Tag Archives: Alanon

Day 3 Be Present: Habits and Rewards

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Congratulations on getting to Day 3! This is exciting! You are committed to more peace of mind! We are working during these short 21 days on the habit of being present to encourage more peace of mind.

A Habit is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur unconsciously. In the American Journal of Psychology (1903) it is defined in this way:’ A habit, from the standpoint of psychology, is a more or less fixed way of thinking, willing, or feeling acquired through previous repetition of mental experience.’ Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting it, because a person does not need to engage in self-analysis when undertaking routine tasks. Habits are sometimes compulsory…. Old habits are hard to break and new habits are hard to form because behavioral patterns we repeat are imprinted in our neural pathways, but it is possible to form new habits through repetition.

“As behavior are repeated in a consistent context, there is an incremental increase in the link between the context and the action. This increases the automaticity of the behavior in that context. Features of an automatic behavior are all or some of: efficiency, lack of awareness, unintentionality, uncontrollability.”

-Wikipedia

Now that we covered Habits and Rewards, we will get into more meaty topics regarding staying in the present. But first, one more little habit to get us on our merry way so that we can do this work as easily as possible*.

Action Item:
Find ways to be accountable on this journey of new habits.
1. Start a small journal (spirals from my kids old spelling classes works great, or even just a pad of paper with a page for each day). Use it only for this Peace of Mind journey. Date your entries so you can review and see your progress. Some days you might be too busy to write much, even 3 words a day will help!
2. Keep it next to the spot you read this blog. Write down quotes you like, books you want to read, the affirmations and your responses to the Action Items.
3. Add stars or colors or underlines too, to attach to it.
4. Tell someone that you are working on being present and peace of mind, habits, etc. You know your friends and who is the best to help you to think about it more deeply. (My Mom would not understand, and might even be discouraging. But my friends Liz and Delia reactions would help spur me to deeper thoughts about it- As they say in Alanon, “Don’t go to the shoe store expecting to buy bread. You will be disappointed”.) Friends won’t do the work for you, but they can support you.

“Nobody makes you go after a dream. It’s not like doing your schoolwork or paying your rent. No one is waiting for you to realize all your talents. You’re on your own. Fulfilling your own potential, realizing your gifts, these are the only important things in our culture that are left entirely up to you.”

this quote is from Live the Life You Love by Barbara Sher

Affirmation: It is my work to develop my habits for my peace of mind. I am willing to do the work.

*What is your reward for doing this journal daily? (I am strongly motivated by morsels of dark chocolate, a candle burning, a cup of tea with fattening creamer, whatever you use- don’t forget it this month. Be consistent with your rewards and habits!)

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Alanon’s Three A’s and the Control Thingamajig

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“Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
Aristotle

Whoa. That is a lot of pressure. “The whole aim”? The entire enchilada?!?! I disagree. A divine connection is my primary aim. But happiness is also high on my list of priorities. For either aim, I need to get my shit together and stop stressing, worrying, and angsting. Because that for sure is not my purpose in life…

In Alanon, I learned the 3 A’s—Awareness, Acceptance, Action. We were told this slogan helps when learning to reform our lives and brains and hearts and lives after extreme stress (i.e. in my case, marrying not one but two alcoholics and living the extreme craziness that ensued).

We were told to 1) stop trying to control other people; 2) stop thinking we could ever control other peoples’ behavior; and 3) get on with the business of controlling OUR OWN behavior.

The 3 A’s assist us with that Control Thingamajig that makes connection with God and happiness so fleeting.

Awareness: Become aware of the issue/behavior/crap that came down the highway at you.

Acceptance: Accept the reality of it, don’t be the Queen of denial, live in the present.

Action: After acceptance and reality check, then Act (don’t Re-act).

I’m pretty sure that it is not in the 3 A’s to yell at the top of my lungs “Where are you-get off the computer-get your butt in the kitchen-it is 7 am-time for breakfast NOW!” loud enough for the neighbors to show up for scrambled eggs.

I don’t think I am promoting anyone’s happiness when I do that schtick. If I want to be happy and enjoy my family breakfast, it is time for me to pay attention to my behaviors and promote my daily habits of MY happiness.

“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while”
Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project

Back to learning my Habits of
-Investing Time in Loved Ones
-Acceptance
-Divine Connection
-And figuring out what is next