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Are You Running On Auto-Pilot? March 9, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

Our lives are driven by our habits ~> when we get up, whether we make the bed, how soon we get dressed, what type of clothes we wear, whether we drink coffee or tea, whether we brush our teeth before or after breakfast, how often we shower and shave, which shoe we put on first, etc.

Habits save valuable mental energy because they are automatic, conserving glucose for brain matters that matter more than which shoe we put on first.

But . . . some habits no longer serve us.

Take a few moments to think about your habits.

You may have good habits ~ going for a daily walk, eating 7 – 10 servings of fruit and vegetables every day (yes, you can count the veggies in that Bloody Mary), brushing and flossing, limiting alcohol intake, etc.

You may have bad habits ~ inhaling a bag of chips every time you binge watch your favorite show, circling the parking lot for 15 minutes to avoid walking 10 extra spaces from the car to the gym, procrastinating on essential tasks like filing your 2016 income tax return, overdoing the evening cocktail hour by drinking tee many martoonis, etc.

Reflecting on your daily habits is a good habit to adopt . . .

Which habits are moving you from where you are to where you want to be?

And which are holding you back?

By reflecting on our habits, good and bad, we can choose to make positive changes in how we live.

We can stop running on auto-pilot.

Aah . . . that’s better!

“And yet not choice but habit rules the unreflecting herd.”

~ William Wordsworth



1. Rainee - March 9, 2017

Good post Nancy. I agree that it is good to shake things up now and again. When I did the grocery shopping last week I went to the same supermarket as usual but did it starting in a different aisle It kept me on my toes 🙂

nrhatch - March 9, 2017

Good thinking, Rainee. That subtle shift in perspective is apt to open your eyes to new foods to try.

2. Val Boyko - March 9, 2017

Stepping out of our daily routine is a great way to become more aware of habitual behaviors and thoughts. I’ve just come back after 10 days away, and I can definitely see where I’m stuck in a groove at home! Sometimes good. Sometimes not so good!
Thanks for the reminder Nancy 💛

nrhatch - March 9, 2017

Being more mindful and deliberate as we move through our days allows us to make better choices about how to spend our time and energy. Glad that your time awa’ is paying dividends.

Val Boyko - March 10, 2017

Thanks Nancy 💕

3. L. Marie - March 9, 2017

I needed this today. I’m guilty of circling the parking lot and grabbing popcorn as I watch a show. Change is definitely needed.

nrhatch - March 9, 2017

Paying attention / being mindful about the habitual “choices” we make encourages us to make better choices.

To me, popcorn seems to be a “good choice” . . . better than demolishing a carton of ice cream, right? 😀

4. Jill Weatherholt - March 9, 2017

I’m definitely guilty of not relaxing enough. Thanks, Nancy!

nrhatch - March 9, 2017

Really? For some reason, my perception of you is someone who flows from activity to activity with “purpose” . . . getting things done without “spinning your wheels.”

I see you as full of “calm enthusiasm” . . . or is that an oxymoron? 😀

Jill Weatherholt - March 9, 2017

Derek might be a better one to address your perceptions, Nancy. 🙂

5. Kate Crimmins - March 9, 2017

I have routines that give me great comfort…my morning coffee, my blog. Some routines are necessary…cleaning the toilet. It’s good to shake it up a bit every once in a while and see what you can comfortably and effectively change to make your life better.

nrhatch - March 9, 2017

I’d been a coffee drinker “all my life” until last fall when I decided to experiment by switching to tea. Now my morning includes a tea ritual ~ as I sit in a comfy chair and sip my tea, I listen to “meditative” music (Mystic India, Yanni, Enya, Gregorian Chants, etc). It’s a calming, soothing way to start the day and de-stress.

Cleaning the toilet is a good habit! 😀

Kate Crimmins - March 9, 2017

That won’t happen to me. I’ve never liked tea, not even iced. But I do enjoy peaceful music. Love Enya and Yanni.

nrhatch - March 9, 2017

I made the switch from coffee to tea on a whim and never expected to stick with it.

I thought it would be easier to incorporate a calming ritual in the morning if I didn’t have my customary jolt of java juice which signaled that it was time for me to “dive into the day.”

Now that the music and meditative session is ingrained, any beverage (or no beverage) would work. But I tried a cup of coffee a few weeks ago and it didn’t taste good any more.

My favorite flavors: Lemon & Ginger; Maple Apple Cider (from L. Marie!); and Peach Mango.

6. Ally Bean - March 9, 2017

I know that NY is when we’re told to reassess our habits, but for me Spring makes more sense. Your post is a good reminder of that fact. Time to spring forward, as they say. 😉

nrhatch - March 9, 2017

Your decision to go out and celebrate those gorgeous BLUE skies the other day is a good example of CHOICE in action.

You asked, “What do I WANT to do right now?”
And then you did it!

7. JOriginal Muse - March 9, 2017

Ironically, while going through my current morning routines, just before reading this, I was reflecting on how some routines are “seasonal” ~ meaning they serve a specific purpose for a temporary time until a goal is met.

Without getting too graphic, I’m looking forward to ending (or phasing out of) this particular routine, which I started mid-December and never expected to go on this long.

I’ve been engaged in parasitic warfare, and have spent lots of time on the throne (in what has become my “research room”) these past few months. I’ve spent countless hours getting to know the enemy monsters within, looking up natural remedies, the most effective products and protocols for all manner of invaders of my personal space, as well as watching videos and reading others’ horror stories in forums ~ many of them just like me… unsuspecting health food fanatics, vegetarians, vegans, and OCD about cleanliness.

So, needless to say, the Health Warrior in me was arming herself to do some serious battle. If I hadn’t read about die-off symptoms and how long this condition could last (for Candida, as well as parasites) I wouldn’t have been up to this very gruesome and tedious task of killing and expelling their stubborn little asses.

I’ve discovered what routines are necessary to eradicate these things and what new habits need to be implemented to ensure I never have to deal with this again. For anyone reading this, this is not a scare alarm… it’s a care alarm. Do regular detoxes for heavy metals and such, but ALWAYS include a parasite cleanse…!

It’s estimated that close to 85 to 95% of the US population in infected with some or all sorts of parasites. Doctors are limited in their knowledge of diagnosing and treating this. Lab tests often show false negatives. Colonoscopies more often miss them, because these things are expert at hiding and burrowing deep insiide stomach and intestinal walls, as well as major organs. They can live inside for decades, so they are not about to give up their feeding grounds so easily.

Sorry if I’m seeming to “bogart” this blog, Nancy. You can delete this if you feel it’s off-topic or inappropriate to post. However, the reason I’m so passionate about raising awareness for this is that I’m still in the shock stages of how this could happen to someone like me. I will be sharing more in my own videos and holistic health page on Facebook, once I am 100% confident that I’m 100% myself again…. and I have been regaining my stamina and energy since I’ve started

I advise people to develop this as a new habit: add regular research on health-related topics about natural remedies and cures. Arm yourself with ancient knowledge, as well as ground-breaking new findings (that often support ancient wisdom). You never know when you may have to treat yourself as a last resort, because the doctors didn’t help.

Watch what you eat, and bon appetite 🙄😏😇

nrhatch - March 9, 2017

Not exactly what came to mind while writing this post, but not entirely off topic either. Hope your research reaches a successful culmination soon, Joanne! 😀

I’ve heard of people getting intestinal parasites from eating sushi (and other raw seafood, like oysters), and also from undercooked pork. What did you eat?

JOriginal Muse - March 9, 2017

Until last July, I was a vegan for almost three years. Before that, a vegetarian for about a year. Before that, a pescatarian for a year. As a vegan, I started showing symptoms of not having gotten enough plant-based protein and other nutrients I had neglected, thinking I was getting them from my diet all along.

That’s when I decided to start eating fish and other sea food again (salmon being my favorite). I really love(d) sushi and had it several times after that. For the next few months, I started getting insatiable hunger pangs and cravings for more carbs and sugars.

Then came the day that one lonesome tapeworm showed up after a colonic. That set me on a journey I thought would only take up to two weeks (the length of time for your average parasite cleanse product).

Turns out that little guy was just a straggler that never found a hiding place with the others I’ve had in there for years (maybe even since I was a young and dumb major carnivore).

Although it’s true that sushi-eaters probably have the highest incidents of tapeworm infestations, we veggie-lovers also have to wash our fruit and veggies really well, because there are several varieties of parasites in many organic products. I was probably harboring half of that count.

I’ve always had digestive issues, which is why throughout the years, I’ve experimented with restrictive diets to help manage my food sensitivities.

To bring this back on topic, with each new experiment I’ve introduced into my diet, I’ve had to start new habits and protocols. Knowledge is helpful, but information overload can have your head spinning. So, similar to you deciding to switch from coffee to tea, I’ve taken one healthy change at a time until the next new habit was calling me.

I’ve also been learning to embrace the experience as something I may need for spiritual growth. I decided to look up the metaphysical meaning of parasite infections. I read it may be spiritually symptomatic of giving our power away to others. The cleanse can signify taking our power back. That definitely resonates with me. Also, I am continuously reminded of the importance of juggling New and old habits to create and maintain balance.

Wow…! You don’t hear from me for months on end, and get me started on a passionate topic like routines and habits, and you end up with a book….! 🤷🏽‍♀️

nrhatch - March 9, 2017

Well, it sounds like your new habits are steering you in the right direction ~ reclaiming your power from the parasites! Best of luck balancing the need/desire for knowledge against the danger of info overload.

Sometimes (not always) ignorance is bliss!

8. colonialist - March 9, 2017

Now wait a minute, here. Nuns frequently change their habits, but their routine remains rigidly circumscribed! 🙂
We are creatures of habit, indeed, and it is a good idea to look through the closet of them and throw out useless ones.

nrhatch - March 9, 2017

Ha! Are you sure nuns change their habits? Maybe they stay clean and tidy via immaculate perception!

For the rest of us, we need to purge our closets of stale habits.

colonialist - March 10, 2017

🙂 As long as they don’t use contraperceptives!

nrhatch - March 10, 2017


9. roughwighting - March 9, 2017

Thanks for reminding us to stop and think: am I doing this because I ALWAYS do, or because it’s the right thing to do? I try to ‘change it up’ every day, so regularity doesn’t become habit-forming. 🙂 I can’t think of any real bad habits I have – sometimes sitting too long in front of the computer instead of getting up and moving? Chocolate is a choice for me, not a habit. 🙂

nrhatch - March 9, 2017

Chocolate is a CHOICE for me too!

10. Bun Karyudo - March 10, 2017

I have some good habits. For example, I’m fond of veggies and I like cycling. I also have some bad habits. I like putting loads of salad dressing on my veggies and cycling to Krispy Kreme Donuts. I think I have to sort out my priorities. 😀

nrhatch - March 10, 2017

Haha! That’s right. Especially now that you are, um, cough, sputter, of a “certain age” . . .

11. Debra - March 11, 2017

It’s important to periodically assess how we’re doing, even if it’s just to make sure we’re not living on auto-pilot. There’s no way I’m giving up my morning run…to the coffee pot! 🙂

nrhatch - March 11, 2017

I will NOT stand in your way, Debra! 😀

Back in the day, my mother got up before me, with no one blocking her access to her beloved coffee. But when I headed groggily and foggily to the coffee pot later in the day, she would stand in my way and TALK to me. Before I had my coffee!

Some people don’t get it! 😀

12. Joanne Sisco - March 12, 2017

I tend to beat myself up by focusing so much on my bad habits, I forget that I have good ones, too. Great post.

nrhatch - March 12, 2017

Even I know that you have good habits . . . like hiking and biking and running from bulls! 😀

Joanne Sisco - March 13, 2017

As long as I’m not running WITH the bulls in Pamplona. THAT would just be crazy! 😉

nrhatch - March 13, 2017

Agreed . . . it’s insane!

13. livelytwist - March 14, 2017

Definitely worth pondering. The quote at the end got my wheels turning…

nrhatch - March 14, 2017

It’s a great quote ~> to choice!

14. simplylovelychaos7 - March 18, 2017

Great inspiration and tools for self reflection! Great read!

nrhatch - March 18, 2017

Time is our most valuable commodity. It pays dividends when we spend it wisely.

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