The beautiful thing about the practice of presence is that it instantly returns us to who we actually are. As very young children we are completely awake and whole, but over time our truth becomes obscured by layers of life experience that teach us that we are something other than what we actually are.
In Return to Love, Marianne Williamson writes:
When Michelangelo was asked how he created a piece of sculpture, he answered that the statue already existed within the marble. God himself had created the Pieta, David, Moses. Michelangelo’s job, as he saw it, was to get rid of the excess marble that surrounded God’s creation. So it is with you. The perfect you isn’t something you need to create, because God already created it. The perfect you is the love within you. (p. 27-28).
In my own struggle with my body weight I accumulated layers of disappointment, shame, comparisons, wishing, searching, grasping; each one further concealing the impeccable truth; that I was already there, completely whole, regardless of my physical shape or size. Experiencing our wholeness is a matter of connecting with the wisdom that exists at our core, only accessible in the present moment.
That quote above about the statue embedded in the rock has called to me ever since I first read about it over 15 years ago. Only I interpreted that the chiseling of the rock was a lifelong process and reaching the ‘perfect you’ was a far off goal to aspire to. It is only through this journey of reclaiming my relationship with my body and with food through the practice of presence that I realize that it doesn’t need to be such a distant hope. I know now that our wholeness is accessible any time we fully engage in the present moment.
Rather than hardened stone that we need to work at chipping away I now see it more like a marble coat we wear.Through Deeper Cravings we learn that when we practice presence through mindfulness, mindful eating, meditation, yoga etc the coat slips off, if even ever so briefly. In these moments we more naturally act in alignment with our whole self: body, mind, spirit. We are not burdened with preoccupation about our body or constant judgments about ourselves and others. We are able to experience life joyfully and peacefully. Practicing presence and coming into connection with our own bodies offers an opportunity for us to be who we most authentically are and then the beauty within emerges.