search engine by freefind



Return to Reasons We Eat

The Horse Of Habit: Transforming Our Habits


The chains of habit are too weak to be felt

until they are too strong to be broken.

--Samuel Johnson


There is a story about a man and a horse. The horse is galloping quickly, and it appears that the man on the horse is going somewhere really important.


Another man, standing alongside the road, shouts, ”Where are you going?” and the first man replies, “I don’t know! Ask the horse!” This is also our story. We are riding a horse, we don’t know where we are going, and we can’t stop. The horse is our habit energy pulling us along, and we are powerless! We are always running, and it has become a habit.


We have to learn the art of stopping—stopping our thinking, our habit energies, our forgetfulness, and the strong emotions that rule us. When an emotion rushes through us like a storm, we have no peace. How can we stop this state of agitation? How can we stop our fear, despair, anger, our frenetic activity, and craving?


We can stop by practicing deep breathing (On The Spot Stress Managers) and other stress-reduction techniques.


Philip Shapiro has a wonderful Website and offers a book on spiritual evolution and healing of bad habits.


Investigate also:

Sometimes you may find that you have to be at your wits end before you'll be willing to change. Your pattern has you by the nose and is pulling you along and you can't seem to stop.

It may be time to EXPLORE:


We form habits, then habits form us!



With awareness, we have the capacity to recognize the habit energy every time it manifests. We can say, “Hello, my habit energy, I know you are there!” If we just smile to it, it will lose much of its strength.


Being aware is the energy that allows us to recognize our habit energy and prevent it from dominating us.



Investigate also Reasons to Eat and Turning On The Television: Where Is Your Mind?



This process is like developing a “pause button” on our behaviors. Just like a tape recorder has a pause button on it that allows a cassette tape to be stopped, so it is essential to develop our own pause button when our strong habit energies pull us along.


Then we are able to sort through our choices and choose options that lead to well-being and personal freedom.


Adapted from Thich Nhat Hahn , Heart of The Buddha's Teachings.



A famous author has shared for her how her personal transformation evolved:


Autobiography in Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson

Chapter I
I walk down the street.
      There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
      I fall in.
      I am lost...I am helpless.
            It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II
I walk down the same street.
      There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
      I pretend I don't see it.
      I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
            But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III
I walk down the same street.
      There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
      I see it is there.
      I still fall's a habit...but,
            my eyes are open,
            I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter IV
I walk down the same street.
      There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
      I walk around it.

Chapter V
I walk down another street.


This process is how we meet a new "horse", PAUSE,  and form new PATHS of healthful habits.

             Copyright © 2001-2018 Bob Wilson BS, DTR  All Right Reserved. Articles are for personal use only. Please request permission for other uses. Thanks!