*Just kidding…I didn’t mean “diet.”
I spent this past weekend with approximately 400 women at a Women Food & God retreat at the Kripalu Center in Western Massachusetts. There is plenty to write about, and there will be several blog posts that come from my experience, but I will just explode if I don’t write about this first.
When we begin to love ourselves, we begin to do the work of world peace. And I don’t care if I sound like a Miss America contestant or a hippie…
I have written about this before, but not quite in this way. I believe that:
…the more I fill myself up with what I love to do (and writing is one of those things)…
…the more I look inward to understand myself…
…the more I do this…
…then the more I love myself and the healthier I become.
…the more I love myself and the healthier I become, the better I am in my relationships and the more love I have to give.
It’s like I’ve become a love generator. Love, turned inward, multiplies so there’s more to give! Love is infinite…it creates itself. The more I love, the more I love.
So you can see where this is going, right?
Let’s look at what’s going on in the world. We’ve got wars, terrorism, propaganda. We’ve got this side threatening that side. We’ve got this guy wanting to burn that guy’s holy book. So we fight for change because we don’t know any other way. And the basic ingrained lesson is, war works.
Now let’s look at what was going on with me. I had an unhealthy relationship with food and with myself, not to mention a few members of my family. I overate. I was not as healthy as I could be. I would sometimes hurt myself by exercising too much. I felt broken. And I thought the only way to change was to struggle and fight for it…that there was no way that it would come easily and naturally. I thought I had take on other people’s goals. I thought I had to live by other people’s rules. And because I didn’t have any other way of seeing it, the basic ingrained lesson was, war works. And as I write this I think of all the war-like analogies in the diet/weightloss culture: boot camp, challenge, victory, battle, conquer, fight, loser, winner…
My body, my weight, and my self were a microcosm of the ingrained lesson that the only way to change is through shame, guilt, hate, and deprivation.
I don’t know exactly when I decided to step away from the diet-binge war but a key moment in the process was when I decided to stop weighing myself because it was just too damn painful to get on that scale. Another moment was when I learned how to practice acceptance right this minute no matter what. And then there was the moment that I realized that I can just be with exuberance and grief, love and rage, jealousy and confidence, insecurity and comfort, pettiness and generosity…I can be with all of it without having to numb myself.
And there’s been a million other moments.
It’s been a continuous letting go. And now it’s an active reminder that world peace starts with me.
If you can see your path laid out in front of you, step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path. ~ Joseph Campbell