this is from Pema Chodron‘s email for September 26, 2012:
RENOUNCE ONE THING
For 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.
I renounced take out. Using take out to make up for surviving a less than stellar day made sense until I realized the criteria for sucky was based in silliness. Oh, I got splashed by water from a passing car. Take out night! I missed the bus. Take out night! The Metrocard machine isn’t accepting bills. Take out night! What do you mean this store is out of chocolate pudding? Take out night! It (and I do mean me) was getting ridiculous.
So I renounced it. Came home after a long, semi-arduous week and my stomach growled ‘BURGER!’ My feet were ready to take me to my neighborhood spot for a burger smothered with mushrooms and onions. And then my brain said ‘Oh hell no. Your renouncing starts now, missy.’ The feet got in gear and took me to the nearest grocery store and got all the ingredients for a home made burger.
Renouncing never tasted so good.