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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Resting the Whip Hand

 Pema Chodron is a Tibetan Buddhist, teacher, and explicator (with a wicked sense of humor). Recently I've been listening to her teachings on learning to stay--to stay present, and not get hooked by the urge to turn away from this moment, using food (or anger, or judgement, or alcohol, etc.) to do so. 
She talks, too, about being gentle with ourselves as we look at what we do and learn to live differently. She says,
It has to be done in some way that you equate it with loving kindness towards yourself, friendliness and warmth towards yourself, rather than equating it with some kind of straight jacket that you're putting on yourself, because then you get into the struggle.
 This really resonates for me. In the past I believed I had a defective body and eating the "right way" would change it into the right (and more acceptable) one. I would grab somebody's diet plan, weigh myself constantly, and work it. I was a Kitten With a Whip, one I used on myself. It was not about living differently, but discarding the unwelcome. It was not about the gentle touch, but punishment and shame.
Some people have asked how much I've lost. I don't know; I'm not weighing myself for three months. I really want (and need) to make these changes not about weight, or fat, or size.
I'm not on a diet; I'm putting down the whip, learning myself, and how to stay.

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