Eating with Ego
I have read yet another book that speaks to me and eating healthy. It is A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. It is not about weight loss but about how we are living a human experience and that human aspect doesn't always want the best for us - in fact it really never does. That part, or ego as he calls it, is made up of our thoughts and emotions. When you think about it, both of those things are not really based on fact and rationality. Our thoughts and emotions can only come from our perspective and that alone taints what is really happening.
Eckhart believes, and I agree, that there is a part of us that can be rational and clear. There is a space just outside our thoughts and emotions that has a godly quality. It is our higher self. It is who we really are and have been for eons of time. Each of us has encountered this self at one time or another (at least I hope so). In meditation or prayer, it is that feeling of peace - when a warmth enters and you are calm and tuned in so to speak. You can only feel this higher self you cannot see it. Tolle calls it “being present" and I think it is a great word for it. There is no sorrow for the past or anxiety for the future, there is only now. Now is the only thing that matters. Now is the only thing that you can control. Now is life, life is now.
In general food is eaten with the ego. The ego craves and feels deprived and wants comfort. Eating from the ego, the opposite of the present, is just that, not present. Food goes down our throats and only a small percentage gets really noticed. We all have those foods that we CANNOT live without or that we CANNOT resist. I have never been one to suggest we try. The food is not the problem. It is the why. Why does not having that food(s) send a shudder through our spine? Well, maybe in the past we were deprived or in the future the possibility that we will want it and not get it sends the shudder but the fix is in the present.
The number one most important thing I did in my mind switch was to eat consciously. I ate an apple and paid attention and when I ate a cookie I was all the more aware of every bite. It was all wonderful. Food is wonderful. It really is. There are relatively a few ingredients on the earth and yet endless possibilities. We need to be in awe of food a little. We need to have reverence when we eat something delicious - especially when we worship it so.
With that intro, here is the assignment.
I want you to plan a time when you can get several of your worshiped foods together along with a pen and paper. We are not even going to talk calorie count this time. Plan ahead at least a few days and try to have some alone time. We need silence and serenity. You might want to light a candle. This is going to be holy stuff.
Sit in silence for a few minutes and just listen to yourself breath. You might hear yourself talk and when you do, answer. One voice is your ego and the other is the real you. You will begin to feel that higher you - he/she is the calm one. Next, I want you to take a bite of food and feel every last texture and taste and every last layer of flavor. Good food is good because it has more than one layer of greatness and you want to experience them all. Listen to that conversation in your head. Hear for the ego's guilt, shame, and even the pretend joy. Then switch over and experience the real joy. There is a difference.
For some, an emotion might come from out of nowhere. A thought or a memory will spark some pain and that needs to be written down for later observation. Be aware of the rush of adrenaline which is the ego. You might experience a wave of emotions and your head might be distracted with thoughts going in and out. Just being aware of that happening, you are making progress.
I am convinced that if we can let that higher power within us just peek in once in a while and say, "hey, the thoughts you are having are not the truth, they are just thoughts" or "hey, you are checked out while you are eating this", it will make a world of difference in our lives. When we can hear that voice it becomes louder and more a part of us and weight will come off. I wouldn't be surprised if many of you don't finish all the food you have collected. You may want to save it and do it again at a later time.
Now, grade yourself. Were you able to do it? Where you able to connect to your higher you? Did you feel powerful if even only for a minute? If so you are beginning a new ride - enjoy it!