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.

 

18 comments

  1. Lucy Viret

    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. Allison Nazarian

    Wow.
    Yes —> “You are not your enemy.”
    Thank you.

  3. Barb McMahon

    I just love the way you look at things. And the gentleness you bring to what you do here. Thank you!

  4. Kim Wood

    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. :)

  5. Victoria Brouhard

    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.

  6. Steven

    Straight to the point! It is all-too-easy to hate ourselves. It is also all-too-easy to love ourselves. That is the paradox of life I suppose…

  7. Noreen

    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

  8. Cranky Fibro Girl

    Wow.

    I am printing this out and sticking it up in my office.

    Thank you so much for this gentle reminder of self-love this morning :)

  9. Char Brooks

    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.”

  10. Pingback: Links: October 29 — Davinia Hamilton

  11. Marianne

    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.

  12. Deborah Wall

    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.

  13. Mike Reeves-McMillan

    Yes. This.

    If it’s not ultimately making you and other people happier, healthier, more loving, stronger, kinder people – then what are you doing it for? Stop now.

  14. donniee

    I am sighing with understanding…

  15. Pingback: » Your Work Needs You. Please. AY Daring

  16. A.Y.

    This moved me. Big time. I copied a section of it onto a PostIt and stuck it to my lampshade. The lampshade on my desk, that lights my room at night as I try to keep remembering, every day, why I do what I do. Thank you for being your awesome self and sharing her with us. (P.S. this is the blog post, proof positive > http://www.aydaring.com/2010/11/your-work-needs-you-please/)

  17. Pingback: » you are not your own enemy do happy!

  18. Pingback: On Minimalism « Song for the Sky

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*