40 Days of Letting go: day 2 ~ Want what you have

Want what you have?!  What a thing to ask you to do at the start of the school year!  How will you function without the latest iPhone, backpack, fall fashions, new car to cart the family around?

I once read a quote from the founder of a legendary department store that went something like this:  “Our job is to make you want what you don’t have.”

It takes a lot of self-awareness to avoid internalizing the message of “I’m not okay unless I have…… (fill in the blank).”

Studies have shown that it’s not so much having limited material possessions that makes us unhappy, but having limited material possessions in a culture that constantly screaming “you need more!”

This 40-day Letting go project is about increasing your sense of comfort, ease, and freedom, right here, right now, no gadgetry required.

How do we go about the business of wanting what we have?  Take ten or twenty minutes over the next few days to try this mindfulness exercise.

  1. Start by taking five deep breaths, making sure your exhale is slightly longer than your inhale. Download our free worksheet that includes a simple breathing exercise.
  2. Clear your mind of thoughts of past or future.  Turn your attention to the quality of light or color in the space you are currently inhabiting.
  3. Stand up now, wherever you are – this might be your office, your small apartment, or your grand house.  Slowly take a walk around your space, noticing right foot, then left foot hitting the floor.  Use this attention to your steps to help you get grounded, noticing the things that please you:  Perhaps  a vase on a bookshelf that you have had for 20 years, a blanket on a bed, your cat – anything that makes you feel comforted, at peace, whole.
  4. You can do this in a car or the subway, too, noticing some aspect of your commute that is giving you comfort.
  5. continue walking (or watching) slowly and mindfully around your space appreciating the things you have that bring you peace.

Was this challenging for you?  It is for most people, for we are so conditioned to want what we don’t have, and we are biologically wired to notice what is missing.   You may want to try this exercise a few times until you get the hang of if.    If you do only this one exercise over the next month, you will have come a long way in developing your letting go practice.  Try it a couple of times a day, maybe every time you see an advertisement that lures you into want-thinking.

Keep reminding yourself of your intention to take part in this 40-day letting go challenge.  Look forward to increasing a sense of freedom, ease, and comfort with who you are, every day, right here, right now.

We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!

Looking for more help in changing your negativity bias.  Check out Rick Hanson’s Foundations of Well-Being training.  Click the banner bellow for more details.

We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!

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