Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How can we turn struggle into pleasure?

In the past view days and weeks, I've seen quite a few weight loss videos. Some of which are more inspiring than others.

I really dig how people share their weight loss experiences on youtube. This is how social networks are supposed to work, in my view: building up support networks and helping each other on journeys of self-improvement.

One of the best youtube channels in this respect is Jumoke ( Huuuuge dude, with a good heart and a great sense of humor, who lost 50 lbs in 6 months and is still going strong.

Now, with my recent revelation about healthy and delicious food, I can't help but notice with some sadness one fact about many, many of those videos: They're often telling the story of a struggle. A fight. For example, there's these two fine ladies.

I sincerely wish the best for them. That they reach their goals and move on to live happier lives.

But, judging from my own experiences, it's not going to happen. I don't know how to put this in a way that is not disavowing or dismissive, which is one reason why I didn't put it in a youtube comment. They will last for a month or maybe two, and then they'll bounce back. It is my conviction that you will not succeed on a journey like this as long as you think of it as a fight. I mean, maybe other people are just wired differently, but I cannot imagine how to go on, day to day, with a practice you secretly loathe.

Once you discover the pleasures of whatever it is you're doing, it gets easy. Almost a bit too easy in a way. It's hard to believe, some days, that, yes, I found the way to sustain a healthy diet. After I spent at least 5 or 6 years trying ever so hard to find that way, without making any progress whatsoever.

Tantra, to me, is (among other things) a way to turn meditation into pleasure. Of course I will practice my breathing, if it is one way to get pleasure, whenever I want it, wherever I want it, completely for free!

So, the big question is: How can you turn the challenges you're facing into pleasure? How can you find pleasurable aspects in your chores - taking out the trash, doing the dishes, working at your job, etc.

I have not, as of yet, found a way to generalize my experience with tantra and food to other areas. I'm fairly certain that there is one, and I'm almost sure it has to do with self-empathy, self-love and mindfulness.

One lesson I took from these past few weeks is that it is not always a linear process. Years and years of struggle, and then one youtube video changed it all. So I guess that the struggle is one necessary part of the trip. Maybe it's life's way of "softening us up" so we're prepared for the one sudden revelation. Okay, that's metaphysical b.s., admittedly. But maybe something is actually happening on the psychological level while we're going through all that struggle. The big question is: what is it? What can we learn about it? Can we speed up the process? Or maybe it is all about not doing that, about just giving in to whatever happens?

One big guessing game.

I will keep you posted as I find out more.

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