Charlene is a journey of mindful health and self-care
Posted on 02/17/2014 @ 12:25 PM
This week I observed how easily I can be convinced by a busy, demanding schedule that exercise can wait and that overeating is a good way to calm down. The reason that I can buy into these ideas so quickly is that they are true, at least on the surface. The satisfying feeling of checking off another item on my to-do list can convince me that it is more immediately gratifying than the lovely, open spacious feeling that my body experiences when I’ve practiced yoga. The restless, anxious feeling in my belly can plead its case that nothing will soothe it like a big plate of pasta, and I’m persuaded. These are very familiar experiences. They’ve happened again and again and again throughout my lifetime.
However, I also observed that there is something very different about these experiences now. I don’t deny these patterns of indulgences like I have in the past. Previously, it was simply too painful to experience the shame and hopelessness of giving in yet again. Now, I use the “Isn’t that interesting!” exercise that I learned in the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program. I take on the role of an observer and say, “Isn’t it interesting how quickly and easily I can pick up an old pattern when I’m feeling weary. That’s understandable. It has worked in the past. Pushing aside the things that really matter to me is a clear sign that I need some self-care.”
This is indeed a much more self-compassionate and enlightening strategy!
The insight obtained by using this technique granted me the mental space to look at my to-do list with a refreshed perspective yesterday. I searched for the items that could wait for just a little while, and I carved out some time to sit in my favorite meditation spot (the Self-Care Space I created based on another Am I Hungry? lesson), with a lit candle, and allowed my busy thoughts to unfurl and quiet in order to be able to once again hear the subtle wisdom of my body. Now, I can ask, “Am I Hungry?” and “What would be a pleasing way to move my body today?” and I’m able to listen for the inner response.
It is like returning home after a harried trip.