First and foremost I should apologize for my lack of posts and communication with you guys. I’ve definitely dropped the blogging ball over the last few months. The summer is in session! Life is traveling at full speed! It has been a time of leaps of faith, following my gut, trusting myself, working real hard and getting what needs to get done, done! There’s been so much to write about recently, so many lessons learned and ways to find a deeper understanding. I feel like the next post or two will be communicating my experiences rather than recipes, not to worry though, I’ll throw in some creations I’ve been working on.
The first thing I want to talk to you about is my journey to into making connections between food and feelings.
I never thought I was someone who ate their feelings. Looking back I can’t exactly pinpoint a time where I can say “there! I ate my loneliness/anger/hurt/happiness there!” Not until I had a brief conversation with an incredibly magical and beautiful being (in my memory she was something of a unicorn in that she poked me in my third eye with her horn and demanded that I pay attention). Our interaction was simple. I was making her lunch and she looked at me and said “I see your mother there” pointing to her (meaning my) third eye. “That’s affecting your digestion more than you’re aware of.”
Two weeks prior I had taken a trip to see my parents. I usually love my visits but at the end of this one I left in tears feeling bewildered, hurt, angry and misunderstood. The arguments between my mother and I can be very intense. When intense, they literally shake me at my core and knock me way outside of myself and my flow. It took a week of consciously changing the energy, spending time in nature and writing. Since returning home, I noticed my body felt different. I felt heavier, like I’d gained a significant amount of weight. Let me just say now that my weight doesn’t dramatically fluctuate. If I do gain, it’s gradually. I began to look at my body differently and eat what felt like way more food. At first I looked at an Ayurvedic approach – what type was I (vata, pitta or kapha) and what foods was I eating that would disrupt balance in my body. What foods would aggravate me and my emotions? It turned out that I was actually eating a lot of foods that would do the opposite of what I wanted which was to regain balance and harmony in my body. I changed my diet accordingly. Less heating foods, more raw cooling veggies and calming herbal teas. This helped slightly but the magical, beautiful unicorn who knew none of what had happened a week prior caused me to look at my emotions, go deeper and ask more questions.
I began to look deeper within, I was still carrying a lot of feelings from the visit with my parents. I began to use various exercises to process them, understand them, then let them go. One exercise I love is called the Morning Pages. It’s a great exercise and simply consists of writing 3 long-handed pages when you wake up. It allows you to process feelings before you’ve even had a chance to think. What you write doesn’t have to make sense, you don’t have to re-read it if you don’t want to. The only rules are that you do it as soon as you’ve woken up and that you write 3 pages. The second exercise I did was a series of 6 questions asked to your higher Obi Wan Kenobi type self. I did that in regards to my lingering feelings and within days I began to feel more calm and at peace. I began my usual walking meditation (which I do more often than not) where I admire the beauty in all that’s around me. Most amazingly, I felt physical release, like someone had popped a pin into my side and I deflated back to my normal shape. I also began to look at the situation and my mum with compassion and love. A week or two later I didn’t even feel like the same person. Working through my emotions and intentionally going deeper allowed me to evolve. I started exercising again – something that I was putting off for over a year. I now feel more like me than ever and more importantly I am comfortable in my skin again.
It’s amazing how such a momentary interaction could cause such a deep chain reaction. We do use coping mechanisms to help us deal with our emotions, some we are aware of, some we are not. I hadn’t made the correlation between my emotions and what I was putting into my body (lots of food, a few more glasses of wine than usual and I even had a few cigarettes), nor my feelings about my relationships and how that shapes my reality. Even the way I feel in my body and how I look at my body is connected. This sounds obvious looking back, but it really is all connected.
I recently heard of some questions that I think are awesome to use to decipher why we’re eating
- Am I hungry?
- Is this what I want to eat?
- Could my cravings be an indication of something I am lacking?
- What emotions are my cravings connected to.
Looking back on this period of growth I’ve been reminded that
- Everything is always connected… Yes always!
- Food can be healing but it doesn’t hurt to take time and reflect
- Emotions, feelings and thoughts can spill into many aspects of life, even food
- Awareness to all that goes on is key
Here’s to being brave enough for us all to go deeper into ourselves. Understanding with love and compassion without judgment. Here’s to working through our feelings rather than using coping mechanisms. Here’s to us being awesome and making ourselves and the world better each and every day and here’s to us becoming the beautiful magical unicorns we all are!
Sending out love and light.
For more information on the morning pages visit the amazing Julia Cameron over at http://juliacameronlive.com/