Today, this idea of immediate gratification vs. delayed gratification came to mind as Shiloh was waiting and waiting to go to the park today. We got out later then usual and she was trying to be as patient as a dog can be.
Right now our world is all about immediate gratification. We want a ride, Uber shows up, we want some food, it shows up at our door, we want to buy something, Amazon has it at our door the next day. We are a call, a keystroke or an App away from all we desire.
I got to thinking about when I was young, running to the record store to buy an album (really dating myself LOL) and I couldn’t wait to see what my band looked like. I was a big Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac and Aerosmith fan. It was so fun to feel that connection. Now there is no mystery, everything is right out there.
I wanted to share some thoughts around delayed gratification and where in our lives can it benefit us. One place for sure is in our food choices. How many times have you reached for that cookie, sugary snack or something that isn’t very supportive, ate it and thought, “that wasn’t even that good!” Or this internal battle of should I, shouldn’t I, with the accompanying guilt and shame around the food came up. I’m here to say; it’s time to let that go.
In delaying the gratification when that craving or thought of wanting a certain food comes up, you can be more present. There is a POWER IN THE PAUSE! Take your power back in that delay, in that pause. Ask yourself, “do I really want this cupcake?” Take a pause, take a breath, and see what answers emerge. Ask yourself, “will this nourish me in this moment?” Often we reach for the food for emotional reasons, whether it be for comfort or to just numb out.
There are so many other things that can nourish us, a bubble bath, calling a friend, a good book, listening to our favorite music. Often times it’s not the food we want, it has just become our go to fix or habit. Taking a pause and asking the nourishment question is so powerful and if the answer is yes, the cupcake will nourish me, then have the cupcake. Leave the negative emotions and judgments behind…no guilt, no shame, love the cupcake and love yourself even more.
The power in the pause, think about what that is for you. Is there something you unconsciously and automatically go to or reach for. Is that a glass of wine, is it a certain food, is it shopping online and often it’s not the thing we want, but the feeling it is giving us. We attach a lot meaning to things. So ask yourself, “what feeling is this giving me and what am I making this mean?” Just asking that question can create a pause and spaciousness and gives you the opportunity to delay gratification and see what answers emerge.
As you move through your day today, and find yourself in a situation that you would normally react in a way that is not for your highest good, take a breath, say a prayer and remember the power in the pause.
Delayed gratification may just be your new best friend!