Consider the Non-Habitual

It is Thursday, but I don’t know what number Thursday it is since Georg died. I guess I have officially stopped counting. I could run to the wall calendar in the other room and check it out, but I am in a hurry. I need to leave for work soon and as I was getting out of the shower, it occurred to me that I had not prepared a post for today.

What does this mean? Does this mean that I have stopped pondering all things Georg and the significance of onions to my existence? Not in the least. No, it means that I am happily busy in the midst of the holiday season: wrapping packages of cookies for friends, doing my morning yoga stretches, eating a decent breakfast. It means I am centering the world in a new/old way, a way before death, but with new awareness about what death means.

handsI have been thinking for many days now about something that I am calling “the non-habitual.” This comes from the admonition of my yoga teacher to “clasp your hands in the non-habitual way.” Go ahead. Right now. Try this. First, clasp your hands as though you are six-years-old again and about to say your prayers. Notice which pinky finger is at the end of the clasp. (Or, which thumb is closest to you.) Now, adjust this so that the other pinky is on the outside (making the other thumb closest to you.) Now turn your hands away and upward over your head to stretch your arms high with your fingers still entwined. Try the stretch with your hands clasped both non-habitually and habitually. Do you notice a difference?

It is interesting that such a small shift in positioning could make any difference at all, but for me, it is quite noticeable. This notion of shifting to the non-habitual has many implications for life, don’t you think?

And now, to work.

6 thoughts on “Consider the Non-Habitual

  1. Thank you, Lisa. Reading your thoughts is such a gift. As you quit counting and move into a new, still-to-be-comprehended stage, I am learning lessons alongside you. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank YOU for sharing Marcia. It is very non-habitual for me to write something in such a rush, and I almost did not post it, but I’m glad it spoke to you this morning. I will remember this.

    • I especially love the feeling of first clasping in the “other” way. It is the weirdest sensation ever. I should start taking a poll to find out which thumb people have habitually closer to them. For me, it is my left thumb. How about you?

  2. “Right or left handed, male or female,” I heard from my biology professor at N.I.U. in the late sixties as she stood at the center at the base of an arena-like classroom, her hands folded over burgeoning belly with an eight-month-old fetus within, “fifty per cent of the world’s population naturally grasps with the left thumb on top, and we don’t know why.”
    It is, perhaps, my most often evoked memory of college days, and I don’t know why.

    • So, it is a 50/50 split here? The other 50 putting the right thumb on top? I am definitely in the left on top group. I love the image of the teacher with her belly at the center of that classroom. I can see you sitting there, in the arena. Did you try clasping your hands as she said this? Which way to you clasp?

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