Sometimes my feelings hit me hard and deep. They roll over me like ocean waves, the same salty taste on my skin as tears roll down. It happened in Kia‘s FitBloggin yoga class – lying unsuspecting in savasana when I was suddenly hit by tears. Tears of release, of acceptance, of contentment, of body love. The emotional waves always come as tears. Maybe it’s that trope about salt water…
The thing is though, it doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes I’m so intensely UNaware of my emotions that discovering them (usually in some roundabout way) comes as an unsettling shock. Feeling those feelings (spoiler: these are usually the unpleasant ones) is the only way I can work through then and make sense of them, but how do I feel them when I’m not always aware of them?
Two ways, both of which come down to awareness. The first responsibility I have is simply around being in the moment. I say simply, but it’s probably one of the most difficult things I aim to do on any given day. Being right here, right now is tough for me to manage. I’ve got a lot to manage and I have a hard time not constantly thinking ahead to the next thing I’m responsible for. I’m working hard to change that, though, because it means I’m rarely giving my full 100% to anything I’m doing. Particularly when it comes to my kid, that is wholly unacceptable. The other way I can be aware and accountable is by examining my thoughts and actions even when I’m not feeling vulnerable or stressed out. Because I’m finally acknowledging a sometimes extreme lack of awareness around my emotions, I have to be thinking a little harder about every day.
- Yoga: Doing yoga is one of the very few times that I can remain successfully in the moment for more than a minute or two at a time. The more time I spend on my mat, the more aware and connected I am overall. A lot of the time, something will come up on the mat that I haven’t been dealing with at all. When I cried in savasana, it was because I was finally letting go. I was releasing and settling in and feeling something I’d been stoppering up.
- Friends: Reaching out to friends when I’m having a hard time, or just maintaining ongoing conversations with friends helps me keep a closer eye on how I’m really feeling. My good friends know me well enough to know when something’s not quite right and they help me see it.
- Writing: Writing something down has always been helpful to get me thinking. I usually set out with a particular point or intention, but as I write it nearly always morphs into something else. One sentence sparks another thought, direction changes, and I get out the things I’ve been ignoring.
- Meditation: Oh man. This one is so big for me. For a while I was meditating for 5-10 minutes every morning and it was a game changer for me. I’ve fallen out of the habit, but I still turn to it when I’m feeling a little lost. The whole revelation I had around sugar last week was a direct result of meditation. I just sit in a quiet place and listen to relaxing music with my eyes closed and try to let my head settle a little.
Meditating, in fact, is what brought me to the conclusion that most of the time when I crave sugar what I’m craving is comfort. I’m looking for validation. 90% of the time, when I’m reaching for sugar it’s at a point when I’m feeling like I’m not enough. When I feel embarrassed, unqualified, uncertain, or deficient. It led me to the rather interesting realization that a lot of my work snacking is directly centered around worrying that I’m not actually qualified to do this job that I’m loving so much, that somehow I’ve been exceptionally sly in convincing everyone of my amazingness and at any moment they might find out I’m just sort of average. The weird bit is that I don’t actively feel that way. I don’t sit around thinking I’m not good. I do, on most levels, believe earnestly in my skills as a writer…but maybe because I like this job so much, I worry about not being as awesome as I want to be.
I had it confirmed yesterday, as I ate my second donut (enter the Cruller of Deficiency) while driving around town trying to find a way to fix a problem I feel responsible for. I don’t want to go into detail here because it’s not just about me, but in the end I felt like I carried blame, so I ate donuts. I don’t know if it goes as far as punishing myself, because as I’m eating the donuts I sure do enjoy them. I still haven’t figured out all the ins and outs of how this thing works, I guess.
So that’s where I’m at right now. Realizing the source of a lot of my sugar addiction. Working on immediacy and presence. Being in the moment. It’s tough stuff, man. As an update on the work snack situation, we’re ordering from NatureBox now and I have input! It’s not perfect, but it’s much better.