Accepting resistance

Wow, week one has been interesting. My mind has already been blown a few times. I have to say I am really enjoying this process so far, although it has presented challenges already too. My week has consisted of walking to and from work, being very organized when it comes to meal prep, packing a lunch every day, not purchasing anything, and connecting with new people.

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.

-Geoffrey

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12 thoughts on “Accepting resistance

  1. This is sooo true. I am the same way about laundry. I hate it. But once I do it… I’m like oh yeah. This isn’t so bad. Why did I put this off for a week. You’ve inspired me to commit myself to liking laundry. Because it IS meditative. It’s such a chill chore, why do I hate it? This has nothing to do with buying nothing… but whatever. Love you!! ❤

  2. I am SO using this theory to get myself exercising!! Genius! And you are right about the cooking…..I feel the same way, mainly I guess because I am the one ‘responsible’ for this ‘chore’ in our family (being a stay at home Mom for the last 18 years). In my own way, I will sometimes make it fun for myself, by pouring a glass of red wine as I prep my ingredients and either having my little kitchen tv on to a favorite show or putting on music…then my chore becomes a very rewarding experience. I love to cook and create delicious and healthy meals for my peeps and see their enjoyment in eating it 🙂 Thanks for pointing out that shift in mentality, awesome!

  3. I definitely feel this way about fitness, at times. I whine and moan to myself about how I don’t want to go, how it’ll be difficult to do, and do I really have the time to do it when I could be doing (insert mundane, unnecessary activity here). But once I’m in a yoga class, or sweating through some pilates work, I get the same realization: this is good for me; it’ll be better in the long run; it’s something I can enjoy once I start.

    Your whole journey is very inspiring to me. I’m working on a more sustainable lifestyle myself, though not to nearly the same extent as you, Julie and Geoff. My best tip would be: organize! The more organized you are, the less you’re likely to cave to temptation. Packing your lunch the night before means you’re less likely to get lazy in the morning and end up buying lunch. Planning meals means you get the right ingredients from the store, and have less excuse to order in.

    Anyways, sorry for rambling! Looking forward to reading more about your journey. Best of luck!

    • Thanks for your interest in our life experiment. There is definitely a lot of cross over with other major life shifts such as fitness and eating healthy. Actually, buying nothing for a year forces us to be more healthy and eat better. Organization has also been key so far. Your right in that it requires more planning to make sure we don’t get lazy and purchase food as opposed to preparing it ourselves. We look forward to sharing our journey with you! 🙂

  4. I love that you are doing this, and I am certainly inspired! Geoffrey, I love the therapeutic theme you have incorporated and can tell it is already helping others lead more responsible and meaningful lives! All the best, Leah

    • Thanks Leah! I am happy that people can get some information to help them make shifts in their lives as well. We wanted our blog to act as a mirror for others. Hopefully others will keep being inspired by us throughout the year. All the best Geoff and Julie.

  5. In March I moved to a very small town and there is, literally, no where to eat out. I didn’t eat out a lot anyway, but not having the choice is very different. I’ve also felt like cooking is meditative and it’s just that initial “get up and decide what to make” that is difficult. Sometimes not having a choice is a good thing.

  6. Pingback: Capital C Change (or “getting unstuck”) | Buy Nothing Year

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