What’s your little vice or addiction? I’m partial to the connoisseur brand of honey and macadamia ice cream.
Sugar’s always been my go to, my treat and reward when I’ve had a hard day. Most of us have one – an addition or vice that helps us to just feel a little bit better about the situation we’re in, or the reality we face.
Treating ourselves with the richness of life, whether it is shopping, sex, sugar, Netflix or some other sensation is part of the joy of living. But when our little pleasure become addictive, tools to numb and check us out of live or pleasures filled with guilt – it’s a sign something deeper’s going on.
I’m a reformed sugar addict and recovering Netflix member. Today we’re exploring the deeper story of our addictions and vices as part of the emotional embodiment series.
Whether you’re a long-term offender or perhaps dabble in some petty addictions and vices that you’d rather be free of – thanks for joining us in this illuminating conversation
When we think about addictions our mind quickly jumps to ideas of drugs, smoking, gambling or porn. These addictions are important to discuss.
But equally as meaningfully are our pedestrian addictions.
The addictions accepted and endorsed by society – namely sugar, shopping, and Netflix.
Most of us have at least one addiction or vice, that our “go to thing” we do when we need a little help. For years working in my pharmacy job, I found my salvation in the chocolate that was sold on the children’s pediatric ward in aid of charity. Most lunch breaks I’d take my $2 down and bring on a little bit of happiness in the form of a chocolate treat.
Honestly, it’s no big deal eating a bit of sugar here and there. But when sugar or any type of vice becomes chronic and borders on unhealthy, we really need to consider WHY we are doing this to ourselves?
Most addictions and vices simulate our senses, we gain some type of short-term pleasure by the sight, smell, taste, touch or texture.
A quick hit of feels good chemicals as a reward or distraction from the situation at hand that’s either painful or just dull.
My pharmacy gig was dull but deeper than that it was actually soul crushing.
The point of life is to feel alive, to feel the intensity of experiencing life bubbling up through us in wild and different ways… to saturate ourselves with the textures of living.
So in this job that absolutely wasn’t livening for ME, inside I was slowly dying.
Our body is so damn wise – if we are not in contact with a feeling of ALIVENESS inside ourselves, our body will find it in other ways.
Namely, our body will seek out sensation, the thrill of living, through food and sugar, or drama and Netflix.
Addictions and vices are really substitutes for living. They are they quick fixes we reach for when we are trying to fill ourselves up. Which means it’s not really the addiction we need to focus on and fix, the addiction isn’t really the problem – it’s the lack of living that is.
A lack of living is a lack of intimacy within ourselves, and our internal world is the real cause of addition. And to be honest – often we don’t want to be intimate for very good reasons.
Of late I’ve heard a lot of women, peers, and students speaking about their Netflix pleasure bordering on addiction. Again a substitute for living that’s outside ourselves – and a way to numb our own bodies so we don’t have to feel what’s really going on inside us.
Because it’s not only aliveness that lives in our body. Often our aliveness, our true nature, is overplayed with pain, heaviness, the reality that the way we are operating isn’t true or congruent to our essential nature. Most of us have heavy, dense layers of armor and numbness that exist in our bodies – heavy tensions and stress that weigh heavy on our heart, turning down its volume. No wonder we don’t want to feel our body – so numb out with Netflix. No wonder we can’t feel the sensations of life inside us – and have to look elsewhere for pleasure.
Bringing attention to how truly rich we feel within ourselves as women, and within our life, is where we cut right to the heart of our addictions.
As I slowly began to find more life, in the way I was working, in my relationships, in my body – the less sugar I ate. It became a balanced treat that felt healthy in my system, rather than dependent. At the same time, my relationship with the weight and size of my body dramatically relaxed.
Because I felt alive, and comfortable as me. From an embodied point of view, we can begin to see that addictions are not the problem. They are a symptom of disharmony in our inner world and when we dive into the body, feeling the body, becoming intimate with ourselves – we’re much more likely to understand the why, and rewire the habit from a place of power.
This is the practice of embodiment – intimacy and sensitivity to yourself, and to all the aliveness that wants to ravish your body every moment of the day.
And from that place, Netflix, sugar, shopping all absolutely CAN be healthy pleasures. I really want to stress that it’s not so much about the action that we take – we can’t label Netflix and ice-cream as bad things. It’s much more about energy that we take that action with.
If you pause a moment to tune in as you next reach for your favorite vice – ask yourself, why am I reaching for this?
Now it’s your turn, I’d love to hear what is your vice? Is it honey macadamia ice-cream like me? Or is it something else?
Let’s name it to stop shaming ourselves for this addiction because perhaps it’s just the inspiration you needed to find your way back to true aliveness that’s waiting to be lived from inside your body.