This seemingly strange question was prompted by a NYT article from Sunday, April 17 in my favorite “The Review” section. PhD candidate in philosophy, Alexander Stern, writes about the emerging, expansive use of the word “thing,” to cover multiple matters and circumstances from fad, to behavior, to event, to lifestyle choices, to trends, etc. “Is it one of those listed?” the author asks. Just google it to find out and lo! It’s “a thing.”
His first key point is that “language and experience mutually influence each other.” That is precisely why the opening to my book-in-progress (Corset Waist Training: A Primer on Easy, Fun, and Fashionable Waist Reduction and Weight Loss), stresses the mind. The path to success in achieving figure re-shaping or weight loss, or one of these goals, with waist training as your method (they are independent goals in, and results of, waist training), is how we think about the process of waist training.
If we don’t have what I call “a right mind” when we prepare for dedicated waist training and when we pursue the process, we will more likely than not feel defeated along the way, we will add rather than subtract stress, and we may quit short of our goals.
For example, small successes, expected or not, should be celebrated for what they are: successes! Small successes are far more motivating than one huge failure. Success builds on and is inspired by past success, so make it small and make it fun! Enjoy your corset and enjoy your experience! Use positive ways constantly to think about, approach, and express your waist training program and progress. Surround yourself with Yeah-Sayers, not Nay-Sayers. Celebrate every day that you complete a small step in your program — but don’t give up!
Stern makes a second key point—and here is where my thoughts turned to corsets. He says that as we spend more and more time online, that constant wired experience “becomes the content of our experience, and in this sense, ‘things’ have earned their name. ‘A thing’ has become the basic unit of cultural ontology.” (NB from Webster’s, “ontology:” a branch of metaphysics concerned with the nature and relations of being).
Bingo! This is one fundamental reason that corseting and waist training work, and are enjoyed by so many who give is a good “go.”
The more we are seduced and sucked into tweeting, instagramming, pinteresting, facebooking, YouTubing, yelping, ubering, checking email, swiping, interneting, texting and the like, the more remote we become from others — and from ourselves. We get hooked on things, and thing-ing each other. We focus more and more on instant gratification, something I have railed against for years, and against the hugely rising tide. So be it; I’m still railing!
In my book I make the point that corsets “put us in touch with ourselves” for better or worse. Literally in touch.
We don’t have to “touch” our iPhone screens. We are touched by our corsets. We are held by them and we are comforted by them.
They are a medicine and an anecdote to remoteness, “thing-ism” and doing the “thing” thing. We come back to ourselves and we pay attention to our every tweak, push, prod, gentling, and stroke of our corset. We can try, but we can’t zone out or forget that we have them on. We become sensual beings once more, out of our minds, into our bodies—for a change.
Pushing buttons or keys on our machines turns our attention elsewhere and out there. Maybe that only differs in magnitude of the devices we can push buttons on today; in the past we also pushed typewriter keys. But then, and now, corsets bring us back to the present moment. Corsets bring our attention home. For some, corsets even energize by reducing anxiety, confusion, and chaos. They quiet the cacophony of our wired daily lives. They slow us down (witness the quick frustration of some newbies in learning to lace themselves into the corset, until they “get” that that is part of the pleasurable magic of corsets!). Corsets unwire us. They move against the trend, even if right now they play act at being “trendy.”
The questions is: how will you choose to spend your time? There’s not a lot to waste!