Eating Peace: The holidays didn’t make me binge, my thoughts made me binge

In two weeks the annual Eating Peace Retreat assembles. Still room for two more to stay, both onsite if you like in our gorgeous retreat house. A beautiful time of being with food and silence and inquiry, in the community of others, and actually feeling eating peace. Jan 11-15. Join me.

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The mind is genius.

It sees through eyes, ears, smells, memories, imagination.

So much is going on in the head, in our thoughts, its quite astonishing. It’s all happening while we walk, run, buy groceries, drive somewhere, vacuum the floor, even talk with others.

And then there’s food.

Many people say that this time of year is the hardest when it comes to binge-eating, graze-eating, eating off the diet because of goodies and feasts and dinners with others.

I don’t know about you, but I had trouble with eating no matter what time of year it was. I really didn’t see any difference between December and July.

I’d get triggered, have emotional reactions (sometimes old repetitive ones), feel terror, anxiety, anger, sadness or depression….

….and cravings would arise, as my mind showed me images of what would help ease or soothe the pain. Food.

But that mind isn’t always right.

I’m sure you’ve noticed.

What if you asked your hand to keep you company, or how it recommends reacting to the situation, instead of your mind?

Because the inner mental voice, that takes everything very personally, that voice in the mind (which we’ve talked about a lot) can be screaming to eat the food.

The same mind can also consider and know where eating will go. Nowhere particularly useful–and in the long run absolutely NOT useful. You know what will happen already. You’ll have a moment of relief as you taste and feel the food in your mouth and swallowing it, and then instantly you’ll want more, or start screaming at yourself that you just screwed up.

What if there’s something other than your mind to listen to, when it comes to this whole feeling-uncomfortable-craving-eating cycle?

What if you consulted your hand, for example, about what to do in any situation with food and eating present?

There is a part of you, of all of us, that’s more expansive than the mind that’s talking about eating. Really.

You can say “no” with a craving, or emotion, running through the body. You can handle not eating.

You don’t have to believe your thoughts that say you can’t handle the tension, or the urge to eat, or the emotional triggers that appear.

If a crazy aunt was yelling at you in the corner to EAT EVERYTHING IN SIGHT (or smoke, drink, steal, work, lie) you wouldn’t automatically believe she’s got the right idea.

You can actually sit back, rest, and stop.

Nothing is required.

“When someone loves what is, she makes use of anything life happens to bring her way, because she doesn’t con herself anymore. What comes her way is always good. She sees that clearly, even though people may say otherwise.” ~ Byron Katie

For me, this doesn’t have to mean I condone or feel ecstatic about what comes my way, but I’m not fighting with it…I’m not fighting with my memories, or food, cravings, eating, people, emotions, circumstances. I’m letting all those things be there, as they are. No argument.

It means I don’t have to eat, if I’m not hungry.

It may not feel comfortable…but I’m not conning myself with my own mind that I can’t handle a situation, that my only option is to eat if I crave, that my emotions are intolerable.

I can turn those thoughts around: I can handle it, my only peaceful option is to NOT eat, my emotions are tolerable and part of the human experience. 

Much love, Grace

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