Monday, May 24, 2010
I talk all the time about how your relationship with good food goes
in cycles. You eat well, then some thing happens and you get derailed
for a while, eating crap. That eventually gets really old and you clean
it up again, and so it goes. On and on. For years.
Sometimes, when you "bottom out" in the cycle, it seems to have an
extra gravity, doesn't it? Like you got caught in a tar pit, when
self-care is just a hypothetical concept you laugh scornfully at.
"Yeah, yeah, exercise and a bowl of broccoli sound LOVELY for
someone who has TIME! My life is so far from achieving the whole
'self-care package' of eating well, exercising and sleeping, that
there's no point in even starting. I'm going to Dunkin Donuts. Want
Sometimes it's regular old disorganization, other times it's self-defeating thinking.
But sometimes we are on the threshold into a new stage of
development in our lives and it's SCARY. Sometimes our life invites us
to step UP, to inhabit a larger, more spectacular version of ourselves
that feels...too... good.
Boy THAT, my friends, is when my self-care goes to hell.
That's when I can't find time to exercise and stay up late to finish
things and get into the caffeine routine in the morning. I eat chips. I
eat sweet stuff. Without even noticing it, my inner conversation goes
from "What am I drawn to that will make me feel awesome?" to "What can
I get away with?"
After a while-- weeks? days? My body starts sending me emails.
Certain familiar old pains come back. Left foot. Lower back. Headache.
Stomach cramp. They will waltz on stage for a few moments, then
retreat. If I don't listen, they come back. They get louder. They
refuse to retreat.
My healer told me "The universe doesn't mind throwing bricks rather than pebbles."
So I listen. With each cycle of self-care, I try to get the memo as
soon as I am brave enough to. I try not to press the mute button with
pills that will make my pain go away.
But there's this extra stickiness that the bottom of a cycle when I
have to cross a threshold to crawl out of it. When I have to pull
something off that I've never done before or faced something in myself
that I'd rather not face.
Are you feeling me?
I knew a woman who got into Little Debbie Snack Cakes in order to
avoid the loud cry of the universe for her to step onto a path she
didn't feel ready for (or rather her family didn't feel ready
for.) Others will pick up smoking again. It's like tying some sand bags
onto your hot air balloon so that it doesn't fly off into the sky
before you are ready.
Seeing it for what it is-- a purposeful gesture of self-sabotage to
slow down the pace of growth-- allows me to have compassion around it.
We are all coursing with the same life force that the plants and
flowers are bursting with this spring. That in all of us. It can feel
like a careening maelstrom at times and a mellow unfolding at other
What seems clear is that we all use food as a sort of "throttle" to
regulate the speed of our growth. If you want it to speed up, eating
food that's full of life force works REALLY well.
But if you want it to slow down, you want to not see or feel so clearly, then junk food serves us for that purpose.
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