They say it takes about 21 days to build a habit. A few weeks here, a few weeks there. When my environment stays the same each day, when the only changes I must weather are the changes in the weather, habits made can last forever… good ones and bad.
But I have chosen a different life. I have chosen an epic life. I have chosen a life of adventures. Adventures mean an environment that changes with the seasons, sometimes more.
I work from home, my laptop the only part of my office that comes with me everywhere. I travel as minimally as possible: clothes, first aid, travelling office, art supplies and my Kindle. Books, books and more books. And my practice. Everywhere I go, I bring with me the habits that help keep me healthy, happy and hopefully even when I’m feeling homeless, shuttling my things from one edge of the continent to another.
Every new home, every new city or town, requires those habits to be completely reformed, rebuilt, renewed.
There is something about fasting that brings a new place and new habits into perspective, makes everything else fall into place. It won’t be as easy as it can be in Mexico, where local fresh fruit is abundant year round and juice stands are more popular and affordable that Starbucks. But there is something powerful in the recognition that what my body needs, more than anything else, are the small things.
Macronutrients, the carbs and protein and fat, are not nearly as important on a day to day level as the micronutrients that my body craves. Electrolytes and hormones, vitamins and minerals, locked away in delicious fruits and veggies for me to break open and consume. When I strip away the questions about “What’s for dinner?” and “Who’s cooking?” for just a few days, my mind clears and opens up for new things. I can make space to breathe, to cleanse, to walk, to stretch… both my body and my mind, my beliefs and my dreams.
So often we see Starting Over as something to do after it all goes wrong. We start over after a relationship ends, or when tragedy strikes. We start over when we lose a job, or a friend, or an opportunity. But how often do we start over because we want to start over, not because we have to?
I live a life in cycles. A new start every sunrise, every weekend, every trecena, every new moon, every sabbat holiday, every birthday. Each turn of the world, each turn of the wheel sets in motion another opportunity to start everything over again, to reform habits and practices, to flush out the toxic and those things which no longer serve to make my life whatever it is I want it to be.
Tomorrow I am starting a juice fast that I suspect will last between 5 and 7 days. I intend to play it by ear, like everything else in my life. Tomorrow also begins a 21-day meditation challenge with Deepak Chopra, who does an incredible job of offering recorded guided meditations to help people keep at the habit of meditating for long enough to make it stick. For all I know, I might just juice fast for the entire three weeks. Plans are great, but there is nothing quite like dropping into the current of a new movement and just going with the flow.
How often do you start over? Do you plan like mad or go with the flow? Or something in between?