Addictions are not just food, alcohol or porn


May 2, 2012
I was reading Geoff Thompson’s ‘Shape Shifter’ over the weekend. The book speaks of what shifts we need to make within to achieve whatever we need.
As I sat, stood and laid down gorging his words [he is one man I can’t resist], I felt in-shape already. Simply because he started off explaining the four main addictions that are injurious to our success.
Food, alcohol, porn and thoughts.
‘We either over-eat or consume the wrong kind of food and drinks, watch energy-draining porn, and harbour unwanted and negative thoughts that stifle our creativity and growth.’
I agreed totally and felt proud because I did not have three of the four addictions he mentioned. That’s a fantastic percentage!
I don’t breeze away with wines and fizz out. I don’t salivate seeing shapely backs or muscular arms. And as for food, so what if I have a sweet tooth, I indulge only once a week. So what if I love fries, I don’t binge. So what if my all-time favourite is masala dosas, I don’t grease them. Am a light eater!
Except for a wandering mind I have absolutely no addictions! I believed. I took a break and even thought of all my acquaintances – friends, colleagues and relatives – who would cringe and drop the book I was holding like a hot brick for its suggestions. I felt so good about myself that I realised I need to treat myself for being good already and lopped up a chocolate cone.
As for my thoughts, I trusted the book to help me. One chapter on yoga says – in all its myriad formats, yoga is only as good as you practise. However, if you want an external stimuli to propel you into disciplining the self, then there is no harm in attending classes, suggested the author.
So lo! I opted for practical lessons. My thoughts need some disciplining!
When asked to fill in the form as to why I’m opting for the session, I replied honestly: “Only to condition my mind. Physically am fit as a fiddle. And addictions, I have none.
The first day as we sat down on our knees for breathing exercises, my concentration was more on my ankles than on inhaling and exhaling, until I heard the master say, ‘Those who are uncomfortable sitting in this posture may spread their legs out’. Ooohhff! I took in a gulp of air through both my mouth and nostrils.
The following day as the detox regime was being introduced and everyone in the room gave out a collective sigh, I smiled. Giving up non-vegetarian food, tobacco and fizzy drinks were no qualms. Consuming 40% raw food was no big deal either.
The next evening, participants asked for concessions and more time to get into the fold. And I smiled again.
The following morning, I took out the diet plan to begin my day and downed two glasses of water as instructed. A little later, I felt the urge. (Not what you think).  
I ignored and dressed up for work.
By 9am, the urge was unbearable. I drank another glass of water. Soon it got worse when I saw happy colleagues.
Not being irritated by anyone’s action or words, listening to good music, staying happy were the other assignments for the day.
All of which went for a toss, because of my thrombing head. The nasty headache so very used to that hot cuppa in the morning was crying foul.
It is an addiction, I realised.
Nisha Sanjeev

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