The art of surrender
Recently I've discovered how gratitude is a real antidote for when fear kicks in and the eating disorder starts to drive the bus!
I was recommended by my Support Worker to maybe try writing a gratitude journal. On the same day I saw a post on the SWEDA Twitter feed about gratitude. It was like the universe was offering me wisdom and I decided to listen!
It literally worked for me instantly and brought the emotion from the amygdala region of the brain, into the ventro medial prefrontal cortex, where gratitude is experienced.
Every time I experience anxiety around food or any other fight or flight responses, I simply think of a place, person, or myself and sit in gratitude and it calms the fear part of the brain, bringing serenity and peace.
I'm also creating new neural pathways by changing behaviours and picking new habitual behaviours that are more enriching to my soul and growth.
I've recently had the opportunity to spend long periods of time on retreat. I have made it my daily habit to choose going for a walk instead of picking a negative coping strategy that will harm me.
I was astounded at how quickly it worked as now my association with walking is calmness.
I'm so glad I made the empowered choice, put my walking boots on and made that first small step to freedom from the tortured mind of oppression.
Unfortunately, my stubborn streak has prevented me from listening to people who offer suggestions. I only listen to a select few which sometimes is a blessing and a curse.
But I have to learn by genuine emotional experience because of my history with the person-centred approach. I believe the potential within is a vast extraordinary inner landscape only oneself can discover.
Every day the universe guides me to different ways to heal. Whether that be in books, inner wisdom, or a conversation with a complete stranger. The universe always provides just what's needed at any given moment. I'm a sponge for knowledge, which is creating a vista of enriching authentic power.
My war with my eating disorder has ceased.
How can I hate my eating disorder, after all, it's just a frightened part of my personality? I'm learning to offer that part compassion, friendliness and care.
Befriending the shadow is one of the most powerful explorations I have ever made. It rages, weeps, fears and grieves, but releasing it in a safe contained space with a professional therapist gives you the power to name it, own it and embrace it, as the beautiful flawed humans all of us are.
Recently I have discovered Liz Gilbert the author of ‘Eat Prey Love’. In her book Big Magic she openly discusses her relationship with fear. She explains how every time it surfaces, she offers deep respect and gratitude for this primitive part of the brain. She calmly states you can be the passenger in the back seat but I'm driving the car, picking the snacks and where we go.
This has given me a new appreciation for my brain and how at one point in my life the eating disorder kept me safe and protected me from great harm.
But its job is done.
And now I'm choosing to truly listen to words of wisdom that have been offered to me in the past.
"You gotta let the empowered woman take the space now. She's already there, you just need to find her.’’
To bring this blog to a close I would like to offer a powerful quote from the inspiring Maya Angelou:
"A Woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretence and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.’’
Ms Phoenix Thomas
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