So, I woke this morning thinking about the “why” of my snacking behavior, which seems rooted in restlessness. Why does this restlessness cause me to continually forage, like my daughter’s caged rodent Gonzo?
Well, I have a psychologist-hypnotherapist friend, who shared with me what the process to overcoming unwanted behaviors looks like. She says usually the behavior is linked to a single experience, a particular moment when something negative happened, and the psyche, brilliant its creative survival strategies, makes some belief about the situation, or creates some way to cope or self-soothe.
I practice yoga and while in asana, sometimes I look around inside my body, for answers to many things, but these past few days, I’ve been contemplating the restless that causes me to snack. A memory came up for me.
So, I DO remember being left alone as a child, which doesn’t seem like a super good idea for a five or six year-old, but it wasn’t all bad. I’ve always been pretty content with my own company, and even at young age, I liked romping around in my imaginary world, AND I liked making my own rules.
Okay, I’m going to level with you. I was scared shitless as a kid. I hate to say that, because I’m not a woe-is-me kind of girl, but if we’re going to overcome–we’ve got to get real, right?
I remember the house, with its steep driveway and its weeping willow, positioned between the lake and the railroad tracks. I was five, maybe six. After the yellow school bus dropped me at the bottom of the driveway, I walked up the gravel drive, with a zip of green in the middle. I swung open the unlocked door, peered into the empty house, and called out in my bravest voice, “I’m home” even though my Mom and brother wouldn’t be home for hours.
“Snack!” That’s it! I will munch the fear away! It didn’t take long though, before the fear crept back into the room, parking its sorry rear-end, right over there, at the periphery of my vision.
Then, when it started to get dark, I thought up a way to make myself feel a little better: I pulled my Mom’s rabbit fur coat off the hanger in her bedroom closet, and I drug it over to the high-backed chair in the dark living room, and I wrapped it’s furry, dusty protection around me. Then, once positioned in the chair, I zipped it up and let the furry hood fall over the top. I thought, if a bad guy comes to the house, I’ll be hidden. Nobody can get me, because all they’ll see is fur. Not a girl.
As an adult, with my hypnotherapist friend, in guided meditation, I saw that child me, sweltering in a den of rabbit fur and upholstery, and across the room…I saw something I’d not noticed before. I saw an un-curtained window, and yellow light shined right into the room, and threw a warm beam onto the green carpet. Funny, now it doesn’t look scary at all! And, the light has a presence. The light feels Divine. I thought in that moment…as I do now: I’ve never been alone.
Never alone. Okay. I’ll do some more yoga and let you know more later…
Love and Lettuce,