We gain the strength of the temptation we resist. Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have a serious sweet tooth. I would almost go so far as to call it debilitating. After I eat a meal, at any time of the day, I immediately begin craving something sweet. If I don’t give in to the craving, it gnaws on me, invading every thought, mentally darting around my kitchen, rummaging through cabinets, searching for something, anything to fill the void. Once satisfied, the urge gradually recedes, only to come up again a short while later. I’ve tried barring desserts from my kitchen, because if there is nothing sweet to eat, there’s nothing sweet to eat. However, my resourceful sweet tooth will often settle for a cereal bar, a bowl of cereal or a homemade banana pancake. Even after a “healthy” sweet, I still feel guilt at having given in, knowing the adverse effects of sugar on my body.
But finally today, I realized that it is more than a health issue – it is an issue of consciousness and of self-control. If I can’t resist the urge to eat something, how will I learn to resist the urge to yell when I’m angry, or say thoughtless things or realize any of the other myriad of ways I’m hoping to change for the better through conscious living?
So I decided to use my sugar cravings as a reminder.
A reminder that I have a choice to follow a craving or resist.
A reminder that I am seeking pleasure or distraction and removing myself from the present moment.
A reminder to return to the present moment and savor it.
Instead of caving to my sweet tooth, or becoming frustrated by the constant pull, I will try to welcome them as reminders to live more consciously. Wish me luck!
You can read more about mindfulness reminders here: Developing Mindfulness Triggers
What about you? Do you have any regular thoughts or cravings that you could turn into reminders to return to the present moment?