Saturday, May 21, 2011

A new book....

"If you try to get back the experience you had yesterday, you'll miss what God has for you today."
~Clint Brock

My mediation teacher, Clint, said two things this week that I thought were very poignant. The first is the quote above - which I'll talk about in a second. The other was that meditation is like reading a book. Each time you meditate, it's like turning a page. It may feel like nothing is happening and that it's insignificant. But day by day, page by page, you start to see it stack up. And before you know it, you are a changed person. So this week in Meditation group there was a woman who shared her experience during our meditation. She has been doing this for 5 years. She had been away for two weeks and said that she felt like she was back at day one. Page one. She said it felt awkward and silly, and embarrassing. I had a thought I shared with her after it was all over. Maybe she is at page one, but... maybe it's a different book.

Folks, I am starting a different book. I've finished and said good bye to the last one, it was a really good one, I must say. However I am looking forward to this new one. "Last Year, 45lbs lost, weight watchers, etc" was my book last year. And it seems I've clung to it with all the tenacity I have. Held tight to it for fear that if I truly let it go, if I finally admit that it's over, I'll be a failure. But the truth is, Clint is right. If I keep trying to get back the experience of yesterday, I will miss what God has in store for me today. Last year was beautiful. It was full of lessons about myself, God, and how to be a better person to others. It was filled with adventures and beautiful mountain sides. It taught me that I can do hard things. And just because it's over, doesn't mean I have to give back those lessons. They get to stay with me.

And so I let go of yesterday, to take hold of today.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Self realizations & commitment

Last night I went to a meditation group. I was scared to go, but I did it. I don't like group settings. Especially when I don't know anyone, and no one could go with me. I've noticed that the heavier I am, the more anxiety I get about being around people. 

The group had about 40 people. My teacher, Clint, was my meditation teacher in Massage Therapy school. He did some teaching for about 30 minutes and then we meditated for about 30. It was not a great meditation for me. 

He really hammered home 2 ideas. One, that the only reason to meditate is to come to God in prayer and meditation. The other idea is that with meditation you can not go into it with an agenda. With things you want to "fix". That you have to just surrender your life over to a higher power and allow that power to work in you. We have to invite it into every part of our being. To accept that if we want to really have lasting change, that change is none of our business. That we have to let this higher power in, and let it make the changes it infinitely knows is best for us.  

To me, the Higher Power is God the Father, and his son Jesus Christ. And I do believe what Clint was teaching us. So often we talk of faith as believing that we can be helped as a principal. We talk of it as doing things because we have been asked to. I do believe those to be a part of faith. But I also believe that what Clint was talking about was a higher level of faith. I believe it's the part of faith where we actually let the Lord heal our spirits, and by doing so we can come to a point where we follow the commandments, not because we have been asked to, but because doing the will of God is the only thing we seek. To do that, you have to surrender. It's scary to surrender one's control. To let go of our wants and desires, to allow the will of God to be the controlling factor in our life. Even to someone you trust as much as God.

The instant he told us to close our eyes and just be in our bodies, I revolted at the idea. Tears instantly sprang to my eyes and I did not want to be there. This vehement anger at my body and self rose up in my throat and I wanted to scream. But I didn't. I closed my eyes, I let the tears stream down my face, and I breathed.

It became apparent to me that I have not really been present in my body. I've been so focused on other things and fixing things (like what's "wrong" with me, what is broken, things that I've broke in precious relationships, etc), that I haven't allowed myself to feel what is really going on. Inside me. I've been allowing outside influences and other people's opinion matter more then my own. And certainly more then God's opinion.

In this moment of meditation, I was overcome by these emotions that I've been suppressing. Mostly anger. Anger at myself. Anger at loved ones who I feel have betrayed me recently and long ago. I think I suppress this emotion a lot because I am scared of contention. I am scared of that feeling that comes with it. I'm scared of making others feel bad. And I don't feel like I deserve the right to feel angry. Anger is selfish and is a bad feeling to have.... 

The whole meditation I just sat in this emotion, like sitting down in a puddle of muddy water. It was so uncomfortable! Usually meditation is yummy, warm and safe. This was hard, with jagged feelings, and I was acutely aware of my body. The aches I haven't even noticed and don't know how long they've been there. The feeling that I am stuffed inside of this body and it's not really my body. 

At the end I came away with the distinct impression that the reason I had to sit in these feelings was to realize that they are not evil. That I am allowed to feel anger. I am allowed to feel betrayed and hurt. And that by feeling that way - does not make me a selfish or bad person. It's what I do with those feelings that determines the kind of person I am.

I have a right to feel angry.

I have been unwilling and unable to really commit to anything over the past 4-6 months. Except eating a lot of food. I've been stagnant. I've been depressed and unable to see through the muck. But recently, things have been starting to change...

Several weeks ago, I committed to Mike to stop being stagnant. It was the weekend of General Conference. We had some amazing chats. We committed to working through the bumps and to making things better. We committed to sticking to our budget better, to getting out of debt. We committed to treating each other with more kindness and love. We committed to holding each other accountable and to no longer enable each other. To push each other to be better! We also agreed on some things that could be done to help this depression so that it won't plague our home anymore. And things have been really great! I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO blessed to have this man in my life. I adore him to the core and am daily amazed at his goodness.

At that same time, I committed myself to keeping the kitchen clean and to take better care of the house. I'm delighted to say that our kitchen has remained clean for 5 weeks straight! I know that for most people that may not be a big deal. But to me it is huge. For us it is huge. I have also kept up on the laundry, and the general cleanliness of our home. Last weekend, I even hung pictures in our house. Finally. It feels good to take ownership of this, and the spirit in our home has increased.

My weight loss journey has remained the same. I have not been dieting. Had no desire to diet. I have been eating a lot and over eating a lot. I have been more active, which has been good. But at the same time hard. Because it brings to light how truly out of shape I am. And that is painful, both physically and mentally.

As I have done some research, I have realized I have an eating disorder. I am a compulsive over-eater. This is probably not surprising to anyone who has been reading my blog. It's not really surprising to me either. It's just something I am finally ready to face. And deal with. And move past. I've been studying about how to deal with this. I've considered counseling, group therapy, moving to India :D, etc. I believe that through prayer I've come to the best solution for me (and us, as this does effect Mike too).

So I am committing myself to two things in regards to myself. One, I truly believe for me to find peace, to be healed, and to be able to move past this addiction, I need Christ. I cannot do this alone. If I give myself to him, he will turn me into my best self. I believe this begins with daily meditation and scripture study.

The other thing I am committing to is Over-Eaters Anonymous. There is a small group near my home that meets once a week. I am going to attend and work the 12 steps. There are no specific food rules, you decide all that on your own. For now, I am just committing to honoring my hunger. This will change and be modified as I start to feel ready and more comfortable with it. But for now, this is what I can commit to. For this week. We'll see what next week brings.

I meditated this morning on my own, and it was beautiful. It was warm and safe and what I expect it to be. I know it won't always be. I know that by meditating there is going to be stuff the spirit pulls out and works on. And it's going to hurt. But I know that I will be better for it. A better wife, a better daughter, a better sister, a better friend, and ultimately a better me. A me that I can come to love and enjoy being. And for now, that picture and hope is enough to get me through.