Another online course for personal growth: Dietary Transformation from the Inside Out (also via Charles Eisenstein).
I read his book The Yoga of Eating and began to see that, despite all of the growth I’d done in the realm of food, listening to my body, etc., that I still had a lot of room to grow.
I decided to do this course and invited my mom to go through it with me. I wanted to share a little bit about why, as I’ve found that sharing our stories and resonating with others’ stories often provides encouragement and a stronger sense of community — we find people we can relate to, express ourselves with, and in all of that we find healing. …
Control. Scarcity. Acceptance. Self Love.
The last few years have been a major struggle with some gut health issues, while I’ve also been on a journey of learning to eat intuitively. I reached a bit of a plateau with both of these things. Mentally and emotionally, I’m aware of why, and they go hand-in-hand.
I’ve let go of a lot of the “control” I used to enforce on my physical being, including control around food. But, there’s still a small sliver of it left, and I’ve had a hard time letting it go. Because of this attempt at “controlling” my habits around food, I’m not always listening to what my body wants, and I sometimes “lose control” and end up eating things that are harmful for the current state of my gut. These fluctuations between over control and loss of control are not a practice of listening to my body. And, they stem from fear of being “out of control,” a fear of truly accepting myself (and my body) for who I am and how I am, naturally. I’m afraid of the Wild Woman, the Goddess in me that knows without words. I haven’t learned to let her loose or to fully trust her.
I’ve been sorting through this control thing for 10 years, and I bet it’s going to be a life-long journey of learning to release control within every single layer of life and being.
I also have come to recognize (partly through reading Charles’ books) that when I eat more than my body tells me too, it’s often due to a scarcity mindset. And, I think attempts at control only reinforce that scarcity mindset. I’m still digging into how deeply this is engrained in me, and how much of my life it permeates. It makes me sad to see how much of my life this is negatively affecting.
And of course, there is the self-acceptance and self-love piece. I sometimes find myself angry when I recognize how many aspects of our society, our norms, teach us to hate ourselves instead of love ourselves. I’ve been doing a self-compassion practice in the mornings, and at this time in my life it is a struggle to really feel that compassion for myself. Yet, I persist, as I have hope that it will help me learn to love myself, accept myself, and embrace all pieces of who I am.
And, finally, I invited my mom to join. The struggles I explained above are like family heirlooms, passed both unconsciously and consciously from generation to generation, among both women and men. We need to heal both individually and collectively, and I therefore felt compelled to go on this healing journey with my mother.
Thank you for reading, for resonating, and for being here.
The first session encouraged me to direct for sensory attention to my food. I’ve been working on being fully present with the first bite of every meal — experiencing it fully, from first imagining what it will taste like all of the way through the sensation of it going down into my stomach. This is sometimes hard to do — I’m inpatient, it’s hard to focus on that and remain present, I’d rather be reading or whatever else while I eat. But I also feel something healing when I do it, so I’m sticking with it as I think it is a useful practice.
The second session encouraged me to become aware of unhealthy cravings, habits, or compulsions, to identify them, and to set an intention for when they arise to pause and just feel what it feels like. And then, to ask myself “What hurts? What do I really want? What hurts?”
Wow, this has been a difficult practice. I plan to keep working at it for a couple of weeks as, when I pause, I think “oh this habit really isn’t that bad, it’s not harming me, why do I need to ask that question,” and I just go on looking at Instagram or eating that extra piece of chocolate. What do I really want? I’m not sure, as I don’t think that the things I’ve come up with outside of the moment are quite on point. I need to ask that question in that moment, and sit with it for a while.