How you can
The Peninsula Woman
Nov – Dec 2006
The thought manifests as word, The word manifests as deed,
The deed develops into habit, And habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its ways with care, And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings.
Just what makes a bad habit? Isn’t it usually something starts out helping you in some way? And then after some amount of time you notice it isn’t helping any longer? How to change a Habit?
Lets take smoking for instance. Clearly this is one of the hardest habits to kick. I have seen so many people stop and start numerous times. What makes it so hard to quit? When a person first starts smoking, aren’t they using the cigarette to help reduce stress? Once that is accomplished and the stress is relieved, smoking then becomes a daily ritual. It becomes a habit. Most of us would say it is a bad habit. But then think about it. It achieved an end. It just didn’t end.
The dictionary defines a habit as: an action done on a regular basis. Pretty simple isn’t it. A habit is an action done on a regular basis. I would also like to add that it is an action done on a regular basisover a period of time. But just how much time does it take to make or break a habit?
In Astrology the planet that is connected to habits is Saturn. Saturn involves habit. The early astrologers pictured Saturn as an evil fellow. They called him the great Malefic and Jupiter the great Benefic. To say that Saturn is evil is to say that there are no good habits. We know better than to think this.
You cannot be part of a civilized culture and not feel the influence of Saturn. Its effects are all around you. For instance every law is Saturnian. Each law is essentially something we have made into a habit to give to our lives a sense of order and control. But what happens when that law has outlived its usefulness or that law or habit is now starting to hurt you? Can you just stop or quit? Yes! I will explain how.
Saturn is the significator of time. A law works over Time. So does a habit. It takes time for everyone to follow a law, just like it takes time to develop a habit. So Time is the key to starting or stopping a habit. You get up in the morning and you make your bed every day (or you don’t). Over time you see a certain result of this habit. You either have a made or unmade bed as a result of the habit. But Time is part of the equation. Why are habits so hard to break is? Listen carefully. They take time. We must use time. The one thing we are not able to control is time so we must work “with” time instead of against it.
The first part of changing a bad habit is in the recognition of it. You cannot change something that you cannot see. If you know better you can do better. Here is a list of 5 things to do to begin the process of understanding your habits.
1. Make a list of your good and bad habits.
2. Which habits would you like to change now?
3. What barriers keep you from changing your bad habits?
4. Make a list of constructive, meaningful activities you will use to avoid bad habits.
5. What will you do when craving for a destructive habit returns?
Remember there is no such thing as a bad or a good habit. You must learn how to replace a habit (whether good or bad) with some action that is different and then do that new thing over time. I suggest that you make sure you do the new habit for at least 21 days! This seems to be the magic number that works for many of my clients. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes. Email your success story to me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I love the stories that people tell me about how easy it was to change a habit.
Final Note: Saturn is also the indicator of Time in Astrology. Where Saturn is placed in a horoscope shows where someone may develop bad habits – or good habits over time. It is our job to locate Saturn in the chart and work with the unconscious pattern that Saturn is related to and develop better habits with it.