Sunday, June 29, 2014

Figuring it Out

Yesterday was one of those remarkable days where I felt so awake and aware; felt like the universe was rushing into me. 
As luck would have it, there was a window of time where no one else in the house was using the TV (this is truly a rare situation) so I watched a documentary about The Dalai Lama.  I was thinking that, since I was already in such a good place, it might open me up even more.  I am puzzled at how The Dalai Lama can be simultaneously so enlightened and yet so earthly and humble.  Every time I see a photo of him or a video, he is SMILING or even laughing.  His mannerisms and expressions translate into grace, joy and inner peace.  Couldn't we all use a little of those in our lives?  I don't claim to be Buddhist, but I agree with the majority of the philosophy, and just thinking of higher things calms me.  
The documentary showed what a typical day is like for him, from his early morning run on the treadmill to a full day of meetings with dignitaries from across the globe and to evening tea, which helps him get through the second half of his day.  At tea, he turns on the TV, which I was surprised to see he even had/watched since there is such trash on there.  But it showed a very human side of him.  He is in touch with the world, that's why people come from all over the world to have a meeting with him, despite having no political power.  
I think I know why.  Everyone wants to discover the keys to inner peace.  Everyone wants to know how to fix what is broken.  We are drawn to success because we want it for ourselves.  It's why we FOLLOW.  We follow diets, we follow rich people ( celebrities especially), we follow enlightened people or churches or religions, we follow doctor's advice, we follow teachers' advice, we follow our bosses and managers where they lead, we follow our parents and friends and spouses.  We are complex and multi-layered and all of these things and more make up who we are and what we strive for, but ultimately, in our quest for inner peace, we need to find the way on our own, because you are the only one who knows what your experiences and exposures feel like or being into your life.  
I finished reading another Geneen Roth book yesterday "When you Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull up a Chair", and it said some of the same things, but as usual, I learned a few more things.  What I am finding frustrating about her books is that I never quite feel like she's giving me the "how".  For instance, when you want to eat something but you aren't hungry, she says to figure out what you are really wanting (attention, rest, stimulation etc). And I find myself feeling suspicious, assumimg she leaves just enough unanswered so people spend thousands of dollars on her programs and seminars.  It leaves me screaming in my head, "HOW?!"  How do I figure out what I'm really wanting??!  Why aren't you telling me the questions to ask myself in order to figure out what I really want?!  
I mentioned I bought groceries yesterday, I always buy a heap of chips because as a family, we usually like to eat a snack together instead of going to restaurants, and our snack usually revolve around chips.  Guacamole, salsa or hummus is usually involved.  And we always have chips left over.  Organic, non-GMO tortilla chips.  I usually munch on them mindlessly, and they have taken place of my sugar craving (not saying I don't still eat my fair share of sugars). So having chips around is hard for me, but rather than follow the laws of the diet universe, it won't help me to not have them around, because then when I do get my hands on some I will binge.  It is a form of deprivation that has a negative effect.  And moreover, it wouldn't give me the chance to learn anything or stop the cycle.  
So this morning I ate breakfast, and my stomach was as full as I wanted it to be, I was not hungry in the least and would have not liked how my stomach felt if I'd eaten something more, but the chia and quinoa tortilla chips were right next to where I was cleaning, and I was considering eating a few.  I fought with myself about it in my head.  It went a little like this:
What's a few chips? 
I am not hungry, why do I want them?
They will satisfy your taste buds
They will make me too full and uncomfortable.
You can eat anything
I can eat anything when I am hungry
You could grab a few while no one is looking 
My eating isn't about them
Well, if you don't have the chips, then have some cheese.
My mouth watered at the thought of cheese, but I knew I wasn't hungry, so I made myself a cup of tea instead, and decided to blog to see if it would help me figure out what was going on.  
And in a roundabout way, I do have a start.  I know now that Geneen Roth,or anyone else for that matter, can't tell me why I overeat, or why I want to eat chips when I'm not hungry any more than the Dalai Lama can tell me how to personify grace and peace when I'm dealing with a difficult customer at work. One reason I am drawn to Buddhism philosophy is that it is about looking within.  Our broken selves are crying out for it. My questions for myself may begin with eating but the answers will lead me much deeper.  And I trust that it's where I need to go in order to fix the things that are craving the sense-experiences of eating and emotional soothing that comes along with it.  
Still pensive, going deeper, digging in the dirt, to find the places we got hurt.  
It has been said much in the diet world: the only way out is through.  So here I go!

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