Conscious Escapism: The Benefits of a Spiritual Cheat Day

Orthorexia is the term given to an unhealthy concentrate on eating in a healthy way. This sounds like a paradox, as a healthy diet plan improves total health. However, theres a tipping point– consuming well can become an obsession. You may develop stress and anxiety around consuming processed food, and your desire to eat well influences your social life, or you feel guilty for the times you indulge.

Your spiritual diet isnt free from its own form of orthorexia. A healthy spiritual diet plan– such as a practice of meditation, checking out spiritual texts, hanging out in nature, serving others– boosts your spiritual health. There is a tipping point.

As your behavior changes, so does your diet plan. Not simply what you consume, however everything you consume, including what you listen to, watch, check out, and pay attention to.

“The road to excess causes the palace of wisdom … You never ever understand what suffices up until you know what is sufficient.” ~ William Blake

What if you guilt yourself for wanting to spend a night seeing Netflix? Or consuming without being conscious?

What if when you feel stress and anxiety, you dont wish to journal or unpick or practice meditation and dissect its origin? What if you dont desire to invest the energy to “raise your vibration” or reframe your thoughts? What if all you desire is to eat ice cream or go out with pals or have a glass of white wine or view the Champions League?

Unconscious escapism lacks self-awareness. It is a default, auto-pilot reaction to particular uncomfortable feelings. Its not incorrect, or bad, its just a way we find out how to cope. In the context of spiritual growth and recovery, unconscious escapism perpetuates suffering. It distracts us from discomfort and eventually distracts us from ourselves.

The time will come where you no longer yearn for processed food, for the nourishment of the path itself satiates you more than anything. Until this point, instead of attempting too difficult to withstand, its much more useful to permit yourself to indulge, and give yourself the periodic treat, without guilt or embarassment.

In psychology, escapism is specified as a habits or desire to prevent challenging truth. I place escapism into 2 classifications: unconscious and conscious. This is a crucial distinction, since many people who practice meditation and mindfulness are, to some degree, familiar with when they are engaging in unhelpful habits.

Unconscious Escapism vs. Conscious Escapism

However, conscious escapism checks out and acknowledges underlying emotions with compassion, before selecting to indulge. Perhaps youre simply worn out or need a sensation of comfort, or simply want to take pleasure in a film. All of these choices are okay, and dont make you any less “spiritual.” Rather the opposite: picking to do a meaningless activity can be an excellent act of self-compassion.

Conscious Escapism Is the Cheat Meal

This is gorgeous, and its worth valuing the innocence of this intrinsic motivation. Im here to inform you– you can take the day off. You can breathe, pause, and require time far from development or development.

You may experience a tendency to go all-in when you discover momentum with your practice. The happiness and inspiration that originates from meditation, or spiritual conversations, or insights, or discovering locations of growth or healing, develop a sense of wanting more. You might feel the spiritual path is your lifes calling, and youll do all you can to honor it.

I understand that a healthy diet plan needs me to consume well many of the time. I know that if I always indulge in high-fat, high-sugar junk food, itll lead to decreased health.

Mindful escapism is picking conventional interruptions, knowing the occasional cheat meal doesnt show your general diet plan. Its acknowledging where youre at and allowing yourself to lean on mechanisms behaviors that supply temporary solace, completely aware this isnt the perfect service.

The Spiritual Diet and Discernment.

When I enabled mindful escapism that Ive found what truly benefits me, its just.

When to indulge and when to do the work is a matter of trial and mistake, knowing. It takes self-honesty, time, and practice. It needs self-compassion for the minutes you over-indulge, knowing sometimes the road to excess results in the palace of wisdom.

Your spiritual diet plan isnt totally free from its own type of orthorexia. A healthy spiritual diet plan– such as a practice of meditation, reading spiritual texts, costs time in nature, serving others– boosts your spiritual health. In the context of spiritual development and recovery, unconscious escapism perpetuates suffering. Going too far in the other instructions creates a sensation of tension or even animosity towards my practice, a result of spiritual orthorexia.

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With time my requirement for standard escape has minimized. That does not indicate I wont skip a meditation session or see a few episodes of Community to lighten my state of mind if it feels right to do so. Going too far in the other instructions creates a feeling of tension and even resentment towards my practice, an outcome of spiritual orthorexia.

Theres no reason the spiritual path needs to be any various. Over the years, Ive experienced the extremes of denying myself due to the belief around a spiritual person wouldnt … (snap, eat nachos or other unhealthy food, binge watch Netflix when feeling down, argue with their partner, enjoy buying new clothing, curse, put things off on tackling their finances …).

Primarily, I was encouraged to try this path by encouraging loved ones who might tell I required time off. Ive constantly pushed myself, Ive constantly positioned high requirements on myself, and these characteristics of perfectionism were taken in into my spiritual practice.

The pleasure and motivation that comes from meditation, or spiritual conversations, or insights, or discovering areas of growth or recovery, produce a sense of desiring more.

To get healthy, a workable and well balanced routine and diet are much better than a severe, high-intensity routine and fad diet. Start off with high intensity, youll likely burn out and go back to old practices. Rather, as you progress and form brand-new habits, you may increase the intensity, or find that consuming well becomes easier.

You can, unashamedly, offer yourself permission to enjoy conscious escapism.

A word of warning: Conscious escapism isnt an excuse to pick the course of least resistance. The ego can hijack this idea, too, weaving a narrative of deceit that finds excuses and reasons as to why you deserve to not practice meditation, or why your distinct spiritual path is finding enlightenment through Game of Thrones.