October 11, 2010

Women Food and God - by Geneen Roth

Women Food and God - by Geneen Roth
An unexpected path to almost everything.

[I am not sure how does this book got into my reading list. Its about controlling your food intake].

The shape of your body obeys the shape of your beliefs above love, value and possibility. To change your body, you must first understand that which is shaping it. Not fight it. not force it. Not deprive it. Because if you force it, and deprive and shame yourself into being thin, you end up a deprived, shamed, fearful person who will also be thin for 10 min. When you abuse yourself, you become a bruised human being no matter how much you weight.

Change, if it is to be long lasting, must occur on the unseen levels first. With understanding, inquiry,openness. With the realization that you can eat the way you do for lifesaving reasons. You will stop turning to food when you start understanding in your body, not just your mind, that there is something better than turning to food. Truth, not force, does the work of ending compulsive eating. Awareness, not deprivation, informs what you eat. Presence, not shame, changes how you see yourself and what you rely on.

The desire to eat when you are not hungry reveals what you truly believe about life here on earth. And once you know what you believe, you can begin to question if it is true. When you first begin questioning your core beliefs, you don't try to fix or change or improve them. You take a breath, then you take another. You notice sensations in your body, if there is tingling or pulsing or warmth or coolness. You notice what you feel, and even if you have always called this feeling, "sadness", you are curious about it as if there is no word associated with it, no label describing it, as if it is the first time, you have ever encountered it. is it a lump of blue burned ashes in your chest? Does it feel like a hole in your heart? When you notice it, does it open or change?

This kind of questioning provides a bridge between who you take yourself to be and who you actually are. Between what you tell yourself abased on your direct experience now. It allows you to distinguish between outdated familiar patterns and the current, living truth.

With awareness(the ability to know what you are feeling) and presence (the ability to inhabit a feeling while sensing that which is bigger than the feeling), it is possible to be with what you believe will destroy you without being destroyed.

The biggest obstacle to any kind of transformation is the voice that tells you it is impossible. The voice steps in when we want to challenge the status qua. The voice controls the impulses, mediates between the proper and the outrageous; one of its primary functions is to suppress behaviors that could lead to one's arrest.

When you disengage from the voice, you have access to yourself and everything. The voice renders you incapable of contacting your own authority. It treats you as a child in need of a moral compass, but it is north does not include any terrain that is fresh or new. Think of voice as a GPS from the twilight zone. When you follow its directions, you spend your life trying to find streets that no longer exist in a city that vanished decades ago Then you wonder why you feel so unbearably lost.

As famous Zen master said," There is no right. There is no wrong. But right is right and wrong is wrong."

The same is true for eating guidelines. Following them does not lead you to a life free from emotional eating. But you cannot free yourself from the obsession with food without following them. Food - as matter turned to spirit- is the direct connection between the physical and the spiritual, between what we put in our mouths and what we feel in our hearts. Passion, strength, joy cannot take root in exhausted, burdened, half-dead bodies.

You listen to your body. You'd eat to nourish yourself. You'd love yourself with food. If you pay attention to when you are hungry, what your body wants, what you are eating, when you have had enough, you end the obsession because obsession and awareness cannot coexist. When you pay attention to yourself, you notice the difference between being tired and being hungry, Between being satisfied and being full. Between wanting to scream and wanting to eat.

The more you pay attention, the more you fall in love with that which is not obsessed:that which is blazing itself through you. Food becomes a way to sustain that blaze. When that happens, you slowly realize that you are being lived by that which is God and you wouldn't have it any other way.

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