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The power of renouncing

You may found this title intriguing: since when there is any kind of power in renouncing? And why should anyone promote this? It is true that renouncing has still a negative connotation. But I hope you will start to consider it an interesting practice after reading this article.

My recommendation, in the last article, was to recognise automatisms, through bodyawareness, and to create changes in our repetitive postures. This kind of practice is important: it helps not only to be more attentive to the way we are living in the present ; it also support us in building the commitment to bring bigger changes in our life. We could look at it as a way to train to renounce something comfortable – in this case an easy posture – and engage in something that requires more of our attention.     In fact, working with changing habits helps us to be more resilient about …renouncing.
Many, if not all, of our habits are based on the feeling of being comfortable. To renounce to this comfort is a challenge. Even more when to renounce has a positive impact on our health, on our well-being and on our sense of being alive. It is a challenge because comfort tends to make us numbed and insensitive.

When we wish to generate some changes – to reduce our bad habits and/or enhance good habits – and we meet internal resistances and experience difficulties, to be able to renounce some kind of comfort makes the difference. The commitment to renounce comfort makes the difference.

Now you may ask yourself what kind of renouncement am I referring to.
We already talked about postures. In this case, you train to renounce a repetitive postures that, despite they may not be so good for you, they are so engraved that the body tends to go back to them because the familiarity is conformable.

In our today society, the smart phones are the devices difficult to renounce. They consume a lot of our time and attention, they occupy our minds with comparing ourselves or what we do with others and they create pressure about how we should perform in order to fit some inside or outside expectations. In this case you may choose to train taking time off from your device during some hours or even a day. Or taking time off from watching series, being on facebook or instagram, on other social media. You may also consider to take some time to redefine why are you using this device for and the to stick to your reasons only.

Moving to another topic, you can train to renounce for a week or for a month – or something in between – what you are used to eat and to drink. In this case you may renounce drinking coffee, alcohol or sodas. Or to renounce eating meat, bread, sweets.

Finally you may choose to train renouncing the comfort of “laziness”: going to work by foot or by bicycle. Spending some lunch breaks walking, meditating, doing some breathing exercises, reading a book. Doing some exercises after work. Cooking.
All these activities are a chance to change your focus, to give back your attention to yourself and more generally to change your rhythm.

What will this practice of renouncing bring to you? In my experience it will:

  • increase your level of attention on your daily life activity.
  • free some kind of energy, like time, physical energy, concentration.
  • increase the confidence to be able to do something out of your comfort zone.
  • help to reconsider, and eventually notice, the pleasure you take from the activity after the renouncing period.
  • And last but not least, it will help to better know yourself (*)

In a bigger scale, if you are concerned by climate change and the state of our planet, to be able to sometimes renounce comfort is also a way to question our general consumption style.

When we shake our habits we may discover something new about ourselves. For sure it will help you to become more aware and gain more energy.
Bodies don’t like automatic repetitions where our attention is not present: change of experience increase the sense of aliveness.
Like always, I will be happy to support you in your training with the power of renouncing 🙂

(*) Others ideas: shower with cold water, read or write regularly, wash your teeth with the other hand, trying new food whenever possible, no shopping clothes – using what you already have.

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