Just read Geneen Roth’s, “Women Food and God,” in which she cites the connection between how we think of life, and how we treat ourselves. Geneen sees our self treatment as highly correlated with the ways we use food. She is obviously addressing women who have had eating issues (Welcome to America, what woman doesn’t ?)
She goes on to say, brilliantly, that it’s not the uncomfortable feelings that causes us to numb out with food, but the “stories” around our feelings. These feelings are largely rooted in our past, when we had little choice in the matter; drive us to “check out”. Of course, this is not limited to food. Chronic busy-ness, perfectionism, alcohol, clutter, drugs, and shopping, are all “great ways,” to numb out as well.
My newfound commitment is to really examine what I eat , using the lens of “stories” to address my hungers on all levels. This practice has opened up for me much more than my relationship with food. I’ve gotten to identify my personal “stories,” the ones that have kept me overwhelmed, playing small, and feeling endangered.
As a result, I’m able to help clients identify their own “stories” as well, freeing themselves from their outdated, antique tales.
The more I continue this practice of mindfulness around food, and life, the more I can step into the observer role in my moment-to-moment experiences and allow these old “stories” to die off. It’s been an extraordinary time of personal renewal and joy.
Since applying this mindfulness practice to my own life, I find myself far more able to address the long-standing issues that had plagued me, overwhelm and stress. Not to say that I’m Serene Sally as I burst out of bed, joyfully embracing my daily to-do list. However, more and more, I’m able to look my “stress stories” in the face, and ask myself, “Do I really want to go there?” More often than not, I respond, “No!”
As a result I’m feeling far more productive and passionate in my day to day life. Having shared this concept with other clients and colleagues, they too, report, that it’s often the “stories,” more than the experiences that keep them stuck and stressed.
So as you go through your week and look at your Completion Initiative, I encourage you to really listen to your “stories,” as they emerge. It may be the Itty Bitty Committee saying, “You have too much, you’ll never handle it all.” Whether you chose to lighten your load or not, start to look at your habitual self-talk. Ask yourself, “Will these stories move me toward my authentic self, or keep me stuck in the same ol’, same ol’ rut?” You can then have the freedom to choose to act accordingly. I encourage you to use the voice of compassion, or alternatively that of the neutral observer during this discussion
Please share your insights, thoughts and feedback on this week’s topic. I really am interested. Also, feel free to pass this along to others you think might benefit.