MASTERING CRAVINGS: AN EXERCISE
Updated: Apr 12, 2022
How You Master Your Actions Is More Important
Than What Actions You Master.
This exercise teaches you a gentle, mindful way of approaching your deeply entrenched eating habits. Practice this at least once daily with your craving for whatever substance you choose. Coffee is the example used here.
The intent is to bring the power of your INTENTION and ATTENTION directly into the habit that has heretofore dominated you.
You will take two gentle tries and one big one. Here is how it works.
Get the food or beverage in front of you. Preferably in the place that you usually consume it, a restaurant, coffee shop, home, or office.
Look at and smell your cup of coffee. Feel the pleasant and unpleasant sensations, thoughts, emotions this evokes in you.
1. Call forth your good INTENTION.
(This is similar to your “Whats and whys”)
Basically you are praying for the good you want. Say whatever mobilizes your emotions.
You may say something like “I have allowed you to injure my Health, beauty, youth, energy and happiness. I am no longer willing to trade these for the short term pleasure you bring me. I know I can and will be free of you. I do not deny the pleasure you bring me. I simply love other things vastly more than you.
“I have complete power over my behavior.
I am wielding my power now.”
2. Take a sip or have a smell or eat some of whatever it is.
Feel fully the pleasure it brings you while at the same time inwardly speaking your good intention. You want to feel that you do indeed have power over this. Remember for $500. you could walk away from this any and every time.
3. Repeat 1 & 2 a second time.
4. The third time you will make your greatest effort.
Decide if you will drink half a cup, none, or whatever is right for you. It is important that you take a step that honors your limits. This is the Yoga of Eating. Like in yoga you do not force yourself and strain to do more than you are able. Neither do you allow yourself to lapse into lethargy and do less than you are able.
You are centered in breathing full relaxed breaths, smiling inwardly and being fully attentive to what parts of you are being overstrained and what parts require more tone.
Bring the same yogic quality of attention to this exercise. Do not overstrain nor allow parts of yourself to be overly lax. You want to depart from this “workout” feeling proud of the effort you gave and looking forward to exercising your power again tomorrow. You do not want this to be so challenging that you feel anxious about doing it again.
Use your journal to write about what you are learning and to generate greater good intention.
An individual can be viewed as a community. There exist inside us a community of different individuals. In this example one of those individuals enjoys or even feels she MUST have coffee. Another wants to be free of coffee. Who we actually are is neither of these. We are the witness of both. We are the wisdom who observes and listens to both and knows what is the right balance between the two. It is as if we are the conductor of our inner symphony and these are two different instruments. The conductor is the one who decides what is the role each ought to play to bring out the best overall music.
Your work is not to dispense with the part of ourselves who enjoys drinking coffee. It is to integrate her into the larger community. She must be taught how to grow up so that she does not damage the whole body by her ungoverned, selfish desires. Likewise, we must train the part of ourselves who wants to be so pure that not a single “impure” substance ever passes our lips. If she is allowed to govern tyrannically, she can crowd out every sliver of pleasure and social frivolity.
The work of the True Self, You, The Abiding Witness is to listen to, feel, understand both of these parts of yourself and bring their gifts into a greater harmony which is called Health.