“We are what we repeatedly do, therefore excellence, then is not an act, but a HABIT” …..   Aristotle

I got to thinking during the sacred hours of dawn that I love so much, how our HABITS, you know, what we do every day ritualistically either makes or breaks us. We either invest daily in HABITS that involve self-care, or self neglect. And it is the daily little HABITS we partake in at dawn and dusk that either make our break our emotional life.

Regardless of whether we are single or in a relationship, if we do not invest in nourishing our head, heart and body all with equal respect our intellectual, emotional and physical wellbeing becomes compromised. Over the years if we self neglect day in day out at dawn and dusk as our vehicle warms up then warms down for the day, our HABITS start to really take their toll.

As a recovering alcoholic addict who has been clean and sober consistently, one day at a time, since October 12, 1995. Yep, that is a bloody long time between drinks. I must confess these days I’m an active aquaholic and can drink just about anyone under the table bottle by bottle of when it comes to my favourite drop. Yes its either pure still “cloud juice” or if I am in a party kinda mood, its Sparkling Mineral Water, with a generous squeeze of lime over ice, of course.

But oh how my HABITS have changed.

I complete my morning prayer (no I’m not religious, but spiritual) and meditation each morning, followed by my private handwritten journaling. I have been doing this every day, not just some days, but every day without fail since 1995.


It ensures I plug my heart in, and is an emotional insurance policy that sets me up for a clean and sober day ahead. This HABIT is as essential to the start of my day as putting my feet on the floor, there is no day ahead for me with out it that I’m interested in living. The most natural thing for me to do on any given day as a biological addict is pick up a drink or a drug. Therefore it is a non-negotiable new HABIT I had to install if I wanted to live a life I am proud of.

As a recovering addict I am a seasoned professional when it comes to HABITS. Up until age 33 I was an active addict so at dawn and dusk they were the key times I would disconnect from myself and neglect.

At dawn that meant no breakfast, lots of caffeine, nicotine, a hair of the dog (swig of tequila or whatever I could find) and sometimes some pills to speed me along, all before 9am. That is the HABIT I started my day with.

Then at dusk if I hadn’t found an excuse to drink at lunchtime I would most definitely tell myself I deserved a drink (or three) at dusk after school pick up, homework and dinner were underway. But I was unable to ever have just one drink like most non-alcoholic mums can. Not to mention the excessive cigarettes and marijuana I would use as an emotional smoke screen to hide behind into the evening.

Our HABITS either connect our hearts or numb them off so we are physically present but emotionally unavailable.

Many of my highly successful Emotional Fitness clients aren’t recovering addicts/alcoholics like me, however they do need to review their self neglectful HABITS at dawn and dusk. HABITS that involve emotionally remaining unavailable hiding behind self-righteous weapons of mass distraction need to be addressed. This means at quality quiet times like dawn and dusk having a break for at least one hour from the following:

  1. Excessive screen time (computers, T.V. checking and responding to mobile devices)
  2. Housework
  3. Complaining or criticizing ourselves or others
  4. Any form martyrdom, duty based activity

In the mornings, no heartfelt connection with loved ones, even a pet or your garden or the view, (if you’re single) will mean we remain on autopilot. Whereas an act of gratitude if we take the time to pause and deliberately look at something or someone we love and give thanks connects our heart meaning we start the day with a warm open, not cold closed heart. No food, but chemical stimulants in its place like excessive caffeine and nicotine also accelerate our pace but close off our capacity for calm quality emotional connections. No calm meditation, exercise or even just gentle stretching means our body does not get the chance to warm up gently either. No gentle conversation or nourishing words if you are single perhaps written or sung by your favourite wordsmith means our intellect gets no gentle massage either before it starts the day.

In the evenings, HABITS at dusk that involve excessive television, booze, marijuana or over or under eating all dilute the quality of intimate heartfelt connection we have with ourselves, those we love and the world in general. This is because all of these HABITS keep our hearts cold and closed instead of warm and open. The world thus becomes a cold heartless place.

As an expert on HABITS having researched extensively in my active addiction self harming HABITS, I just wanted to offer you some food for feeling about what kind of HABITS are dominating your emotional private life at dawn and dusk.

Are you more about self-care or self-neglect?

If like I once was, you too find yourself on automatic pilot in the land of self-neglect, it is never to late to change. Really it’s not.   Our Emotional Fitness and success in life is simply the result of small consistent efforts of self-care repeated one day at time.

I am living proof, it is never to late to flip our HABITS from self-neglect to self-care and become a person you are proud to be. Promise.

Lotsa love Cynthia xxx

This Word Vitamin is an excerpt from my latest bookset “The Four Seasons of the Heart”. If you would like to order your own full set of Daily Word Vitamins one for each day of the year, in book form for yourself or as a gift for someone you care about just click on the SHOP tab and place your order.

© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™

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Cynthia Morton

Managing Director

Cynthia Morton is a bestselling Author, Blogger, Speaker and Founder of the multi award winning Emotional Fitness Program.