God in Nine Inch Nails

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Have you ever lost your mind? I lost mine last month at the Nine Inch Nails concert and found God again deep inside me. I believe there’s a piece of God in every body and the show was an unexpected spiritual experience exposing a painful truth. If you’re into music like I am, it can send chill bumps up your spine and down your legs. It can take your breath away and move you to tears. A spiritual experience isn’t easy to intellectually explain because it’s an experience, not a thought. And I’d rather experience God than think about God any day.

I’ve been a fan since “Pretty Hate Machine”, but hadn’t heard the new album, “Hesitation Marks”. The hypnotic rhythm of “Copy of A” slowly seduced me into an altered state. Trent Reznor’s haunting whisper woke up a part of me that I usually put quickly back to sleep. It seemed like the energy in the music recognized a similar energy in me and drew me into it like a magnet until I felt like I was swimming inside the sounds. I believe God is, among many things, the Creative Intelligence, and it’s through mind numbing music that I feel God vibrating in my core.

I also believe that God is Truth. Trent screamed his with “Terrible Lie”, and it echoed mine. If you’ve ever been deceived by someone to the point of losing your sanity, turn up “Terrible Lie” until it blows your head off, so you don’t have to. The blinding blasts of light from the stage and the blaring truth from Trent’s voice shattered my barrier of denial to expose my now, undeniable truth. Then it hit me that the most painful lies are the ones I tell myself. God had been whispering this truth to me for years, but every time I heard it, I quickly turned away. Well, the whisper turned into a scream at the Staples Center November 8, 2013 and I haven’t looked away this time. The truth is in the tears and I let it out when they closed the show with “Hurt”. I can never get through that song without crying.

I felt so electrified by the power surge from the show that I could’ve run home to the beach from downtown LA . Instead I drove intoxicated, under the influence of Nine Inch Nails, knowing that the experience wasn’t over, it was now a part of me. The truth was loud and instead of looking away, I turned it up. I’m staying awake to my intuition and tuned in to God. This truth set me free to explore a new world and I’m excited.

Getting kicked out of a Bar Method class

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It was a Thursday morning in 2003. I woke up early to go to an 8:30 Bar Method class in West LA. I knew it was a Level 2 class and I was supposed to take at least 5 mixed classes before going, but I went anyway because I bought a 1 month unlimited pass for $100 and I hadn’t been for 5 days. I got to class and the teacher asked if I’d been to 5 classes yet. When I said no, he said ok, but he was going to go fast and not stop to help me. I said ok and after a few minutes he came over and told me I needed to leave. Oh my God. I felt angry because I had woken up so early to go and angry at him for insulting me and being harsh about it. My pride was hurt because I didn’t want the class to see that I wasn’t good enough. My self esteem was hurt because I wanted to be someone who could keep up with the class. I wanted to get a workout and be accepted. My security was threatened because I needed to be good enough and accepted to feel ok.

As I drove away, I took responsibility for going to the class knowing I was breaking the rules. I felt the feelings that I fear so much which were: feeling rejected, not good enough, looking bad, and disrespected. These feelings translated into, “if I was thin, I would have looked and been good enough to be accepted, therefore not alone”. I felt these feelings intensely. My first reactive thought was to say no to these feelings and smoke. That felt justified for a minute. Then I reconsidered and heard the truth that to smoke would create more fear. Then I thought to get a latte and snack from Coffee Bean. But then I paused and knew that wouldn’t dissolve the feelings either. What I learned from the book, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” enabled me to take responsibility and “know” that to avoid the feelings would create more fear and disturbance and a need to “fix”. I was really proud of myself. I felt the fear and pain and took responsibility. I felt it and didn’t avoid it by eating or smoking. That’s probably the real reason why I got kicked out of the class. I didn’t get a physical workout for my body but I jumped to the next level I’ve been climbing toward for years. I said to myself, “I handled it. I can handle it. I can do it. I’m not a victim. I am powerful and loving it. I am in control of my thoughts and actions. I am in control of fear.”  Having faced my fear and walked through it, I was actually grateful to be kicked out of class!

Enough?

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Strolling my daughter on Lincoln Blvd, we cross the street into the the fancy “North of Montana”neighborhood surrounded by beautiful homes, grassy yards, and exotic gardens. I was feeling discontent, irritable and just a bit “off”. When I feel uncomfortable, my old m.o. was to eat something to feel “better”, which only added to the discomfort. As a former binge eater and bulimic, I still want to eat outside of stomach hunger, but it’s easier for me to pray now instead of eat because I know the discomfort is a hunger for the peace only God gives me, that food never did.

The thoughts that come and go that create an uncomfortable wanting for more are, “Will I ever be able to afford a house with a yard and bedrooms for both of my children”. This is a dream that I long for and a goal that positively motivates me to work hard to achieve. But it’s a problem when it becomes obsessive. The theme is wanting more and thinking that when I get the house, that will be the end of the wanting. What I realized was, whenever I want more than what I have materially, just as when my stomach is already full and I want more food, it’s really uncomfortable and I’m rarely satisfied. There’s no peace in that.

What gave me immediate relief as I turned on Alta Avenue was the intuitive thought from God that if I never get anything more in my life, if I never have any more career success, and if we never move into a house with a yard, I am more than blessed with what I already have. I actually have more that what I even need. What I have is more than enough. I’m full already. The relief washed the wanting away and I felt graced with humble gratitude.

I kept walking feeling so grateful for the relief from the wanting  – to eat and for a house. The next thought that flashed before me was “Oh Amy, people probably walk past my apartment, pushing their baby, thinking, “I wonder if one day I’ll ever be able to afford a place like this, a few blocks from the beach. If only we could live in Santa Monica and see the ocean every day”. The reality hit me of the blessings in my life and how fortunate I am that it stopped me in my tracks. I literally stopped on the sidewalk overflowing with gratitude for what I have right now.

I walked for about 20 more minutes feeling so full and completely  content, with no thought of wanting chocolate to feel better, when God gave me the grand finale. It flashed before me that I was the Mom pushing her baby 5 years ago in front of the apartment we now live in, thinking “Oh God, what if we could actually live in an apartment here, and easily afford it and were lucky enough  to get it. If only we could live in a place like this…” That was me. It’s overwhelming to be reminded that I’m already living where I hoped for, thinking it would be too good to be true. Where I am and what I have is more than enough. Knowing this in my gut, there is no room for even a thought of wanting more food than my stomach needs.  I am full, content, and at peace.

Feel it or Eat it

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Anxiety. Sadness. Fear. Disappointment. Anger.

For years I buried these feelings under the binge. I was afraid these feelings would beat me to a pulp, then swallow me up. I was afraid that if I started crying, I wouldn’t stop. Hating the part of me that couldn’t stop eating hurt. Constant judgment of my body hurt. Lost opportunities as a result of the depression that follows a binge hurt. Core wounds from childhood that emerged in adulthood hurt. Believing that I couldn’t stop bingeing hurt. These feeling were trapped inside for years. Each binge buried them deeper until I felt dead inside. Deadening the feelings with food was killing me.

But after 10 years of stuffing the pain under food, I began to (slowly) let myself cry instead of eat. Practicing self love and forgiveness made me cry, but it felt good. It felt real. I felt alive. I learned that the feelings didn’t kill me, but continuing to binge would. A good cry actually left me feeling cleansed, instead of toxic from a binge. I would cry so hard that the heavy breathing felt cleansing too, along with the tears. It felt like I was clearing out the cobwebs from my chest after years of holding my breath. I allow myself to feel my feelings now and it feels better than stuffing them with food. Crying IS a cleansing process. It’s a positive form of healing. It’s a way to honor what’s really going on , instead of denying your truth and burying it. You can’t release the pain unless you allow it to come up and out. If you binged every other day, allow yourself a cleansing cry every other day. Carve out an hour to feel your feelings and release them, instead of eat. If the pain is coming up, cry it out.

Does the Scale Lie?

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Aahhhh the number on the scale. For many of us, the scale has the power to determine our mood for the day, what we wear, if we allow ourselves to be seen, and if we love or hate ourselves. The scale can be used as an effective tool or as a punishing weapon.

I’ve found that the hungry/full scale is not only a more powerful scale, but also a more effective tool in weight management. The weight scale is a reality check; accurately reflecting the truth about how consistently I am eating at a “2” and stopping at a “6” or “7” on the hungry/full scale.

When you pay more attention to the feeling of hunger and satisfaction in your stomach, the less attention you’ll need to pay on the weight scale. Instead of being a slave to the number on the scale, you can simply flow with the innate, God given sensations in your belly. You will naturally lose, or maintain a healthy weight when staying aware of your inner body instead of being obsessed with your outer body as a result of the number on the scale. The intuitive voice in your belly becomes louder than the voices in your head.

Eckhart Tolle talks about body awareness as a way to anchor you in the present moment, which is a doorway out of the prison of your ego. What Tolle calls the “intensely alive energy field” is your Bellyful of Bliss. When you eat at a “2” and stop at a “6”, you won’t bury your bliss.

So it turns out that the scale doesn’t lie, but your hungry/full scale in your belly is your Truth.

Eating and Sex

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What is the driving force behind the need to eat outside of stomach hunger? Well, there are many, but one need is often overlooked: the primal sense of taste that longs to be satisfied. Your mouth was made to experience more than just eating food.

Have you noticed that you often crave salty/sweet, salty/sweet? Let me remind you that your partners skin becomes salty, especially when it gets hot and sweaty. And other parts of his/her body are naturally sweet…….

Compulsive eaters have a raging appetite to devour food, but have you deprived yourself of the primal need to devour your partner in a loving way? Intense,deep kissing sessions satisfies an oral fixation in a way that no chips or chocolate ever can. Without passion and mutual respect, however, sex is just another empty, unfulfilling distraction that can leave you feeling unsatisfied and drained, just like bingeing on food.

Without food and sex, human beings would cease to exist. Are you honoring your innate need for sex, just as you honor your stomach’s need for food to survive and thrive? Have you noticed that your appetite for food decreases when you start dating and tasting your partner? Allow yourself to devour and be devoured. Satisfy your tastebuds with his/her body. Satiate your hunger with food AND sex for a healthy, balanced mind, body and spirit.

amyiversonadams.com

Freedom is Hiding Inside Each Desire to Compulsively Eat

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The other day I paused as I opened the box of chocolate chip Cliff Bars and asked myself if my stomach was even hungry. The answer was no, I was at a 6 or 7 on the hunger/full scale. When I asked why I wanted a 2nd Cliff Bar, sadness crept up to my chest from my gut. I didn’t want to feel it but knew it was the first step to freedom from the desire to eat and the freedom to identify what I was really craving. That feeling of longing is one I avoided for years. One reason was that I couldn’t pause long enough to identify the feeling, I just stuffed food in my mouth at the first hint of discomfort. Second, if I felt emotional pain, I didn’t believe I had the power to stop the pain and satisfy my true hunger.

I closed the kitchen cabinet and allowed the sadness to speak. I listened. What I heard was a longing for freedom. I absolutely adore my kids but I was craving a few hours to myself. I need peace and quiet, fun, social activity with friends (sans kids), I need to go to concerts and go crazy. My desire to overeat dissolved when I listened to what my spirit was saying. With my channel now clear, power flowed through and I knew the obvious, simple solution. I can get a babysitter for a few hours so I can have some free time to myself… without guilt.

You’ve been depriving yourself with every binge. Every desire to eat outside of stomach hunger is an opportunity to hear what you are truly craving in your life. Satisfying your aching soul with true nourishment dissolves the desire to overeat. What is your spirit trying to tell you? Get quiet and listen……

amyiversonadams.com