Being Irish, I was raised a Catholic. Bull of my adult life I have been non-practicing and I always ignore the Lenten tradition of making some kind of sacrifice.
This year is different. This year I’m giving up watching television!
Actually, to be very honest, the Lenten sacrifice thing is a timely synchronicity that is supporting me in doing something I was considering anyway.
Last week the idea began to form in my mind that if I were to stop watching telly for a month I could achieve so much that I supposedly want to do, but can’t find the time for. Such a great idea, don’t you think?!
But it was already March (the 2nd I think), too late to begin! Maybe I’d do it for April instead… But even as that thought formed, I knew there was too much time between now and April for me to mull the idea over and then reject it.
But over the weekend, during a meditation, I was inspired to do it as a Lenten sacrifice. Hmm, but that’s 40 days – a bit longer than I was intending. But still, I decided to look into it. Afterwards I googled the start of Lent 2011, and lo and behold it was only days away! Well, that seemed a clear signal, as well as a support mechanism, for me to commit to this idea now.
And so I didn’t bother to mull it over. I just decided there and then that it was a goer. And now I am excited about it (sort of). I regularly listen to my students sympathetically as they describe their difficulty in finding the time to meditate. And I gently encourage them to consider setting the alarm for thirty minutes earlier in the morning, in order to be able to fit it into their day.
Now I’m going to practice what I preach more authentically. I’m going to prioritise activities I consider important (but don’t do enough of) over an activity that is merely habitual. Instead of flopping down in front of the TV, when I get home from evening classes I will read, or write. On the evenings that I’m not teaching I will do yoga, walk, jog, meet friends, or even combine all four. And I will do some gardening – it is Spring after all!
So the truth of the matter is that I’m giving myself a wonderful gift.
But that doesn’t mean that it won’t be hard to resist the mindless escape of the telly, especially on the evenings I feel tired, and especially for the first week or two. So, I’d like to invite you to support me in this by sponsoring me. A very small donation (between €2 and €5) to the Mid Western Cancer Foundation would spur me on in moments of weakness. Click here to sponsor me.
And I’d also like to encourage you to consider giving yourself a similar gift!
“The sacrifice which causes sorrow to the doer of the sacrifice is no sacrifice. Real sacrifice lightens the mind of the doer and gives him a sense of peace and joy.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi