Way #10: "Floss One Tooth"

Pachamama Alliance • 10 September 2018
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30 days/30 ways

Way #10: "Floss One Tooth"

Is this a joke? Why are we talking about “flossing one tooth?” We all know that mouths have many teeth in them, and so the idea of flossing one tooth is ridiculous. Besides, what has flossing got to do with reversing global warming and creating a healthy, sustainable future for all life on Earth?

“Floss one tooth” is a shorthand way of gently working with ourselves and our strengths and weaknesses as we bring ourselves to the huge topic of reversing global warming. 

Read the article below and identify which “tooth” you’ll start with. 

Pick something that you’ve been wishing you could get yourself to take on related to the climate and living sustainably on Earth, and think of a simple, no-brainer act you could commit to doing for the rest of the month. Don’t judge yourself, just pick one and begin. See what happens!

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Why Do This Way?

Much as we want to be expressing our commitments, much as we really wish we were more engaged, many of us find ourselves held back by old habits, doubts, and familiar but tired ways of relating to the world and its challenges. Truth to tell, we’re kind of stuck. The psychology of circumventing our sense of failure in becoming the person we wish we were just might make a difference here. 

The authors of the article suggest that when people break down un-confrontable tasks into very bite-sized portions, even mini-portions, they can much more easily turn them into habits. The premise is that once we’ve mastered and made a habit of something small (e.g. flossing ONE tooth), we are then primed to take on the next biggest task or challenge, becoming more powerful, and more the person we wish to be. You will be surprised at how effortless and effective this technique can be.

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Engaging with This Way

Read this thought-provoking article about the value of starting small when you want to change or develop a habit.

As you consider what practice or habit you’d like to develop, you might glance back over the 100 Drawdown Solutions to give yourself an idea, or think back on Way #7: What’s Yours to Do? and consider picking something that puts you in touch with your gifts and purpose. 

Give it some thought: what’s the overall goal and what is the incremental practice you can commit to for the rest of the month?

Be sure and share both your goal and your mini-practice with the rest of the community! We’ll all be inspired by one another and we may get some good tips and ideas along the way.

P.S. Don’t worry about your teeth: they’re fine!

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