Alright, lovely Dote readers, we’re going to take the long way to unpack the idea of indulgence. So, bear with me as we make our way through all of the things that aren’t necessarily indulgence, in order to better unpack what we feel when we do indulge.
We’ve all got stuff to do. Stuff we should do, stuff we don’t want to do, stuff we forgot to do, and stuff we can’t wait to do.
All of this stuff-doing requires some sort of mental recognition.
In order to have stuff to do, we have to recognise it as a required action. Once we recognise the stuff we’ve got to do as a required action our brains can start to create a series of checkpoints that allow us to accomplish the thing that must be done. In short, we often create mind maps of how to get from where we are (needing to do stuff) to where we want to be (having done the stuff).
In a culture where mind maps, planning, and goal setting are celebrated, people often stumble when life doesn’t follow the intended route to getting stuff done… and it can feel awful.
There is such a steep culture of understanding the pursuit of accomplishment (in any context) as requiring oneself to forgo the things that do not directly lead us to success we pursue. In response to this, a counter culture of fighting for balance in everything has emerged… however, I’d argue this counter culture is just another form of mind mapping, another mechanism for controlling the outcomes of our efforts.
So, what if we just indulged in the roadblocks we encountered on our way to getting stuff done? What if we planned out a route to lose two inches off our hips, kept a close eye on our diet and exercise, mentally recognised the steps to addressing the situation at hand… and then went out for ice cream on a whim. Not because it’s cheat day, not because it’s leptin day, not because you need a glycogen spike, but, (imagine this) because you just want some freaking ice cream… and you didn’t justify it as “finding balance” but, as a straight up selfish, “because I want to,” action.
Indulgence isn’t profane, it doesn’t need to be glossed over, it doesn’t need to be justified. You still have your plan, you still have a recognized route to success – you just stopped for ice cream along the way.
Written by :: Danika Kelly / @d_k_yyc
Photographed by :: Megan Lilburn / @meganlilburn