Words can hardly express how ecstatically joyful I feel after being with an amazing retreat full of people this past weekend….
….all gathered together in Eating Peace, the in-person version of my new program rebuilt and expanded hugely this past year.
I finally sat down and wrote everything I ever learned that was absolutely key in dissolving emotional eating in my life.
Then I condensed the absolute most important points into 3 days.
I spent every hour with the group from 9 am until after dinner and our evening session.
We practiced mindful eating. Slowly taking each bite together, feeling the textures, the sensation of swallowing, the explosion of tastes, the smell of our food.
We did The Work of Byron Katie. We questioned our stressful beliefs.
I feel slow right now…..relaxed, kicking back, satisfied, accomplished.
And a funny thought came to mind as I returned home, noticed I felt hungry already upon arrival, and joined my teenage daughter chewing on roasted chicken right from the container.
We laughed and talked….and in the back of my mind I thought “what if all the participants in Eating Peace saw me eating now like this, standing in my kitchen, joking with my daughter, eating with my fingers?
OMG, they would see I’m different than the way I was on retreat!!”
Fortunately, I could notice that thought and not believe it, even chuckle, because I know this way of eating is just as wonderful for me as the other very slow, very mindful way of eating.
Really, both are sacred.
I do not forget that this thing called food, something apparently from outside of myself is entering and joining with me in a beautiful act of unification.
Two are becoming one, in the act of eating.
Even standing in the kitchen.
But it wasn’t always this way. In the past, when my eating was waaaayyyy disordered and horribly uncomfortable (even violent) I felt like I was TRYING to become one with something….
….but I just couldn’t feel it.
What it came down to was this one very painful thought about life, my inner world, and my relationship with the universe.
Something is scary here. Something is missing. Something is wrong with me. Quick! Run!
Other people have this same thought, I realized later.
They might not turn into eating weirdos with this alarming view of the universe….
….instead, they might drink, smoke, analyze, watch TV, shop, clean, exercise, THINK.
There are so many escapist activities to choose from, to take the edge off and hide for awhile, not feel so vulnerable, not be so daunted by the largeness of life.
But who would you be without the belief that you have to hide something? That there’s something wrong with you? Or that there is something frightening happening by being here on planet earth?
This is a huge idea….not easy perhaps to imagine.
And yet, you can.
You’ve imagined the opposite already, right?
You’ve imagined that the world is frightening, life is difficult, the universe is sometimes out to get you, or it’s chaotic. Bad things happen you’ve imagined. You’ve definitely thought there might be something missing, or wrong with you.
Why not see what it would be like, with that incredible imagination, without these dreadful, fearful thoughts?
What do you notice is happening right now, for example?
Are you OK?
Is anything truly dangerous occurring?