That’s right folks, surrender sucks.
That’s why I eat my face off. I get tired, I eat; I get upset or riddled with fear, I eat; I freak out like a girl over some minor detail in my relationship I’m just sure means that we are doomed to failure, I eat. To celebrate, because of boredom, stress, or anxiety I eat eat eat.
I sat across from my friend day before yesterday and declared that I have an eating disorder. She looked at me shocked, talked me out of the notion and then tried to switch gears into something more positive and grounded (one of the many reasons I adore her) I left feeling not all that bad, especially when comparing myself to some stricken “others.” So I hopped on my bike riding across town on my merry way to a date with a plate of fried potato product. I deserve it after all.
I felt better, for a moment. After that I was bloated and ashamed and not so interested in getting naked with that awesome boyfriend of mine (and yes we are doing more than fine).
To say out loud or in print for that matter that I believe I have an eating disorder is pretty bold I know. It’s not something I say in jest nor do I take its implication lightly. I think it needs to be said that I also believe that many of us (men too) are suffering from some sort of food distortion or obsession. If we eat because of shame, regret, guilt, or any other reason other than physical hunger then I think there is something unbalanced that deserves some investigation.
How many of you are on a diet? How many control what they are eating in the name of activism, health, or religious preference? How many people do you know who are counting calories, portions, or the effects of supplements? How many of us are in the middle of a juice fast or a cleanse? How many raw food only, warm cooked food only, no carbs, single cheat day, these are the rules so follow them or else crazy people are out there? I am pretty sure that you know many persons in each category and in addition you’ve got a perfectly good reason for arranging your particular eating habits into a neat little box labeled “perfectly sane and rational.’
What would happen if we all just surrendered our well thought out eating habits? The real question of the day is what would happen if I did? That’s the exact question that led me to tears at the lunch table today.
Today is the day!
It’s been a pretty mind-blowing year and for those of you who have been reading me for some time know that though fraught with major change, I have landed on my feet feeling like a grateful badass. It’s the sound of the collective cheering at our good fortunes that led me back to the path of the internal world. I’ve been feeling safe again you see..
Finally feeling some stability I have endeavored to read more in the past two months and do some manicuring of the internal lawns. I have been face to face with obsessive behaviors and issues that I thought I’d conquered years ago and therefore I’ve been secretly snacking and participating in some late night shoveling in order to bury all those pesky feelings that have bubbled up.
What was I thinking anyway? It’s like I totally forgot that self exploration leads to excavation and I failed to prepare myself with an accountability partner or a few girlfriends I could verbally barf on when the need arose. I have been journaling for sure but since I have decided I can do it on my own <because I am an island damn it> I ended up in a pool of tears in my cole slaw at the Lobster Shanty on the phone with a friend.
I spend so much time caring for others and being a sounding board (which I love and feel very useful and blessed) and yet I forgot that I too need help, I too need a shoulder, I too am a fragile and beautiful creature on a path to self fulfillment.
I realize now, once again, that self fulfillment is not at the bottom of the bread basket. I remember that I do not have to clean my plate like my parents said and that I don’t have to eat what others have deemed important, healthy, or nutritious. I don’t need to sit at the tea shop to feel loved and I certainly don’t need or want to spend all my money surrounding myself with people or stuffing myself with anything so that I won’t feel lonely. All I have to do is be gentle and breath. All I have to do is observe the discomfort, when that urge to run to warm bread and cheese begins to ring in my head, I can take a moment in stillness and get curious as to why.
It doesn’t matter that I own a studio, or that I am a teacher or a widely read blogger. It doesn’t matter that I’m supposed to be the one to help or the one who has the answers. Who made up those dumb rules anyway? I’m not a guru, I’m not a prophet, I’m just a girl who grew up lonely and needs to be seen and touched and feel like the world is real again.
It does not matter what other people think. What matters is that I get lonely and I have an urge to fill that hole with something.
Bahya Kumbhaka…the bottom of the breath and the hold after, I feel anxious and expectant. In a state of deep detachment I am scared and I feel alone. What is in that absence of breath? Am I about to die?! Is god there? I’m not so sure but I’m desperate to find out. Desperate to change. I have hit my threshold for pain and I give up. It sucks, this feeling of defeat. Perhaps I am not defeated but that I am giving up a fight that no longer serves me…It’s scary.
Today I roll over into child’s pose and I surrender! Thank God for Yoga.