Moment of Truth

“If you did nothing but pursue the truth about yourself for the rest of your life, you would never run out of fresh discoveries.” -Martha Beck


On December 21st, I posted Do Nothing as the first step in the Joy Diet I was following.

Do Nothing

While I had a stretch of days and weeks of consistent nothingness, I haven’t “done nothing” all week–and I can tell. Today provided me the opportunity to renew my commitment to the Joy Diet and enjoy the next entrees. The second menu item is Truth. Martha Beck writes that she spends time in locations like What If, Should Be, I Wonder When and If Only instead of Here and Now. One of my best strategies to center myself in Here and Now is to tell the truth about as many things, as often as possible. The Joy Diet prescribes that after Doing Nothing for 15 minutes, you take time to give yourself a “moment of truth.” I’ve created a visual reminder of these questions alongside an open hand so that I work through this series of questions at least once a day:

What am I feeling?
What hurts?
What is the painful story I’m telling?
Can I be sure my painful story is true?
Is my painful story working?
Can I think of another story that might work better?

This Saturday morning after my nothing, I paused for my moment of truth. When I listened in, this is what I heard:

What am I feeling? Distracted.
What hurts? My stomach hurts a little, maybe I’m hungry.
What is the painful story I’m telling? I’m thinking I’m not going to get everything done today.
Can I be sure my painful story is true? No, likely it’s not.
Is my painful story working? Nope. It just makes me feel more distracted and less focused.
Can I think of another story that might work better? Another story comes from my meditation: There is no place to be; there is nothing to do; there is no one to be. That brings me much more peace.

Right after the moment of truth, Beck requests that you offer yourself compassion. I do a little self-hug by wrapping my hands to grab the opposite shoulder and remind myself that I, like everyone else, am worthy of love. Join me on a moment of truth if it brings you joy to do so. Here’s to Saturday…

Picture Credit: Artist Liliana Porter, Untitled (Hand).

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