Recently a friend brought me to her gym to do a Zumba class with her on a guest pass. As part of the pass a young fitness trainer did an obligatory sales pitch which involved asking me about my goals, the areas I most want to change and eagerly inviting me to step on the scale. This was all an interesting experience for me now in light of having walked The Deeper Cravings Path™. I could honestly tell him that I didn’t have any of the goals on his tick sheet (related to weight loss and problem areas) and the goals I now have do not appear on his list (respecting and responding to my body, having fun and feeling energized and awake). I could tell my answers confused the trainer who was also surprised by my casual and uninterested reaction to his scale and measurement invitation.
However, the experience brought me back to a day when I would have had a much different response. I remember a weird mix of shame, admitting my body dissatisfaction to hard bodied fitness trainers, and almost getting a sort of buzz after committing with fervent resolve to a new diet or new ‘big plan’ to change. It was really exciting to put my energy into the body of my dreams and spend time daydreaming about the clothes I would wear or doing the calculations of how much weight I could lose in x number of days. The hope was intoxicating.
Thich Nhat Hahn, the prolific Buddhist teacher writes that peace is available only in the present moment. Peace cannot be found in our hopefulness about tomorrow, in fact, he says hope can create suffering through non-acceptance of the present. Consider how this applies to the concept of a diet: the whole premiss of a diet is hope; a thinner, better you. Does this not create more pain by further alienating us from our bodies in the present moment? The excitement about tomorrow is all at the expense of connection with the body of today. By clinging to our dream body we are further distancing ourselves from the body we are in.
I once saw a sweet little children’s book in a yoga shop about an “I want” monster. This is now a common conversation between me and my four-year old son. When we are out at a store or a mall and he is not allowed the toys and treats he wants it can often result in a bit of a meltdown, we then spend time after in the debrief talking about the “I WANT”STER MONSTER who can sometimes take over and convince us we are don’t have enough and cause us to forget how lucky we actually are.
Shortly after one such speech I found myself I thinking about the ways in which the “I WANT”STER MONSTER takes over me. I try very hard to not be drawn in to wanting more in the way of material possessions but there are many ways in which my ‘wanting’ manifests in my life; often related to wanting more from myself, my loved ones or more from the experiences I am in, and in the past it most certainly had to do with wanting more (or less…in actual fact) from my body.
The “I WANT”STER MONSTER also arrives in a more subtle and insidious way, when we don’t accept the moment we are in, when we find ourselves distracted, bored, restless and frustrated. Instead of wanting a certain thing or a different body, we want a different moment. The reality is that by wrestling the moment we just further distance ourselves from the peace and joy we crave overall. When we still ourselves just enough to ARRIVE in the moment and in our bodies, it is possible to find gratitude there. The moment doesn’t ask to be judged. We can just live it. Just arrive in it. Same goes for your body. When we arrive in and accept our bodies (and the moment we find ourselves in), we may not find overwhelming beauty always but, in the acceptance, we can find peace, freedom and the joy of living.
If you are tired of dieting and worrying about your weight and are craving more joyful and peaceful approach to attaining a healthy body and a connected relationship with food, Explore signing up for The Deeper Cravings Path™ small group experiences in the Seattle area and individual 1-1 coaching anywhere in the world!