Posts Tagged ‘emotions’

Food and Emotions

August 1, 2008

Did you ever wonder why it has been difficult to change your diet? (If it hasn’t been difficult for you, consider yourself blessed!) No matter what we know to be the ideal way for us to eat, we still gravitate towards “comfort” foods and cravings.

It may seem the body is calling for these foods, especially with cravings, but our bodies are too out of balance to trust that cravings are right for us. Most of the time, it is the unconscious mind and unconscious body calling out for theses foods.

Most of us are emotional eaters and don’t realize it. We start to associate food with love at the first suckle as a baby. From there on out, especially in old parenting paradigms, with love comes food.


Food has been used for comfort and to pacify in many ways. For example, when the baby cries, we wonder first, is s/he hungry? What if we considered that the baby might just have something to say, with a very limited vocabulary? “I’m angry, I’m scared! Hold me!” Instead of letting them be and holding them we try to ….make…it…..stop!!!, as our own uncomfortable emotions are triggered.


The foods we call “comfort foods” and have cravings for relate back to early years when love = food. So what are your comfort foods and cravings? Trace them back…


Another aspect of food that creates warm fuzzy feelings is community. Of course we celebrate everything with food and drink! And celebration is a pretty common reason/excuse to “live it up!” and forget all attempts at conscious eating. So when you try to make changes, there is a lot to wrangle with. How can you create new comfort foods and new cravings?

My 12 year old daughter has not been a big fruit lover in her recent years, but loves the effect eating raw has had on me. So she says to me, “Mom, you eat raw and I’ll eat a little bit later, when I’m older.”

Now since there is a lot of fruit laying around and I’ve been weeding out other choices in my kitchen, she’s getting more of an appetite for fruit. The other day she asked me to make her a fruit plate, so I decided to appeal to her aesthetic eye. I made her a mandala of fruit, with chopsticks! She was so amazed at the beauty of the colors and design she happily ate it and asked for more.

So now I’m spending some time getting real creative to inspire her. She knows she’s got me because I’m so happy that she’s eating fruit. Even the fruit she doesn’t like, she appreciates for art’s sake (and saves them for me). Inside, I’m more than happy, I’m ecstatic because I know I’m creating some warm fuzzy fruit associations. Love and fruit!

I have a few fruit rituals, like cutting up 3-4 raw mangoes and eating them with pure delight and joy, eating a pile of bananas one after the other, eating stinky durian with my friend Nadja, eating a monster mixing bowl of salad with my daughter (the only way she wants it), and smuggling grapes into the movie theatre.


So while you’re shifting your ideas and beliefs about food that you can live without, create new rituals with the food that you consciously want on your plate. Before long you will have unconsciously replaced the old comfort foods and cravings with new ones, and eating what’s natural for your body will come naturally.


Excuse me while I lounge and have grapes fed to me, one…by…one…


(I’d love to hear about your fruity rituals!)

Pandora’s Box

June 15, 2008

When I have mentioned that I help people with emotional healing, I often see the reaction that it is Pandora’s Box that I am opening. It is a bit of a misunderstanding here, because of the misunderstanding of the work, and the emotions themselves.


It hasn’t been friendly to express the so-called “negative” emotions of fear, anger and grief. I have discussed these emotions in previous newsletters and how we create safety for these emotions, which are as much about human Being as the “positive” emotions of joy, passion and love.


One thing that helps the fear is recognizing the difference between trafficking in the future (which hasn’t happened yet) or excitement and guidance, true help for self in the moment.  Sometimes we fear that we are going to experience exactly what has happened in the past, which isn’t true. Just because something has happened in the past doesn’t mean it will happen again, unless we believe it will (or many people believe it will). This is when mind interferes with being in the moment.  Fear coming from intuitive guidance can be quite useful, and when listened to can keep us from taking a wrong turn or packing a raincoat (metaphorically and literally speaking).

It has also been the fear that we will have to re-live the traumas that have caused us to feel these emotions from our past. “Don’t look back!” Living in the past definitely does not help, but looking at the past to learn from it can also be quite useful.


The key point that I want to make here is that there is a big difference to re-living the past traumas and doing this work.  First we are bringing resources to parts of ourselves that did not have resources. Meaning, we the Healers are doing what it takes to help where there wasn’t ever before. We are further along in our healing and evolution than we ever have been. (The war, heartache and ails of humanity on Earth does not mean there is no hope for us—but that is a discussion for another newsletter.)


How can we help ourselves by visiting our past? When we realize that we are still reacting and responding to our past as if it were happening now, bringing the help to the child in us helps the cycle of reacting and re-traumatizing. In the body the past and the present are the same. It is only the mind that uses linear time to identify itself.


So it works. The child and adult self feel better and the patterns are changed—we are constantly learning.


The part of the story of Pandora’s Box that I like to remind you of is that Hope was not released to wreak havoc on humanity, but remained in the box (actually a jar), for there is always hope to heal.





April 20, 2008

While preparing for my upcoming yoga and Process Coaching workshops I really felt at home in myself, knowing that right now, I am doing exactly what I want to be doing!  My mentor, John Pateros and my other fellow Process Coaches and Teachers were on a conference call talking about why this work is important to us as individuals and what do we want to learn or get out of teaching this work. This is how we decide which tools to focus on for each class in the series. Since I’m so passionate about this work I thought I would take this time to share this with you. Because this is the reason I have taken this work outside of myself to you.


In the beginning of my journey I sought to know myself. I wasn’t aware of this at the time. At the start of being aware of myself, it seemed as if there would be no end to the work to be done (and there isn’t—but wouldn’t that be boring if there was?). It seemed like a hopeless, uphill battle with myself and my world. I was coming out of being quite existentialist actually and felt much gloom and doom around me.


The first flicker of awareness in me was hope. That hope sparked in me a desire to seek out more than what had been presented to me in my life. So I ventured to ask questions and became a seeker. Since then I have been seeking, but for what? I did not know that it was for myself that I was seeking. But I had begun the quest. 


I love to read so books so I devoured many books from many religions and philosophies, science, fiction and biographies. As I sorted it out, I kept an open mind and began a sort of collection of what works resonated within me the most.


What I was seeking of myself, was the feminine in me.  Not as in female or woman, but the feminine in everything. Not to deny or undermine the masculine—but to find balance between the two. The feminine as in emotions and feelings, desire, passion, movement, sexuality and sensuality, honored as part of humanity—rather than a sort of bane of humanity.


I’ve wavered off the path I set out for myself time to time, been lost in the bushes or at a picnic, wavered on what seemed to be a cliff’s edge here and there, wandered over in wonder at a flower or followed the trail of a butterfly, fell in a couple of ditches, brushed myself off and returned to the path, countless times. Ultimately I return. It is my own path and it is my individual choices that I have made along the way, and with this work I’ve become more compassionate and loving to the choices I have made. I have become more compassionate and loving of others than I dreamed of being possible with my formerly existentialist outlook. I was afraid of what I would find—and found myself.


And now I get to share that with my friends, family and students, clients, or anyone willing to listen and learn, to explore themselves and their own paths to themselves—if they wish to do so. We grow individually and come back together, to be more true to ourselves and full of life.


Namaste, I honor you as I honor myself. Thank you for opening up to the possibility to explore new ways of being.

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