I never thought I would be here. Sitting at a café, sipping on a delicious coffee post-brunch (smoked salmon & organic kale eggs benedict at Tom & Serg) with complete ease and comfort. I never thought I would be able to sit down to a meal and enjoy each bite with complete and utter ecstasy. Licking my lips. Breathing lightly. Savouring each moment. Finishing the last bite without the urge to run to the washroom, wet my fingers and commence the anxiety-driven purging practice.
I’m not saying that I don’t ever experience anxiety about food and weight anymore, because I do. The sheer power and momentum it has over me though; what a massive transition. I can eat without fear-ridden thoughts. I can experience excitement for food without immediate guilt and resistance. I can just be.
I know how to feed my body what it needs when it needs it. I know how to gift my mind and soul with food when my body may not need it, but my mind and soul ask for it. We are emotional beings. Although we do at times have instinctual needs and requirements, there are times when what we want has nothing to do with what we need. The thing is, that is ok. It’s when we resist these wants so intensely that we experience pain.
Resistance can be such a slippery slope. Why do we spend so much time practicing, enforcing and teaching ourselves about resistance? We associate resistance with strength and willpower. The more willpower (and resistance) we have, the better a person we are. How does that make sense?
If we spent less time resisting and more time listening, maybe we would be experiencing less painful addictions and destructive behaviours. Through consistent resistance, what ends up happening is we desensitise ourselves from the various messages we are sent: external stimuli, internal transmissions.
What about Hunger?
Most of the world doesn’t know the difference between true physical hunger and emotional hunger. What is hunger? What are the physical signs of hunger? How can you tell the difference between true physiological hunger and the desire to cover up emotions with food? I’d say that most of us don’t.
I think that this is becoming an interesting topic in the world. It seems as though more and more people are increasing their interest in health and nutrition. More people are growing their awareness of their bodies and the connection to the mind. I think this is largely a result of pain. After years of great desensitisation and unconscious consumption and distraction, we are waking up. For some, this is a result of earlier exposure to insight, for others, it’s a result of great pain.
When we experience pain, we are always more inclined to turn to distractive outlets rather than feel the emotion. This has been a large point of insight for me this past year. Although I always found myself to be very open and vulnerable, I realized that much like many people, I hide from pain. Real pain. Heart-wrenching pain. Pain that I have been hiding from since I was a young girl.
We all have our stories. We all have our histories. We all have our pain. It’s the pain, though, which offers the invitation to grow. Pain is actually the gift of life. Whether it is pain from this life, or a past life (if you believe that), it is pain which breaths life. When was the last time you truly allowed yourself to feel the feeling.
Feel the feeling, drop the story.
This seemingly simple objective proves to be one of the most difficult life tasks. This isn’t about thinking or analyzing. It’s the exact opposite. This is about immersing yourself in the experience and the emotion. We hold onto stories to protect ourselves from the feeling. I feel this way because of this. I am going through this because of this. We love to justify how and why we feel the way that we do. What if we just felt the feeling? What if we let go of control.
The past 6 months have been incredibly insightful for me. I’ve found myself in a place where I am ready to release the barriers; I am ready to let go of the protective boundaries, which I built up years ago. Since I was a little girl I have felt the need to protect myself, from various things. My biggest fear: love. I have had a very powerful fear of love. Of receiving love. Of embracing love. Of being love.
What about Love?
For me, love has always been tied to anxiety. When someone would sing my praises or express their gratitude or love towards me, I would get incredibly uncomfortable. Most of the time, I would cry. I never knew why this would happen. Until finally, I realized that I am afraid of love. You can always tell when a belief system or ingrained belief has been sparked. This event will be immediately accompanied with some sort of discomfort: body language, emotion and/or distracted behaviours.
We all have these stories and beliefs. I think the importance is in becoming aware of them so we can then release them. We can stop the resistance. We can let go of control. That’s the key. It all comes down to the subconscious mind. There is such a big difference between our conscious and subconscious minds when it comes to beliefs and patterns. So many of us go through life without truly ever understanding or witnessing why we think the same thoughts and experience the same patterns. It’s not until you bring awareness to your subconscious mind that you can begin to shift and reach the core of who we are.
And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself? – Rumi
The subconscious mind is below the surface. The subconscious mind is that which controls your behaviours and belief systems. We struggle to make permanent changes in our lives, despite consistent efforts: why? The problem: our focus is isolated to our conscious mind. In order to make sustainable changes, it’s essential to reprogram the hard-wired center of your mind, the subconscious subsurface depth of the mind.
The subconscious mind is the space where all messages received throughout your life are held. Organized into beliefs- it is these messages, which govern all of our behaviours. Most of our core beliefs have been developed during our earliest years from our experiences, thoughts and stimuli. It is these beliefs, which set us apart from each other. It is also these beliefs, which bring us together.
The subconscious mind is the motherboard of your life. The subconscious mind tells us how to breathe, how to walk and how to live. Our conscious mind is what makes us human. The thing is, sometimes, the conscious mind can get in the way of truly living. It is by connecting more with our subconscious minds that we can truly enrich our lives and embrace who we truly are.
How can you connect with your Subconscious Mind?
There are several ways to connect with our subconscious, many of which I’m sure you have heard as of late: affirmations, visualizations, hypnosis and meditation. By repeating these practices you can mobilize old beliefs and replace them with new pathways. The thing is, I have known of these concepts for years. Growing up, my mum would speak about visualizations and meditation. In university, I learnt about the subconscious and conscious mind and theory of the iceberg. It wasn’t until I was ready to truly hear it, that it made sense. Sometimes it takes practice, repetition and consistency to create movement.
So, just because things don’t change today, doesn’t mean they won’t ever.