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Mindful : December 2015
Are You a Creature of (Bad) Habits? By Hugh Byrne Illustrations by Karin Rönmark Hugh Byrne is a guiding teacher with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC. His book, The Here-and-Now Habit: How Mindfulness Can Help You Break Unhealthy Habits Once and For All (New Harbinger Publications), is scheduled for publication in March 2016. Yes. We all are. Fortunately, a few simple steps can help you break the cycle of unhealthy actions and develop the skills to cultivate good ones. Consider these two experiences: It’s a crisp early autumn day as you begin walking through the woods, sensing fall in the coolness of the air on your face. You see the play of light and shade as the sun shines through the leaves swaying in the breeze. You feel the weight of your body on your feet as you walk along the path, and feel the beating of your heart as the path inclines up a hill. You hear the chirp of the birds, the sound of the season’s last cicadas, and the distant rumble of a truck. Thoughts of daily life come and go, but don’t interfere with your enjoyment of the simple pleasure of a walk in the woods. Nothing special, yet you feel alive and present, open to your experience and to life. Take the same setting, but this time as you begin to walk your mind is caught up in worries about all the work you have to do and fears that something important will fall through the cracks. You remember a difficult encounter with your boss earlier in the week and worry about what that might mean for your future. This thought hooks on to concerns about the poor g rades your teenage son received on his → December 2015 mindful 35 well-being