Habits of the Mind and the Seventh Step

I was reading about the seventh step in the book “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” (the 12 x 12) a few weeks ago. It came to my mind the importance of letting my higher power be in charge of removing my defects of character. This works when I am willing to change, willing to have the less than lovely attitudes, actions and behaviors altered and improved. In fact, in the 12 x 12, we are urged to become ready “without delay”. The Seventh Step prayer goes further that that even to state that we are asking that those defects be removed that “stand in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows”. So by having one’s higher power be in charge of the choosing, we are not looking at the defects and making the selection. Our HP is in charge of that. What this means to me is that I am also relieved of perseveration: of concentration and focus on my defects. I do not need to spend my time and concentration on planning, scheming and offering them up for removal. I, instead, am keeping my eye on being useful, on living a good life and focusing my daily intentions on the good and the positive. This creates a healthy habit of the mind. This develops a positive form of thinking and behavior. Looking at the negative, the thoughts and actions that are not so useful is… not so useful. Looking toward the goodness, the improvement, and the growth is helpful. This can decrease the negative samskara (habits of the mind), as we call it in yogic traditions, and can create new healthful mental grooves and thought patterns. For today I will encourage my mind to the health and wellness of my thoughts – and leave the degree and substance of the removal of my shortcomings to my HP.

Kyczy Hawk E-RYT200 is the author of “Yoga and the Twelve Step Path”, a leader of Y12SR classes, and the creator of SOAR(tm) (Success Over Addiction and Relapse) a teacher certification training she holds with her good friend Kent Bond E-RYT500. Find out more about her, her classes and the training at www.yogarecovery.com