It’s funny how much fear controls us. I’ve just begun reading Gabrielle Bernstein‘s ‘May Cause Miracles‘ and already, so much has been brought up. The thing about this type of work is that, everyone can learn from it, or experience from it. That’s right-even yogis! Even if you have been surrounded by self-work & stuff similar to what Gabrielle calls ‘the Course‘- we are all human & therefore we all witness ego & experience ego. It is part of the human experience.
Reading this brings up a lot from childhood for me. I am beginning to become a witness to my life and of my past. I am beginning to truly understand who I am. Questions that I never posed are being asked & sometimes answered:
Why did I act that way?
For me, fear was really deep-rooted in self-love & acceptance. At a very young age (for various reasons) I decided to choose to believe that I wasn’t good enough or worth it, to love. By making this choice- an unfolding of events took place- where I consistently chose to not love myself. This relates to the most simple thing as not speaking up or asking a question in class & not standing up for myself (or being what is commonly referred to as a push-over), to choosing to eat something that was doing my body harm (or on the flip side, choosing to not eat at all). All of these things are & were a choice, however- what’s ironic is that I felt as if I was stuck and had no choice at all. That is how strong thoughts can be & the illusion that can be created by coping mechanisms or as Gabrielle Bernstein says, “the ego”.
Becoming a true witness to these choices is such an empowering thing. Those moments – after you’ve practiced awareness- and you finally can almost stare fear in the face and boldly say: “No thanks fear, I choose love!” I realize that this may sound slightly mushy gushy and wishy washy to some of you- that’s a normal reaction that I expect. I definitely used to have that reaction on the regular when my mother would go on about “your truth, oneness, vibrations & consciousness”. In fact, I still do have a similar reaction from time to time if the concept is a little far fetched or “out there” for me. The point is, witness the emotions that come up for you in these moments, and at any given time- and if you dare, ask yourself why?
Why am I feeling this way? Why are these emotions coming up? What is at the root of this thought or feeling?
The answer may very well not come up. Or, it may not be the answer that you are searching for or hoping for. Just allow it to sit with you, be as honest with yourself as you can- and try again next time. Self-awareness is like a muscle, each time you try the exercise or position, you are able to extend a little bit further. Work it out! Get stretching!
I am truly lucky to be where I am at this very moment. Where am I? (you may be wondering) With the sake of bragging in mind- here it goes. I am lying on a beautifully vibrant, orange beach towel. The playlist I am listening to on repeat is the sound of waves crashing on the shoreline. I’m staring at a patchwork quilt of beautiful blues & greens, along with huge deep, dark blue shadows in the distance. My toes are massaging in grainy white and beige speckles, whose texture is the ultimate when it comes to exfoliation.
I am on Baby Beach, in Paia, Maui, HAWAIIIIIII! Aloha!
This is a spontaneous trip I was not expecting at all. I was surprised with the opportunity by my mother who is here for several weeks on a retreat with her spiritual teacher, Gangaji. I jumped at the chance to come for a few days (obviously)!
So, I am here- soaking up the sun, getting some natural vitamin D, cooking & eating delicious, colourful, fresh fruit & vegetables from the amazing local grocery store Mana (mostly all organic & a incredible selection). And best of all, I am writing my heart out. There is so much inspiration here, I could write, cook & eat for weeks. Expect a few posts, photos & recipes in the next few days!
Back to fear- there are definitely times when I wonder why I had eating disorders. I don’t know if I ever will know the exact answer- but, I think there really isn’t one answer to any of these questions. Which is why, I think, things like eating disorders are quite difficult to prevent & treat. However, with that said, I am so grateful to my eating disorder & my entire history with food, eating, body-image & self love. Through all of the pain and experiences. It is a part of who I am & have become, and it has played a pivotal role in my journey up to now. What’s special for me is that I have been able to take a fear of food & eating & transformed it into a love & passion for real food.
I still have a similar ‘fear’ when it comes to fake food or food imposters. I am talking about the bulk of food that you find at the grocery store– packaged, boxed, frozen, fast-food. Everything that isn’t fresh & whole. Food that doesn’t ever expire, aka– isn’t truly a living food. My fear for this food is about health & it’s overall effect, long-term, on the planet. I’m not sure if it is a fear, totally. It is an awareness. My fear of fake food doesn’t drive me, or control me (at least not all the time) but it is definitely there & I am aware of it’s presence. That’s what I mean by saying that : working on fear and your awareness of fear- can be experienced by anyone & everyone, no matter who you are or where you are in life.
Gabrielle Bernstein asks some fundamental questions in one of the exercises in her new book, May Cause Miracles, which I think are very relevant to this post. (These have been taken directly from her book- I urge you to grab yourself a copy!
1. What experiences trigger my fear?
2. What thoughts trigger my fear?
3. What are the feelings that come over me when I am in fear?
4. How does my fear affect my behavior?
These are all pretty thought provoking questions- no matter how simple. I encourage you to try it out! List your fears (try #1-10) and explore them. What comes up for you?
I’ll leave you with that. You don’t need to tell anyone else, or share with anyone- just be honest with yourself.
Lots of Love!
Chloe @ Chloe’s Hawaiian Countertop