By August 6, 2017 Read More →

ZenView – Willpower

Mary Layton

On some level everybody deals with some kind of compulsion or addiction. It takes willpower to face this problem. We may be addicted to all kinds of substances and desires, to shopping, to working and busyness, to thinking and talking all the time. We may be obsessed with perfection, collecting or hoarding. We love the adrenaline rush that comes with any sort of excitement. Without it we may feel empty, lonely, bored and useless.

Recently a friend of mine told me that she wanted to change her pattern of addiction. She feels that she is overweight and also that she has been battling different health issues for quite some time. After some research she decided that she needed to go on a special diet. Knowing that this was going to be tough for her I suggested that I would go on the diet too and that we could call each other every day and compare notes. She liked the idea. Even though I don’t have health issues I could see that losing a few pounds wouldn’t hurt and also that it would be a chance to see first hand what it would feel like to change my programming. Would I have the willpower to stick to the diet? I decided to follow the diet faithfully. It was tough the very first few days. I felt hungry in my mind without feeling hungry in my tummy. That was interesting.

Sometimes it helped to talk to friends or I’d get involved with an activity to distract myself from the feeling of deprivation. I reminded myself what prompted me to do the diet : To keep my end goal in mind which was to learn more about willpower and to give my friend support. Pretty soon my energy started to increase. I felt lighter, more flexible. Internally I moved from being on autopilot to a more sensitive assessment of my needs. I was able to control my emotions better. It made me feel stronger. From a Zen point of view it was an eye-opener to see that we can overcome our primal instincts. It’s an interesting challenge to go against your basic wiring. The best reward are the actual physical and mental changes.

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About the Author:

Mary Layton has practiced T'ai Chi for 35 years and co-founded T'ai Chi Ch'uan Academy of Modesto in1995. She and her partner have taught hundreds of students. Mary travels frequently to learn from her teacher Grand Master Kai Ying Tung. Interested in every aspect of health Mary likes to follow a natural path. She loves writing, painting, gardening, hiking and playing piano.