What Are Your Devils?

Many of us have a vice, whether it be smoking, drinking, junk food, trash television, or any number of other things that are destructive to our health and our relationships. Whether you call it “the monkey on your back”, a “personal demon” or one of myriad other slang terms, these “devils” have the effect of lowering our level of consciousness and awareness, and they can be highly detrimental to our well-being.

How many times have you had a near-miss while driving, and been saved from a crash only by the fact that you were paying close attention? Consciousness and awareness is equally important in other areas of your life. If you’re prone to accidents around the house, fender-benders or other symptoms of distractedness and inattention you can change this by learning to be in the moment and fully awake in your life.

Your body is the vessel for your soul. You are not your body. You have a body, and for your soul to be healthy you must maintain its vehicle.

A good place to start is by honestly acknowledging and assessing your personal “demons”. Ask what you’re trying to distract yourself from, or what makes you strive for the numbness that you get from too much tv, too much junk food, or excess alcohol. Identify the source of your unhelpful habits. Get help to deal with what you uncover during this process if you have trouble coping with it.

The best way to get freedom from an old habit is to identify clearly how it’s affecting your life in a negative manner, and then replace it with something positive. If you smoke, and you crave the relaxing aspects of your smoke break ritual but you don’t want the negative effects on your health, go outside and take ten deep breaths in a row – for many smokers, this extra oxygen is what they’re really craving along with the tension release that follows. The tobacco is secondary to the benefits of the deep breaths and you’ll find it easier to quit.

Instead of indulging your usual “demon”, go and do something different – exercise, or commit to volunteering somewhere. Don’t replace one unhealthy habit with another, or you’re not helping to raise your awareness – you’re just trading problems.

It’s very important to know yourself and what makes you want to indulge in things that aren’t good for you. You can use your intelligence to steer yourself away from patterns, locations and people who reinforce or aggravate your unhealthy vices.

For example, if you know you always eat too many potato chips after a stressful day at work, change your ways to prevent this from happening. Stop keeping chips in the house and commit to finding another way to relax afterward – try taking a walk around the block, playing with a pet, or watching a comedy show. Or take a step further back and directly address the source of stress in your workplace in a constructive manner. It’s often easier – and simpler – to treat the cause rather than manage the symptoms for a long time.

Remember, you’re not alone in the world.From a Christian perspective, we can say that while men and women can fail you, God never will. Every spiritual path you can name has a similar approach to helping you realize your oneness with everyone else.

Francis Harold Cook describes this sense of interconnectedness from a Buddhist perspective in the following:

“Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out infinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each “eye” of the net, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering like stars in the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring.”

Please call me at 705-499-6837 if you need help changing a pattern in your life!

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