I hired a coach a few weeks ago — a first for me. We are working on my relationship with food, which is basically a proxy for my relationship with life and myself. For whatever reason, this has been a focal point of my life, for a long time. A recurring “problem” of my life. An issue that just won’t go away.
So… I’m looking at it, instead of running from it. You know, I have so much resistance to even admitting it publicly. I feel ashamed. I feel like a loser. I fear being judged for having such a simple problem and needing help from someone else to get through it and take a lesson from it. I fear being seen as weak.
But you know? Maybe it’s freeing to be seen as weak. It makes me human. Maybe I can embrace that.
Anyway, every day I start the day with a meditation. This is something I’ve done for a long time, but now that it has this specific purpose behind it, there is something deeper there. I wish I was always 100% present when I meditate (or do anything, really), but sometimes I am going through the motions. Sometimes I am settling for getting to a nice-feeling place, instead of being continually curious. It’s a very sad thing to lose one’s sense of curiosity about life, to think you know everything that’s going to happen, you know what to expect. It makes you dismiss things quickly. It makes you say no to opportunities. It saps your natural energy and motivation to engage. What’s the point? my bored mind asks me. I know where this goes, it’s the same places I’ve been before.
Right now I’m turning up the dial on my moment-to-moment awareness and one thing I’m noticing a lot of is this fear of real engagement with life. Some negative part of me ended up in the driver’s seat and started saying “no” to everything, because it is cynical. Because it wants to stay safe. Because it doesn’t trust, and wants evidence before believing in anything.
The way life works, is that if you really want to engage 100%, you have to take leaps of faith. That’s what flow requires – it requires you jumping right in and trusting it will be okay. There isn’t time to think everything through and make your mind get on board. If you spend all your time thinking everything through, then one day you end up at your grave, and you still haven’t jumped in.
The flow of life is where all the fun happens. It doesn’t happen in your head, it happens out there.
It’s something that makes mindfulness feel totally paradoxical. It’s such a solitary venture to tune the world out and go inwards. It almost seems at odds with the goal of living life to the fullest externally. But it’s true what they say – as above, so below. What shows up in our external world has its roots in our internal world. So when we want to show up more fully in our external life, we must show up more honestly and completely in our internal world as well.
How often are you just quiet when you are with yourself? Do you ever distract yourself when you are by yourself? Does life ever feel like a mission to ‘stay busy’?
What happens when we just stop?
Sometimes it feels like a storm, but sometimes the whole facade drops and there is, behind all the noise, a deep and profound peace. Oh – I remember, it’s just me.This is just life. I’m here. I’m here.
It feels good to remember yourself. You are the foundation of your life. We get so focused on everyone around us. But we are at the center.
The point of meditation is to spend time in your own consciousness. To remember. To expand. To bring your energy back from the outer world and let it flow in your inner world. To just be.
Then we can return to the world, and instead of being a slave to the motion of life we can be actively swimming and delighting in the flow. Instead of being overwhelmed, we can be at peace within infinite motion.
It’s not hard. It’s not complicated. It just requires a shift of perspective.
This week I am on vacation with my family in Guerneville, CA. When I got here I was excited but also pretty afraid. Afraid of my family triggering me, afraid of my own unconsciousness. It was weird, for a couple days I couldn’t drop in and relax, I was so afraid. I wasn’t connecting with my family. It was like I was watching my life go by, going through the motions. I was so uncomfortable and lost.
I don’t think anyone noticed. It’s wild to me, all of my own unrest can just stay boiling inside me, unbeknownst to the people around me.
But I have a breaking point. And I guess that’s in part what food (binge eating) has been for me in my life, is an outlet. A place I run to for comfort.
I don’t want to be that person anymore, who is so reserved that the energy builds up and needs periodic release. It almost has nothing to do with food. It has nothing to do with how much I eat and everything to do with how I show up in my daily life, how much of myself I bring to the front to actually participate. I want to be here 100%. Not 10%. Not a safe amount. I want to show up!! Otherwise what are we here for? How will I feel at the end of it all if I tiptoed through life?
Right now I am feeling hopeful, that maybe this food issue of mine isn’t really going to be forever, that maybe I am blossoming and growing into my deeper gifts, that the work I am doing now will change my life for the better. Transformation is possible. Each of us has the power to choose how we want our life to go… and life offers us resources to help us. It all unfolds as it is meant to.
The reason I’m writing this out, is mostly for me. Because I let the ball drop on writing, and I want to pick it back up. Because when I write it does something good for me. And my hope is that it does something good for you too.
But… my job is simply taking care of myself. So I’m doing that. Doing my best. 🙂