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gmc0106lI’ve been contemplating the difference between “breaking habits” and “unpacking habits.” When I think of “breaking habits” the first thing that pops into my mind is effort. Everyone knows it takes effort to break habits, even small ones. I dread the struggle of having to give up something that I enjoy and upon this thought I anticipate failing to succeed. But, as I set my intentions of living for higher purposes I can see there is no way around it, old habits must be broken. Or do they?

I think the difference between breaking habits and unpacking habits is more than a matter of vocabulary choice. The phrases in themselves define the relationship one has to the habit. “Breaking” is correlated with effort and implies something negative; “I must change something bad about myself.” Whereas “unpacking” is somewhat neutral, and furthermore, its something we do it we want to get to “the goods.” Like when you are moving: If your moving experience is anything like mine you underestimate the time needed to pack and then just end up tossing everything in bags and boxes without thinking twice. Then when it comes time to unpack you see what it is you’re holding onto, perhaps it’s something you haven’t seen in years and completely forgot you had. Unpacking habits is the same thing. It allows you to look at what you’re dealing with. It is effortless.

The most amazing thing I’ve experienced with unpacking habits is that by merely looking at them, for just seeing them as they are, gives me distance from them. It automatically objectifies them, that is, I can see them as something I do rather than something that defines who I am. We can’t change what we aren’t aware of, but when we become aware of something, that awareness alone relinquishes us from whatever it is, allowing us to transcend.

So how does this relate to food? No doubt we all have habits when it comes to food, some very obvious, others not so much. If we set our intentions to cultivate a higher relationship to food we must unpack our habits and look at them, transcend the lower ones that create inertia and keep our attention on the higher ones that are beneficial and serve to really sustain us and the world in which we live.

As we begin to grapple with our intentions and desire to have a more Purposeful relationship to life we inevitably confront our habits and conditioning. It is only when we face everything, place out attention on that which is higher, that we can release that which no longer serves a higher purpose.

-Amber

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