Yesterday morning I woke with a start.
One of those sudden in-breaths. Eyes Open BAM!
I FORGOT to change the clocks last night! Holy Smokes! What time is it!?! OMG my Eating Peace presentation is today! Quick!
The funny thing is….we were FALLING BACK in the clock time change.
Which means of course, I had an EXTRA hour. No need to jump. No need to sound the alarm.
Instead of 7 am, it was actually 6 am.
Weird, though, how there is a dramatic reaction, just for a split second instant, even though another 3 seconds later all is settled and clear.
Like some kind of residual shock bursting forth from a previous experience long ago of having the time wrong, probably during a spring season when the clocks are turned forward by an hour, and I arrived very late for something.
As I noted this inner jump, an urge to leap from bed to the kitchen to switch the clocks….I waited, recognizing all was fine….
….I became aware of how this kind of speedy quick physical all-body reaction happens with the very issue I was teaching about yesterday morning: troubles with food.
You feel upset, you feel anxious about health, you feel lonely, you have the thought you’re afraid of aging, or gaining weight, or what that person said to you.
You’re worried about money, stability, mistakes you’ve made, how you could have done better, expectations you have of yourself.
Maybe you’re worried about your long-term relationship, or never finding a partner.
Boom. You get scared. Maybe a craving enters your mind.
Wouldn’t a nice bowl of ice cream be good right now?
It’s so fast, it’s like what Scott Kiloby calls a “ghost image”. Fast as lightening.
Your mind gets freaked out for a second with reactivity, something fearful….
….and it moves very quickly into seeking whatever would be most comforting, soothing, distracting at a core, deep level.
Food. A cigarette. A glass of wine. Candy. Screen time. Ruminating. Obsessing. Repetitive Thinking.
In my case, I believed I was late, things were going WRONG, everything was collapsing, not working, a disaster.
What entered my mind was freaky thinking!
One tool I’ve shared with people wanting to understand themselves around their eating, become more aware of what happen when it comes to food or any compulsive behavior, is so simple, it seems ridiculous.
Count to 60.
Wait 60 seconds.
Ask yourself if you really, really believe what’s going on right now in your head? Are you sure there’s something scary? Are you sure thinking, reaching, grabbing, or more thinking will help? Are you positive your images of a terrible future, or a mistaken past, are right?
Who would you be if you waited 60 seconds every time you had a stressful thought, before you took action?
I have found this practice to be incredible.
You don’t need to use it around food, if that’s not your escap-ish or addictive thing.
This can be whenever you have ANY kind of stressful thought.
How do you know you’re even having a stressful thought?
You don’t feel all that good. You feel anxious. You feel nervous. You feel unhappy. You feel like something’s missing.
Wait. Sixty. Seconds.
Don’t jump to conclusions.
Don’t go anywhere.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but the thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Who would I be yesterday morning, without the belief that I needed to be concerned about how my presentation and program would go?
That was my real nervous thought.
I want to help, I need to communicate clearly, I must be useful, it’s possible to fail, I might make a mistake, things could go wrong, this is uncertain because it’s a brand new program and way of offering something for me.
I turn my thoughts around as I consider what else I was afraid of in that morning moment (besides clocks and hours changing): all is well, things will go OK however they go, I am learning, I have a ton of great and valuable information, I do help already, I can communicate clearly, it is possible to succeed, I might make a correction, things could go right, this is certain.
Can you find turnarounds to your worries or concerns, in your life?
Can you find turnarounds in your fears of tomorrow, your sadness about yesterday? In what you think is missing? Or wrong?
Self-inquiry, I remember now, is not an idea, it is deep inside my body.
It’s in and around and across and between all of us, penetrating and surrounding and opening up all of us to this exact present moment.
Wait sixty seconds.
Feel yourself reading this…feel what else is here that knows you are supported, spacious, and free.
“If we run away from our sadness, if we turn our back on anger, if we deny fear its inherent right to be here, if we kick our pain out onto the cold, dark streets…How will we ever know that these weren’t precious gifts made of gold, forged in the fires of ourselves long ago?” ~ Jeff Foster
Thinking for a moment that I might be LATE, my thoughts jolting me out of bed….
….I actually had an hour of meditative contemplation for my webinar. I relaxed. I heard the rain pattering down. I sat in the quiet, quiet cottage. I imagined the sweet participants about to join with me. I wrote back to people on email.
I let go into the unknown.
The unknown gold of the moment.
You don’t have to know, either.
Maybe not knowing, not reacting so fast, is even more fun. Try it and see.
Much love, Grace