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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A few things to consider giving up for Lent

The historic purpose of Lent was to prepare Christians for an important period of religious observation.  Purifying the mind and body through contemplation and self-denial helped teach self-discipline and deepened what we counseling types called "refusal skills"-- the ability to resist temptations that separate us from our highest possible self and/or God.  It is a sacred time for many, but even those who aren't Christian can gain from similar practice.

It's traditional to give up a pleasure during Lent:  sweets, liquor, meat.  May I suggest you consider other sorts of indulgences?
You could practice:
1)   Living without judging others as better or worse that you.  Seeing us all as connected and born with inherent worth and dignity.http://www.firstparishnorwell.org/sermons/inherentworth.html
2)  Refraining from self-deprecation.  Accept compliments.  Be aware of your strengths, and use them.
3)  Going complaint-free.  Make an honest effort to express your gratitude and resist bitching.  http://www.acomplaintfreeworld.org/
4)  Stepping back from looks-oriented culture.  Refrain from commenting on your own or other's physical appearance for a week and instead focus on character, actions, talents.  This tip from Miss Represented Action Alerts:  http://hosted-p0.vresp.com/816967/5bd8540c55/ARCHIVE
5)  Ditch sarcasm.  From the Latin roots for "ripping flesh", this sort of humor can be a way of separating yourself from pain or inflicting it.

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