What I learned in my own process was that there is a magic wand called curiosity. Go ahead, take this wand I now offer you. Feel it in your hand. Now go back to the last time you overate (like, this morning :) and feel how you felt once the guilt and shame set in. Notice the thoughts you are thinking like, 'I failed again. I'll never get this right. What's wrong with me? I'm hopeless. I'm disgusting. I hate myself. Why can't I just do what I say I'm going to do? Look at me, I'm fat and now I just got fatter. I'm worthless.' Do any of those thoughts sound familiar? They came right from me when I used to live this cycle. Those are the thoughts I'd think day in and day out, that were running my life, but that I was largely consciously unaware of.
I invite you to write the thoughts down. Now, I know this is not easy because these are probably things you have tried really hard to ignore, or numb out or not feel! But, be brave, see if you can write them down. As you do, take notice of what's happening in your body. Where do you feel the feelings you have around what you are noticing? See if you can just notice without judging yourself for feeling how you really feel. I know, harder said than done!
When I was in the midst of living this cycle, my friend and teacher, JP Sears, taught me a life-altering concept. He taught me that those thoughts I think after binging hold the golden key to my transformation. Now, I was in the depths of my darkness and I was willing to try anything that made sense to get my ticket to pass go and move into the light again. So, armed with my new power tool in my tool kit, errrr...wand in my hand, I sort of looked forward to my next binge. I wanted to see what came up. I wanted to get curious about what I noticed. Once I did, I was able to see what I really believed but was hiding from.
These are usually beliefs that we don't want to discover, so we eat, or drink or over-exercise or gamble. We are escape-aholics and we are very clever to find so many ways to escape what's not pleasurable. But, what we resist, persists. There is really no way out but to face these beliefs and befriend them. The only other option is to run from them and that will show up in all kinds of self-sabotaging behaviors. It's as though we are swimming through the ever changing waters of life with a bunch of beach balls, attempting to keep them all under water, and inevitably they keep popping up to hit us in the face. As long as we try to keep them under the surface, they'll zap our life-force energy and cause dis-ease in our lives. Through the use of the magic wand of curiosity about where these beliefs came from, how these beliefs have served us in our lives and curiosity about how we might begin to believe new beliefs that serve us rather than defeat us, we have taken the first major step in healing and releasing these beliefs. And as we befriend, instead of run from them, they lose their power in our lives.
There are a few modalities I've found very helpful for doing this. I personally worked with a Holistic Coach and used EFT (tapping) as well as Heart-Centered Therapies to find and heal these hidden beliefs that were running my life. We were not born on a deserted island and I believe that the work of heart healing involves being in the presence of another compassionate human that can help us see our blocks and heal them.
I now invite you into the possibility that your emotional or disordered eating is a true gift waiting to be unwrapped and cherished, the doorway to your healing on a deep level. This will change everything!
If this is something you are ready to get curious about, one of my favorite books on healing from out-of-order eating is Eating in the Light of the Moon, by Anita Johnston, PhD.
Copyright 2014, Maria Rippo
Maria Rippo is a Holistic Coach and Hypnotherapist. She works with clients to find and heal the hidden beliefs that hold them back from thriving.