“We are literally starving for some experience of authenticity and belonging that we are simply not going to find outside of ourselves.” -Jon Kabat-Zinn
This week, let’s work with this deep longing for authenticity and belonging. And let’s look through the lens of false refuge that we talked about here.
Many of you responded (thank you!) to let me know where you find yourself seeking false refuge.
Some of the more common ones: weight and food, social media, shopping, skin picking, gossip, over or under performing in work and relationships, approval seeking, care taking, worrying, obsessing. The list goes on ad infinitum.
Transforming our relationship to these “shadow comforts” involves first recognizing where we get caught.
That is the practice I want to offer this week.
As you go through your day, notice where your attention gets sucked into stale or reactive patterns. If you need help with this, pay attention to your energy levels.
One indication is a sense of grasping/obsessing or feeling compulsive about the activity or thought process. Another is that, while there might be an initial sense of pleasure or distraction, it is quickly overshadowed by dissatisfaction and still greater emptiness.
When you catch yourself thus engaged, be it smack in the middle of a cake binge or two hours down the internet rabbit hole or if your first awareness is when you are looking back at the end of the day, the practice is to pause for one breath. Continue reading