Day 1: November 1
Day 1: I almost forgot. Please know, if you have any questions or need any help at all, please do not hesitate to write to me, and I will do my best to help.
Day 2: November 2
Day 2: Good morning. Did you see the sunshine yet? And are you at all worrying about today's assignment or about eating in general?
Please don't. Just let go and trust that everything you need to discover in yourself will emerge. And remember; Conscious eating is mostly about giving yourself gentle attention and not about self criticism nor will power nor controlling what and how you eat. Even more, though, it is about reclaiming your birthright, the loving enjoyment of food and eating.
What BLocks this ability in us? Mostly having experienced painful events when we were very, very young, during times in which we were eating. And although the scene I am about to share with you is probably more extreme than most of those which injured you all, let me share with you the first such scene which emerged in me on my journey toward conscious eating, the scene, in fact, which began this journey on September 7th.
Again, know that many of you will have no such scenes emerge in you, at least none this serious. None the less, it takes but an instant of being startled during eating for an infant to be permanently injured.
What emerged in me that day back on September 7th was this: As I began to notice my hurry and anxiety around eating, and as I allowed my imagination to explore what I was feeling, within less than a minute I saw a scene emerge (This scene is literally what I internally pictured).
I see myself as a boy about eight years old. I know I am about eight because I see myself standing behind my chair at the dinner table pushing it in, and I can easily see I am not yet as tall as the back of this chair.
Eight years old. And I am very afraid. And anxious. I see myself stare for a moment at my empty plate, whitish with little pinkish flowers on it. I stare intensely at it for this instant in fact, making absolutely certain that it is indeed empty of food.
As I look, my head is bowed down, and my seeing this plate is only a stolen glance, an act of bravery for any child at my dinner table. n that glance, though, I see the evidence I so desperately seek; my ticket out of hell is finally there right in front of me; my plate is empty.
At this point in my emergence, I recover a thought: Oh, God, tonight, I do not have to see it happen again, I do not have to sit and silently watch my little sister being beaten.
Now, this morning, November 2nd, almost forty six years later, I cried for my sister and for the aloneness she must have felt as I left her there. And for myself, for having relived this experience each and every time I ate for all the years that followed.
For most of this past September, then, I had to literally reassure myself each and every time I sat down to eat that I would let no one hurt me during this time; that I was finally safe. And this reassurance only felt genuine after weeks of doing it.
Clean plates. Being in a hurry to finish. A child deserves a safe secure happy scene in which to eat. And so do you. Please give yourself this comfort today. You, too, deserve it and so much more.
P.S. Should you wish to share these assignments with anyone, please do. And encourage those you may send them to, to respond to my e-mail as well.
Also, please know that you can return your comments to me either daily or at the end of the week.
And again, thank you for helping me.
Day 3: November 3
Day 3. I find myself wishing we all had a way to share our replies with each other in the present as you all seem to have so much in common. Anonymity first, though. And the summary will come eventually.
One thing which seems to be a theme for many of you is that you offer explanations as to how and why you eat the way you eat and why you experience what you are experiencing.
Please, try to let go of these explanations and just be gentle observers of what your internal experience is like, before, during, and after eating. And try to notice any scenes which may pop into your consciousness. And be patient.
A scene which popped into my consciousness about a week into my own journey here occurred as I was on my way to meet a friend for brunch.
I realized I felt very rushed and was driving very fast despite the fact that I had nothing important to do that day and nothing I would miss. I did notice I felt the feeling that there would be no food left when I got to the restaurant.
This theme, that there will be no food left, has been one I have been carrying for a long time. I realize I often eat as if there will not be enough. Yet the restaurant I was driving to never runs out of food. And they stay open 24 hours, seven days a week.
It was then, as I let this internal discomfort flood me on my way to the restaurant that day, that I had a scene emerge, one from when I was about four or so. In this scene, it is night and I am in the kitchen with my mother and younger sister. The only light on in the house is a candle, and the rest of the house is dark, something about saving money.
I remember nervously telling my mother how hungry I was and somehow I knew I would still be hungry after supper: supper was a single saltine cracker with a piece of cheese melted on it, the only meal that day.
Sounds like Dickens, huh? Not really. And this experie nce is the only one I can remember like this one. Still, it only takes one experience for a child to get wounded for the rest of his or her life.
Now, almost two months after having this scene emerge, I am just beginning to feel comfortable with the amount of food in the world, and in my world, to be more precise. I have just about stopped looking at other peoples' plates to see what they have and if they have more. Just about. And I have, for about a month now, been able to see normal portions as enough food for the first time in my whole life. Amazing what a little conscious noticing can uncover.
As of this morning I have lost seventeen pounds. And I am not on a diet nor am I hungry or eliminating any food. Amazing.
Is what you eat enough? Do the portions seem big enough or do you have to mentally limit yourself?
Whatever the answer, please, treat yourself with love today.
Day 4: November 4
Day 4. Already, I am so touched by all of your honesty. And courage.
Yesterday, as I thought again about how nice it would be if we could share our responses during the month, I decided to post what we are doing on my site (TheEmergenceSite.com) anonymously, of course. At the same time, I do not wish to inhibit anyone or have you worry as to what I might post, so if there is anyone for whom my posting discretely edited comments would be a problem (with the goal of sharing with each other, bits and pieces of what we find) please just let me know and I will be glad leave your responses out.
I have also come to realize that there are many of you for whom consciousness, as I refer to it in the Emergence sense (i.e. in the "Conscious Eating" sense), is a seriously unclear goal. Thus, today, I thought I would try to help with this.
What is the goal here?
The goal is to reclaim, meaning, to restore our natural access to, our ability to eat consciously, the access we were each gifted with when we arrived on the planet. What do I mean by "consciously?"
Let me start by telling you this: very simply, I believe we will never fully know what consciousness is and yes, I do realize what I am saying. But what we can do is we can use metaphors to describe this concept which is, for us humans, essentially beyond our grasp. In other words, the idea of consciousness is so big, we go into shock just trying to comprehend it, but we can use metaphors to grasp a good deal of it because metaphors are our way of accessing things beyond our understanding.
What metaphor can we use here? Try this one.
We all have three seats of consciousness: the head, the heart, and the combination of these two which I call our "nature."
The head "informs" us of our existence with mental inform-ation; the heart, with emotional / intuitive inform-ation; and our "nature," is simply the combination of these two inform-ations taken both in the same instant.
What is consciousness then? Consciousness is simply being aware of all three in the same instant. So, in any given moment, being conscious means knowing what we think, knowing what we feel, and knowing what is created when we think and feel in the same instant (knowing our nature.)
Sound deep, doesn't it, and perhaps somewhat unscientific? Actually, this metaphor is both these things. But it is also the door through which I have discovered ways to heal what have been believed to be unhealable injuries, such as learning disabilities and prejudice.
Now, how can you use this metaphor to help you during food month?
You can start by realizing that the experiences you are gathering can be sorted into three piles of stuff; your thoughts before during and after eating, your emotions before during and after eating, and your recognitions of your inner nature before during and after eating.
The following are several very good examples of the first type of consciousness; mental inform-ation:
Very good observing! And courageous in that these self examinations can be both painful and disturbing. But they are also steps on the path to reclaiming your ability to eat consciously.
An example of the second kind of consciousness would be:
Yes, there are thoughts here too, but the primary focus is the heart and emotions. The thoughts really just set the stage for the emotional information.
Off topic? No, not at all. This is a very good example of gathering emotional inform-ation in and around eating. Why? Because this person's anxiety IS somehow connected with eating. Otherwise it would not exist (for the more scientifically minded individuals present, please allow this concept to develop before dismissing it <grin>).
And this is one of the best e xamples of emotional inform-ation I received:
To those whom I have quoted, please forgive me if I have pre-empted your permission here. My heart just so connected with these responses that I wanted to share them with everyone.
As for the third type of information, examples are much harder to find as these are actually the moments of emergence I am trying to help you all have, the inner "aha" realizations which actually change our very natures. And most times, these realizations take the form of scenes which "emerge" rather than any particular thoughts or feelings. In fact, all emergences are so profound and personal that for the person themselves, there usually are no words and in fact, people often tell me this very thing, that their experience was beyond words.
Here, describing the scene is usually the only way to convey to others a sense of the experience. An example would be:
Is it the remembering which heals? No. In fact, often, people have scenes emerge which they have known about their whole lives. So what is it I am referring to here? It is the conscious experience of this scene, in a sense, the conscious experience of a life event which was previously only in the first or second ways, meaning, only mentally or emotionally but never both in the same moment.
This conscious experience of a previously unexperienced scene is what heals.
Another wonderful example would be:
God, talk about courage! Just reading what these brave explorers have discovered fills my eyes with tears. And my heart hope. Hope that we, together, can help each other to heal these painful BLocks.
Will everyone have such scenes emerge? Of course not. And to be honest, these people have been doing emergence work for quite a while now. But these examples, painful as they are to even read, are the kind of life changing realizations which alter a person's very nature, specifically here, their natural internal responses to food and to eating.
Finally, for anyone who tends to get stuck in the "head with feet" category (the cold hard facts scientific view) please ask that wonderful scientist in you to briefly step aside and allow that brilliant, sparkling, innocent little boy or girl in you to have the floor for now.
Bless you all on this, Day 4.
Day 5: November 5
Day 5. I am so surprised at the wide range of experiences being reported. And I am learning so much from all of your courage and openness.
One question which now stands out in my mind is: are the people who are not reporting the experience of hurry not experiencing it based more on the fact that this experience is buried in them (unconscious) or is it truly not in them?
At this point, I do not have this answer, nor do I think the true answer is an all or nothing answer. Further, I know all to well not to assume that everyone IS having this experience, whether conscious or not. And as I think about it, I have, since my own journey toward conscious eating began two months ago, noticed (always with surprise) that several of my closest friends seem to never have had this injury. No coincidence, they are and have always been thin. More so, they have always seemed to me to be weird in this aspect, as they have never seemed to be at war with food and eating.
Obviously, we all do not get injured in the same life areas, but injuries in this area (eating) are so common that it almost seems miraculous to me when someone does not get injured there. This and the fact that I always envy them greatly. Sometimes, even hate them. Less today than ever though.
A second realization for me has been that the way I originally designed this first weeks' assignments, I focused on hurry when in fact, I probably would have gained more insight if I had widened this focus to include any and all discomfort with regard to eating.
For instance, the following two replies clearly shows the value in this widened focus (and thank God this person is so open by nature):
And on the next day she wrote ...
To be honest, I am amazed at the degree of detail in this person's observations, especially in light of the fact that this is someone I have never even met let alone taught emergence to. And to have difficulty with most meals but not with breakfast? And yet, another woman reports having the extreme opposite reaction ...
As I said, I am seeing an incredibly wide range of reaction in only four days.
Another thing which is surprising me is that some people are reporting changes in their eating already; this at only day five. For instance ...
And this next one so touched my heart that reading it caused me to immediately burst into tears, so much so, I had to stand and walk and cry for a few minutes.
What is significant here is that the changes these people are reporting are not coming from the use of will power to enforce new mental information over their behaviors. They are coming from new choices which have emerged in them and so, these behaviors are now their natural responses in these particular situations.
This, by the way, is the main difference between emergence and other helping disciplines: with emergence, the only change which is seen as genuine healing is that a new, more loving self behavior becomes natural, as opposed to a new, more loving behavior appears because the person uses will power to override a non-loving behavior.
Exhausting, this will power thing, and for those who are new to emergence, I call this use of will power, "doing damage control"; hardly the way for a person to live a happy life.
Finally, the following two, "third type of consciousness" replies come from a man who has been seeing me only a few months and yet, his ability to see details related to his eating are incredible.
What will be the ultimate outcome of this man's experiences? I can not say as yet. I only know, five years into my work with emergence, that experiences such as these inevitably mark new entries into healing and increases in the person's levels of self love.
And to all of you on this, Day Five, I wish for you the experience today of gentle attention, both in and around eating and around the whole rest of your day.
P.S. I almost forgot. I have begun to post our experiences on my site, as best I can. To be honest, there is so much I am a little overwhelmed. But in the very best way possible.
In any event, the URL is: http://TheEmergenceSite.com/TransFoodMonthMain.htm . Know that you will be able to access the whole month's experiences through this page.
Day 6: November 6
Day 6. Day Six begins. What an amazing experience this is becoming for me. And although I am no newcomer to miracles, still, I had no idea how wonderfully this event would unfold.
Back on day one I mentioned this month's goal; to reclaim whatever conscious access we each lost to the joy we experienced when we first ate. I also mentioned I had lost quite a bit of weight but said I mentioned this weight loss only because it flew in the face of what people believe as far as nutrition and weight and all that.
I, myself, have not been any where near as concerned with weight loss during this journey as I have been with learning to love eating consciously; in effect, to emerge from the internal war I have been in for so many years. Despite this fact, though, that this month is not focused on weight loss, yesterday, someone else reported what may be the beginning of a similar experience for her as far as weight loss. Her comments say it all:
Of course, her emergences also say a lot is happening for her, and most likely, these emergences are responsible for her weight loss. Or maybe not. Admittedly, it is far too soon to draw any conclusions. But shock is shock, and anything or anyone in shock, no matter to what degree they are in shock, will lose access to some degree of their normal life skills, whether this refers to a single cell, or to a whole country, or to a human body trying to handle food.
This leads me to what may be the next obvious place to learn about; the other end of the continuum of consciousness; shock. So, we have been looking to discover things we have never consciously noticed before; to become conscious of the details in and around eating. And what has prevented us from seeing these details? Again, shock.
How, then, do you know when you are in shock; meaning, when you are to some degree not conscious? Let's start with the simplest thing to know about shock: that shock is simply any detachment from the current life event. This detachment can be mental, or emotional, or the combined experience that I call nature.
Thus, any and all detachment is shock to some degree, which is essentially why people can have such a hard time knowing they are in shock. For example, the most common experience of shock is when someone is mentally aware but emotionally unaware. Many of the reports you all are sending me contain discoveries which became visible only when you momentarily saw though the emotional fog which has obscured these details for all these years. These discoveries, then, often involve events which you have mentally known about for your whole life. They simple never had much significance.
Actually, though, for now, it would probably be best if you just gave this idea, that of being in shock in and around eating, a little time to sink in. And for those who are somewhat further along in knowing when you are in shock, it still wouldn't hurt to set aside what you already know and look deeper for a bit. You never know what treasure you might find.
Changing the subject now, another thing which has surprised me is the content of peoples' reports. I expected (but not necessarily wanted) many, many more disclosures like the following one:
Here, actually, is where the work really belongs for many of us; healing the self hate which lives and speaks so loudly inside many of us.
Can you imagine an infant being worried about weight gain? Or about the nutritional value of what is being eaten. Ridiculous. So why is it so many of us come to feel this way? (and please, don't even think of actually answering this question.)
Here again, if you actually did have answers come to mind, please just set them aside for now and allow for the possibility that what we all discover this month may possibly change some of these beliefs. And heal some hidden heartache. I certainly hope so anyway.
In truth, if the answers many have already offered us as to why we struggle with food were true, why is it so many people still struggle?
In truth, these answers almost always include some form of blame, regardless of whether it is dressed up in kindness or not. And anything which blames anyone or anything is at least partially false. Certainly, conclusions based on such beliefs are flawed to say the least.
If you are now having trouble understanding what I am saying about blame, try picturing the little boy in the next report:
So many of us as children suffered in and around food. And most of this suffering had little to nothing to do with being "abused" by anyone. In fact, most of these wounding scenes are relatively ordinary events.
Why, then, has no one seen this connection before? Perhaps, because the theorists which try to tell us what to do were hurt just as badly as the rest of us.
And why have I been the one to see it finally? Only the Universe knows for sure.
Finally, please remember to be extra kind and gentle to yourselves today, especially before, during, and after eating. You may be the strong competent adults you have all worked so hard to become, but this does not heal or even honor the wounded little boys and girls who live inside of you all.
Be kind to them. Be kind to you.
And God Bless you all,
Day 7: November 7
Day 7. What an intense experience this first week has been, even for me, a person who is used to being knee-deep in life experiences and in other peoples' emergences. I also feel so privileged to be having you all share so honestly and openly with me, and to have access to your responses all at once.
I am also feeling a little guilty for not being able to post all these responses in a more timely manner. And for not being able to answer them all personally.
A little guilty is better than a lot, though. And I will post these responses eventually when I can get the time to organize them.
By the way, once again, for those interested, the address for the Food Month Index page on my site is: HTTP://TheEmergenceSite.com/TransFoodMonthMain.htm .
In my own work this week, I had an intensely painful and totally unexpected realization, this one in and around taking vitamins. Those who know me personally know I am into taking the vitamins and nutrients I need for the day twice a day, morning and night, and that I keep them, the whole slew of jars and containers and such, on the shelf over my kitchen sink.
Part of why I do this is because I do not want to worry about whether I am getting enough nutrition from the food I eat, thus, taking these supplements actually helps me to eat more consciously as I do not have the question, "am I getting enough nutrition?," rolling around inside me as I eat.
Anyway, my emergence centered around the little ritual I have in the AM in which I lay my vitamins and nutrients out for the day. I usually divide each day's capsules and pills into two Japanese tea cups, one of which I take in the AM and the other which I take at night. And for some reason, over the past few days, I have increasingly noticed how nervous and anxious I get as I reach for the containers and put the pills into the tea cups. In fact, in the past two days, I have actually noticed that my hands shake a little and that I often drop some of the capsules on the counter top. Also, sometimes, I drop the container lids in the process of screwing them back onto the containers. Weird.
Yesterday, then, I decided to slow this process down a bit and to try to be more conscious as to what was behind all this anxiety. As I then reached up to get the next container, a scene emerged.
In this scene, I am fourteen. It is late at night and everyone in the house is asleep. I see myself standing in the bathroom and as I stand there, I see myself nervously reaching into my bathroom medicine cabinet, taking jars of prescription pills down and hurriedly opening them.
I realize that this is the night my first serious girlfriend had left and that in this moment, I was deciding whether or not to kill myself. I guess my plan was to take as many pills as I could, hoping I wouldn't wake up. Obviously, someone intervened as I am, thank God, still here.
But I must have been wounded in the moment in which I reached up to grab the first pills, and I think what happened was I became suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I really did want to die; that I was about to kill myself and did not want to be saved, and every time since, when I take my vitamins or pills of anything similar, I must be reliving this terrible moment, hands shaking and all.
How was I this morning after having this scene emerge? Better. But the nervousness is still there to some extent. Even so, I know all to well that this BLock will continue to heal each and every time I pay conscious attention to my actions in this scene.
On a much more positive note, some people are already sending me things in which the evidence of healing is there, slow though they can come at times. And although few people actually recognize these moments as true healing, still, they are healing none the less.
The following is a good example:
These changes in this man's consciousness ARE the healing, and the proof is the increase in self love apparent even without the word, "love" being written.
Another example is:
And from the same person:
Realizations such as this, wherein something painful from the present gets connected to something painful in the past are almost always doorways into healing. Is this the actual healing though? Sometimes. But only if the experience is both head and heart in the same instant. In this case, then, I am pretty certain that having these recognition's emerge has helped this person to heal at least some part of her wounds in and around eating.
And yet one more evidence of healing is:
I don't know about you all, but every time I hear people say, I did something I haven't been able to do in ...," my heart just fills with beyond words stuff. Bravo to all of you brave explorers.
And thank you all, for taking the time to give so much to me.