Minimalist self-loathing in three easy steps

Step One: Take an idea that might be good and useful.

Step Two: Boil it down to its most visible element, allowing good and useful subtleties to evaporate.

Step Three: Compare yourself to what you see, taking care to beat yourself up thoroughly when you don’t measure up.

It’s easier than you think.

And we do it more often than we realise.

We do it with our bodies.

We do it with our stuff.

We do it with our work in the world.

But…

Your body doesn’t care what that other person looks like. Your body just wants to be stretched and moved and treated like the extraordinary instrument it is.

Your stuff doesn’t care if that guy can fit everything he owns in a shoebox. Your stuff just wants to be the stuff that lights you up and supports you.

Your work doesn’t give a damn how many blog readers they’ve got. Your work just wants you to show up. Please.

Your body, your stuff, your work – none of these things are your enemy.

You are not your enemy.

And if you want to make changes, you get to do so with respect and care.

As an act of generosity, not deprivation.

As a gesture of love, not punishment.

Because everything can be an opportunity to practice kindness, just like everything can be an opportunity to reinforce brutality.

Hmmm. Tough call.

What about you, my lovely?

Are there places where you’re confusing the thing that’s visible with the thing that’s good and useful?

Are there ways you could shift deprivation into generosity? Punishment into love? Gently does it.

 

Comments

  1. Oh, I love it.

    I love the simplicity of this.

    And it’s so true. And so powerful. And apparently, I’m reduced to cliché in talking about it because it’s too awesome.

    This gives me lots of food for thought. Thank you.

  2. Wonderful! I’m about to take part in a ‘Vegan Month’ adventure – I will use this as a guiding principle:
    “And if you want to make changes, you get to do so with respect and care.
    As an act of generosity, not deprivation.
    As a gesture of love, not punishment.
    Because everything can be an opportunity to practice kindness, just like everything can be an opportunity to reinforce brutality.”
    Thank you Lisa. Also: I hope Project Pai is a delightful adventure. Looking forward to love notes from the road. :)

  3. It’s so amazing (in a sad way) how much the so-called “self-help” arena fosters deprivation and punishment and brutality.

    “And if you want to make changes, you get to do so with respect and care.”

    Yes.

    Respect and care.

  4. Today I’m finding it hard to keep showing up to work when I want to make changes but I don’t know what they are (yet?). So I’m not showing up. (To work.) As an act of generosity and love towards my intuition and soul that need space to become clearer.

    Thank you for this post Lisa. Perfect timing. Looking forward to your notes from the road too… Love xoxoxox

  5. Lovely Lisa:

    You’re brilliant in your simplicity. Thank you for this gorgeous insight

    “Your work doesn’t give a damn how many blog readers they’ve got. Your work just wants you to show up. Please.”

  6. Amen.

    More than anything else, this is what I hope I share with people through the 30 days of yoga. A deep commitment to make change with compassion, with kindness, with love.

  7. Thank you for a beautiful reminder to enjoy what I do everyday. I love the way you form words into thoughts, thoughts into actions and send them out into the world.

  8. [...] read an article over at zen at play recently that reminded me where this mentality starts and the message was simple and clear: you are [...]

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