Wednesday, February 17, 2010

40 days

Good morning all! I hope you all enjoyed your pancakes yesterday. We had blueberries and maple syrup with ours (the blueberries made us feel we were getting some fruit at least)! No photos I'm afraid as they were pretty much inhaled before I could get near a camera.

And so 40 days of Lent begins. Research suggests that 40 days is the right amount of time to start a new habit, or give up an old one, and for it to stick.

I went to Catholic School and so I remember Lent with a sense of trepidation. Every year for 40 days the tuck shop and snack bar were shut. No sweets or hot chocolate for us - we were all forced to give up snacks and sweets whether we wanted to or not.

These days I prefer to think of Lent as not so much a time to give things up, but more a time to start positive thinking and practices, or working on one of the Yamas or Niyamas (the yogic codes of conduct towards ourselves and others).

This year as I continue to travel through my year of mindfulness, I'm going to work once more on ahimsa. The first of the Yamas, ahimsa asks us to act in a non-harmful way, in kindness - towards others, towards the planet and towards ourselves.

And it is that last I have trouble with. I spend so much time on others and on the external world that sometimes I burn myself into the ground. Sometimes I beat myself up, compare myself to others too much, ignore my own limitations. So this Lententide I am going to act with kindness in any way I can including towards myself.

What about you dear reader? What are you giving up or starting for Lent?

4 comments:

Jumbleberry Orchard said...

Mmm blueberries and maple syrup! What a combination!

I have given up Facebook for Lent! I went 18 years without it quite happily, and then suddenly all of my social contact was somehow linked to Facebook, and I hate it. So I'm going to use the time not using Facebook to write letters, write in my diary, update my blog more often, and other forms of contact. Beginning tonight with a blog entry!

La Gitane said...

Best of luck with your quest for Ahimsa! It really does start with yourself.

Not being Christian, Lent is not on my calendar - but sending you best vibes for it!

Eco Yogini said...

oh i like the idea of ahimsa towards yourself.... :)

I also like Blisschicks' idea of having a happy lent- a positive (as opposed to negative- add as opposed to remove). adding things you LIKE to do, so in a sense ahimsa to yourself, but worded a bit more positively.

(which actually is how Devi from "The Secret Power of Yoga" describes the yamas... which i like :) )

Rachel said...

JO - good luck with the facebook addiction... Man that is going to be hard!

LG - thank you :D

EY - I think Ahimsa is one of the most positive things you can do in life. Problem is we have attached our western "ideals" to it in the translation and in so many books/classes it becomes all about austerity. Giving up meat, giving up possessions and comforts. In my mind it's always been about having fun and making sure others are having fun. But having fun with mindfulness. That's the important thing imho :) :)