Growth – a poem

A false sense of safety fills me as I peek out from the walls of my imaginary box.

For now, I will lay down in the corner of this space and wrap myself up in my warm comfort blanket.

Then, comes the time, that I will step forth out into the infinite unknown.

My breath will be taken for a minute, for my lungs only know expansion through a well defined space.

The familiar will become foreign and all sense of knowing will dissolve.

I will turn inward, then, to search for answers.

My heart will flutter as it scurries to make sense of what is happening.

I will try to crawl back into my box, but it will not fit and the sight of it will make me sick.

The feel of its cramped walls will make me scream as if it is suffocating me.

I will look around at everyone else in their boxes and feelings of envy will wash through me.

Look at how comfortable they are, sleeping so soundly.

Can I crawl in with you for a minute? Can I escape my new sense of uncertainty?

It feels good for a moment to have an escape and I welcome it.

But, as time passes, I recognize this is not my space, and I must leave in search of my own.

I hang on to something inside of me, a voice, a knowing that has always been there.

I hang on to the sound of unbridled childhood laughter.

I hang on to the sound of the ocean and the vantage point at the top of my favorite mountain.

I hang on to the wisdom of the great elephant and of my dream of the rhythmic river.

I hang on.

I hang on to cherish the mystery and to dance with the unknown.

I ask if the great mystery can be my new home.

I step out into widest deepest parts of myself and I take a deep breath.

I just keep breathing.

Appearances

I breathed in and out.

My breath an expression of a thousand moments of intimacy exchanged between us.

Of a thousand moments within myself.

A relief passes over me and through me as if letting go…or hanging on.

You draw conclusions from what you see and from what you hear.

Which will make the most impact?

Will it be the silent moments in between words unsaid?

I worry about people’s thoughts of me still. (Sometimes)

Not that they will appear to know me through their first impressions…

but that they will fail to know me through their judgements.

Will we both miss out, then, on this experience like coming to a river and failing to feel the water between our toes?

Will you know my heart?

Will my soul speak to you in the moments that it speaks its truth?

Will my truth ring loudly in your ears?

What do you see beyond my outward manifestation?

Do you see me…Do you see who I am?

I am still here.

Remembering to listen to my inner wisdom in a chaotic world….

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Can you believe this sun? I took this picture as a passenger in my sister’s car. I just could not believe how beautiful it was. It seemed to take up the whole sky. It was a busy night, with cars rushing by, but the beauty of the sun captured me and took me away to another place. I forgot for a moment all the hustle and bustle of the world around me. Lately, I have been a little distracted to say the least. I have been doing a lot of reading and research on different topics and all the while completely ignoring my own inner knowing. But luckily, a little voice whispered within me and said, “hey, pay attention to me, remember me.” Wow!!! It was all this soul searching that had lead me to let go of so many hang ups about my body. It was this inner-love that had allowed me to see the big picture of unconditional self-love, but I had turned from it to seek advice from anyone but myself. How had this happened? I thought I had kicked that anxiety habit. I was standing strong on my own and knew who I was. I had found what I needed to be happy, healthy and whole. How in the world had I landed back in this place? Well, it was different this time, because I had done so much personal work to understand myself. Therefore, in some ways the betrayal of ignoring this deep meaning felt unbearable.

So, I remembered what my wisdom had told me before about beating myself up or feeling shame. The same thing applies to to this situation. I have to extend self-compassion once again. I have to understand that I am not perfect and can not expect perfection from myself or anyone else. I remember where expecting perfection got me before. The same concept should be applied to spiritual or self growth. There will be times when I forget, or chose to ignore what my heart is telling me. There will be a learning that comes from this. I must trust in the process. Had I not allowed myself to stray and forget myself a bit, I would not be here now remembering how important it is to cultivate and embrace that deep love. It is like coming home to a lover after months away. Absence really can make the heart grow fonder, whether it is for yourself or a loved one. With the awareness of loss, comes the yearning of presence.

I look now at this picture. I see that the light shines so bright it can not be ignored. However, I wonder how many times, I have traveled this road and been caught up in the rush of the traffic or the list of “to-dos” that I have failed to see the light shining before me?

The lessons I have learned are still there shining bright. The wisdom is still there expressing itself, it just takes tuning in and paying attention.

 

On this summer day, I sit outside and look all around me at all the splendor that is nature. When things were not right within, I failed to see the beauty outside of me. When the anxiety trickled in, it blocked out the calm and the peace. The peace never left, I just couldn’t see it.

Feeling gratitude now for remembering this.

 

Why having a paper due caused me to binge eat

What??? I can’t believe it, I think I just binge ate, or over ate, or ate unmindfully. Whatever you want to call it, I ate while sitting in front of my computer typing, and I ate  what usually would amount to about 2 lunches. So, I guess you could consider that a binge. I have not felt this urge in a while, and I guess I was surprised by it popping up. But, I shouldn’t be surprised. I felt it sneaking up on me ever since I sat down to start my paper 3 days ago. I write all of the time on my blog, but writing for school is a different thing entirely. Mostly, because I have to follow rules, and use APA format and quote various sources. I like learning from all of these sources and certainly I think credit should be given where credit is due, but I find tasks like this tedious. Perhaps, it is also that I have a page limit that I must stick to. My paper was supposed to be  6 pages, but I wrote 10 and had to cut it down. I am not great at brevity, which makes the freedom of a blog perfect for me. Perhaps it was also the fact that people around me were taking part in fun activities I had to pass on because I was working on my paper. Who knows, it seems like it was a culmination of many things, as it usually is. I also felt a little sad last evening after getting into an argument with someone earlier in the day, and a few other things that came up. But, mostly it was the sense of having something hanging over my head. I also really care if I write a quality essay or not since I am passionate about my work. So, perhaps it was perfectionism coming at me as well. Interestingly, now that I have sent my paper off, I feel instantly better. I feel like my whole world has opened up and a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. It is not like I don’t have other responsibilities, because I do. But, something about school work feels different. I have never even thought of this before as I have never addressed this as an issue before. However, as I think back on all my years of schooling, I can certainly recall many late night study sessions involving food or coffee. When I think about my career however, I think I have “under ate” at work, not feeling like I had time to eat, and then over ate when I got home. I am intrigued by this difference. I think I feel a little anxious, like just wanting it to be done. I know I can’t do anything until I finish it, so I eat perhaps to quell the anxiety? I am glad however, that I am learning to think about these triggers. So, perhaps in the future I will have more insight into this situation. I feel a little guilty, but I know that will not get me anywhere. I must have self compassion and remind myself this is all a learning experience. I am on a journey and I am improving. It will just take time and patience. I wonder if anyone else has had similar experiences?

Why changing judgement towards food feels harder than controlling binges.

I realized something today…that it has been easier for me to decrease binge eating than it has to decrease food judgement. I guess this sounds like an obvious statement and something I was probably aware of, but today I caught myself having some internal dialogue about my lunch that sounded like food judgement. I ate my food and I felt a little upset about some parts of it. I guess since this mindset has been with me for over 15 years it will not change over night and I must be gentle on myself and patient. The binge eating is an action that comes as a result of food judgement and many other factors. However, food judgement and restricting is certainly a huge factor. Therefore, changing this is the real challenge and is something I work at every day. I am very proud of myself, however, for stopping and noticing I was judging and then breathing love into my meal. Wow! Now, this is improvement! An action can be much easier to change then a thought. Why? because thoughts can be much more automatic and ingrained into us than an action. Sure, some actions become habitual, but to change a way of looking at a situation may take a little more time. I thought I would write this quick post since it seemed to be the theme for me today and something that really stood out. I am not discouraged by this, I accept that it is just a part of the process. Progress not perfection.