Habits: Inner Task Series by Vesna Nikolic

Last week’s task was related to seeing our resistance, to becoming more aware of what “being against” feels like in our body. 

This week I invite you to explore the question of becoming more open, more receptive to accept what is. Whatever ‘what is’ is. 

I experience the movement of becoming more open in polarity to the movement of ‘being against’. They dance together, in spirals. One enabling or restricting the other.  My awareness can influence the direction of the movement.

Often, I experience the state of openness as playfulness, as readiness to explore, readiness to be surprised. A child within awakens and wishes to embark on a journey,  wishes to break away from the known and familiar, wishes to be surprised. 

Surprise, by definition, is that which can not be anticipated or fully understood. So naturally I can not prepare for it. Or can I? Can I adopt an attitude, an inner stance that invites the child to play and explore? An inner stance that is more conducive for something new to arise. That trusts in life.

There is much talk about how fearful we are of changes. In these days of pandemic, much of the anxiety is caused by not knowing ‘what comes next’. But the reality is – we never knew ‘what comes next’, we just thought that we did. We pretended.

And this “fear of the unknown”, is it truly “fear of the unknown”? How can I possibly be afraid of something I know not what it is? Or is it more likely the fear of what my mind projects into the ‘unknown’? Could it be my attachment to the ‘known’, my attachment to the world of habits, attachments to my views and beliefs, to my notions of right and wrong, good and bad?

I wish to take a hard look at all my so-called ‘certainties’. I wish to blur the edges of the circle I’ve enclosed myself within. When I crave ‘certainty’, I become an easy target for anyone who offers one, no matter what the motives may be.

This very moment invites us to start releasing all that binds and constrains us. Old beliefs and habits, behaviors that sabotage us, conditions that keep us stuck. When I identify with the trials of life or get stuck in my own story, I calcify the moment and limit the movement. I can not work towards transformation by staying the same. I wish to fully participate in struggles ahead, inner and outer. I wish to open myself to the unknown, I wish to hear the inner knowing from within.

So, I begin to look at my habits. The best way to truly experience the strength of the habit is to try to go against it.

This week select any habit that you wish, no matter how small and insignificant it may seam. For example, change the hand you normally use to brush your teeth. Feel your feet on the floor as you brush your teeth. Observe what is taking place within. Just notice.

Love to all.

The poem for this week is by R.M. Rilke


Whoever you may be: step into the evening.
Step out of the room where everything is known.

Whoever you are,
your house is the last before the far-off.

With your eyes, which are almost too tired
to free themselves from the familiar,
you slowly take one black tree
and set it against the sky: slender, alone.

And you have made a world.

It is big
and like a word, still ripening in silence.

And though your mind would fabricate its meaning,
your eyes tenderly let go of what they see.

Inner Task Series by Vesna Nikolic

Vesna Nikolic posted this Inner Task Series to the Wisdom School Community on Facebook from March 12 – April 30, 2021