Doorway to My Inner Gifts

What excites me? What inspires me? What tickles me in a way that makes me smile? I have a list of things I turn to. Food used to be my number one choice until a diagnosis two years ago led to major changes in my lifestyle and life habits. My private battle with food turned public.

Food is not an easy subject for me. For many years I made it a habit to overeat as it always gave me the benefit of curtailing my emotions, sensations and tension. I did it with blind awareness. The practice helped me feel in control. Overeating helped me survive so much pain and loss.

While training as a spiritual director, we had to choose a spiritual practice, something we face daily that we learn from. I chose my new food plan. With mentors to speak with and this journey in front of me, so began the unraveling of my food addiction.

As the days became months, I struggled with the limitations in my food plan. I wasn’t able to overeat or to eat any of my familiar and comforting foods. If I did, the penalty was incredible pain and discomfort. I was unable to sit in meditation. My monkey mind was screaming. I was silently crying on the inside.

I held on to the rules of the diet like a bible and followed them meticulously and eventually experienced relief in my physical symptoms. Six months came and went in my limited food choices. I learned to prepare all my foods including homemade mayonnaise and other condiments, crackers and noodles. As the parameters of my food plan loosened a bit with my improvement, I immediately pushed the limit and overate. The painful backlash returned. I felt cornered.

As Joanna Macy coins the phrase “the great turning” I coin the phrase “the great unthawing” in my life. As I continued the changes in my food, I more and more realized a deep feeling of shame. Overeating hid this feeling from me.

I sought psychotherapy for the trauma I experienced as a child and as an adult. As my awareness became clearer and clearer, I felt I was unlocking shame, sadness and deep grief. As I worked through these deep emotions, I was reminded how important it is for me to receive loving attention from myself. I reparented myself through tools I’ve developed over the last many years.

Prayer became an important part of my life. As I uncovered my hidden emotions, I realized how controlling I have been with my food and my emotions. Understandably, this was my attempt not to feel. However, it was time to feel.

I continue to surrender. I am able to see and define more clearly what my specific needs are. It is my right as a person on this earth to get my needs met. During a weekend intensive at Rowe I learned from a brilliant teacher, Tom Yeomans about loving the unknown. I embraced this concept. My unknown existed beyond my food.

Some of the realizations I discovered were:

It is imperative for me to stay in the present. All I have to be is in the present moment.

I was awakening my soul.

Overeating has kept my thinking small.

During a powerful session I merged my less-than self with my powerful self. I gave voice to both selves.

Every meal honors my process.

I need quiet time.

I need space around me.

I have a right to be in balance.

I ask for guidance on next steps.

I surrender my process.

I surrender my struggle.

I surrender my goals.

I surrender my control.

I surrender my story.

I surrender myself.