Last week I wrote about Tools for Recovery, here: http://susantelford.com/2017/01/07/tool-for-recovery-part-1-yoga/ and here: http://susantelford.com/2017/01/11/tools-for-recovery-part-2-juicing/
I tried to follow these plans to the letter and managed 10 days on juice and 17 days of daily yoga, until the inevitable resistance set in.
I missed day 18 of #yogarevolution. I woke feeling tired and sore, in addition to the daily yoga I have also been walking for half an hour a day. In my enthusiasm for improving my health I have forgotten I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and have overdone things.
This is the point at which I usually give up. My mind is awash with reasons: it is too hard, I am too unfit, I have blown it now so what is the point. It is the diet mentality, the all or nothing mentality that I have had my whole life.
I am realising I don’t know what my body needs a lot of the time.
How do you know if it is best to practice even when tired. Will the activity create energy in the body or is the unwillingness to practice a sign that the body needs rest?
I did not consume juice yesterday either. Is this just a rebellion against a too rigid plan or did my body actually need something else?
In my post Love after Love: http://susantelford.com/2016/09/16/love-after-love/ I wrote that “I no longer want to follow anyone else’s plan”, yet here I am, at the start of a New Year, doing just that. I used to be really good at plans, especially diets, the more prescriptive the better.
Maybe that was because I was brought up to be good at things, to get As, to excel. I even became a teacher who encouraged kids to do the same. And yet, somehow, now, that ship has sailed. Even though I temporarily forgot and jumped into the seductive promises of the “plan”: LOSE WEIGHT FAST! INCREASE ENERGY! GET GLOWING SKIN!, my heart will not let me forget the quiet promise I made to myself, to explore a new way of being, an unforced, graceful way of living that listens to what my body and soul need every day, rather than what has been prescribed on the “plan”.
When I get still and turn my attention inward, when I ask myself “What do you want?”, the answer comes:
“I just want space to breathe, I just want to be”.
My mind objects to this and retorts “yes, but what do you want to eat?, how are you going to lose weight?” and my heart says “Stop bullying me.”
Shunrya Suzuki said
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few”
It takes humility to admit that at the age of 54 I have no intuitive sense of how to eat. I watch my husband and my son who eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full.
It seems so obvious. Eat when you are hungry. That is the purpose of eating, isn’t it? To satisfy hunger. But hungry for what?
I want to examine why I eat. Often it is because I am bored, or the clock says it is time, or because the “plan” says it is time. Or I am premenstrual, tired, emotional, bored. Or I am happy, in celebratory mood. Or because it is the weekend.
It seems I eat for every reason except to satisfy real bodily hunger.
When did I last feel actual hunger? The kind that makes your tummy rumble?
So, this is my first step in a life without plans.
Can I apply beginner’s mind to food and exercise? Can I tune into the signals my body is sending me? Can I let go of my need to control everything, to let go of the constant striving that led to burnout, that is still manifesting in ever more subtle ways?
There is a call here to discern the difference between pushing and striving and acceptance and allowing. There is something here about self-trust: doing what I say I am going to do.
I feel lost without my plan, scared that I will not get off the couch. This is simply my need to be in control.
So, just for this moment, I let go of the need to know all outcomes in advance and instead just breathe.