world of inner travel, go wherever you feel good, happy, free and empowered. Take the help of meditations out there to kick-start these enjoyable experiences and then you can let go of those crutches. You will be soon become adept at making your own journeys. All you need is inclination and practice. This is going to help you stimulate your mostly underused right brain and all your creativity, which in turn is going to help you with all of the above.
If these steps get you thinking in new ways, having new thoughts, you are beginning to stir out of the box you made for yourself. When you start, you may be a tad unsteady venturing away from the path of the Belt, but if you persist, you are going to discover that there are really a million ways to be and to do, which you hadn’t accessed because you sold yourself short and because you had never noticed the limited life you had become accustomed to. Your existence will take on a brightness and a depth that has nothing to do with anything or anybody outside of yourself. How’s that?
Julius, of course, has a brilliant take on what routine really is and crossing the Bridge into higher consciousness. That is going to the advanced level to raise your consciousness. Your soul always longs for adventure. And adventure is just a breath and a thought away, turning your Belt of tedium into a magnificent flow of infinite potential that you have the power to tap into because you can, because you are Source!
“Broaden your acceptance that you are the powerful creative being that creates every single
experience through the desire of your soul to have an experience.” ~ Julius