Monday, November 17, 2008

Life on the wire

Midwife and author Pam England recently wrote an inspiring article called "Woman on wire" in the Birthing From Within newsletter. Even though it is essentially on birthing, it also applies to life in general, including our relationship with food.

The central message is that once we hear our calling in life we must be prepared for the challenges that come with it. Inspired on the documentary Man on wire (see trailer below), Pam England compares the story of Philippe Petit with the journey a woman goes through during pregnancy and birth*:

"Once we say yes to the Call, with every step, (whether a high-wire walker or woman preparing to birth), we begin to prepare by gathering inner and outer resources. From the moment Philippe heard his Call, and for the next nine years, Philippe followed his passion and mastered the art of high-wire walking. (...) Philippe was an accomplished high-wire artist, but he didn't bank on just thinking positively or past successes to protect him. He anticipated problems and found solutions."
I believe dealing with our often complicated relationship with our food is a great way to open to the higher callings in our life. A classic example are the people that change their profession after becoming raw. However, it is not always an easy path and we must be prepared to face the challenges lest they take over us.
Lately I have been going through an extra-difficult PMS phase and have decided to tackle it differently. I have never been able to go through PMS without binging and I am very tired of it! This month (before PMS) I was wondering if, in a way, PMS isn't a choice and if I couldn't simply decide to eliminate it from my life forever. Of course just thinking about it didn't change anything, but now that it is full-blown I have a plan. Once this phase s over, I will prepare in advance for the next cycle, just like the high-wire artist did for so many years before actually crossing the space between the two towers.
In case you have not been following this blog, I have binge-eating disorder (BED) and it gets much worse during PMS. I have used several resources to tackle the problem (even before I really knew what was the problem), such as:
- Years of traditional therapy;
- Journaling, blogging, and participating in online communities;
- Projeciology;
- Iridology;
- Raw foods;
- Colontherapy and enemas;
- Juice fasting;
- Juice feasting;
- Neurolinguistic programming;
- Reiki;
- EFT;
- etc.
All of these things were (are) WONDERFUL and have helped me learn a lot about myself and my journey. Still, BED persists, and it is certainly NOT because all of these things don't work! Often I just didn't prepare for the challenges. Yes, living on the wire is an exhilarating experience but it is also scary and we must prepare for the journey. Here are some sample preparation questions specifically for BED I will try to answer in my journal these days:
- What situations trigger my binging? How can I deal with these situations in a positive, assertive way?
- What specific people in your life that bring me into low-evergy situations and eventually binging? What can these people teach me about myself and how can I positively transform my relationship with them? If this is not possible, how can I end this relationship in a peaceful, loving way?
- What aspects of my life am I not happy with? How can I change them? What steps do I have do take to make the transition?
These days an image has been going through my mind. I am at the edge of a cliff. A turquoise-blue lagoon lies at the bottom, and my dream life is at the shore. The cliff is very high, but deep down I know that if I jump, I will plunge safely into the beautiful lagoon and will eventually be able to get to the shore. The problem is, in real life I can't even jump into a swimming pool!
So the question is: when will I let myself take the plunge?

*Article Copyright 2008: Pam England and Birthing From Within LLC .


Emily said...

Hi Andrea,
I just wanted to thank you for your open and beautiful post about binging and how it is keeping you from your dream life. The image of the cliff and lagoon was perfect and I know I will use that when I have cravings for cooked food and the urge to overeat. Stay strong!


Dr Baylac said...

Emotional eating and the search for pleasure in food must be balanced out by a sense of purpose and a set of spiritual values. If we are only seeking to be satisfied on the physical or emotional plane something is always going to be missing. The body has its needs and pleasure is the reward that nature gives us so that we satisfy Her purpose: reproduction and self preservation. However, when we grow older we normally seek a higher purpose, whether it be to create a better world or helping others or having a better life. To resolve an eating disorder one has to accept to go through an identity crisis and redefine themselves. At Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat Center we provide a nurturing environment that enable our patients to go through the necessary transformation to be free. We offer a natural way of recovery that gives hope to our patients.