Tag: Craving

5/13/12 “Revel in Abundance”

Good day, team.
The coach’s challenge this week is about abundance. Look around you. What do you see? Do you have everything you need? Do you have everything you want? What is the difference? Are you grateful for what you have, or do you find yourself constantly longing for what you don’t have?
This reminds me of a novel I read entitled “Shantaram” by Gregory Roberts, about life in the slums of Bombay, India. Most of the characters in this book live in small, handmade huts on the outskirts of the city. They own a change of clothes, a toothbrush, a cup, a plate, a fork and a mat to sleep on. (And these are the lucky ones!) I am amazed at how happy these people are and how they experience abundance in their lives. They are grateful for the smallest things because they have so little. I also read another novel about a young girl who was born into a family of billionaires and has all she’s ever wanted. Her life is characterized by continual displeasure with everyone and everything around her. The contrast between the two stories is obvious: Abundance is not about having more and more things but about our attitude toward the things we have.
We live in a world of enormous wealth and consumerism. The selection of products is overwhelming at times. Do you ever find yourself in the store unable to decide among the 30 brands of laundry detergent on the shelf? The time I often spend analyzing which brand to buy is actually worth far more to me than any benefit I might derive from saving money or getting better quality with the “right” choice. I’m actually happier if I have a more limited selection. Faced with too many options, I chafe for what isn’t available, and then I’m dissatisfied with what is.
Cultivating an awareness of our surroundings is one of the best ways to experience abundance. Right now, we are enjoying the beauty of spring. The power of nature is everywhere. Wildflowers are in bloom, trees are resplendent in many different shades of green, and the increasing warm weather draws us outside to revel in nature’s abundance. Each of us can experience this wonderful season but only if we take the time to see it, smell it, touch it. This time of year, we can be especially grateful for the warmth of welcome sunshine on our skin. Perhaps you find yourself arranging flowers and their fragrance fills you with happiness. Finding ways to experience these delights of the season increases my feelings of abundance and gratitude for what I experience in my life.
This week, take a moment or two to appreciate the abundance in your life. Do you have plenty to eat? Are you surrounded by people who love you? Maybe you live in a beautiful place and always have the wonders of nature around you. Perhaps your home brings you great pleasure as you soak in your tub, spend many wonderful hours in your garden or relax in your easy chair. Whatever abundance is around you, give yourself time to revel in it.
When we feel abundant, we tend to attract abundance. When we cultivate an attitude of scarcity, our minds focus on what we don’t have, and in turn, we attract less of what we need and want. Try finding something in your environment this week that makes you truly grateful. Experience how happy and abundant this appreciation makes you feel. Enjoy life as William Blake expressed it in “Auguries of Innocence”:
To see a World in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.
Have a great week!
Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2012 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

12/13/10 ‘Stilettos and the Dalai Lama’

Good day, team,

The other day I walked into my walk-in closet (which I had to have built because
my other closet was way too small) and looked at all the clothes hanging there.
I saw the bright pink sweater I’ve never worn and remembered the craving I
experienced when I bought it. I just had to have it! I looked down at the bright
gold stiletto sandals on the floor and reflected on how I’ve worn them only
once, at my friend’s wedding reception, and nearly damaged my ankles permanently
by dancing in them. And really, how many pairs of black pants or blue jeans can
one woman wear? I thought about all the craving and aversion that closet
represents and how much space it takes up in my life.

This time of year, the world seems like one big advertisement, creating lots of
craving for holiday gifts. But what happens once we satisfy that craving? We
then react with a predictable aversion to having so much stuff! After all the
gifts have been opened, we’re left with a mess of trash that we have to recycle.

Sometimes I feel as though craving and aversion act on me like waves on the
seashore. When I want something, the desire builds in me like a wave as it comes
crashing toward the beach, the water rushing up into the dry sand. And then in
the next moment, my aversion is the receding wave, pulling me away from the
shoreline, so to speak, taking all the shells and pebbles—the trinkets and
baubles of my desires—with it as it pulls back into the wider sea.

This repetitive cycle makes me yearn for simplicity. (Am I craving yet again?) I
envy the Dalai Lama. His entire wardrobe consists of two robes, one pair of
shoes and one pair of sandals. He’s not plagued by the question “Should I wear
the gold stilettos or the purple flats?” I would imagine that he is troubled by
other things, but he probably doesn’t lose his inner peace over what shoes to wear.

This week, try seeing what happens when you crave something and when you
experience aversion. Maybe you have a lot of trouble with one particular
colleague. Or perhaps you’re craving a new job or a promotion or just sweet
things to eat. Lately I’ve been craving homemade chocolate chip cookies, but I’m
afraid to make them, knowing I’ll eat too many and then have the predictable
aversion to the few pounds I might gain. Perhaps you just have to have a new
car, or an expensive watch, or a better house, etc. See what happens when your
craving starts to take over and verges on becoming an obsession.

Pay particular attention to these states as they rise up and fall away. Does it
make you feel better to satisfy your craving? Or do you find that once you’ve
satisfied one craving, another quickly rises up. What happens when you feel the
opposite, for example, when you receive the credit card bill that reflects the
results of satisfying your craving?

If you find, as I have, that craving and aversion make you feel like you’re
being pushed and pulled by outside forces, try letting these states pass before
you act on them. Allowing a craving to pass before I give in to it also saves me
from having to feel any aversion afterward.

As Bishop Thomas Wilson said, “The fewer desires, the more peace.”

Have a good week!


Kathleen Doyle-White

Pathfinders Coaching

(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2010 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search, Inc., all rights reserved.


Good day, team,

This past week, I’ve been thinking about craving and aversion. By craving, I mean that feeling of great longing, wanting or desire. By aversion, I’m talking about a strong feeling of dislike, opposition, repugnance or antipathy. Many of us have these opposite experiences almost daily, and the effect they have on us is significant.

My father used to caution my sister and I by saying, “Everything in moderation.” Frankly, for many years that sounded far too conservative for me, and although I may have heard my father’s words in my head, I didn’t hesitate to act wild and crazy. Throwing caution to the wind was fun—who cared what the repercussions would be? Doing something in excess was great while it lasted, but I almost always paid for my lack of caution later. I recall once receiving a bill from I. Magnin (a high-end department store in San Francisco) for around $4,000. I certainly didn’t make the kind of money that could support that level of spending, but I had a terrific time in the store satisfying all my cravings, buying whatever I wanted. My subsequent aversion to the bill was predictable and as extreme as the excessive spending was. Giving in to my cravings was pretty easy when I was in my twenties—I had the energy to recover from my adventures. But as I got older, the aversion to the hangover, the unpaid bills or the damage I’d inflicted on others became harder to experience. My father’s advice actually started to make more sense. I realized that doing things in moderation did make life a little easier to manage.

Even when practicing moderation, we still experience these swings of craving and aversion. Ever try dieting? It’s a great example of flip-flopping between craving what you’re not supposed to eat and then having a major aversion to yourself when you finally devour that forbidden food. How about doing a little home improvement? Ever notice how the more you improve, the more you need to improve? You change the carpet in the living room and suddenly the furniture looks old and drab. You paint the bathroom and the need for new fixtures screams out to you. We can easily become caught up in the duality of the craving and aversion dance. Giving in to either extreme can be painful.

Maybe you see that no matter how much you buy, it’s never enough. No matter which car you drive, relationship you’re in or grade you achieve in school, it’s just not quite good enough. Over time, this dissatisfaction with people and things creates an aversion to our own life, and we find ourselves in a constant state of frustration and unhappiness. There is no peace of mind where there is constant dissatisfaction and an inability to accept what is.

Your challenge this week is to see where this phenomena plays out in your life, then try exercising moderation. Do you see it come up in your work? Are you consistently craving better results from people, better quality products, more money or more acknowledgment from others? Are you never satisfied? Has your craving for these things turned into a permanent aversion to anything that is less than the perfection you crave?

Give yourself a break this week and try not to let craving and aversion rule your thoughts. These feelings will come up, I guarantee it, but you don’t have to give in to them or allow them to dictate your actions. You may find your week is more peaceful and restful if you accept what is and allow yourself to be satisfied.

Have a good week!

Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2010 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search, Inc., all rights