Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Holding Both

Lately I've been thinking a lot about how this maintenance journey is about holding seemingly opposing concepts. The first concept goes like this...

It is not ok to overeat. It is not ok to mindlessly eat a bunch of junk. It is not ok to engage in bingy behaviors that leave me feeling regretful and yucky. It is not ok to skip my workouts. It is not ok to eat in a non-goal-oriented way.

And the second concept is...

When it happens, it's ok.

This is a contradiction and our brains don't really like that. But it's a dissonance we have to get used to, we have to teach our brains to hold both, because both are true.

How do I do that? Part of it is about staying in the moment. When I was in my mid-20's I read Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. That was my first introduction to the concept of mindfulness. Mindfulness is about being in the present moment. If we stay in the present moment, we can really only hold one of the above concepts at a time.

In this moment, these choices are not ok, and I will not accept them. In this moment, I will hold that eating a ton of chocolate at the staff meeting, just because someone brought it, is not permitted. By who's authority is it not permitted? By my own, of course. I am the only one in charge here.

But an hour later, when my authority was compromised, by me, I must hold something different. It happened, it's ok. In this moment, it is ok. Because if it's not, I have to scold, point fingers and otherwise assign blame. Blame can lead to shame. Shame leads to weakness, hiding, fear. None of those feelings will help me make the next right decision.

So it's ok in this moment. And then not. Hmph, I started out by saying we have to hold both but I guess what I've described, by bringing in this mindfulness idea, is that we only have to hold one. At a time. No dissonance, no conflict. The question becomes, "what is true in this moment?" What do I need right now to move toward my goals? Whatever I need, hold that. Forget the other. The other is not here, in this moment. The other can be used in some other moment when it is needed.

10 comments:

  1. thank you for posting this

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  2. This is not only in dealing with food but also when angry or sad. It's okay to feel as long as I don't wallow in the feelings. I give myself permission to be angry or sad and then move on mindfully.

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    1. Right! I've been working on feeling angry lately. I tend to avoid feeling anger altogether, but of course I'm human and I get angry and feeling it, allowing it to be, is so much better than avoiding it.

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  3. I struggle with this concept too, but I'm working on it. I'm trying to accept that it doesn't have to be all or nothing.

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    1. The all-or-nothing is such a sabotaging mental habit. Keep working on the gray.

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  4. "What do I need right now to move toward my goals."

    I like that--adding to my computer-monitor mantras :) Mindfulness is so important, yet it seems so difficult to achieve sometimes. We get so busy going here to there and everywhere, we forget to just stop and take a minute and check in with ourselves. More often that not, that 30-second check in can save a world of "shoulda wouldas" later.

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    1. Exactly. I like clouds, if I'm out during the day, just taking a moment to look at the clouds can give me a whole new perspective.

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  5. So inspirational! I am on a similar journey – take a look at my blog set up today and follow http://www.awildejourney.com x

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  6. Great post. I am new to this and really pulled some very important things out of this. Thanks!!

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