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Renounce One Thing

September 26, 2012

Book CoverFor one day (or one day a week), refrain from something you habitually do to run away, to escape. Pick something concrete, such as overeating or excessive sleeping or overworking or spending too much time texting or checking e-mails. Make a commitment to yourself to gently and compassionately work with refraining from this habit for this one day. Really commit to it. Do this with the intention that it will put you in touch with the underlying anxiety or uncertainty that you've been avoiding. Do it and see what you discover.

From Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, page 36.




GIVEAWAY
Do you accept this challenge from Pema to work with one of your habits? If so, comment below and tell us about your experience. Next week, one commenter will be chosen to receive a free copy of Living Beautifully. This contest is now closed. Congrats to Eileen! Thanks, everyone, for sharing your journey with us.


This post was posted in Pema Chödrön and was tagged with Giveaway

158 Responses to Renounce One Thing

  • Jason Gould says:

    What a challenge! Not so much because we are giving up a "something" that we will miss, but rather because we know that to give the "something" up is to recognize and admit to ourselves that through our habit we have been actively trying to escape our reality.

    Posted on September 26, 2012 at 11:38 am

  • Eileen Hartley says:

    The one thing I give up for one day is my "treat" of chai latte and chocolate peanut crunchers. I choose today Thursday 27th September...I can do this!

    Posted on September 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm

  • Mercedes says:

    Even as I thought about one day of no connection though email, my anxiety level increased. I can do this, for one day. Maybe not, so on second thought, I really do enjoy chocolate and I will give this up for Monday, October 1st.

    Posted on September 26, 2012 at 6:39 pm

  • Paul says:

    i would give up eating for a day

    Posted on September 27, 2012 at 11:35 am

  • paul says:

    i would give up eating for a day

    Posted on September 27, 2012 at 11:37 am

  • DA Gray says:

    I agree; this is a strong challenge. The fact that it is sacrificial should lead us to deeper reflection. I will plan to give up a day of internet connection, using the time for meditation, writing, reading and mindfulness.

    Posted on September 29, 2012 at 10:23 am

  • Jonathan McKay says:

    What I need to do is give up internet surfing for one day (which does not include school work); it takes up too much time in my life! I will try my best!

    Posted on September 29, 2012 at 11:20 am

  • Jonathan McKay says:

    I really do believe I have been escaping a lot of things in my life by surfing on the internet, which is how I found out about this. Too much facebook!

    Posted on September 29, 2012 at 11:21 am

  • Wilda says:

    I will be giving up eating after 6pm for a week this is when I binge to escape and "unwind" from the work day. I hope to create space for a healthier way of unwinding. I need a whole week to try as I gave in yesterday, it is so easy to just continue in destructive habits. I know I am stronger than that.

    Posted on September 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm

  • Nicole Spence says:

    I renounce my need to interject with my perspective when in a conversation. I commit to just listening.

    Posted on September 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm

  • Elena says:

    Yes! Having to write this comment - I already feel that I need to eat. Real quick!

    Posted on September 29, 2012 at 3:53 pm

  • Adam says:

    I attempted to give up negativity for today and open myself to the experience at hand. I enjoy jogging and today was a milestone of 27km. During the run I tried to meditate on how negativity affects me and those around; from where this negativity springs and what is the way or ways to transform a day into a deeper cultivation for understanding. After completing the run I felt satisfied but wanted to continue...at this point I stopped to reflect on my steps. The discovery? Each step or each day is a chance to provide opening and admire the way we accept positive and negative moments or sweetness and bitterness. Growth demands both the acceptance of these and the relinquishing of these in order to practice non attachment - finding liberation from each moment.

    Posted on September 30, 2012 at 2:43 am

  • Jean Westby says:

    To give up something, how deep can I go? Not just the obvious but the something deeper. Like the actions associated with Passion, Agression and Ignorance. Then how do I recognize these actions? How do I reveal them to myself? First sit and contemplate, bring them forth and recognize habitual patterns and give them space. Release them over and over again for a day, for a week, for a lifetime.

    Posted on September 30, 2012 at 11:58 am

  • Abby says:

    I will give up the obsessively checking email, FB etc. Instead I will focus on face to face interactions.

    Posted on September 30, 2012 at 12:30 pm

  • julia says:

    I will give up obsessively checking my email, fb etc and focus on face to face interactions

    Posted on September 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm

  • abby says:

    I will give up checking email, fb etc every hour.

    Posted on September 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm

  • Mercedes says:

    Update to my Sept 27th post. Yesterday I accomplished my goal, it was not easy, I was surprised how much chocolate is part of my life. I knew I liked it, but I had no idea how mindlessly I reach for it throughout the day. It was an interesting experience, I will try it again. it felt good to be aware, to resist, to know this is a practice that I can apply to other things. Thank you.

    Posted on October 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm

  • Rachael says:

    I will stop constantly being plugged into my iPod while walking. While I do legitimately adore music, I often do this as a way to silence any thoughts or feelings and not be in the moment.

    Posted on October 2, 2012 at 10:59 pm

  • Michele Shoemaker says:

    For this one day I will surrender compulsive eating. This is a habit I have had since I was a child, when eating became my only shield against loneliness and my father's disapproval. Evenings or any time when i find myself alone for extended periods are especially tricky. If i don't have something, no matter how small, and it could be a handful of grapes, panic sets in, a restlessness that I find very difficult to "sit with." I know how damaging it is and it's something with which I need to develop relationship rather than hoping it will magically disappear.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 7:16 am

  • Michele Shoemaker says:

    For this one day I will surrender compulsive eating. This is a habit I have had since I was a child, when eating became my only shield against loneliness and my father's disapproval. Evenings or any time when i find myself alone for extended periods are especially tricky. If i don't have something, no matter how small, and it could be a handful of grapes, panic sets in, a restlessness that I find very difficult to "sit with." I know how damaging it is and it's something with which I need to develop relationship rather than hoping it will magically disappear.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 7:17 am

  • Catherine says:

    A very interesting challenge. The reflection on what I would give up was the lesson.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 7:18 am

  • Linda says:

    I am giving up negative talk about others. These habits, little or larger are so imbedded in our thoughts, our words. Hard to do!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 7:32 am

  • Anita says:

    Detox. Yes! What a great way to think of it. Letting go of the myriad ways I avoid living my life and opening to what is takes repeated, sustained practice, letting go of those deeply engrained habits and mind patterns. I can physically feel the waves of release and freedom, of cleansing.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 7:44 am

  • Betty Koudal says:

    I work in my clinique, with peuople, who are in mentally disorder og who are filled with stress. - I especially love to work with youngsters.

    I know it is because I have worked for many years with my own feelings of not being loved.
    Even though I know it, and I know a lot of things, I still want to flee from my problems and put a curtain down not to be hurt one more time!:) :):)

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 7:48 am

  • Alan says:

    It's been a fun challenge to renounce a new habit each day! The most challenging one was to not take my iPhone into the bathroom! (Sounded easy enough...) One that was easier than I thought was not to check check any sports scores for 24 hours. What a relief!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 7:50 am

  • Dianne Moore says:

    I have given up so much over the past 3 years, and it is interesting how, while I have recognized and released some of what I was trying to cover, to 'care for', to ignore...I found just one more habit underneath that became the blanket to cover that which I don't want to see. As I peel it away, the fear is smaller, less horrid to endure and easier to look at...on to this next habit, to this next layer...

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 8:06 am

  • Marge says:

    What a useful challenge -- My commitment for today is to check email 3x/day and facebook 1/day. This is different than having them on all the time. Let's see what happens!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 8:12 am

  • Amy Ward Brimmer says:

    This is a very pragmatic and achievable practice. In this season of the presidential election, I have become mildly obessessed with how the mainstream TV news reports it. I am not enriched by watching this news, so I will give up beginning my day by turning on the TV and instead use that time for meditation.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 8:16 am

  • Kyx says:

    This is so hard. I'm recovering from a broken ankle and it's so easy to sit down to rest and reach for the laptop. I've become married to my distractIons. I'm also going through a divorce so I KNOW there is underlying anxiety. I NEED to do this, to give up my exits. It's so hard. Oh ! and it's raining ! I have so many good reasons to just sit here. Pema Chodron doesn't water it down, she tells it straight. Take it or leave it. And you know what? She is Right ! I wish the knowing would help with the doing. I'm like an addict !!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 8:38 am

  • K. S. says:

    I have been going through quite a bit lately: the breakup of a long-term relationship, unemployed for more than a year, and facing the likelihood of a move and essentially complete life upheaval. No doubt my situation is complicated and painful right now.

    The temptation to numb it all out or avoid what is happening is strong. I do not want or like the changes I am facing, but when I think about it as I type, I become concious of the ways I attempt to run away: too much TV, eating way too much, avoiding my support network, and more. There are plenty of false refuges that becon me right now, but by this prompting I will renounce just one of them as a step toward living my life as it is right now.

    I renounce excessive TV watching for the next week and will replace it with my meditation practices and with reaching out to my friends and family for support. It won't fix my problems, but may just serveto be the truer refuges that I need to make the changes in my life and develop the courage I need to take the next steps.

    I remain open to what will happen instead....

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 8:43 am

  • K.S. says:

    I have been going through quite a bit lately: the breakup of a long-term relationship, unemployed for more than a year, and facing the likelihood of a move and essentially complete life upheaval. No doubt my situation is complicated and painful right now.

    The temptation to numb it all out or avoid what is happening is strong. I do not want or like the changes I am facing, but when I think about it as I type, I become concious of the ways I attempt to run away: too much TV, eating way too much, avoiding my support network, and more. There are plenty of false refuges that becon me right now, but by this prompting I will renounce just one of them as a step toward living my life as it is right now.

    I renounce excessive TV watching for the next week and will replace it with my meditation practices and with reaching out to my friends and family for support. It won't fix my problems, but may just serveto be the truer refuges that I need to make the changes in my life and develop the courage I need to take the next steps.

    I remain open to what will happen instead....

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 8:45 am

  • K.S. says:

    I have been going through quite a bit lately: the breakup of a long-term relationship, unemployed for more than a year, and facing the likelihood of a move and essentially complete life upheaval. No doubt my situation is complicated and painful right now.

    The temptation to numb it all out or avoid what is happening is strong. I do not want or like the changes I am facing, but when I think about it as I type, I become concious of the ways I attempt to run away: too much TV, eating way too much, avoiding my support network, and more. There are plenty of false refuges that becon me right now, but by this prompting I will renounce just one of them as a step toward living my life as it is right now.

    I renounce excessive TV watching for the next week and will replace it with my meditation practices and with reaching out to my friends and family for support. It won't fix my problems, but may just serveto be the truer refuges that I need to make the changes in my life and develop the courage I need to take the next steps.

    I remain open to what will happen instead....

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 8:45 am

  • kate says:

    A great challenge. I will give up an evening glass of wine or beer today and tomorrow (Oct 2 and 3) Thank you!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:01 am

  • Nan says:

    I am giving up pushing my teenage son--until Friday. A week of not prodding him about homework, guitar practice or his social life. It is so hard to detach from this feeling that I can/should control him. He will be off to college in two years. The "detox" quote felt very true!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:06 am

  • Jennifer Roig-Francoli says:

    I read this quote a week ago, and have been practicing renouncing my free, constant accessibility to facebook. Instead of renouncing facebook completely, I chose to limit access to four short times per day, because I do experience many positive effects from expressing myself and connecting deeply with good friends there. To me, a facebook "addiction" is different from a drug addiction, in the sense that a drug is clearly harmful; in this case, what has been harmful has been the excessive use of something positive for me. Limiting my use has been extremely beneficial for me, and has opened up space for me to look inward to see what need that constant access to facebook was filling. I am very grateful for this challenge, and plan to continue with renouncing constant accessibility to it.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:11 am

  • Ariel Gill says:

    I will give up eating sugar-based foods. Very challenging because this sugar is like a drug that numbs me to the world so I can hide. Dare I be open and vulnerable? Sit and breathe.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:15 am

  • barbara cleland says:

    On Wednesdays every week I will refrain from my habitual need to fix/help my adult alcoholic son. I run away from the fact that he has his own path to walk and the pain it causes me and I daily engage in a “ thinking it through time” when I plan ways I will help him and fix the consequences of his choices. I sometimes act on these plans and sometimes not but I always, many times a day every day, think about how to fix his problems.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:23 am

  • Elizabeth Porter says:

    I will refrain from going on tangents in my mind, building up other people's actions with stories that only perpetuate my own pain. I will instead work to sit with the feelings that arise without adding to them or diminishing them, I will observe them and be kind to myself .

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:23 am

  • cesar says:

    a big task. thank you.
    i vow to renounce the very idea, of renunciation.
    and make a heart commitment, to take notice.
    cultivate awareness.
    and refrain from what is harmful, embrace it, and let it go.
    like sand in the palm of my hand, being carried away by breeze.
    grain, by grain..in every direction.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:27 am

  • Jenny Smith says:

    I'm giving up listening to the voice that says 'I can't be bothered to take Broch our dog out' and instead opening to having some beautiful moments of presence and connection with him on the beach.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:28 am

  • Kaitlyn says:

    Really, really good! I will give up (entirely - not just on one day) spending my time on sites like 'failbook' or 'cute overload' - no matter how tempting - because they are unproductive and unhelpful and I know I deserve to do better things with my time.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:32 am

  • Eriall says:

    My practice for the last week & a half of renunciation has been giving up ignoring my body & caring for it. I'd skip out on little things like showering and eating even though I knew it would be better to do regularly. So this week & a half I have showered and eaten every day, and yesterday I even got full. I hadn't felt full in months prior to that. It's made me realize I had been rather clinging to distraction & my habit when I'm depressed of "punishing" myself for not achieving, which has never helped me achieve more but it's how I was raised. :p Thanks Pema, for helping me notice this. :)

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:39 am

  • Patricia McFalls says:

    I will give up my snooze button on the alarm clock, using those extra 20 minutes (yes, I always press it at least twice!), to meditate before I start my day as a hospice work.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:43 am

  • Kathy says:

    I will try to move toward a more positive outlook. To help myself with this, beginning last night, I have started keeping a 'gratitude journal'. I am writing down three things I am grateful for at the end of the day. I am also making an effort to show people (sales clerks, yoga instructors, my partner) my appreciation for who they are and what they do. It has shifted my focus to look for the positive in others' behavior, rather than focus on what they might be doing that annoys me. The positive responses I an getting so far has made me feel good. Thank you, for challenging me to make these changes!!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:45 am

  • Jane says:

    I will give up mindless tv watching and read a book or go for a long walk. Reality TV - no! My reality - YES!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:46 am

  • ChrisP says:

    I will let go of Internet browsing one day a week - Sundays. Instead, I plan to connect with myself through Yoga, meditation and journaling. As I type this, I feel the anxiety rising yet I know I need to start letting go of escaping. This will be challenging yet it will be a growth experience.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:48 am

  • Maria S says:

    I will give up working after 5pm. I avoid conversations that need to happen, face to face interactions and very important time with my family by siting on my computer after my regular work hours.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:49 am

  • Teresa Gagne says:

    Thanks for the challenge. I won't go on the computer on Sunday. This used to be my practice. As well, for a week, starting today, I end eating for the day at supper. I was doing this for a while and I felt so much lighter in a few ways.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:51 am

  • Kati Konersman says:

    I was born worrying. My parents were encamped during the Holocaust. We lived in crisis after crisis. We escaped from my country of origin when I was 6. My mother died in a fire when I was 10.

    In my adult life I catch myself worrying all the time about almost everything. By G-d's grace I have a meditation practice; yet, I still worry.

    There is a big change about to happen in my life in a few days. Could I possibly not worry about it? I do beleive that what is is and that there is no grounded reality. I only need to remember that I am walking on a moving globe and that anything can happen at any time.

    I will give up worrying today. And I will remind myself of this practice tomorrow morning.

    I will report back.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:54 am

  • Vicki says:

    The scariest part of this challenge is realizing how many ways I actually have to escape discomfort; such habit energy! Another commenter used the word "release", which is so helpful. This is a gentle practice, even though discomfort will arise. I am going to choose to release my need to check email many times a day.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:59 am

  • susan says:

    i will give up going negative as a means of ego protection.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:59 am

  • Kate Sanborn says:

    I've been in a constant state of uneasy the last few weeks.. the change in season, a birthday, my children no longer requiring my full on attention & then this deep-seated longing for something more.. to feel awake & alive to have some meaning.. questioning, IS This it? In this state, I disappear, avoid and dodge by sleeping, escaping into the computer, cleaning, consider having an affair, and daydreaming. So instead of refraining (since the list seems all tied to the same fears/uneasy & I may just lean away from one and rely more on another one) I'll make a commitment to take some breathes, sit with these feelings/thoughts and acknowledge what I'm doing.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:07 am

  • Ida says:

    Turning around and facing it. That's what I'm going to do. I will not turn to food as a pacifier. I will turn to face the challenges, so I can accept the lessons they're teaching me. Food's a distraction. Thank you :D

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:11 am

  • Suzanne Lichau says:

    It is not that i am unaware of using 'distractions' to avoid the underlying issues - in fact i am often aware that the choices i make are to do just that. This challenge of Pema's brought a deeper awareness to me of the myriad of ways one can cover up the deeper scarier places. One day i gave up reading novels, one day watching TV. I have even been know to use my spiritual practice as a means of escape. Sometimes sitting and being with myself is the biggest teaching experience i can have, Thank you Pema for your pithy perspectives.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:11 am

  • Jane says:

    Working toward a change in behavior, a habit you want to stop, or an addiction you need a break from, is a huge challenge. When the yearning comes, we experience discomfort. We want to scratch the itch. Being in that moment for longer than a few seconds, becoming familiar with it, is the answer. Pema reminds us to feel the pull of the urge to keep doing it the old way....and stay there for as long as it takes to let it go. I am then reminded of the pull it had on me...at least until it comes again. I always want to hurry and get to the solution, when "the way" to the solution is the lesson.
    This requires great patience, for me. A lesson that comes later in life, after exhausting all else.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:19 am

  • Barry says:

    I renounce holding tension in my shoulders while working at the computer!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:25 am

  • Susan Rios says:

    I want to offer my gratitude to all those who commented before me. I feel connected because I share so many of the same challenges, and here we are, willing to make a change, and face our discomfort. I draw courage and inspiration from all of you, and thank you for sharing.
    Today, I commit to re-focusing when I compare myself to others. When I find myself doing it, I will take that moment to rest in a thought of gratitude and appreciation for something in my good life.
    Supporting you all,
    Susan

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:26 am

  • Bsmiff says:

    Coffee. No coffee today. Good thing I found this post in time. Coffee is not my friend, and despite how good it tastes and how much I appreciate the ritual, it generally leaves me feeling anxious and annoyed later in the day. Which is a bit ironic, because I often mistake those feelings for passion, and efficiency. So, no coffee today. This will be an adventure.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:29 am

  • Maria Luisa Jimenez says:

    I give up this day to de arrogance of being possessor of the truth.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:30 am

  • Maria Luisa Jimenez says:

    I give up this day to de arrogance of being possessor of the truth.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:30 am

  • Chris Heiny says:

    I decided to give up analyzing. Analyzing makes me feel momentarily safe stuck in a pile of garabge. If I stop that one thing all the rest of the parade of energetic craziness can't get off the ground because it has nothing solid to motivate it. To not analyze then gives me a quiet inside that is unfamiliar. I have no idea what I don't know until I am quiet enough to hear it.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:31 am

  • Marisa says:

    I will give up speaking from fear - fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of being hurt....I will speak from an open heart.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:35 am

  • Pam says:

    So much to focus on... I think I have been hiding.

    I'm renouncing carrying a book with me at all times: it's a diversion from busy thoughts, and not a good distraction for down times while I wait.
    I too will commit to sit with my feelings.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:35 am

  • Brooke says:

    There are so many possibilities of things that I could give up, but a good first step is my personal computing at night when I get home from work.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:36 am

  • Cindy H. says:

    Yes I accept the challenge and the experience has been one of growth and acceptance...letting go and just being present.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:39 am

  • Loryn Halperin says:

    Renouncing one thing might be hard for us all; but truly is in the best interest of all. I know how connected we are to each other and find when I continually hold on to something negative; it then effects all that I am associated with. I have an issue with a family member. When I let the issues of this family member invade my sacred space; all around me become effected by this too. So holding on to this negativity is not in my best interest or for the best interest of others who might be so dear to me. Renouncing this specific person's negativity will lead me to true happiness and my happiness will be contagious to others. It is also like putting up a boundary line or a wall of protection to seal in my sacred space and then all goodness will flow.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:40 am

  • Michael says:

    Just the thought of not checking my emails for a day brings up a feeling of uneasiness. When I recently went on holiday I noticed how I am perfectly happy to be away from a computer and vowed to myself not to check my emails so often and spend less time on the internet when I get back. Even though I spend less time at the moment I still feel that when I do it is often out of compulsion. To try to refrain for one day seems like a gentle way to experiment how it would feel to do without.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:56 am

  • Deb says:

    I am giving up checking email or using my computer on Shabbat - so it becomes a day of rest and contemplation.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:00 am

  • Shannon Fritts-Penniman says:

    I think about girls way too much

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:00 am

  • Yvette Muise says:

    Since January 2012 - I am the sole caretaker of my 87 yr old uncle. An uneducated, illiterate man who was never stood up to by his wife. Suffering from dementia. It is the biggest challenge I have EVER encountered.
    I do all I can to keep things to myself because sharing the experience (venting) only brings the same poisonous toxins into my friends' lives.
    Trying to forget the bad words, the painful experiences.... it's a constant struggle to keep it from becoming intolerable.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:01 am

  • Lynn Nichols says:

    Fewer words.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:02 am

  • kristine g says:

    Good challenge....makes u look at urself more...makes me tell myself..see .u can do it...u will be ok.. and it has been easier to continue the next day n the next....pretty cool.....thank u for nudge, something we all need from time to time!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:05 am

  • rebecca york says:

    Even thinking about this brings up my anxiety. What to choose? Talking about other people when they are not here. In a new situation in medical school there is a lot of that going around. I dont want to participate in that.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:06 am

  • Melissa says:

    i am going to make a concerted effort to give up my feelings of entitlement and resentment that arise when i think of something charitable to do ... to further give up being selfish and become more accepting of a long term goal of finding peace & acceptance in the impermanent aspects of my life, to let go of anger daily & try to open to Divine Love, regardless.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:11 am

  • Nishy says:

    I make a commitment to refrain from excuses - those little lies I tell myself and other to cover up, hide, mask, fuzzily, confuse and dismiss responsibilities, duties, promises I have failed to meet, whether in my own relationship to myself, to my soul, and in my relationships to other.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:11 am

  • Linda says:

    I will give up my negative thoughts that run through my mind continuously. I will not focus on the bad in my life and will focus on what is good. I know to make change in my life I need to change my focus. I will do this for a day, I hope!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:18 am

  • Daneris Moran says:

    I won't use my computer or IPad on Saturdays. I started last week and it was great!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:19 am

  • Madeleine says:

    Giving up One Thing--seems doable. I will give up Solitaire on my phone, a time suck of very dubious value. After I submit this comment I wilk delete the app. That will help me stay on track!!

    Just one little thing.....

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:28 am

  • Beth Waage says:

    I am trying to check e-mail/social networking less. It is too much of a distraction throughout the day.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:30 am

  • jill manly says:

    Even the thought of being in that uncomfortable place is scary. I am gong to give up for one day feeling like I am in competition with my husband. That I must prove my worth through my career. I will be proud of my gifts, strengths and know they are beautiful and exactly the the way they are suppose to be. I will be fully that and not something else.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:42 am

  • Cathy says:

    What a great approach. I will give up my much loved glass of wine after work for one day and think about the reasons why I need it so much.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:55 am

  • Jacinthe says:

    Too busy. Avoidance. I keep myself busy then I am too tired to take the time during the day (evening) to be quiet and reflect. I will gently but firmly renounce the fast flow of time during my day by slowing it down. I will quiet myself several times throughout the day by using a timer (on my watch), so I can recognize the flow of unnecessary thoughts, the "chatter" that feeds my mind and makes my life busy and stressful. Slowing the mind by using the breathe and focus on it even only one minute, 60 seconds at the time, ten deep breathes are enough to calm my mind and then ask: Is this really what I want or need to do? Is this bringing me closer to where I long to be? Am I being mindful right now? One minute. In only one minute, I calm myself enough to be able to recognize what I’m running away from… I need to give the chatter up because it is preventing me to see my life clearer. As I practice this one-minute quiet moment in this one day (today), throughout the day, I then, hopefully more and more will be able to recognize the forgotten powers I have inside me, like courage, and will be aware that I can manipulate my reactions to anxiety by facing what scares me and knowing I will also be brought the help I need…. and eventually come face to face with my true self and rediscover my self-worth and what my life is supposed to be and go for it!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:58 am

  • Miriam says:

    inspiring. i will stay present to the inner anxiety when i catch it. During my walks i will try to notice my busy mind trying to divert my attention from the inner sensation of fear. Usually i think of other people, which can fool me into thinking i am kind, done habiltually, it indicates my escape from feelings and sensation.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm

  • Ashley says:

    This is indeed a thoughtful and helpful exercise. Last Friday, 9/28, I stayed off the computer for a day. It was liberating in a strong way. I will do the same this Friday and try to incorporate Friday computer-less days.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm

  • Laura says:

    I feel especially led to do this because as a mental health/substance abuse counselor I am constantly asking people to do just this. To experience their feelings, without numbing them, and realize they will not be consumed by them. This is a perfect opportunity to practice what I preach daily. I will commit to a day free of electronics, because it is my current way of numbing out. I commit to doing this on 10/6/12, which will particularly challenging since it's a Saturday, when I tend to do most of my "surfing." This will mean no Facebook, email, surfing the internet, scrabble on my phone, or texting. I'm already feeling anxious and thinking about something I can do to distract myself :)

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm

  • Elise says:

    I commit to not using my computer at all this Sunday, October 7th.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm

  • Kathy says:

    I will stop pressing the 'snooze' on my alarm clock. I will just get out of bed the first time the alarm goes off on weekdays.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm

  • Maribeth says:

    I have been ill for the last 4 months. I've had to completely change my eating habits which is helping a lot. My last hold-out to mindLESS eating/drinking is Starbucks' lattes. These are NOT good for me (either the coffee or the milk) and yet I'm struggling with letting go of the habit. I beat myself up for not having willpower. So, I will do this one day at a time - with gentleness and lovingkindness. ♥

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm

  • Marki says:

    I am deeply grateful for this challenge, and for each of you who shared your response to it. Even thinking about giving up the habitual escapes brings instant anxiety. I know I'm using technology to escape feelings and to create an illusion of connection to others. I am choosing this Sunday, Oct 7 to have an internet and email free day and spend the time being present to whatever arises in me and in my environment. I will be mindful between now and then and seek to have minimal use and only after first connecting to see if there are feelings I'm looking to escape.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm

  • Jennifer says:

    I gave up Facebook and Twitter a few weeks ago, and it's been challenging but I'm glad I did it. I was feeling too compelled to broadcast my negative thoughts to the world. Also, they were both huge time wasters at work. We'll see how long this lasts.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm

  • Wendy says:

    This is very up for me right now. My habit is the screen. I noticed when I didn't want to be present with something difficult I was looking at two screens at once. I have been working on it, one day a week is a good, manageable start.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm

  • Spencer Lane says:

    I will work to accept that I cannot control that which is outside of me. My hardships are directly tied to the desire to have control over people and outcomes. I can only control my behavior and how I react to events and situations. Progress through practice.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm

  • Ruth says:

    I share my intention to be mindful about how I spend my unscheduled hours at home after work, so that I may truly refresh and restore myself. Thanks!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm

  • Carol says:

    While traveling recently, I was discovered that staying connected via the internet was problematic. I decided that the people we were visiting were more important than my running to the internet cafe once a day. Even though I didn't speak the language of our hosts,by spending time with them, and being fully present I ended up feeling more connected and learned many more words and phrases that I had on previous trips.
    More importantly, I have, as a result of this experience, been able to establish a better sense of balance between on line connections and present connections.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm

  • James Rusate says:

    Regardless of what I give up, be it cigars or visiting a certain spiritual forum, I notice the desire to smoke cigars and read and post on the forum comes from not being content with "what is" not being what I imagine "what is" is.
    So having observed this I am able to let go of expectations of what I 'think' a clear mind might bring.
    The problem is that it still doesn't bring any change....and then I gert bored...and then I light up and logon....lol

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm

  • Greg Scott says:

    When my work went against my heart, I gave up my fear of being unemployed and handed in my notice!

    Now I have to pick up my fear of uncertainty and travel with this as my companion on the way.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm

  • Molly Wolf says:

    "Nothing competes with habit"-Aimee Mann

    It is as if a sweaty, anguished and angst-ridden tug of war between mind and heart create this loathsome competition for the most vile part of the darkness inside of me. Some of it feels inexhaustible and yet I must try to calm my fears, my anxiety and my immense anger at all that has come my way this year.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm

  • J Flores says:

    I will give up sugary based food and opt for healthier choices. I will start tommorrow since I had sugar in my coffee, one donut and 3 reeses pieces already. ;)

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm

  • Marta Kaufman says:

    When I get home from work, after I take my birds outside so they can perch to enjoy nature and fresh air, I tell myself how tired I am and how I just cannot go on, and I go to bed and turn on the television. This day, this is the day today, I will not recline and give up, I will stay out of the bedroom and use energy for anything other than watching television - for there is much to do at my house that, left undone, prevents me from enjoying my space and feeling alive. I will stay out of my pain cave today and live in my space.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm

  • Christa Richardson says:

    I have 3 habits I've recently identified I want to change. I have a chronic illness so I'm starting with sleep habits. Since insomnia is a big part of it, I'm committed to a bedtime within a half hour, meditating and looking into cd's to listen to to fall asleep. There's a lot of anxiety around sleep because of insomnia so I'm reaching for faith that with my efforts, it will become manageable... That and accepting that some nights just aren't going to be so great.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm

  • Dusty McMurray says:

    I vow for one day each week to give up my annoying habit of interrupting people and making cute and clever remarks for entertainment. I vow to allow the silence to be a restful space rather than an anxiety-creating space, be it ever so subtle an anxiety. I vow to allow the space to be filled with whatever shows up - be it comfort, discomfort, room to breathe or room to allow another to speak or not speak.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm

  • Nancy Lemke says:

    I am a careful eater during the day, but in the evening I eat mindlessly, and I am always mad at myself the next day. But now, I'll choose Wednesdays to maintain a mindful watch on my eating throughout the evening and see what feelings are sitting there under the food craving.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

  • Kris Paige says:

    I am working to do two things: my silly fascination with a video game, and my penetrating anger with a rather vicious neighbor. The video game is a day a week forbearance, and the other days I set a timer to limit myself.
    With the neighbor, she isn't going to change, so I must. This will take hard work, to refuse to allow her attitude to poison my heart. I feel sorry for her, but I'm working to change my attitude to her.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm

  • Kate Thierry says:

    I will give up watching movies as a means to "tune out" when I find myself alone this coming Saturday. I instead will use the time to "tune in". I know I need this time, but my feelings of anxiety and being uncomfortable has created a pattern of avoidance. Not this Saturday! I will take time for me instead of squandering it.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm

  • Elizabeth H. Jenkins says:

    I will try to give up catastrophic thinking for one day.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm

  • Debbie V says:

    I habitually watch tv to fall asleep at night. It distracted me from my racing thoughts enough to allow me to get to sleep.

    I took the challenge above one night, deciding to "stay" with the uncomfortable feelings I was trying to drown out with the TV.

    I discovered a couple things I was afraid of - like not having enough money, time & energy to make ends meet (I'm a single mother). This allowed me to step back and view my situation from a different perspective. I just had to do my best, and leave the results up to God. It helped me to trust God to provide for our needs, even on days when I was too tired to put my best foot forward.

    Since that ONE day that I took Pema's challenge, I no longer NEED the TV to fall asleep. It's been a week or two now.

    Thanks Pema!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm

  • Dawn Nelson says:

    Pema Chodron has been one of my "teachers" since a friend gave me several cassette tapes of her talks when I was undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer 13 years ago. I have since read most of her books, some more than once and have been on the Quote a Week email list for a couple years. Having just returned from a 5 day Sadhana Retreat (and a welcome break from internet, newspapers, cell phone, etc. during that time) the "renounce once thing" advice was perfect since I was already experiencing a liberating spaciousness in my mind and body, in part, because of that "media fast." I know I will benefit greatly by a regular practice in this regard, along with eating less food in a slower and more consciously aware and grateful way. Thank you!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm

  • Carole says:

    Late at night I feel my losses and eat.The thinking needs to be changed and the eating over it.. 2 challenges. Which comes first the chicken or the egg? I'll stop the eating and see what shifts.This all comes with fatigue. So maybe.... the habit of not going to sleep when tired is really the thing to change.Lot's to think on.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm

  • sarah says:

    I will give up eating with the laptop in front of me, or anything for that matter. Just focus and eat slowly.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm

  • Will says:

    I plan on giving up so much anxiety and worrying that I have been living with for decades. I know it is so fruitless to carry this baggage with me, but that is the nature of this type of baggage, it stays nevertheless. No longer.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm

  • Denise Frye says:

    I have been looking at my many habits every day, and choosing one to dispense with for each day. They are all hard, but each time I let one go, I feel a sense of freedom.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm

  • Diane says:

    I love this challenge! I am new to Pema's Quote of the Week emails, but so far I've found great value in each of them. Today I am challenging myself to refrain from mindlessly snacking. I've found myself doing this most evenings as a way of avoiding thinking about and processing the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings floating around in my head. Tonight I will instead sit with them and really listen to what is making me so uncomfortable. :)

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm

  • Karen says:

    I have many habits but the one I truly ache to work with compassionately is overeating. I am not overweight, quite a happy individual who enjoys dancing with myself for hours in the garden; learning new yoga poses and I always get excited about going up a hill with a bicycle. My urge to eat more than I need is something I think started when I was young , its a combination of If I dont eat it all someone else will and Maybe I wont have anything to eat soon so I might as well stock up. There is for sure addiction to sugar there as well, no surprise. I am sure a lot of people have issues with their relationship with food. The only way I have been able to be a happy veggie-fruit-beans-nuts-seeds only eater is when I dont have anything apart from those ingredients at home. At the moment I am living with my surrogate family and they have a lot of food that I know is not good for my body (when I dont feel nor look healthy because of what I eat) and I find it hard to resist when its always there.
    So this is something I would like to work with with the help from Pema.


    ;)

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm

  • Virginia says:

    I just had a hip replacement and have had lots of time to be home. I thought it would be easy to sit and meditate and reflect. I have found that my thought patterns have gone haywire. I am in the past with negative thoughts, in the future with what might happen, I have conversations in my mind with people I have been angry at. I think I use this as an escape to not be alone with myself and not be in the present moment.
    This message is perfect for today. I will take today as today and reread this message and begin a positive change in my life.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm

  • Kevin says:

    I have always been an obsessive news and information junkie. While I have not watched television for 10 years, I do have subscriptions to both satellite radio services. The radio is on all day long, and I find myself actually structuring my day around program schedules. So about one year ago I began implementing "Thoughtless Thursdays" - one day each week wherein I do not turn on the radio or the computer. I remember being "edgy" the first few weeks, but now I actually look forward to this one day when I can be fully present to myself and others. It has also tamed my appetite for information on the other six days of the week, and has led me to be more productive.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:34 pm

  • Heather says:

    On September 15th I gave up meat, soda, fast food, and most of the foods I am allergic to. Dairy and Coffee are coming up soon on the 15th of this month. I have been using foods to escape and punish myself for some time now and have decided it must stop now. I have been trying to use the opportunity to stay in the uncomfortable feelings I get when I have cravings to help me with another escape I have been working on for years now.

    I have also been working on giving up "lashing out" at others or myself when I am feeling particularly groundless. I have been working on this one for 3 years now. Initially I was happy to just make it one day. Now, I make it for a week, a month sometimes longer and then I miss catching that initial "trigger" within myself and I lash out again. By lashing out at myself and others around me, I am trying to put the ground under my feet. But I don't like it, it is not okay for me to do, is counter-productive, and I don't have to continue doing it. So I am working on getting comfortable with the feeling and just feeling it instead of reacting to the feeling. I will get there one day!

    Having been “blessed” with having vast amounts groundlessness for years now and I struggle with just accepting it. While I am becoming more accustomed to it, I have not learned to relish it, to enjoy the weightlessness again, yet. I want to once again relish the feeling and be grateful that the small amount of ground I have under my feet is constantly moving. And not being afraid of falling through the "holes" anymore. Interestingly, there was a time when it did not faze me at all. When I was younger, before I had a child, being groundless was an adventure, I relished it, I loved learning new things and meeting new people. It was okay when I slept in my car. It did not bother me one bit only living a small amount of time here or there. I had a serious case of wanderlust. Ground? That is what I use to propel myself off in new directions. It does not have to stay under me at all, upside is awesome!, new view point. Water is nifty too; I float on water. If I could only learn to fly…

    Then, after having a child my mindset changed to, it is not okay. There must be stability, I must always know when things are coming and prepare for them coming. I am not okay with not knowing when there is another life dependent on me. And that is the underlying anxiety.

    I wish I had some great pearl of wisdom to pass on from what I have learned however, I don’t. Just more questions. Perhaps it was upbringing that speaks ""You must know, you must plan, there must be …" when you have a child. Perhaps it is just because I am miserable not being free to explore the world around me, or I feel I am not allowed to while raising a child. Perhaps I have been putting myself in a self-imposed prison. Perhaps I just need to figure out a new way to explore standing still, in one spot. Perhaps…

    There probably is not just one answer and much exploring to do of the ones I have thus far. I imagine I will be “learning” truths from this experience for many years to come. And I would not want it any other way.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm

  • Pec says:

    I want to give up my poverty mind thinking. When I get stuck worrying about all that I don't have, I will take a moment to sur with the anxiety of not knowing what comes next.
    Instead of projecting all this fear onto the future, I will take time to sit in the tension of the moment.
    I also will practice being grateful for what I DO have.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm

  • Ro Hanus says:

    A major addiction of mine is to react to the shenpa of wanting to blame the other, the entire rest of "them" whenever i am the one who address whatever anxiety or sense of rejection, exclusion I may be feeling. I saw myself in this today and resolve to be more aware of it in the future. Instead of spewing my emotions about others, stop. Breathe. Let go of the attachment I have to the problem being in "the other". Wish me luck!

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm

  • Marilyn Stephen says:

    I will stay positive all day at work and only express nice things about the day. It will be a challenge since I deliver the mail and we are being buried in political mail.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm

  • Crystal says:

    I am ready to modify my habit of saying 'No' rather instinctively. I want to embrace the practice of saying Yes to what I do want and what serves my higher purpose. It's much easier to focus on what I don't want and to announce those feelings than to own what I do want. I want to practice being more authentic and less afraid with my own desires.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm

  • Paula says:

    I will give up using curse words and each time I start to think or speak a negative word I will take a deep breath and center myself.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 4:35 pm

  • Eileen McGarvey says:

    I am going to give up using the computer for one day. Even saying it here makes me feel anxious, lol. I know it is easy for me to escape into virtual world so that I don't have to face my feelings. Being with this may become a practice I will try and do more often.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 4:36 pm

  • Greg Keeler says:

    I'm ready to give up "overwhelm" and "confusion," two go-to places for my mind to rest... and to make a whole-hearted relationship with the stuff underneath.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm

  • maya says:

    wake up and say myself thank you ,feeling joy instead of pain

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm

  • RC says:

    I really appreciated this excerpt from the book ~ it was meaningful to me and I shared it with a close friend. I gave up mindlessly munching after dinner last night; it's a habit I have when handling work at home in the evenings. It was a relief not to mindlessly munch, as I always give myself a hard time after I do it. Last night, I skipped the munching and the self-critique, too. Thank you, Pema.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 5:06 pm

  • Cyndi says:

    I have a condition called trichotillomania which causes me to pull out my eyelashes when I feel the effects of anxiety or depression. Through reading Buddhist teachings such as those of Pema Chodren, I have learned to sit with these feelings of being ungrounded and confusion. So, although I still fall into the trap of pulling my eyelashes, I will continue to try to catch myself and honor the reality, instead of avoiding it.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 5:35 pm

  • courtney says:

    This is good timing. I will give up and detox from over-analyzing my new ex to find all the things wrong with him, stop blaming him, and in general stop thinking about him. This is my way of not having to face something very scary - myself, being alone, the hurt of rejection, and fear of the unknown. Just as I can place my focus back on my breath, setting an intention to be aware of those thoughts can hopefully prevent me from getting hooked. Or noticing i'm hooked and let go. Just for today. One 24-hour period. Just like they say in AA... I'll start fresh tomorrow morning since I can work from home and won't have to explain tears.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 5:40 pm

  • Carol says:

    Practicing wise speech, I give up gossiping about others. Choosing instead to remember that we are all in this together and to practice kind regard for all, including myself.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm

  • Vicki says:

    I'm struck by the instruction to gently and compassionately refrain from an action or activity. I will refrain from facebook on October 4, and do it gently and compassionately, without judgement for how much time I spend there.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm

  • KK says:

    On the drive home from work tonight I was thinking about trying to discontinue that "after work drink" that has become customary every work night over the last few months. I pondered what purpose it serves that compels and tried to think what I could do to replace the habit. I opened my email and read "Renounce One Thing"! I resolve to not have that drink tomorrow night, and do some journal work or meditation instead, and see where that leads.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 8:01 pm

  • Andrew says:

    To be able to participate and feel the support in this simple task and not to complicate the task. Sitting with myself with patience and compassion and to wait to see who is there.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 8:19 pm

  • Elisabeth Lentz says:

    Truly listen and allow silence before I respond.
    With my children, husband , friends and students.
    Truly experience the gap and let the answer arise out of the silence. Refrain from immediate advice.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 8:57 pm

  • Tracy says:

    I am ready to realize that caffeine affects me in a negative fashion and doesn't let me listen to the inner "me". It is merely a distraction, a drug that I don't need in my body. I don't like the disquieted mind that I am faced with if I indulge in caffeine.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:00 pm

  • Katharine says:

    I just started this (because I listened to the audiobook of Pema's called "Getting Unstuck"). I used to come home EVERY day after work & drink 2-3 glasses of wine to relieve stress. It was very effective because I felt much less stressed, almost immediately. However, I realized I was spending my life zoned out. The habitual behavior is very strong! I am trying to learn to move closer to the uncomfortable feelings I have, but it is very difficult.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:22 pm

  • Jennifer says:

    What a wonderful challenge. I've been working on refraining from drowning my mind with the TV and computer in the evenings. It seems that at nighttime, after the busyness of the day has settled and the darkness sets in, my mind freaks out. I get anxious, scared, lonely, etc., and I cover it up with mindless internet searching and TV watching. Needless to say, this leaves me dissatisfied, exhausted, even MORE anxious, and disappointed in myself. Since reading this encouragement from Pema in my email, I've made some significant improvements. First, I stopped doing TV and computer at the same time, then I cut back to where I can turn them off and pick up a book or just sit instead. It's been much more calming and I'm finding once I take the action of shutting them off, the hard part is done and I can "relax with what is." Pema scores again ;)

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:15 pm

  • RC says:

    I really appreciated this excerpt. Last night, I gave up late night over-munching, which is a habit I sometimes get into when handling office work at home. It was good to not overeat ~ and also good not to end up in a self-critical mode. Thank you, Pema.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:26 pm

  • Vicki says:

    I am giving up computer games for a day - October 4. I love that instruction to gently and compassionately work with refraining from playing, so I will be gracious about letting go, and grateful for the opportunity, as well as noticing but not judging myself if I want to play.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm

  • Dizzy says:

    I am giving up my tendency to arrange a situation to fit with how my thoughts wanted it to be. I am sitting back and allowing that situation to be what it is.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm

  • brian g says:

    i recently renounced a major (unnamed) addictive behavior just over two weeks ago. as time has passed, and my energy lightens, i find that i'm now addressing unhealthy eating habits. thank you for your blog, it came at just the right time ( as all things do, hmmm). so, tomorrow (perhaps 1 day a week), i'll not eat when driving.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:25 pm

  • Louis Bongiovanni says:

    I am a boomer use to dancing every night. There are lots of good benefits to dancing. However, I think I went too far, so that my life was not balanced. Dancing came first before friends, family and work commitments. Now, I don't go out every night, stay home much more, even the Fridays and Saturdays when everyone goes out, home alone, feeling all the stuff come up, when one is quiet and alone, I don't watch tv, though the Internet sort of replaces that now, I have meditated for over three decades. In recent years, I now see that, I had a dance addiction, I use to joke that I had a dance addiction, but when my life was hit with "tsunamis", my anchor was dancing, or I thought, so I have been not dancing more than dancing and noting my feelings, attachments, withdrawals, sadness, not hearing from dance friends, regrets of not spending more time on family and a home. This exercise is valuable for me to get to know who I am and my place as each moment arises, changing.

    Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:35 pm

  • Workingonit says:

    I plan on sitting with certain negative feelings, staying curious about them, reserving judgment, and seeing what happens. I know it will be difficult, but freeing. Wheee!

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 2:04 am

  • Tania says:

    I haven't been on facebook for a week and have been surfing the net at least socially a lot less. When I gave up smoking 6 years ago, I replaced that with eating & when I noticed I replaced the eating with surfing, now I'm trying not to replace that space with anything other than perhaps rest & contemplation. I lead a busy life and need more time to be still rather then fritter it away, it is an interesting process.

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 7:09 am

  • Sophia Bonnie Wodin says:

    I will continue to re-align my posture, adjusting my pelvis and allowing my hip bones more space. In this way I will be able to walk more comfortably and freely.
    Thank you for your challenge and implied support!

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 7:33 am

  • Lynn says:

    Thank you for this challenge! I will give up procrastination - oh boy, that's a big one for me so therefore it definitely deserves renunciation. Good luck to all!

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 8:23 am

  • Jenn says:

    I will give up Facebook for the day and use that time to pay attention to my spouse and work on our relationship instead of avoiding it.

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 8:56 am

  • Karen says:

    I give up making excuses about not exercising.

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 9:08 am

  • T. M. Payne says:

    What a great challenge! A habit that I'd like to address with myself is not setting healthy boundaries, whether it's with my eating habits, how I speak to others or approaching daily tasks--it seems that I have consistently failed to set any particular goals, resulting in sloth and laziness on my part. Pema Chodron is a beautiful author and I hope that this book could discuss ways to embrace resolve while watching habits like sloth and idleness closely.

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 9:09 am

  • Mary says:

    I am ready to clear my mind of the "committee" in my head that is constantly chattering, judging, quick to make comments, assessing, interpreting a situation. Then I develop a feeling immediately from this chatter. That feeling could be an instant interpretation of who someone is when that is NOT who they are. A feeling over the temperature of my bosses mood. I internalize what I think is going on making what her outside looks like about me. When she may have something going on that is not at all about me. I resolve today to work to block the committee in my head internalizing those feelings into thoughts about people and surroundings. I will chant, hum or mantra to quite the internal gauge.

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 9:13 am

  • barb pan says:

    I have, for several days now undertaken the challenge of giving up my habitual and most often negative comment making; where i judge others to the point of distracting from my own presence in my mind....simply being there. This behaviour is self distractive, it makes me unhappy and unpleasant to be around, whether these thoughts are spoken or not.
    As i make this effort, I am surprised at how frequently I return to the act. I
    When i do find myself being judgemental, I remind myself that I've chosen to give that up, try to dispense with self judgement and criticism, in general, and start fresh.
    I am learning from Pema's teachings to be compassionate with myself, a slow and informative process. As i develop compassion for myself, I find it much easier to be compassionate to others, to be gentle and loving with all living beings.
    This challenge has mage me aware of how very much time I spend reflecting on the behaviour of others' and how much I allow the behaviour of others to influence my life...and how much iI want to continue to get to know myself, to be kind to everyone, including me...., to learn to live beautifully.
    It is a challenge that will require a good deal of time, just part of a continual process to eliminate the many behaviours I use to get away from myself.
    Thank you Pema, for your teachings.

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 10:06 am

  • Lauren says:

    I am/have been struggling and working with my tendency to overeat as a reaction to the daily anxiety I have in dealing with my physical body and the general discomfort with being in this world. I overeat in order to numb myself and distract from uncomfortable physical discomfort as well as emotional uncertainty. I am trying to find other ways to deal with these anxieties such as performing yoga and meditating. It is a slow process but I am determined to keep moving ahead from here.

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 10:08 am

  • Jay Engle says:

    I give up my constantly stating I am tired. It has become a crutch from having to think.

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 10:26 am

  • Karen says:

    I am giving up a lot of "things". One is smoking. As each day passes I feel that nagging to buy a pack. Instead of giving into my addiction, I directly learned from Pema to embrace that nagging, feel the groundlessness and fear of wanting that cigarette and accepting it gently. When I handle those feelings with compassion, the uneasiness stops, thus the urge lessens. There's always open space :)

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 11:35 am

  • Lissa says:

    I gave up Facebook Sunday, and I didn't read this challenge until today, when my sister sent me the heart advice quote for the week. But the challenge perfectly describes why I needed to deactivate my Facebook profile. Even though Facebook is a wonderful forum for sharing your joys and proud parent moments. Even though it is a way to stay in touch with friends from the past who have meant a lot and who are far away. Even though it is a fantastic business tool. It is also an incredibly toxic way to escape--to complain, to compare, to brag, and in my case to deceive. I was dismayed when the screen popped up to tell me "Don't worry, you can always come back! Just log in with your user name and password."
    I think I'll have to let someone change the password for me so that I can't go back in, because I am so very, very tempted to relent and escape.

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 11:45 am

  • Eva says:

    I'll give up checking fb, playing wf, texting, using my iPhone and/or computer while having breakfast.... I'll start tomorrow Friday oct 5th

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 1:32 pm

  • claudia says:

    I did not realize what a habit it was until I focused on what I do habitually. Every Friday I enjoy drinking a glass (or three!) of wine with my mother, we catch up on the week, exchange ideas and inspire one another. We also cook a meal. I really enjoy this time with her, but realized I also love the wine as much. I see the habit was a way for me to lift the junk of the week away and to loosen up. We substituted wine for mineral water mixed with lemonade and still had a great time together, and even took a walk after dinner. I was nice and light after and the week was washed away!!

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 5:17 pm

  • Stephanie says:

    As I journey the path toward Buddhism, with enlightenment as a goal, I often revolve my thoughts around me or I. " I'm going to make this because I like it". " I am going to visit that place to do something for me ". " I am redecorating the room for me". There is no me, or I. What I do and say, and even think causes a ripple effect that effects everyone. I need to behave in terms of my local brothers and sisters. Think about my actions with thoughts of my global family. I need to renounce " me and realize that it is about others and not me. That it is about everyone and not me. That it is about The One and not me. The One... It's such a simple concept yet challenging to incorporate into a lifestyle. Each morning, I commit to renounce " me".

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 8:33 pm

  • Becky D says:

    I am looking forward to giving up TV... Recently, I have used it as a way to escape from illness and the emotions that chronic illness cause me to face when I have flare ups. It takes courage to give up things to face our true emotions, and to become at peace with them, no matter what they are.

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 8:54 pm

  • Toni says:

    I renounce impulse snacking this, and maybe (??) every Saturday. I will plan my meals with a long-term goal taking care of this precious human body in mind.

    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 10:12 pm

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