There are more and more apps and platforms popping up to enable us to get what we want (clothes, food, medicine) almost immediately. Whilst it might sound great to not need to wait anymore, it also means the end of Vorfreude, the joy of anticipation, no more daydreaming about what it will be like to do this or that.
The desire/craving/need can be satisfied almost as it appears.
But what if this desire/craving/need is not necessary, and maybe even detrimental in the short or long term, for us or for others? Are we still able to make the difference between something that is necessary and something that isn’t, or to reflect on the impact of our purchase when it is so temptingly easy to just get it?
Indeed the trouble with instant gratification is multilayered:
- we train an impulse to satisfy anything that feels like a need, even if it’s a craving, a passing fancy, or a reflex to cover up another sensations/emotions/thought
- but we no longer train our ability to feel into with what is actually going on and make an informed decision. We stop feeling/thinking, and simply go into automatic behaviours
- this might prevent us from taking care of the root of the craving/urge/desire and its consequences, when it is a ‘cover up’ strategy
- we loose our ability to do with what we have to improvise. This impacts our creativity
- we collectively keep going further and further down the rabbit hole of consumerism, reinforcing an abusive, destructive relationship to nature, but also to each other. What work conditions do the people who deliver us these things so fast have?
And a similar thing often happens with our bodies.
Whilst I am always happy to hear that people feel good after a class or a treatment, I am concerned when people expect to feel better, or when they are promised they will feel better.
What we feel and do physically or emotionally most of the time is the result of much repetition or repeated exposure. Every day what we do, where we are and what happens in our lives shapes and influences us. And then one day it makes itself clearly felt. To then expect that we can make it go away with one magical class, massage, therapy session ignores the time needed to undo patterns, to make change happen, and sets people up for disappointment when the desired result doesn’t materialise.
Especially when it comes to the body, practices need time, and dedication, to make a lasting difference. Our body, with the central help of our fascia, has an ability to perceive the enables it to adapt to circumstances, but also to store patterns of movements, postures and physiological response that are developed over time. These can be changed with awareness, patience and dedication, which can have profound impacts on our overall health
To know this teaches us a few valuable lessons:
- our body and its parts have rhythms of their own, which we must learn to understand to support our well-being
- less can be more with a focus on regularity and repetition with the few things we do. When we don’t overload ourselves trying to fix things quickly with a mountain of methods or an excess of zeal and impatience, we have the chance to see change as it happens, and to assess if what we do is helping over time. We can that small changes can be important when we stick to them
- Rome didn’t get build in a day as they say, neither has your current state. By taking a step by step approach we can have a more sustainable, more manageable way of making change happen that we can stick to, and that allows us to appreciate things along the way. That makes room for Vorfreude/joyful anticipation of what is ahead of us. And it makes resilience possible, because we don’t give up with the first frustration, but keep going steadily and progressively.
Our bodies are extremely adaptable and forgiving organisms, which every day do their best with a million different adjustments to keep us as well as possible. Isn’t it time we offer them more of our time, attention, and not just once, but steadily, patiently, a bit on a regular basis, so we can make sure the decisions we make with each of these steps is leading is to places we want to be in?
We need time and some reflection space to do that. Getting everything at once doesn’t allow for that.
And that is why my classes have inbuilt repetition, so it is easier for each one of us to see change as it happens, and course correct when necessary.