Monthly Archives: February 2014

Go for the Gold?

Mikaela Shiffrin capped a stellar year by winning the women’s slalom at the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia yesterday. Already the reigning World Cup and World Champion in the event she added Olympic gold to her collection. Her star is going nowhere but up in the alpine skiing community. Everyone expects her to continue on her rising path, and barring injury, she could become a star in other events as well. There’s a good article on the young lady here.

But what if she made a different choice? What if she said, “You know what, I’ve hit the pinnacle of slalom skiing. Its been amazing! I’m still young, healthy and my life is ahead of me. I want to give back by becoming a teacher and coach.” She certainly has the credentials to do that. Any ski academy would love to have her. I wonder how the press would react. Social Media? I honestly don’t know. It would shock a lot of folks. Someone willingly laying aside the adulation of thousands, a career and endorsement deals and seeking to lift others up.

What if she said this, “I’m retiring. I want to get married, settle down and raise a family. I’ve become the best in the sport, now I want my children to have that same opportunity. I want to be there for them. I want to coach them and nurture them and give them every opportunity to reach their dreams.” Can you imagine the reaction?

Yet isn’t that exactly what her mother has done for her? She has traveled with Mikaela for the last two years on the World Cup, defying the circuit officials in the process, so her daughter had the full support and care she needed as a young teen on the road. Her father was weeping when she won. He’s no doubt been busting his behind to pay the piper for the world cup tours. A prodigious amount of commitment, self sacrifice and love had gone into achieving that win. In fact the article linked above notes how both her father and mother were very deliberate in guiding her to this success.

How would her own parents respond to Mikaela stepping aside to coach or raise a family? After they had labored so many years to get her to this point only to see her lay it aside in order to give back and teach others how to do what she does or pour into her own children…how would they feel?

I don’t have an answer here and I’m not pushing for Mikaela to choose one way or another. I’m simply posing the question to make us think. We love a hero. But a hero who steps aside to lift up others? We’re not sure what to with that.

I’m reminded of this passage: “Though being in very nature God, he did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but relinquished that, emptying himself and taking on the form of a servant, clothed in humanity.”

It was that type of life that actually beat death. That one who had been at the pinnacle of all things and yet gave of himself to make that life available to all people. And many folks still don’t know what to with Him either.

Olympic Stress

The Olympics have robbed us of sleep. Lack of sleep creates cranky children. Cranky children create stress. Ergo the Olympics create stress. Perfectly logical right?

Right, if you accept that you HAVE to watch at NBC’s proscribed time. But you don’t have to you know… There’s an app for that. I made the easy choice however, and went with the primetime coverage. So the lack of sleep is on me, not NBC. Hmm.

It feels better to blame the Olympics for the rough morning we had today. No one wanted to get up on time, including me. We ended up rushing breakfast, rushing lunch prep, and finally rushing out the door to co-op with everyone’s tempers on edge. Lovely way to start the day.

But I had to own it. So tonight I switched it off and sent them packing to bed. I expect much better energy levels tomorrow.

Own your choices. It’ll help you see clearly what (if anything) needs to change. Its the first step toward loving and living deeply.

The Necessary Thief

The list of necessary items to accomplish is often so long that it steals the time available for doing what’s important. At least that’s how it feels. Ever have one (or several) of those days where your main goal just keeps getting sidetracked because your schedule makes urgent demands on your time that must be met? Whether you’re a parent at home, a business person, a professional, a coach, or retired, we all deal with the inexorable pull of doing what is necessary. And necessary can be an elegant thief.

Because whenever we label a task as necessary, we empower it to usurp what’s actually important. And we do so without the guilt that accompanies procrastination. I mean the groceries had to be purchased, that sales report completed, or the car needed to have the oil changed, right? Absolutely! But the trap is closed when we allows ourselves to then think “Well, I just didn’t have time to get that important task done. I was busy being the responsible adult I’m required to be. And that’s good right? I didn’t waste time today, I did what was required of me.”

With that perfectly reasonable line of thinking, what’s important gets swept to the curb, buried in the detritus of busy-ness and languishes unfulfilled.

Having trouble determining what’s important? You’ll know it when you realize its the item on your to-do list that takes courage and fortitude, grit in your gut, to get it done. Necessary flows easily. It has inertia. What’s important requires intentionality. It makes you stop, gather yourself, focus and then purposefully move forward.

What’s necessary is never-ending, don’t conflate it with what’s important. Choose what’s important today.

I struggle with this everyday. I lost the battle the previous two days. I won today!

Sometimes There’s Pain…

…during and after a significant effort to meet a goal. Pushing and conforming your body (or mind, soul, emotions, spirit, habits) into new realities is rarely without discomfort. Putting yourself on the line for change is risky. That’s part of the pain too. To make a break with the known present and embrace an unknown future, even if its desirable, upsets the status quo. And that too is disquieting.

Pain doesn’t mean you failed…it means you lived.


They say the half-way mark in a marathon is somewhere between mile 20 and 22. I believe it. The morning dawned grey and misty, the skyscrapers of downtown Austin hidden behind the damp curtain. With the humidity at 88% and the temperature hovering in the mid-60’s it was going to prove challenging to stay cool and hydrated.

My goal was to break four hours. But as I turned south on Duval St for the final four miles, I was gassed. I had consumed all 42 ounces of electroyte in my bottles and doused myself with water at every aid station. But those four miles seemed like thirteen. I had fallen far off pace and was struggling to simply keep moving.

My legs were so dead it felt like I was running on tree stumps. The tops of my feet hurt and my thighs felt swollen. Fortunately those last miles are mostly downhill, until mile 25.5 that is. One of the steepest hills on the course is just 800 meters from the finish.

I was on the cusp of missing my time when two teammates fell in beside me as I gritted my way up the hill. They had finished the half marathon earlier and were now on a mission to get us over the hump. They were loud, in my face and I would have slugged them if I had the energy. Instead I just kept digging.

Finally at 26 miles I crested the final hill and with the last shot of adrenaline I kicked for the line. Then I was across in 3:58:58! I’ve never been so physically spent. The floodgates opened and I wept in the arms of the aid worker who guided me out of the finish chute. A finisher’s medal swinging from my neck, I reunited with the rest of my team as I exited the recovery area and the tears flowed again.

26.2 miles done. Tears of relief, tears of joy, tears of sadness… all at the same time. Kristi would have been proud of me today. We used to talk about me doing a marathon some day. Today was someday. I miss her dearly.

Marathon, Not a Sprint

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint, Kristi.” We must have heard that advice 30 times in the first months after Kristi’s diagnosis. I hated it. I didn’t want it to be true. It didn’t feel like a marathon. Several of my posts likened it to running the 400 meters, a brutally taxing sprint. Well meaning friends were telling us to pace ourselves. But that didn’t seem possible at the time.

Now that I’m familiar with running, I can say that her fifteen month battle was a sprint. Sprint’s demand all your energy from the opening gun to the finish line. I finished my second official 5K race two weeks ago. It is the sprint event of distance running. By the end of the first mile my lungs were screaming, by the time the finish line came into view at 3.1 miles I was spent.

Tomorrow morning I will toe the start line of the Austin Marathon. Its my first race at that distance. By mile 1 I will barely be warmed up. I expect to be fully loose and hitting my stride about mile 3. Miles 3-8 promise to be relatively easy. Then comes four to six miles of uphill that will put teeth into the course. At mile 14 the course flattens out and meanders to the 20 mile mark. That’s as far as I’ve run in training…and it hurt.

I managed to run 2-3 days per week on our trip, and let me tell you that was grand. Whether running the rolling hills outside Sydney, along the beaches of the Coral Sea, cruising the Southern Alps or busting through the native bush around Rotorua, I soaked up the atmosphere and reveled in the views. However I wasn’t able to get in as many long runs as I hoped and that hurt my preparation for tomorrow. Once I cross the 20.3 mile threshold I’ll be in virgin territory for a single run. I know getting to the finish will require grit and fortitude similar to the half-ironman triathlon race last October.

But you see the difference don’t you? The marathon eases you in, warms you up and then drops the hammer at the end. The sprint comes at you hard from the get go and never lets up. That’s what Kristi and I faced.

Nine hours from now I’ll finally get to experience what a full marathon is like. Look for an after action report. In the mean time your prayers for safety are appreciated. It’ll just be me, several friends from the Georgetown Triathletes club and 19,999 others moving through the streets of Austin.

Oh, and if you know someone going through cancer, keep your mouth shut about it being a marathon. Know that its requiring everything they’ve got to make it through each day. They’re in a sprint, no matter how long the battle. Take care of them accordingly.

The Fellowship

“Welcome to Rivendell” proclaimed the road sign. Katie was bubbling with excitement and well, truth be told, so was I! Its no secret that we are fans of J.R.R.Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. So of course it was only natural that during our time in New Zealand we explored and toured many of the locations used in the making of the films. The country has embraced being cast as the backdrop for Middle Earth, Tolkien’s name for the land in which he set the stories. The ongoing release of The Hobbit as a three part film has only served to reinvigorate the identity.

In Wellington, home of WETA (the movies’ production headquarters), the airport featured giant sized sculptures of the characters Gollum and Gandalf. The Embassy Theater, where many of the premier’s have been held is draped in a large banner that proclaims “The Middle of MIddle Earth!”. Rivendell, the home of the elves, was filmed in a park on the northern outskirts of the city, while the famous shot of the four Hobbits scrambling off a tree-lined lane in the Shire was captured on the forested slopes of Mt. Victoria, an urban park in the heart of Wellington.

Meanwhile, the high country of the South Island was used extensively for many of the wilderness and mountain scenes in both the Hobbit and LOTR films. As fans of both the books and the movies we excitedly clambered up the slopes of Mt. Sunday, the rocky outcropping used for Edoras, the capital city of Rohan. We re-enacted several scenes in the expansive pasture used for the penultimate battle on the Pelennor Fields, our tour guide providing us with movie props and costumes. Katie and I even took a horse back tour deep into Paradise to see many locations used in not only LOTR and the Hobbit like Eisengard and Beorn’s house, but we also trotted by several iconic locales used in the Chronicles of Narnia films as well.

Part of what captured my heart in these stories is the tale of friendship and love woven throughout the books. In the opening book, The Fellowship of the Ring, Tolkien pulls nine characters together who will serve, throughout the trilogy, as key figures in the battle against evil. There are two men, a dwarf, an elf, a wizard and four hobbits in the company that sets out from Rivendell. These nine companions are dubbed the “Fellowship of the Ring”.

Well as our little family of five exited the doors in the Christchurch airport to begin our NZ adventures we met up with our dear friends Steve and Mel Thawley and their precious children, Chester, age 6, and Verena, age 4. That of course makes nine travelers! Our own fellowship with which to explore Middle Earth, complete with four hobbit sized companions. How cool is that?!

As it turned out it was far more than cool. Our fellowship with Mel and Steve stretches all the way back to the summer of 2002 when they spent four months living in our home while we all worked at Wolf Mountain Camps. We formed a fast friendship as housemates, co-laboring together as we ministered to children and staff. We promised we’d return the favor someday and come visit their homeland. It look longer than hoped, and we were down a key member of the family, but we’d made it.

Our friendship immediately rekindled as we joined forces. They’d been part of the faithful prayer covering over Kristi and now our family as we’ve walked this path. When I enlisted their help in planning our itinerary I was hoping to spend some time at their house in order to catch up. About a month into our planning they informed me they were free to travel with us during our three week trek and were keen to introduce us to their family scattered across the islands. I was thrilled!

Chester immediately clicked in with Matt and Luke to provide a wonderful new buddy while Verena was amazing in her abilities to keep up with the older crew. I appreciated the time to share deeply with old friends and process through feelings and emotions of grief over our loss, joy in the present excitement of the trip and hope for a future full of vibrant life with my children.

Steve and Mel co-pastor a church in the town of Masterton. We were able to attend their year-end celebration service during the week we spent staying at their home. In our honor they decorated in a Western theme and invited us to play some bluegrass music and teach them an American folk dance. They even procured a quality 5-string banjo for me to play. We had packed the spoons so Matt could keep rhythm, and thus we made our international music debut with Katie accompanying Matt and me on the guitar. Luke and Megan sang as we powered through “Dark and Stormy Night” and “Old Jonah”. Then I played solo on stage while the children demonstrated the steps of the Patty Cake Polka to the sure-footed Kiwi congregation. A real American Hoedown, deep in the heart of the Wairarapa! (that’s the name of the fertile valley where Masterton is located.)

Its not often you get to dance at church but that gives you a flavor for the joy in their faith community. It was a highlight of our time together and a shining example that God’s best gifts are people. The Thawley family was another priceless treasure that the Father bestowed on my children and me. They enriched our experience, layering personal knowledge and cultural understanding on top of the amazing scenery to provide a rich context from which to appreciate the land and its people.

So when I say the fellowship was “Sweet As”, I’m utilizing a Kiwi idiom to express the fact that deeply interacting with others in the family of Christ is one of the highest forms of worship, full of joy and pleasing to not only the participants but also the Father himself.

Winter’s Spring

Because of the inverted seasons in the Southern Hemisphere, traveling New Zealand during December meant it was late spring to early summer. I was hoping that would mean the foliage would be in full display and it didn’t disappoint. Our first week we traveled on the South Island exploring Christchurch along the coast as well the amazing high country of the Southern Alps and the communities nestled there.

While Christchurch inhabits the rich farmland of the Canterbury Plain the smaller resort cities of Queenstown and Wanaka are perched on the edge of large alpine lakes. We stayed in Cardrona, a hamlet tucked high in the Crown Range between the two larger locales. In fact there weren’t many trees around Cardrona, the hillsides were draped in verdant green tussock grass. The vistas were grand with the valleys and peaks providing a world class backdrop everywhere we went. I compare it to Lake Tahoe, Glacier National Park and Switzerland combined.

While the scale of the snow capped mountains and the contrasting blue waters grabbed the scenic headlines, what captured our fancy were the flowers. The wild mountain lupine was simply breathtaking. With colors ranging from pale yellow to white through deep purple and blue, the bloom stalks were a full eighteen inches tall, two to three inches in diameter, and reached two to three feet high off the ground. The shoulders of roads, the banks of rivers and sheltered valleys were carpeted with them.

While we rocketed up the Shotover River in a jet boat I thought one of the passengers had opened up a perfume bottle. Then I realized source of the delicious smell was the lupine packed along the shoreline. It was so thick that we could smell them as we flew up the river at 60+ mph. Being fresh off the experience of diving in the Coral Sea, this colorful, botanic spread compared quite aptly to a floral reef waving in the breeze.

As they surrounded the house where we stayed we could enjoy them at a more leisurely pace too, soaking up their fantastic beauty. I would love to return and see the high country in winter but I would miss the wanton display of elegant color. Spring in the mountains is always a riot of flowering plants, racing to produce seed before the cold buries them in a few short months. But this spring, this spring in the middle of our winter was heaven sent.

It shouted to me of new life, of God’s amazing gift to us. It was a joyful declaration that life continues, even after being pressed and stressed in the icy grip of winter. The sun didn’t set until 9:45PM. I would sit outside and soak up the late night twilight, filling my lungs with the fresh, fragrant air and thank the Father for life, for my children and His gift of love.

Hollow Ground

“See you in a few minutes. Ta!” and with that she hung up. There were a few words I hadn’t caught at the end of the conversation but I had clearly communicated that my family and I would be arriving in less than 30 minutes. Surely she would wait at the house as she said. Yet the house had been empty when we pulled up the driveway. I had even ventured around calling out loud Hello’s. Nothing but silence and the clean laundry drying lazily on the line in the back. Whatever words I missed must have been important. Hmm. What to do.

I hopped back in the car and decided to head 1.5 KM further down the road to see if we could find the entrance to the glow worm cave. Supposedly there was a sign. Nope. The only thing 1.5 KM from the house was a gated entry to a sheep farm with a wool shed set back a couple hundred meters from the road. Even from where we pulled over you could see the pens around the shed were packed. Fluffy sheep on the back side, skinny sheep on the front. The folks inside were busy helping the sheep get their summer slim on!

Not wanting to cause problems with the shearing operation and enter an obviously closed gate I drove further down the road. Nothing there. I turned around and drove back to the house. Still deserted. I SO wanted this to be a unique adventure for the children. Not sure what I was hoping would happen I drove back to the gate and just parked off the road.

On the North Island in New Zealand is the Waitomo Glow Worm cave. It is a site not to be missed on your tour…that’s what the website says anyway. The subterranean adventure actually takes you in a boat on an underground lake while you gaze at glowing worms on the ceiling. Supposedly they look like stars in the night sky.

Our dear friends with whom we traveled in New Zealand are natives. In fact one of the best parts about spending 21 days there was that for 17 of those days we were hosted in someone’s home, not a sterile hotel room. They of course recommended the best things to do and places where money would be well spent for a tour. But they also had local knowledge they were eager to share about traveling on a budget.

Thus when they said, “Well you can take the Waitomo tour for about $75/person and its a good tour. But, there is a local glow worm cave that just costs about $5 total. Its not big but you’ll get the same basic experience for a fraction of the price.” I listened.

Turns out that “local cave” meant a hole in the ground on private property that the owners allowed the public to explore. There was no tour, no guide and not even any sign out by the road. Was I at the right gate? Would the sheep shearers mind an American with four children breaking up their work to ask about some random cave? What to do? We had been sitting with the engine off for about five minutes and we were growing restless. I decided the game was up. Nothing’s going to happen and the social risk was too high for me to go through a closed gate, cross a crowded pen and try to wrangle information from sheep wrestlers.

I started the car and mumbled something to the children about this not being our day and that we had tried but failed. I backed up on to the road and then mentally slapped myself and had a silent conversation that went something like this:

“Dude! You are in New Zealand! You have a chance to tour a private cave. Do not be afraid! You can do this. Don’t let the fear of potential embarrassment freeze you out of this opportunity.” I paused for a moment and then audibly continued, “Luke, get the gate, we’re going in!” The kids were mortified, they had figured out I was scared.

I decided that rather than walk we would just drive and get it over with. I pulled up to the wool shed and parked next to a tattered hatchback vehicle of undetermined make. I hopped out and looked around for some way to get in the shed without having to dodge sheep. Nothing presented itself. I glanced back at the car and noticed the children were doing their best to become one with the floorboards. My heart was beating in my chest as I waited for one of the shearers to stop and come investigate the interlopers. Nothing.

Then movement caught my eye. I turned to my right and there was a man and woman approaching across the paddock with backpacks and walking sticks. I made a beeline for them and queried them about any caves around the area. “Oh sure! We just came from there. Its just up the trail.” Said the man. I figured out quickly it was a father/daughter pair out for a hike. They pointed in the general direction and said no one had bothered to come out from the wool shed, they’re too busy I guess. “Just follow the trail. There are some signs past the gate that point the way.”

Bingo! We were at the right place! My decision to change my typical pattern had paid off. I made sure everyone had their headlamps (never travel anywhere without a good headlamp!) and water bottles and off we went. About a mile later the trail ended at the cave entrance.

You couldn’t miss it because the creek we had been following ran right into the mouth and disappeared under the earth. This WAS going to be an adventure. Knee deep water for me is crotch deep on Matt. Fortunately it was summer and he was wearing nylon shorts. We plunged in.

As daylight faded to gray twilight we switched on our lamps to make sure we found solid footing in the loose rock and gravel of the stream bed. A bit further on and it got dark. Time to switch off the lights to see if there was anything to these glow worms.

I have goosebumps racing up and down my arms as I relive that moment. When our lights went out the cave came alive. Thousands of tiny lights surrounded us. In an instant we had stepped off the earth and into space. The heavens glowed! The water reflected the light from the walls and ceilings creating an immersive, 360 degree display.

We took a collective gasp and plunged deeper. Time stood still. It was real life, lived wild. No guide to corral us or warn about keeping hands to ourselves. We laughed, we pointed, we splashed, talking excitedly over one another as we discovered new skies and constellations in the unfolding rooms of the cave.

One room had decent acoustics so we sang praise songs and allowed a sacred moment to develop as hollow ground became holy. I fingered the silver pendant hung around my neck, the one with Kristi’s fingerprint engraved on it, and whispered to her that she’d be proud of her brood in that moment and would have enjoyed it as much as we were.

That afternoon was a reward for making a behavioral change. For standing up to fear. I had asked the Father to provide us with a never-to-be-forgotten moment. This was it. Out of all the commercial tours we did, the amazing mountains, rivers, and reef that we covered all five of us rate the little cave on the sheep farm as one of the main highlights of the entire trip.

I’m pretty sure that our Heavenly Father enjoyed our time as much as we did, but I had come within a hair’s breadth of missing it, of squandering his gift because of old habits and fear. Jesus encouraged his followers by telling them “It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” But entering the kingdom requires change and faith. However he also notes that the Spirit himself will help us in our weakness. We aren’t alone in this journey!

I’m thankful I recognized the old pattern needed to change and exercised faith to do so that day. Because, to borrow from another famous passage, His kingdom came and his will was done under the earth as we gazed at the heavens.

Change is possible. Once you realize that, then desire to accomplish it kicks in. And the best part is that divine assistance is available any time. Just ask. What are you waiting for?

Habitual Change

I knew driving on the left side of the road would be a challenge, but as we left the city behind on our second day in Australia I thought I was doing alright. After picking up the rental car I had managed to do a u-turn in town without violating any traffic laws or colliding with any locals. Plus I had found the right road out of Cairns towards our rental apartment in Trinity Beach and we were on our way!

I was hyper-alert because of everything feeling backwards, but all was relatively calm and smooth. Then came the first roundabout that necessitated a lane change. As I checked over my shoulder, my left hand automatically flicked the turn indicator lever up to merge right. I heard a strange whooshing noise and as my gaze snapped back forward I was immediately surprised and consternated by the fact that the windshield wipers were going full speed and no blinker light was flashing on the dashboard. What!? Arghh! What’d I do wrong?

Oh yeah…the blinkers are on the right side of the column in Australia and New Zealand! I quickly rectified the situation but kept the children laughing for the entire 30 minute drive as I signaled my intention to turn by activating the wipers at most every opportunity. My howls of protest and wild machinations to identify the right lever kept them in stitches. I could only chortle along with them as I applied my utmost concentration only to fail again and again that day. My left hand just wouldn’t stay put after being called on for thirty years to flick that lever. Humbling? Pretty much.

Fortunately the pedals were not switched around, the gas is still on the right, brake to the left/center and clutch on the far left if present. If those had been different I’d have been a cabbage (New Zealand slang). I was still pretty close to making cole slaw though. Turning left meant a near turn while a right turn crossed traffic. It was a constant and massive flow of foreign input that had to be accurately processed in real time to maintain our safe travel.

Turns out our brains are pretty amazing. By the end of the week in Australia my gray matter was starting to create new neural pathways. The stress of making turns had abated. I was able to converse with the children instead of locking myself into focused silence. If I set off the wipers it was usually only one time at the start of a drive. That audible and visual cue jolting me back to the new reality and reminding me to be ever vigilant with my right hand to indicate the turn.

Fast forward two weeks and I had mastered shifting a manual transmission with my left hand while driving the winding roads in New Zealand. The blinkers came more or less natural and turns weren’t an issue at all. I still climbed into the car on the wrong side twice while in the islands but other than that I was fairly comfortable. By the time we ended our twenty-one day tour through Middle Earth we were all looking forward to coming home, none more so than me. I was eagerly anticipating getting back on the right side of the road so 30 years of habit could take back over.

However, a funny thing happened the first time I slid behind the wheel here in the U.S. In fact, there was no wheel. I climbed into the right side of the vehicle only to be confronted with an empty dash. Once properly ensconced and underway I had to make a left turn into my sister’s subdivision. There was an island in the road. Without thinking I turned to the left side…my wipers indicating my intended turn.

The kids were cracking up. So was I. But I was also stunned. Thirty years of habitual action had been effectively re-wired after just thirty days of driving on the left side. Driving is typically performed at such a core level that we routinely talk, sing, read, apply makeup, eat and more while driving because its so automatic. We don’t have to think about it. The car just goes where we want, the blinkers coming on when they’re supposed to. I knew I had worked hard during the trip to make sure the 2000 miles we drove would be safe, but I never figured that relatively short effort could actually make a dent on such an ingrained habit.

But it did. It took me a good week of regular driving back here in the states before I wasn’t thinking about driving anymore. The implications are profound. What other habits do I have that I consider to be so ingrained I can’t change them? Changing behavioral patterns takes work, but I’ve discovered that even behaviors that are performed so automatically as to be almost subconscious can indeed be changed and that change can be affected with relative speed.

Losing Kristi last year has of course caused me to change many long held behavior patterns out of necessity. And then over the last 20 months I’ve changed my lifestyle to become an endurance athlete. However with the revelation last month I’m looking at all my behaviors in a new light, because now I know that even slapping the pejorative label of “habitual” on an attitude, behavior or emotion doesn’t mean its insulated from change. In fact, change can be just around the corner. What’s on your habitual list that needs changing?