This article discusses weight management and how people can use Emergence to alter both metabolism and body weight consciousness.
What is "Conscious Eating "
What do I mean by "conscious eating?"
To begin with, let me tell you what I do not mean.
I do not mean simply that you are mentally choosing what and how much food you eat, although both these acts are important parts eating consciously.
Very simply put, "conscious eating" is "being in a conscious state, right before, during, and right after you eat."
What kind of a conscious state? The kind of state babies eat in. In other words, conscious eating is eating in a state similar to the one we all once ate in, long ago, when we were new to this world.
For this reason, I call this state, the one we conscious eaters aspire to, "baby consciousness."
What's so special about this state? This state is simply the state in which our bodies process food the best. Why? Babies know they are eating. They know what food tastes like. And they know when they are hungry.
They also don't eat what they don't like, and they don't eat it. When they dislike the taste of something, they spit it out.
"Not finishing food"? They don't care. Throw it away or keep for later, but they don't care what you do with their excess food. They only want to eat when they feel hungry and, they only want to eat what tastes good.
Imagine being in this state again? You can be. How can I know? Because one of the most important points to know about conscious eating is, we all have it in us to eat this way. Our original programming is still inside us, waiting for us to tap into it.
What keeps us from being able to use it?
BLocks. We all have injuries to our abilities to stay conscious before, during, and after eating.
Can you heal these BLocks?
Yes, although the healing process is a life long process.
Do the gains you make last?
Yes, the gains you make last. Forever, in fact. Thus, like all emergences, once you visually realize something, what you discover, you see forever, for the whole rest of your life.
What kinds of things can emerge?
The four tastes, for one thing. Once they do, you will easily recognize the tastes, sweet, salty, sour, and bitter; not just occasionally, when you ask yourself; but most of the time when you're eating and even afterwards. In fact, I often can conjure up how food I ate tasted hours later. Makes me wonder if babies do this too.
What else can emerge?
An awareness of the temperature of the food you eat. When this happens, you will never again be in a hurry to burn your tongue, no matter how hungry you are. You simply won't see enduring this pain as an option, and you will naturally adjust to the time it takes for food to be at a normal temperature.
Well if you cook, you will cook differently. A lot differently. Even if these two gains were the only two you made.
What would change?
You would probably find yourself at times cooking at lower temperatures, as you would not be in a hurry to finish cooking. And you might find yourself spicing foods differently, using less spices, to be specific. Or different spices, perhaps flavors you've never tried before or thought you disliked.
Well, as you heal your injuries in and around eating with others, you may find yourself feeling less alone during meals, and for many people, this is a major change. Thus, even if you normally eat with others physically present, you may find your meals filled with more lively conversations, not because you have to try to be more lively, but simply because you feel more alive.
So what does becoming a "conscious eater" entail?
Becoming a "Conscious Eater"
Start with this.
You already are a conscious eater. You have just forgotten how to use these skills. Thus, what you really do when you commit to becoming a conscious eating is, you commit to reclaiming a part of yourself. You commit to reclaiming something you already are.
Is this a one time decision?
Actually, no. Committing to the process of "conscious eating" is a many times decision. Why? Because it's a commitment to explore, in an ongoing way, whatever BLocks your ability to be conscious in and around food. And we all have many BLocks. So because we all experience resistance to each of our Blocks, it's normal to go through this commitment process over and over again.
Does conscious eating take a lot of time?
At first, yes, it does. However, as you fall in love with the process, you stop minding the time it takes. This time, your discovery time, becomes some of the best time of your day.
Now imagine that. Your time in and around eating and food becomes some of the best time of the day. Not because you get to give in to your urges and hunger, but because you again get a chance to uncover more of the beauty in eating and food.
How about some of the actual specifics of the process?
For one thing, observing "when you feel urges to hurry" is one of the more important parts of the process. Thus, if you notice you feel urges to hurry when you are setting out your lunch, you have already lost some of your conscious awareness in and around food.
What do you do if you see this happening?
You simply notice it, with love and compassion for yourself.
But don't you make efforts to change this behavior if you see it?
Actually, the process works best if you focus mainly on noticing and less on will power. Will power, while it is a good tool for doing damage control, is really just a poor substitute for healing. And since wounds are really just "a blocked ability to picture on the screen of the mind," using will power never heals, as it never focuses on reclaiming these blocked abilities.
Fortunately, reclaiming these blocked abilities is easier than you might imagine, as all that is required is that you reclaim your ability to picture. For instance, if you are a person who likes to pile up food on your plate, then you may be unable to actually picture how much food is actually there. On the screen of your mind, that is. In fact, you may be unable to picture the food or your plate at all.
What do you do if you notice this BLock?
You simply note it, with gentle kindness and love, paying particular attention to the fact that you can not picture what is right in front of you.
Do you find it hard to believe you could not picture something that was right in front of you?
I'm not surprised. Defining wounds as "a blocked ability to picture on the screen of the mind" is a rather new concept. It's also the underlying focus of this whole site. All ten thousand pages of it. Well maybe not ten thousand pages. But close.
The Focus is on "What is Missing"
Yet another way to see what conscious eating is, is to notice what we focus on. We focus on what is missing and not on the difficult things we see and struggle with. For instance, while overeating is a problem for most of us, overeating in and of itself is not the problem. It's just the symptom.
What is the problem then?
This is hard to say. Why? Because our BLocks are as infinitely variable as the weather.
Does this make them hard to find?
No, not at all. Why? Because we have but one focus; to notice what we can not picture on the screen of our minds. And here is what is so different about conscious eating.
Conscious eating does not focus on you becoming a "better eater." It focuses on you reclaiming your native ability to love eating. How do we do this? We focus on noticing what is missing rather than on trying to eliminate the symptoms.
How can just noticing help?
It helps because it's based on a simple, logical idea; that you can not manage what you can not see. Thus, we conscious eaters know there is a big difference between "knowing about something" and really knowing it consciously. For instance, when you learned to drive, there was a time before you actually drove. During this time, you probably knew a lot about driving, things like steering wheels and brake pedals. But knowing a steering wheel exists and knowing how to steer are two totally different experiences. Likewise, knowing you have a lot on your plate and experiencing it are two different experiences as well.
Now think about the last time you ate? Do you remember what you ate? Can you also picture what you ate?
Both are required to be a conscious eater.
Now what if you can't picture this meal?
Then you were not consciously present when you ate it.
What's the big deal?
The big deal is, if you were not consciously present when you ate this meal, then most of the benefit this meal was lost. Why? Because your body had no idea you were eating and simply processed this food unconsciously.
Bodies process food unconsciously?
Yes. Absolutely. And helping your body to process food consciously is the main goal in reclaiming your "baby consciousness."
How much of a difference will achieving this make?
I can only say, you'll have to find out for yourself. For me, the difference has been enormous. How so?
I, for most of my life, have felt that food was my enemy and meals were my battlefield. I now look forward to many meals, not all meals, but many. I also look forward to them not because I get to give in to something bad but rather because I get to witness something beautiful.
Most of the time?
As I said, honestly, no. I'm still unconscious more of the time than I am conscious. But I'm committed to the process. Thus, I can look forward to reclaiming these beautiful experiences for the rest of my life. Not a bad thing to look forward to.
Where Do You Start?
You've already started, by just reading these pages. And if any beautiful possibilities have emerged, then you're so much the better already.
What do you do next?
I'd try doing the Yellow Book. It's the three month journal with which I and my early explorers discovered a lot of what I've just told you.
What if you have questions?
Please, if you have questions, write me. Please know, of course, that I can't guarantee I'll have time to personally answer every question. But I'll do my best to, at least, point you in a direction where you can find the answer for yourself. This is, after all, the best course anyway; finding out for yourself.
Finally, know this. If you are like me, then you too have been trying to win a war with food and with eating for a long time now. During this time, you've discovered a lot of good information. Please know, each and every good thing you've discovered is still good. Being a conscious eater simply means you'll get to enjoy these things even more, mainly because you'll come to love the process itself as much as the outcomes. In fact, if you're like me, you may come to love the process even more than the outcomes.
And don't give up. Even when you feel like giving up. No normal human being eats well without effort. Even so, while we all have our struggles with food, weight, and fitness, we also all have the ability to grow in and around food, weight, and fitness. And learn to see the beauty there, even in the places we believe are our worst enemies.
So don't give up. You too can once again love eating.
Want to read about conscious eating in more detail?Click here for a Quik Summary entitled,
"Emergence Weight Ranges and Conscious Eating: A Healthy Approach to Weight Management."
And click here to read an extensive online survey entitled,
"Food Month: a Journey Toward Conscious Eating."