I had one powerful realization already. One night I was feeling very low energy after work, and I just wanted to chill out and essentially be lazy. However, I still needed to eat dinner and make sure I had something to take for lunch the next day. I knew I had to cook, but the idea of ordering a pizza was very tempting. I thought about how lovely it would be to eat pizza, veg on my couch and surf the net. I had all the groceries I needed to make a delicious meal, but I was facing resistance when I thought about getting in the kitchen to cook. My perception, in that moment, was that cooking is a chore and an unpleasant experience. However, once I started cooking, I quickly realized how much I enjoy cooking. It actually is a really grounding experience for me.
Once I started doing it, instantly all of my resistance started to melt away, and it became more of a meditative experience for me. Cooking is often meditative for me, but usually if I feel like I don’t want to do it, I hate doing it. This time, I didn’t want to do it and I felt resistance, but I knew that I had to. Usually in these moments I would give in to the temptation. Instead, I pushed through that initial resistance and realized that I can create this whole perception in my mind around a task that is not necessarily true. For example, once I accepted the negative aspect of the task (i.e. cooking = work), it allowed me to move on and experience the things I enjoy about cooking. Cooking does mean work, but it also means a host of other things such as, it’s relaxing for me, meditative, provides nourishment, is creative, delicious and so on.
This really hit home to me the power of an acceptance and commitment based approach to therapy (see the experiment tab at the top for more info on our therapeutic approach). I had to accept the things I perceive to be negative about an experience in order to appreciate positive aspects of it as well. Acceptance allowed me to get over my negative perception and commit myself to move on with the task at hand. Also, once I got started with the task, I realized it is not really as bad as I had perceived it to be to begin with.
I feel like this experience, although appearing small, was actually a significant awareness shift for me. I know that I will be confronted with internal resistance over and over again throughout this year. But I also know that changing my lifestyle and behaviors around not buying things will happen in these little moments, where instead of giving into resistance, I simply accept it as part of the process, commit myself to moving forward, and reap the treasures and insights that come with not giving in.