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Underbelly: 10 Things - Habitual

Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly
#115 in a series of wild and precious reminders that patterns need to be made and broken.

  1. TWIL (This Week I Learned)
This week I contemplated patterns.
Warning: I might ramble.
I skipped last week and did not sleep well last night.
What this triggered (What an interesting word.) is a series of thoughts around not writing a newsletter this morning. It has taken considerable effort to write anyway.
Most of this effort has been in not paying attention to that line of “reason”, in ignoring, in distracting, in patiently telling that part of me, “Later, dear. We’ll consider that later.”
Again, I am quite tired.
There are many great resources around about how to cultivate habits.
I am contemplating this morning which habits we focus on, why, and what may be the unintended consequences of that focus.
2. Quote
“When people talk listen completely. Don’t be thinking what you’re going to say. Most people never listen.” — Ernest Hemingway, Across the River and into the Trees, 1967
“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929
3. Prompt
What are your habits?
What habits do you aspire to?
Please considering answering those questions this week. Continue reading in case you would like a more drawn out reasoning for why I think that may be important.
I am beginning to think I (and you?) have been duped :) If the one core habit you are forming your life around is not love, and if you do not have an active, realistic, and demanding definition of what love is, I would like to put forward that you may buying into a lie-laden life.
This is me, extremely tired and a little broken this morning being careful with my words but less so than I may normally be. I am allowing myself to write this because the central feeling in my body is quite calm and "untriggered”.
Here is the unedited list of influences this week:
  1. The oldest woman in the world, Kane Tanaka, died this week. She had been the world’s oldest person for the past three years, and attributed her longevity to family, sleep, hope and faith. She loved chocolate, fizzy drinks, and coffee. The record holder, Jeanne Calment, had a similar lifestyle to Kane.
  2. A meditation on what love is: Patient, kind. Rejoices in truth. Always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres. Doesn’t envy, boast, dishonour, or fail. Isn’t proud, self-seeking, easily angered, or delighting in evil. It keeps no record of wrongs.
  3. I read with baited breath an article about a scientific study reporting that, contrary to what we have thought for X years, a little spanking may not be that bad.
  4. As I read, I realized I was waiting for a way to refute this study, because I really don’t think spanking is a good idea. It goes against my moral code. It goes against my habits. It goes against everything I think is right and correct.
  5. I realized, luckily, that this is odd: Why was I treating a series of data points with equal weight to my core moral philosophy of life?
  6. I realized, thank God, that I don’t need a team of scientists to tell me whether I should or should not spank someone. Honestly, I don’t need a team of scientists for very much in my day to day life. I am grateful for their work — very grateful. But my day to day decisions on what to eat and how to behave are based on my philosophy of life, not science. And, honestly, I deeply thank God for this. I noticed that “Science” as reported in the “Media” (<= I suggest you stop and define both of those words.) changes often and wildly. I noticed that without a core philosophy to turn to, I would be lost.
  7. “There is an entire section in the bookshop called “self-help,” but what we really need is a section called “help others.” — Simon Sinek — And also, we do need to help ourselves. When we "help others” as a way to avoid truly helping ourselves become better, to avoid our own suffering, our collective world loses a lot.
4. Quest
Consider that, in order to develop habits that suit you, that make sense, that go beyond helping you become “more productive” or “more successful” or “healthier”, you need a philosophy of life and you need to know it, intimately.
If you can state your philosophy of life out loud in one sentence and it doesn’t involve connection to others, to relationship, I would like you to stop what you are doing and contemplate this:
What is your philosophy of life?
5. Level-UP / Go Deeper
Who benefits from your philosophy of life? — If you can’t name specific people, that’s a place to start. And how do they benefit?
6. Video — Good Lord, I cannot imagine actually doing this but I love the idea.
A QUICK Way to Find Your WHY | Simon Sinek
A QUICK Way to Find Your WHY | Simon Sinek
7. Article — I thought this was a very funny, very well written article that helps us understand where I am coming from this week. I do not think we should follow his lead, btw.
Author Simon Sinek Is Full Of Hot Air (And Other Reasons You Should Follow His Lead)
8. Poem — one of my favorites:
Tawara Machi, Salad Anniversary (Sarada Kinenbi, Jap. 1987 translated in English and French) | Smithereens
9. Hero — She enjoys chocolate.
Lucile Randon - Wikipedia
10. Connect — Underbelly project consists of a series of Wild + Precious offerings including blog posts, a podcast, courses and this newsletter.
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Wendy Kelly
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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly @wendykkelly

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