A Year of Living Without (or Breaking the Chains of Resistance) November Update

Imagine my shock yesterday when I open an email from zen habits and the title is “Working with the Ebbs and Flows of Your Resistance.” I got the email on November 22. I didn’t read it until yesterday, November 29. Talk about right on time.

My challenge for November was to not eat nor surf the internet while eating. Sometimes I succeeded. More often than not, I did not succeed. I had no idea these were such difficult habits to break. I realized the noise from the TV or internet surfing distracted me from the present moment. Whether I was alone in a silent house, or in the house with my kids, or eating lunch at work, when I was eating, I wasn’t paying attention. I wasn’t enjoying the silence. I wasn’t enjoying the noise my kids make. I wasn’t enjoying my co-workers at lunchtime.

As zen habits Leo Babauta puts it: The resistance is simply our mind not wanting to do something that feels uncomfortable: anything uncertain, difficult, overwhelming, different than our normal way of doing things, awkward, painful, sad, lonely, stressful. It makes sense that we would avoid these kinds of discomfort.

Resistance is natural, just a sensation in the body that is a response to change, discomfort, uncertainty. Our minds have a hard time dealing with these things, because we like routine, comfort, certainty.

Here’s the thing: the resistance isn’t always at a constant, full-on intensity. Resistance ebbs and flows.

During the time resistance is at its peak, my task is to be aware of the resistance. Instead of running from it, I am to see how it feels. Is it pleasant or unpleasant? (Usually unpleasant.) I notice the intensity changes. The goal is to breathe through it. Smile. Dance. Laugh. Play music. Bring lightheartedness to the table.

So I will continue to focus on my food rather than television or the internet. This month, I am not watching TV except to check the weather. Originally, I wasn’t going to watch the news. I can’t avoid it at work as there are televisions everywhere. At home though, no TV for me. My kids will continue to watch it but I won’t watch any of my shows. I’ll update this challenge the first week of January.

Original post: A Year of Living Without

Leo Babauta’s Working with the Ebbs and Flows of Your Resistance.

Up next on Media Wednesdays: Three boards games that make great Christmas gifts. Wednesday, December 4.

A Year of Living Without (or Breaking the Chains of Resistance)

The adult version of the universal toddler’s mantra “I DON’T WANNA!!!” is “We all gonna die sometime. Therefore, I’m going to enjoy my cigarette/Big Mac-Large Fries-Coke/Big Gulp/ribs/brownies/heroin/KFC Double Down/cocaine/insert-your-vice-here.”

Cravings and addictions, legal and illegal, is avoidance of emotional pain. I’ve said it before, humans run toward pleasure and run away from pain. Since we do such a good job of hurting each other, we all have our wounds. I’ve got mine, and I’ve worked very hard this past year to heal them. I recognize my own resistance to fully giving up habits that no longer serve me. In the spirit of two of my favorite blogs, zen habits and bemorewithless, I will do my own, “year of living without” starting today, November 1, 2019.

I will live without each of these things one per month:

November: Watching TV while eating. I’m reading a lot about mindful eating. I want to slow down and pay attention and appreciate my food. Replacement habit: mindfulness. Update: No internet surfing on my phone while I eat either. This is really tough! November update here: November 30, 2019

December: Watching the news. Death, destruction, and impeachment. I’m so over it. And yet, I keep coming back to it!! CNN.com is like my best friend! AAAAHHH! The exception is that I will watch the morning weather. That’s it. Replacement habit: Good News Network and Good Black News. December update here: January 11, 2020

January 2020: Coffee. I get up at 4:30am every morning. I’ve been using coffee to beat the mid-day slump. I hate it. I love it. Replacement habit: tea.

February: Sugar. The sweet love of my life. She has got to go. Replacement habit: acknowledge my feelings. :::WTF? EYEBALLS POP:::

March: Chicken and Fish. I’d like to stay vegetarian. Some days are better than others. Replacement habit: Vegan/vegetarian meals I like.

April: Processed Foods. Can I really eat only whole foods? Nothing out of bag, jar, or can? As I get closer, I’ll tweak this one a bit. Replacement habit: whole foods.

May: Credit Cards. I’ve been waaaaay better on this one. A sista has come a long way, baby. So good, in fact, two days ago, one of my creditors raised the limit because of my “credit discipline.” I hate debt. I’m a Dave Ramsey fan. My goal is to be debt-free completely. Replacement habit: cash.

June: Buying new things. This is going to be different. Replacement habit: none.

July: Television. Easier to do in the dead of summer. That includes no America’s Got Talent! Crap! Replacement habit: Spend time with my loved ones.

August: Social Media. That means I have to write and schedule all my August posts much earlier. Hmmmm. Replacement habit: Work on my novel.

September: Sitting longer than 30 minutes. At work, that’s not a problem because management took away our chairs. At home, I sit a lot because I’m writing/pay bills/on the internet, etc. Replacement habit: walking and yoga.

October: All of those things, except social media. I gotta post my blog. Why all of those things? In October 2018, I got a concussion. In October 2019, I got super sick. In October 2020, I’m going to slow way down, pay attention, and get through the month healthy and fully intact!

The first update will come on November 30th. Let’s see if I choose to incorporate these changes into my life.

Up Next:#metoo on a million little things, part 2 (ABC). Wednesday, November 6. Part 1 is here: https://mochaangels.com/2019/02/13/metoo-on-a-million-little-things-abc/