Modern Meditation: The secret art of not fighting yourself.
5 November 2021 | Kate White
Practicing non-attachment is hard. Then something came up for Kate in relation to diet and weight that made her understand the difference between acting with attachment and nonattachment.
Practicing non-attachment or non-judgmental awareness, as it is sometimes known, is one of the most challenging aspects of Modern Meditation practice. It can be hard to follow but recently something came up for me that has taken me from theory to understanding how to do it. The result has changed my mind.
I’ve never been great at sticking to diets and always had some vague goal of losing weight. I’d look at my skinny friends who never strayed and think that I was not as good as them at sticking with a goal. But I know I’m not rubbish, and I stick to loads of things when I want to.
I didn’t go looking for a solution to this problem but one day I had a thought to ask myself what was different about it. Instead of judging myself, I was genuinely curious about the answer.
It wasn’t that I didn’t care, I clearly did, or I would not keep returning to it. There was something else going on, it wasn’t just about being thinner. When I looked at this objectively a different answer popped up. I wanted an energetic body that does all the stuff I want it to do. I want the energy to get up at 5.30 am and attack my day. I’ve got loads of projects and hobbies, a demanding job, and a child. I don’t want to feel sluggish or that any food (mainly cake) has power over me.
A new positive goal formed. I looked online for foods and diets that are supposed to increase energy. I made some changes. I looked at how my body was feeling, and I was buzzing within a week. The 100-day marker came up on my calendar without me realising. It’s not hard work and it’s not a diet anymore. I’ve lost a bit of weight and I’m not helpless in the face of cake, but more importantly, I feel brilliant most of the time and that is a goal I can stick to. I am not fighting myself.
It’s draining, and a waste of our limited time, to be stuck on a problem for years, overthinking and overworking it. Meditation changes your being and then you understand and see things differently so solutions that were not previously possible can happen.
I’m going to apply this to much more important things than boring diet stuff, and I know that I will not be able to deal with everything with this objectivity straight away. But it’s a chink of light. I know that I have a process to an easier and more successful way of being. And it starts with the easy step of noticing the attachment – saying “I see you” rather than “I judge you”. Even this tiny step neutralizes some of the debilitating power that the attachment has. Then you can start to question your attachment, you can ask what it is really telling you, without judgment or expectation.
I have no idea where I am going with this but I’m excited to see what else it can do.
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