Viva was devastated when her fiancé left her for another woman. She began to consume huge amounts of ice cream saying “You just want something sweet and comforting when someone hurts you.” Viva gained fifty pounds and began to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
Stressful circumstances such as the loss of a love or being unemployed can stir up all kinds of uncomfortable feelings. Feelings of grief, sadness, loss, anxiety, depression, loneliness and emptiness can be excruciatingly uncomfortable. People smoke, drink and consume all kinds of other substances to block out the feelings out of their awareness. Other people eat to numb the pain.
Many of us begin to crave sweets when we feel hurt or vulnerable. Refined sugar acts to deaden the feelings so that we do not have to experience them. These undigested feelings turn into a heavy congestive residue that damages the physical and subtle bodies. Much of this residue is stored within the body’s internal organs and tissues. The stagnant residue of our undigested emotions and other stresses impairs the functions of the internal organs. Physical toxins begin to accumulate within the body when the cells, tissues and organs become loaded down with the additional stress of our unprocessed emotional baggage. Our metabolism may slow down as that happens and many of us start gaining additional weight.
Stagnant emotional residues that accumulate within the body also have a deadening effect upon our consciousness. The congealed residue of unprocessed feelings and other stresses impairs our ability to process our emotions and work through issues. Our bodies become very dense from the combination of accumulated physical toxin and undigested emotional residue. We may then begin to feel heavy, bloated, stuck and stagnant.
Going four days and nights without food and water alone in the mountains during the vision quest can stir up huge amounts of buried issues and emotions. I felt a strong urge to go and stuff myself at an “all you can eat” Mexican buffet right after I first began to go on the vision quests. Fortunately I caught onto what was happening after a few of those binges and I taught myself to stay fully present with the underlying feelings of discomfort that were creating the urge to stuff myself.
The demands of maintaining a practice, writing and training are tremendous. There were periods of time where I fell into the bad habit of consuming way too much caffeine to get me through the day. At other times I craved sugar and would sit down and eat whole pints of ice cream. Like many other people, I was so numb, but my self-awareness and sensitivity increased as I continued to work with the various intensive spiritual practices and go on the vision quest. I could feel the forces working to facilitate my healing bringing my body back into balance. And then I just stopped consuming sugar and caffeine. My energy level has improved, I sleep much better and I experience a much greater clarity of awareness.
The vision quest is far too intense for most, but many people that I’ve worked with have experienced the same kinds of change as a result of the individual healing sessions. Many have either cut down or completely stopped smoking, drinking or using other recreational drugs. People have told me their bodies no longer required the prescription medications they had depended upon in order to function. Others have lost their desire for caffeine, refined sugar and other unhealthy foods.
Our emotional-feeling range comprises a whole bandwidth of our consciousness. We need to make a conscientious effort to be fully present by experiencing our true feelings on a daily basis. Undigested feelings will remain trapped within our body-mind where they may eventually manifest as some form of illness or other form of physical imbalance. Stagnant emotional residues cloud our vision and impair our decision making capabilities. They often manifest as some form of compulsion or addiction or other forms of destructive behavior.
People will do or say things that are hurtful from time to time. Breathing into the hurtful feelings will ease the pain and help us to come to a place where we experience greater love and appreciation for ourselves. Those of us who feel lonely may be starving emotionally and some of us eat to fill the emotional void. It’s important for us to breathe into the painful feelings of loneliness and the empty void we experience within. Breathing into the lonely empty void will enable us to experience a sense of connectedness with all creation. Our economic situation is precarious at best. Fear and anxiety freezes up within our bodies and minds and that cuts us off from the universal flow. Breathing into the overwhelming fear and anxiety that stems from not knowing how we are going to survive will enable us to find a sense of calm in the midst of the storm. Letting down all resistance by fully surrendering to the fear opens doorways so that new possibilities can make themselves available to us.
People we interact with and the circumstances of our lives will evoke all kinds of feelings and issues. Working with our feelings as they arise provides us with an opportunity to resolve internal conflicts and to heal, grow and mature as individuals. Breathing softly and deeply as we fully immerse our awareness within the feelings and sensations as they emerge is the most powerful self-healing tool available to facilitate this process of evolution. Our cravings and other compulsive drives will diminish as we learn to become more fully present.
We also need to understand that we cannot heal completely on our own. Making use of healing resources as I mentioned earlier in this chapter will repair much of the damage we do to ourselves. Heavy stagnant emotional residues will be purified so we can digest them. Our whole body-mind operating system will begin to function at a higher level. That’s going to free up tremendous amounts of creative energy that will better enable us to create healthier relationships with our self and others and to fulfill our life’s purpose.
Freeing ourselves from patterns of emotional eating can be very challenging. Feel free to call me at (913) 927-4281 if you feel the need for further assistance.
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