Last year I had a successful Lenten 40 day cleanse from the snooze. I was adamant, and it worked like a charm–although difficult some days, as expected.
Just as Gretchen Rubin writes in her new book Better Than Before: Abstaining altogether is much easier than moderating, for most people that is.
I’m a decent moderator in many arenas, but when it comes to 6AM’s, dark skies, cozy covers, and snuggly kittens, I fail more times than not.
That’s exactly why I’ve decided to go for round two: giving up snooze!
Here’s last year’s Ash Wednesday post to catch you up on the full deets;)
I was raised Catholic, but very rarely attend a Catholic mass that’s not either a wedding or a funeral. I haven’t taken Communion for years, but recently wondered if I’d reconsider if it were gluten-free. In many ways, I feel far too estranged from the rigidity of such strict faith, and yet still feel at home walking into a church, singing the hymns of my childhood.
Plus, I love this hip new Pope.
Now, in my late thirties, I’m more of a spiritual cherry-picker, if you will. I love tenants of Buddhism, but I’m not a Buddhist. I study Hinduism and Sikhism, and more, but claim no religion. And there are tenants of Christianity woven into my nurturing that I will never lose.
This is a big part of the reason why in the last few years I’ve come back to Lent.
Truth be told, Jesus, all along has remained my homeboy. And if he can fast for forty days, I can surely come up with something constructive.
I remember failing at Lent so fondly, but with such good intentions, like New Year’s resolutions: No candy, no soda, no talking back.
With 2014, came my first Lenten success story: Coffee. A habit which I have yet to pick back up. [That was then!]
This year, I’m going for what I’ve come to see as one of my ultimate crutches, the snooze button.
And I’m not a chronic snoozer, two or three times a week. But the days when I hit that button, I know I’ve already begun on the wrong foot.
As an entrepreneur, the constant plight is to eliminate as many wrong feet as possible.
So what’s the big deal?
As a personal development coach, I try every day to move more and more into alignment so I can best guide my clients to do the same.
Think about it, pressing snooze is the first promise you break to yourself every day. Then the excuses begin, “I didn’t sleep well last night; the cat woke me up; it’s raining; I can always go to the gym after work” … and on, and on. But even with the best of excuses, the underlying guilt tells us otherwise, right?
Again, what’s the big deal?
When we start our day with excuses, we lay the groundwork for more of the same.
I’ll give you an analogy. I took a bootcamp class in Brooklyn last night. The sadistic trainer had us doing 4 sets, 50 seconds each, of the same grueling exercise. Weighted pulse sumo squat: Round one: I was good; round two: feeling super shaky; round three: the excuses flooded in (My legs are sore from yoga, this guy’s crazy, I should have gone lighter on the weight, etc.) and I stopped three times, because when you stop once, what keeps you from stopping again, and again? (Kinda like snooze.)
Strangely, round four: I was determined. I closed my eyes and dug deep, no excuses, and I didn’t stop. The pain was the same, if not greater, I just didn’t allow the excuses to weaken me.
The moral of the story is making excuses begets only more excuses. We tell those rational-lies and get further and further away from our authentic voice.
The same authentic self that’s setting the alarm night after night, hopeful for a blank slate in the morning and a rich day of productivity and fulfillment.
Now, will I be able to control if I have a bad night’s sleep or if my dumb cat(s) [now plural] won’t knock over a plant at 4 AM in the next forty days, no?
And that’s why Jesus gave us naps.
I leave you with this: What could you stand to see go for 40 days/forever?