We all fall into set routines in our life. Some of these mental /physical patterns have unsavoury characteristics. A habit can feel like we have been kidnapped by invisible enemies and put in a dark dungeon. It seems almost impossible to escape a self-harming habit’s sinewy barnacles. Paramahansa Yogananda, when in America, enjoyed a cup of coffee. The following day, when he travelled down the hotel’s stairs to breakfast, he looked forward to drinking coffee. At the dining table, he rebuked himself and refused to drink coffee. Although for Westerners, that might seem extreme, it illustrates how Yogananda perceived the invisible enemy (coffee) and stamped it out before becoming a slave to it. I met a man who told me when he spotted the individual of his hate, he burned like a roaring fire and felt physically sick. On a couple of occasions, he vomited in the street. Thoughts about his nemesis plagued his mind at night and subsequently triggered a nervous stomach condition.
‘How can I avoid the chap; he lives three doors up from me.’ He asked me with pleading eyes. I explained, the problem did not lie with his archenemy. That it is he who carries the cross on his shoulders. The man wept as I assured him he can erase this habitual reflex that has his life in crumbled ruins. We all have habitual reflexes that trigger a chain of mental/physical events. I would say the first step towards eradicating harmful reflexes is to question yourself.
You and I run on the fuel of habitual behaviour. Habits/reflexes are not all bad. If you came face to face with a Bengal Tiger, an automatic reflex would make you run for your life. And so, it goes for a trillion other encounters, setting off alarm bells that make us do this and that. Without delving too deeply into this complex subject, let us turn to how we can fight the invisible enemies.
Next time you go to the fridge, with the idea of devouring a delicious cream cake or dark chocolate, question your intention. Should I eat this or something healthier like an apple or a tangerine? You will be surprised at how your brain humbly accepts the idea of alternative food. I once smoked twenty cigarettes a day. I started to question myself each time I lit up – do I really need this cigarette, or am I responding to a reflex. A month later, I looked at my reflection in the bathroom mirror and said, ‘This is the first day of your non-smoking life.’ That day and after that, I craved not one cigarette, and I have not smoked in twenty-eight years. I told the individual who flared up each time he saw his enemy rebuke yourself and say, enough is enough, I will stay cool as hoar frost when I see him.
Before acting on impulse, question everything. By mentally reviewing a desire, you overseer the situation from the higher-self perspective, under the golden light of super consciousness.
Sit quietly with closed eyes in your private place and wait for calm to spread throughout your mind and body. Visualise sitting beside a turquoise lake. A fresh breeze brushes your face, birds sing, and the sound of rippling water calms you to a deeper level. Throw your harmful habits in the turquoise lake and watch them disintegrate upon the lake surface. When you feel weak and your enemies have the upper hand, visit the lake in visualisation to strengthen your resolve.