No pictures today . . . no show previews . . . no events . . . or family/friend reunions. Just talk--maybe just talking to myself . But I'm hoping to find a link to others sharing my struggle.
With all the hoop-te-do about the big EAT*PRAY*LOVE movie (based on the fabulous book also entitled E.P.L.) that's out and hitting on all cylinders with most of the women I know, I'm focusing on another great book called WOMEN*FOOD*and*GOD. It's a journey of a different kind. No big, romantic, scary travel . . . unless travel into your own mind is scary (yes, yes & yes!).
For years I've been fighting my yo-yo-weight, which has been a losing battle in recent years . . . and a source of tremendous suffering as menopause introduces additional barriers to maintaining (oops, er . . . finding) the body of my youth. Yeah, I know that will never happen. I just want to feel better but have found myself pretty unsuccessful at stopping the insanity of overeating.
This last year, in particular, has left me with crippling, self-defeating patterns I feel helpless to alter . . . until NOW! Reading WOMEN*FOOD*and*GOD is like reading a script I could have written myself. The author, Geneen Roth, knows personally of what she speaks . . . been there, done that. And she's spent many years devoting herself to helping other women tame the internal demons. Why didn't I find her sooner?! Well, I found her now--and I'm not letting go!
This is the beginning for me. I'm jumping the gun sharing this with you, as I haven't even finished reading the book . . . and I already want to read it AGAIN!
Please bear with me; this will be a rather long quotation from the book. But it's one of my "Ah-ha!" moments and I find it absolutely hysterical:
Taken from: "Married to Amazement, Chapter 8" ( . . . on meditation)
Last night I went to bed rather cheerfully. Matt had just returned from a weeklong work trip, twelve double Bowl of Beauty peonies were blooming in my garden, and I'd had a productive writing day. Also, the earth had survived yet another twenty-four hours without a nuclear blast. Life was good.
Then came the middle of the night. My mind, which had been in repose during the previous eighty-six times I'd woken up, started playing its familiar music. And these, more or less, are the tunes:
Joe (our contractor who had installed a leaky roof) still hasn't returned my call. I bet he's not intending to. I'm going to have to call a lawyer, but it's probably going to cost so much to pay the damned lawyer that by the time i get done forking out the cash for those bills, I could have gotten a new roof. That fucking contractor. I need to call the lawyer first thing in the morning. My throat hurts. I wonder what the signs of esophageal cancer are? Is my computer on? Maybe I should go look up the signs of throat cancer. I'm getting old. Soon I'm going to die--and since Matt will die first, I'll be alone. Men always leave first. Why didn't we have children? I know people say that having children so that you will have someone to take care of you when you are old and no one else cares is not a good reason, but what were they thinking when they said that? Maybe it's not too late to adopt. We could go to Russia, maybe even the town where our grandparents came from. If we knew which or where it was. Latvia? Litvia? Minsk? Are those even real words? We'd have to spend months there. At least we could drink vodka, but first I'd have to like the taste of it. It's late, I need to go back to sleep. I think I'll get a glass of water. Water. California had its driest spring in 156 years. Soon there won't be any water. The earth is either going to be scorched or under water. And we're definitely living in the scorched part. Oh man. I better learn to eat roots and tree stumps . . . (this goes on but you get the idea!)
Quotation continued: These are the ravings of a paranoid, frightened, bitter person. Someone you wouldn't want your children to be alone with. And this was a good night.
I was roaring with laughter reading the above stream of consciousness . . . how many nights I've laid awake, fighting similar silly ramblings of my mind--leading to great anxiety by morning! I'm skipping a few paragraphs here but she goes on to say:
Most of the time we don't question our minds. We believe in their lunacy. We have a thought--my contractor is never going to call me back--that evokes a corresponding emotion (anger, anxiety, blame) and we are suddenly on the phone with the lawyer, convinced that we hired a thief who is now on his way to Costa Rica with our money. The louse.
Meditation develops the capacity to question your mind. Without it, you are at the mercy of every thought, every desire, every wave of emotion. You become unhinged, dependent on whether things are going well that day or not. Whether anyone has rejected you that day or not. If nothing kicks up the "They Did Me Wrong" mix, or the "I Am Fat and Unloved and Will Always Be This Way" mix, you might have a good eating day. But if you pass a mirror and don't like what you see, if you have a fight with a friend, a partner, a boss, a child, there is nowhere to go but your mind, which usually means listening to one of the familiar whipped-up melodies. And believing every word of it.
I want a life of amazement. I want to show up for what Zorba the Greek called "the whole catastrophe." And after living through decades of being married to obsession and self-constructed suffering, I have found that being married to amazement means showing up in the only place from which to experience it: here, now, in this very moment.
Usually when people hear the word meditation, they think of transcending this clunky earthly plane. The kind of meditation I refer to has nothing to do with transcending or leaving or changing yourself in any way--and everything to do with its opposite: showing up where you already are.
End of quote. Okay, I'm "going in" . . . wish me luck. Hope you enjoyed spending this amazing moment with me. I've got a long way to go. If I'm still fat the next time you see me, you'll know how I'm doing ;0).