This is a very simple exercise for cultivating appreciation and compassion, that can be done by anyone at any time.

How it Works

1) Go Without

Give something up for a day (or for as long as you can).

2) Go Within

Discover a new level of appreciation for what you choose to give up and a deeper level of compassion for those people who have no choice but to go without every day.

Instead of trying to take your mind off of whatever you are giving up, take the time to reflect on what it would be like to go without it every day. What would it feel like? What difference would it make to your life?

How does it feel to be without it? Does it feel comfortable or uncomfortable?

What could I go without?

Anything that you take for granted, for example:

  • TV, the Internet, your phone
  • Your car
  • Coffee, tea, alcohol
  • Central heating, electricity, hot water
  • A cooked meal, breakfast, snacks

It could be anything at all that you would miss if you didn’t have it.

The choice is yours and that is an important aspect of this exercise: that you do have a choice to go without whereas some people don’t have that luxury.

Alternatively you might choose to go without something less physical, like talking, complaining or criticising, which we are all free to do.

Why do this?

Voluntarily giving something up gives us a golden opportunity to practise appreciation and compassion, which are both forms of love.

This very simple practice can help us to appreciate how fortunate we already are and to be more understanding towards those who are less fortunate. It is an opportunity to feel richer, more loving, and to develop a sense of oneness in our lives. This exercise can help to heal the wounds of separation, inequality and injustice within ourselves and in the world around us.


There are two types of renunciation. One is to give up attachments to material possessions and comforts. The other is giving up the ego. Go Without, Go Within brings both of these together by encouraging us to renounce attachment to something material and to renounce the idea that we are separate from the rest of humanity.

For some people going without might seem negative although this does not have to be the case. Giving up material comforts can be a positively enriching experience if we use the opportunity to appreciate what we already have. If only we could truly appreciate everything that we have, we would not want more.


Sharing something we value can be an expression of love. If going without and going within has inspired you to make a positive change in your life, please share it with us by adding a comment below or by using #GoWithoutGoWithin on Twitter.

You can also follow The Light Within on Twitter: @TrueLightWithin