Sunday, June 21, 2020

June 21--Pre-Decisions

If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.  --Buddha

     The daily quotes I am using are from a book produced by National Geographic, thus each day has a magnificent photo along with the quote. Today's photo is a plate full of scrumptious-looking chocolate chip cookies. The subject of food addiction is near and dear to my heart, so I have to question the idea of self-compassion including a batch of cookies. I believe food addiction is a much bigger problem than anyone realizes, eating being virtually the last acceptable "vice," i.e. everyone eats too much sometime. 
     I see that it is easy for folks to focus on others, give, give, give, but more challenging to apply compassion and loving-care to oneself, that is, receive. It takes willpower to consistently practice self-care. I recently watched a video by Bill Harris, founder of Centerpointe Research Institute, in which he discussed willpower. If in every given situation, we have to use willpower to decide, that willpower gets depleted and we tend eventually to make poor decisions. However, we can make "pre-decisions" about certain situations that we commit to following, and then we don't have to use precious willpower. An example of pre-decision is brushing teeth in the morning and before bedtime. We just do it. We don't have to apply willpower to make it happen. On the other hand, if I agree that I'll eat cookies occasionally, then each time a cookie presents itself to me, I have to use willpower to decide whether or not to eat it. I'm guessing many of us have had, at one time or another, a complete collapse of willpower and, for instance, ate the whole box of Thin Mints.
     Where might you make some helpful and self-compassionate pre-decisions? Here are a few of my examples. I swim Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I don't eat liver and onions. I don't keep ice cream in the house. I write every day, part of my spiritual practice. I practice the MELT Method every day. The only willpower these items take is to remind myself of my pre-decision. I don't have to agonize over any of them. If it's Sunday, Monday, Wednesday or Friday, I know I'm swimming. Pre-decisions make life flow more smoothly.
     Conserving my willpower,

P.S. Barn quilt #5 completed.

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