Tiny Battles (addendum)

In my Hockey and Resolutions entry, I conflated the ideas of mini-resolutions and battles fought in the moment. I love both ideas, but the one I’m really trying to focus on this year is the latter.

One thing I’ve noticed is that by focusing on the little fights, my eating habits have already improved drastically. Now, when I’m standing in front of the fridge with the door open, I am conscious of the fact that I am waging a war. Will I grab one of Chris’s cokes? Will I hit the stash of chocolate? Will I fix myself a bowl of cereal or heat up some left-overs?

Most of the time, I have closed the fridge and opted for a glass of water. (I read somewhere that our brains aren’t smart enough to distinguish between thirst and hunger all of the time — a glass of water will often satisfy a desire we think is for food.) After kung fu class, I’m often craving pasta like crazy. Instead, I have won the battle with yogurt three times this week.

Mindfulness is the key. Every individual moment is important.

It’s working for writing, too, and for household chores. I see the pile of laundry that needs to be folded and, instead of ignoring it, I acknowledge it. After I acknowledge a battle, turning away from it is giving up, giving in, failing. I don’t like to fail.

This mindfulness has required a very fundamental paradigm shift for me, but so far, I’m loving it. It’s working better than any sort of resolution or goal-setting has worked for me in the past. It feels sustainable, and, best of all, I feel more connected to myself and to the world. I feel good.

Mindfulness is the key to martial arts — I’ve known that for years, and I try to practice it in every class. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to connect this philosophy to the rest of my life.