Forward momentum in our habits is essential for cultivating a healthy and balanced life. A dear friend reminds me, "Don't overthink, just do." Overthinking can be a habit-killer. "Just keep swimming." (thank you, Claire!) I see this showing up in many areas of my daily life.
Running; a habit I started getting back into (again, thank you Claire!). If I pause too long wondering if it's too cold, too windy, too (fill in the blank), I will never tie my shoes and head out the door. Having Claire by my side (community) kicks the positive and health-enhancing vibes up several notches.
I started to think about how going forward is so helpful when we are feeling stuck. Brian and I love to hike in the beautiful area we live in. It's while we are moving forward that we come up with dreams, ideas, and solutions. It's while we are moving forward that we see possibilities when before we saw none. Sometimes, I can get there when I'm on my own (riding a bike to work, walking in a forest alone) but often it's when I'm with community.
I see this show up in my yoga classes all the time. "Come for the coffee, stay for the yoga"...I joke. The coffee catch-up always comes after the yoga class, but it's one of the reasons my community loves the Friday morning class. Over the years, it's become the opportunity to exchange information about health concerns, family issues, fun activities and taxes. Most importantly, it's been a moment of exchanging support and firm hugs when a friend is struggling with the hardships of life.
I revisited a blog post I wrote over 10 years ago: Just keep swimming. This theme of forward momentum rings true year after year. Different struggles, same solution:
I'm beginning to believe Dory was Buddhist. The concept of forward momentum is fundamental in Buddhism, as it embodies the idea of continuously moving towards growth and liberation. By embracing the forward momentum of our habits, we practice the Buddhist teachings on impermanence and take concrete steps towards our own personal growth and freedom from suffering. Just this moment and just this step forward.
Essentially, the importance of forward momentum in our habits is not just a personal journey, but a communal one as well. In Buddhism, community is seen as a crucial aspect in supporting individuals on their path towards well-being. By forming connections with others, we can support and encourage each other in maintaining positive habits and overcoming obstacles. In this way, forward momentum in our habits becomes a shared experience, as we lift each other up and work towards a common goal of well-being and happiness.
Just as Nemo found solace and support in his community of friends, we too can find strength and guidance in the community around us. By coming together in this way, we amplify the positive effects of our forward momentum and create a brighter, more vibrant world for all.