Journey 160: To Reward or Not to Reward…Why is that the Question?

sweet rewards

This evening, after a fun day of taking care of clients, watching Doctor Who with Dayan and chatting with Jonathan about his theater summer camp, I was back at work, sorting, cleaning and throwing stuff away. I can feel the amazing difference in my house as clutter disappears and space opens up. It makes me feel just as uncluttered and open.

So it was interesting to bear witness to an inner debate. For the last two evenings, I’ve considered “rewarding” my hard work, and all that I am accomplishing, with an Andy’s frozen custard blackberry concrete. Last night it really didn’t work out for me to have one anyway, and the desire to reward myself faded away.

This evening, as I surveyed my progress and felt accomplished indeed, that little voice whispered again, “You are doing so great. Go get a blackberry concrete. You deserve one.” First of all, let me say, that I’m sharing my own personal thoughts and what applies to my life. I’m not against rewarding oneself or others for work well done. However, I have made a decision to eliminate sugar from my diet. A blackberry concrete is not on my diet and would, in fact, sabotage what I am doing for my health and the overall well being of my body.

As if to remind myself to be responsible for the food choices I make, I drew this affirmation card this morning:

Healthy body = Someplace to live

And yet, a very old habit of rewarding myself with food arose tonight, again. Rather than push it away, scold myself, or give in to the desire, I observed my thoughts about it and questioned why I thought I needed to be rewarded in such a way.

My reward habit started when my kids were young. When they endured immunizations at the doctor’s, or sat patiently through dental work, I bought them a milkshake on the way home, as a reward for their excellent behavior. Somewhere along the way, I began to reward myself in similar fashion. Made it through a rough day at work? Frozen custard. Cleaned the whole house today? Slice of coconut cream pie. I’m not beating myself up for those past choices. I am finding it interesting to look at my system of rewards in light of where I am now. I’ve never really tolerated sugar well. It gives me almost instant indigestion. And yet, I rewarded myself often with a sweet treat for excellent behavior, just as I did my children.

As I completed my tasks for this evening, and looked with appreciation at two more decluttered, clean, attractive rooms, I allowed that old energy pattern of work and reward to pass on through the region of my heart. I didn’t resist it, or cling to it, I just let it arise and pass through. The desire to consume frozen custard passed on through with it. I didn’t feel deprived one bit. I felt empowered. And satisfied with what I am doing to free my home and my life from clutter, physically and energetically. And that, I decided, is a sweet enough reward.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”       Amelia Earhart