It was a watershed moment on the beach years ago when I realized that living in constant misery about the shape of my body was, in fact, far worse and life depleting than any number on the scale ever could be. It was a flash of insight when it became clear that I would continue to battle with my body for the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years; that it would most certainly be a lifelong struggle if I didn’t take a radically different path.
I knew, all too well, that even at the lowest weights on the yo-yo scale the battle ensued within and now after working with hundreds of women on this issue it’s clear that our external form is no indication of the health of the internal form; our beliefs. I work with almost as many lean-bodied women in my practice as full-bodied women equally miserable in their body and ready to move beyond the obsession.
When I took my own healing journey, what I hoped for was that by focusing on acceptance I could somehow learn to be at peace with my body and let go of constantly craving for something different. What I was delightfully surprised to realize was that the journey to my body was also going to be the key to help restore me to a much more balanced and peaceful relationship with food. Taking this unconventional path was also the beginning of a dive deep into the heart of present moment resulting in not only a return to my body and a healthier relationship with food but the greatest treasure of all; a taste of what it would mean to truly restore my relationship with my life.
The more than 3000 academic research articles demonstrating the health benefits of mindfulness and meditation overwhelming support how adopting these practices is perhaps the single most important thing we can do if we want to live a healthy life and yet these practices still escape the grasp of many of us. Adopting the discipline of a mindfulness or meditation practice simply so that we can achieve a long term end, some illusory state of health or happiness that we believe will bring us what we want in life, can feel like simply another set of tasks on an ever-growing ‘to do’ list.
In fact, learning to awaken in our life is so much more than a good health habit. Awakening to the moment is the ONLY task that truly matters. It is not for the sake of carving out a new future but rather for reclaiming our life NOW. For it is only in the present moment that we meet our true Selves. It is a rendezvous with God that we, sadly, so often choose to miss.
As a spiritual seeker I have dedicated so much energy to coming to know God: I’ve read, searched, dialogued, explored many churches and holy places, I’ve prayed and prayed… But little did I know that learning to find stillness would result easily in so many immediate and unquestionable experiences of God.
God wants to be known and desires our connectedness. Not just for some of us but for all of us …for you. That joy you’ve been waiting to birth into your life is available right now. This is not something you can be taught on a theoretical level, it relies on you diving into the practice of accessing the peace available within the moment, meeting yourSelf there; beneath the layers of thought, ego, identity, and material attachments.
Our life is only happening now. It is up to us to decide how much of our lives we intend to live, how much of our beloved ones we intend to experience, how much beauty we choose to see. We routinely wake up for the ‘mountaintop moments’ of life, the births, the deaths, the Facebook post-able events…but we forsake millions of other moments that to us just seem mundane. We prefer to spend those moments in a whirlwind of mentally activity, resisting or wanting. It is in learning how to drop into the moment of simplicity that we reclaim what is rightfully ours… Our life, our joy, our peace. It is here that we find the Divine and sublime connection that is ever on offer.
photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/vinothchandar/7419136734/”>VinothChandar</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>