Daily Wisdom / From the Editors / Giveaways / Pema Chödrön

Renounce One Thing

Book CoverFor one day (or one day a week), refrain from something you habitually do to run away, to escape. Pick something concrete, such as overeating or excessive sleeping or overworking or spending too much time texting or checking e-mails. Make a commitment to yourself to gently and compassionately work with refraining from this habit for this one day. Really commit to it. Do this with the intention that it will put you in touch with the underlying anxiety or uncertainty that you’ve been avoiding. Do it and see what you discover.

From Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, page 36.

GIVEAWAY
Do you accept this challenge from Pema to work with one of your habits? If so, comment below and tell us about your experience. Next week, one commenter will be chosen to receive a free copy of Living Beautifully. This contest is now closed. Congrats to Eileen! Thanks, everyone, for sharing your journey with us.

158 thoughts on “Renounce One Thing

  1. I am giving up a lot of “things”. One is smoking. As each day passes I feel that nagging to buy a pack. Instead of giving into my addiction, I directly learned from Pema to embrace that nagging, feel the groundlessness and fear of wanting that cigarette and accepting it gently. When I handle those feelings with compassion, the uneasiness stops, thus the urge lessens. There’s always open space :)

  2. I gave up Facebook Sunday, and I didn’t read this challenge until today, when my sister sent me the heart advice quote for the week. But the challenge perfectly describes why I needed to deactivate my Facebook profile. Even though Facebook is a wonderful forum for sharing your joys and proud parent moments. Even though it is a way to stay in touch with friends from the past who have meant a lot and who are far away. Even though it is a fantastic business tool. It is also an incredibly toxic way to escape–to complain, to compare, to brag, and in my case to deceive. I was dismayed when the screen popped up to tell me “Don’t worry, you can always come back! Just log in with your user name and password.”
    I think I’ll have to let someone change the password for me so that I can’t go back in, because I am so very, very tempted to relent and escape.

  3. I’ll give up checking fb, playing wf, texting, using my iPhone and/or computer while having breakfast…. I’ll start tomorrow Friday oct 5th

  4. I did not realize what a habit it was until I focused on what I do habitually. Every Friday I enjoy drinking a glass (or three!) of wine with my mother, we catch up on the week, exchange ideas and inspire one another. We also cook a meal. I really enjoy this time with her, but realized I also love the wine as much. I see the habit was a way for me to lift the junk of the week away and to loosen up. We substituted wine for mineral water mixed with lemonade and still had a great time together, and even took a walk after dinner. I was nice and light after and the week was washed away!!

  5. As I journey the path toward Buddhism, with enlightenment as a goal, I often revolve my thoughts around me or I. ” I’m going to make this because I like it”. ” I am going to visit that place to do something for me “. ” I am redecorating the room for me”. There is no me, or I. What I do and say, and even think causes a ripple effect that effects everyone. I need to behave in terms of my local brothers and sisters. Think about my actions with thoughts of my global family. I need to renounce ” me and realize that it is about others and not me. That it is about everyone and not me. That it is about The One and not me. The One… It’s such a simple concept yet challenging to incorporate into a lifestyle. Each morning, I commit to renounce ” me”.

  6. I am looking forward to giving up TV… Recently, I have used it as a way to escape from illness and the emotions that chronic illness cause me to face when I have flare ups. It takes courage to give up things to face our true emotions, and to become at peace with them, no matter what they are.

  7. I renounce impulse snacking this, and maybe (??) every Saturday. I will plan my meals with a long-term goal taking care of this precious human body in mind.

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