In the workshop, Adventures in Seeing (and now the book as well), we cultivate nine contemplative habits through photographic exercises in awareness. They are openness, curiosity, attention, wonder, possibilities, humility, acceptance, simplicity, and connection.
While creating the workshop, I read Charles Duhigg’s fascinating book, The Power of Habit. Did you know that 40% of the actions we perform every day are not actually our own decisions, but done out of habit? Habits are valuable because they give our brain a rest. However, our minds often don’t distinguish between good habits and bad habits.
Habits, good or bad, develop based on cues (what initiates the habit) and rewards (why we do the habit). The rewards make them hard to break. However, habits can be changed fairly easily if you can identify the cues and rewards. You can then change the cues and replace the old habit with something new.
A simple example. Rather than starting my day with a cup of coffee, I wanted to drink a glass of warm, lemon water instead. Then, I would have my coffee with breakfast later. I make sure I always have fresh lemons in the fridge. And, I leave my water glass beside the kettle. I see it before I see the coffee maker. Now, my water becomes a cue that coffee is coming soon. And, my body gets rehydrated (a reward).
With Adventures in Seeing, you’ll become aware of the filters and judgments (cues) that keep you from seeing what’s really happening. This gives you the chance to make a different choice or response.