Saturday, July 16, 2011

Chinese Fortune Cookies May Send Bad Habits on the Run!

I wish I’d collected all the fortunes I’ve gleaned from my Chinese cookies over the years. There’s a lot of good wisdom in those crunchy sweets. My latest: “It is a silly fish that is caught twice with the same bait.”

How often we are “caught with the same “bait” by repeating our mistakes over and over again. We blame our behavior on “force of habit.” It’s hard to undo bad habits and replace them with good ones, but it’s not impossible.

According to experts, it takes about three weeks (or a month) to break an old habit and develop a new one. That’s 30 days, seven days a week, 24 hours a day to stop doing something you’d really like not to do like eating too much, wasting time, indulging in entertainment that pulls you down spiritually, etc.

Water follows the course of least resistance. I think that’s how we get trapped in the first place. We take the easy way out, the shortcut, and pretty soon a bad habit is entrenched in our behavior. How can we shake ourselves up and be open to try new ways of doing things?

Reverse course. When you begin with the thought that prompts a negative or careless behavior, do an “about face” and start something different; even if it means going for a walk, making a telephone call, or doing something uncharacteristic like eating an apple instead of that chocolate bar.

When you don’t feel like writing, working or creating, sit down to the computer anyway and begin typing anything: thoughts, ideas, gobbledygook. Before you know it, one thought leads to another, and you break the bad habit of “stalling” and “killing time.” That’s exactly how this blog was written.

In the meantime, my new “work in progress” has been sitting on the back burner for a long time. Inspiration for this painting comes from a 1.5 x 1.5 inch snap shot that when blown up is extremely fuzzy. But I wanted to paint it anyway. I haven’t decided my treatment of this painting, but I’d like it to represent learning and a child who is on the brink of life and discovery.

My quick acrylic study is not detailed, but I’m thinking of incorporating symbols in the background that represent the written word, and perhaps other symbols that stand for mathematics and music; still forming in my mind. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome!