Go without

3 weeks ago I started a personal program called The Artist’s Way. I’ve known several people who’ve done it, and one year I even got the book as a gift. For years I think I’ve started and stopped little bit’s of it, but I haven’t really committed to doing it until now. I haven’t written anything about it yet but, I’m sure as time goes by I’ll probably mention more. After all I’m only on week 4.

Anyway, the reason I’m writing about it this week, is because of an interesting exercise for the week. No reading, including t.v.. So, news aggregator is closed; msn off; email is … email is … off. Mind you ( bad me ), I’m going to do a periodic scan on subject’s for business only. ( I’ve hidden the message view so I actually have to double click to read the email. ( Coincidentally, I noticed Steve made a post about email reading and something similar to increase his productivity. ) )

Although there is some difficulty in this exercise, it reminds me that every spiritual path ( at least that I know of, correct me if I’m wrong here ) has some period of depravation: The natives and their fasts; Christians and the whole Lent thing; periods of silence in pretty much every spiritual belief. It’s good to go without.

  • Build Character. “If I can do this, I can do anything!”
  • Removing Distraction. “Think of all the things I would do/think if I weren’t [ fill in the blank here ].”
  • Increase Appreciation. “After not [ again, fill in blank] for so long, it makes it so much better!”

For me the best thing is removing the distraction. I am the master of distraction. I sometimes will do absolutely anything to squirm my way out of something. Sometimes, even something simple like going for coffee. When I was doing the 9-5 I could go for 8-12 cups in one day. Did I really need that much? No. It’s just that it took me 10 minutes at a time to do so. Did I go for 8 cups on a good day? Nope.

So, my suggestion to you, is take a look at your day and see what you use to distract yourself from your own truth. Once you’ve figured it out…go without. See what happens.