Habit is a thick rope

A lovely artist friend of mine told me this quote recently, and it's so useful.

"Habit is a thick rope."

Think of a "bad" habit you have, one you want to get rid of.

Strong, persistent habits, probably like the one you chose, are like a tug-o-war rope. Each fiber in the rope is a specific time you played out your habit. Your habit started off a thin jumble of fibers, and is now a tightly twisted, thick rope. It took time and work to get it that thick, so it'll take time and effort to unravel.

In the case of habits, they're unraveled by

  1. Softening your anxiety/resistance/resentment towards it
  2. Shining awareness on it: when, where, how the habit surfaces
  3. Enacting the habit you do want instead

For y'all who are bored of the rope metaphor: Habits are super-strong neural pathways, etched over time. To weaken it you must stop, shine awareness, and work on strengthening the baby neural pathway that'll make your life better.