Note: This blog is another in a series written during Dr. Allen’s trip to Minnesota’s North Shore. 

A few days ago I woke up after a wonderful sleep (it must have been the sounds of waves in the background) with a bunch of writing ideas running through my head. This often happens to me when I am working on a writing project. This year I have set aside time to write my next book, centered on nature’s approach to changing systems,  and how we can apply these lessons to transforming human systems.

Want to learn more about this topic? Join us for our Regenerative Community Leadership session Tuesday, June 21st. 

With thoughts running through my mind instead of doing my normal routine of yin yoga, I got out of bed and opened my laptop to write. You might think the choice of writing vs. yoga was an example of a shift in a habit, but that’s only one aspect of it. I also have the habit to resist when I feel the urge to write. If I choose not to resist and instead, sit down and start writing, I experience a flow with life as my thoughts appear on my screen. It’s as if I am in sync with life instead of resisting it.

This gets me to another level of the benefits of changing routines. This morning I am sitting and writing at a place 15 feet from the water on the North Shore of Lake Superior. There is a constant sound of waves lapping against the short that is easily heard, even through closed windows. It’s a cool morning and while I can see the horizon, the day is cloudy in preparation for the rain coming our way across the lake.

I am in a different place shifting my habitual morning routine, and with nature’s teeming life surrounding me today, I am shifting my routine to align with this place. So, I am writing, not resisting and I am using energy to do what I most want to do – get my thoughts out of my head and into my Word document.

We use energy every day to go through our life. And we often notice the presence or absence of the energy needed. When we are tired, we think “I don’t have any energy left.” When we are raring to go, we think “I have the energy to burn today.” What we may not track is how much energy resistance keeps us from avoiding what we deeply want to do.

Resistance requires energy

In my blog about adding our weight to the future, I invited a new question to help us think more consciously about our habits and routines and to become more conscious of our choices. The question is

Is this practice, thought pattern, habit healing, and regenerative, or is it harmful and degenerating?

This is another level of why there are benefits to changing our routines. Help us change when we are spending our energy doing things that are harmful to ourselves, our families, and the world around us.

Resistance requires energy to keep us from acting in a way that is beneficial or regenerative. My writing is regenerative for me. It helps me clarify my thoughts and the connections between ideas that my intuition is noticing. It strengthens my consulting work, deepens my wisdom, and is deeply satisfying and nourishing. When I resist, I engage in mindless activities (and I also tend to sleep in) to avoid doing what would help generate energy instead of consuming it.

I invite you to experiment with holding another question –  What would I like to do right now that would bring me energy and life?

…and then do it. If you resist what would be regenerative and healing, notice the amount of energy you expend stopping yourself.