Are you on the ‘new year, new you’ bandwagon? What are your resolutions? I actually adore this time of year as so many (myself included) aren’t just open to new ideas and a new us but are eager to try. I think an annual fresh burst of optimism and enthusiasm is a good and necessary thing. I believe this to be true regardless of our results.
That being said, I’m repeating my resolution from last year. No, I’m not repeating it because I failed. For the first time in quite a while, I followed through with my 2018 resolution. Want to know what it was and how I succeeded?!
My resolution was to change my toothbrush more regularly.
Yep, that’s it. And I did change my toothbrush more regularly throughout the year.
It did start as a bit of joke, but it has a deeper meaning to me now. Brushing is a tiny habit that’s part of most of our daily lives. A tiny, insignificant habit which I barely noticed. Half asleep, I could do it without thought. I didn’t even notice it. Have you noticed yours? Is it well-worn, past what the manufacturer recommends? Do you even notice your toothbrush? What color is it?
In previous years, I set many large and lofty goals to better myself and the world. I failed each time (often in January). Hence the joke of changing my toothbrush as my 2018 resolution.
In doing it though, I had to pay attention to something small. I couldn’t just go on autopilot with my thoughts either racing forward to future concerns or back to past mistakes. I had to be in that moment – pause, breathe, and see what was right in front of me.
Are you seeing the deeper meaning now? 😉
If you’ve read anything else I’ve written then you may already know I train in martial arts. We train to be in the moment – no anticipation, no judgment, simply be. The Japanese term is mushin (no mind). This is so much harder than it sounds. I’ve trained for over a decade and still struggle. I am a planner by nature which means I analyze, research, and plot accordingly. This requires I look into the past to learn and into the future to plan. Being in the moment and simply floating down the River Zen aren’t my things despite the fact that I also do yoga and meditate.
BTW, if you haven’t tried meditation, it is hard and takes practice. Back to my toothbrush though…
I didn’t notice it each day at least not at first. It was a gradual change, but I did start paying attention to that single moment each morning and night. Doing that helped me focus on the task in front of me – I prefer the term task to moment as it suits my planning nature. If I’m driving, I don’t stress over what I’ve moving away from or toward. Instead, I pay attention to the drive.
A small, insignificant thing like brushing my teeth rippled out to bigger changes. It wasn’t part of my research or plan, but it happened.
No, I still don’t surf the River Zen. Yes, I still plan. However, I have changed. I changed because I started noticing my toothbrush.
So, I’ll repeat my first question – what color is your toothbrush?
I will also pose another question – is it time for you to change your toothbrush?