One thing I have come to see in the short time I have been writing this blog is that I have to show up and be responsible for the discipline of writing: etch out a time, sit myself down (preferably at Starbucks with a chai tea latté), set myself up to go and write down some of the ideas that have been whirling around in my head. Those are the basics. Most days the discipline also includes things like resist the internet and ignore the to do list–things that weren’t even on my mind until I sat down to write. Okay, I check my emails more than I need to. But I usually bring myself back.
I hate it at the beginning of each post. I hate it because at that moment I don’t know what I am going to write. Sure I have some orienting ideas. But I’ve come to realize that it is a process that I start but don’t necessarily know where it will go. That is the grace part-the part I do not control. It is the gift—the unmerited favour or goodwill from the universe. Yes, and thank-you.
The exercise of writing the list forced me to appreciate little things as successes that usually go unnoticed. A brilliant illustration of the power of attention with intention: wherever your attention goes, grows.
The New Year has become an important time for me in my Edmonton life. It goes back to the end of 2010. I was in Vancouver and felt especially alone. It was my first full year separated. There had been a lot of transition. No denying it, it had been hard.
I was lamenting this in late December to a group that I was part of that came together weekly for an hour by phone to support each other in personal and spiritual growth. Our leader Sue Dumais suggested I make a list of successes from the past year. I couldn’t see any harm. And I didn’t want to stay stuck or gloomy. So I trusted her. I decided on and committed to writing down 100 successes from 2010.
I ponder the concept of solipsism. It is the philosophical contention that only my existence is real. I’ve come to the conclusion that psychologically solipsism is the position that only my existence is trustworthy. Enter food.
At the beginning of this year, I committed to blog 100 times in 2016. That is an average of roughly twice a week with a couple of weeks off for good behaviour (or vacation or sickness). Here it is January 11th and only one post to date. Hmmm. I am a little bit behind schedule.
I can tell you that it is not a shortage of things to say. My mind is constantly whirling with one of two things. To start, ideas about how my relationship to food is a mirror/substitute in my life for my life. This is important to explore and discuss because I constantly hear how my experience is representative of many other women’s relationship to food, and because I am convinced that it has so much to do with our situation as women in this still patriarchal Western world. What I mean is “internalized oppression:” that is both about how we have internalized the social-political limitations of yore as negative self-talk about our appearance, especially about our bodies, that continues to limit us, and how we use gossip and criticism of other women–again about appearance and body–to police and confine them so that they don’t have lives bigger than ours. (Yes, there is a fuller blog post in there sometime soon).
I have decided to commit myself to something radical in 2016. Something radical because I want something radical in return. Liberation. I am going to blog this year about my challenging relationship to food. That is not easy for me to say.
Things happened in our past where we felt like we would not survive our feelings. So we chose to go away from the present moment by eating. Years and years of this habit make it into a truth that we don’t question.
What if the simplest thing made the greatest difference?
On what I believe to be a path of revolutionary proportions, I am often asked to explain how the relationship to food and exploring eating can be a transformative spiritual experience of immense insight and empowerment. In what I have seen, it brings you directly into contact with the emotions that are thwarting your thriving. It cuts deeper and faster than any other approach I know. With this in mind, I share a written exchange I recently had with one of my regular participants after the weekly “Daring and Sharing” call that I lead.
Even though you said it twice on last night’s call, I still completely missed what I sense was the most important part of the call for me. It was right after your saying that when you fight the bad feelings it solidifies them. It was something about accepting them. Something like “it’s in the moment of acceptance that we………”
If you could please clarify, thanks!