If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.
~Henry David Thoreau
Okay, all this focus on this diet and that diet—to eat this and to eat that. But what if it’s not about what you eat and rather about what’s eating you?
Could it be something is going on within that has nothing to do with food?
So, what is eating you? Are you hungry? Is it about the food or is it something deeper? Are you missing your passion?
Or is it not having a purpose and your current path lost its luster? Maybe it is not what you are eating at all, and it’s about fear. Fear is a motivator to focus on something other than what’s really bugging you.
It’s not uncommon in my field working with eating disorder patients to learn there is a fear of growing up, so to distract this worry the focus is on the food or exercise or some type of purging behavior or a combination of all three. I’ve also seen pure fear of success.
Or the opposite, fear of no clue on what to do with an entire life.
Often I hear patients say, “I should know what I’m doing because so and so knew when he was a little kid.” Sometimes we think we know what we’re supposed to do, and that is not what we need to do. I was hell-bent on becoming a flight attendant when I was in my early years of college, to the point I studied Spanish and French and starved myself for an interview only to get skipped because I was five pounds over their requirement. I had lost over 75 pounds for the interview!
What Is Your Bliss?
I remember years back I was soaking in the sun with my best friend Yvonne on our make-shift section on the beach, slathered in suntan lotion, listening to the sounds of the waves crashing on the shoreline competing with Dr. Dyer blaring from the boom-box we toted along.
Yvonne was grabbing and sifting fists full of sand with one hand over and over in slow motion, like an hourglass measuring time gabbing about her dreams and aspirations. At one point Yvonne popped up, reaching for the sky as if she was grasping for the clouds, because she had that “ah ha” moment when she recognized she was living her bliss.
On and on we listened to Dr. Wayne Dyer, while in the background kids sprinting, kicking up sand as they ran by, waves coming and going, seagulls swooping down and children’s laughter ringing out. Unbeknownst to us, we were embarking on a trinket—enjoying pure bliss — resting on the sheet listening to the natural sounds of life.
What’s in Your Future?
Maybe what’s eating you is the fear of not knowing where your future is going to take you. This blog is not about finding your bliss, but except that maybe you don’t know what your bliss is. I was panic-stricken that day on the beach because I knew there was something to this idea that something was eating me rather than my usual focus on what to eat.
It was my inability to nail my bliss.
What the heck do I know about bliss I thought?
I didn’t really get what bliss was. I was overthinking this concept.
I recall Dr. Dyer referring to some guy who hated his job but lit up like a Christmas tree when he came home to play in his apple orchard. He loved making apple juice, applesauce, and apple pie. Dr. Dyer told him his bliss was his apple orchard… and the guy became famous. I don’t recall what the name of the company was that made apple-based products as this was over 35 years ago, but it was one of the famous apple companies to date.
Today, with Yvonne passed; she died a handful of years after our beach excursion ever-so-etched in my mind. She died in her bliss. She loved life and all that it offered. Her bliss was singing and psychology, and not exactly in that progression. I then did not know what my future held for me.
Yvonne liked to laugh and sing and enjoy life with every morsel of her being while I self-conscious, pimple faced, overweight—completely lonely and frightened about what my next step would be in life. I even considered being an exterminator for bugs! I know, I know… I was reaching.
It never occurred to me you could make a living in a field you love. I did not know what I was going to do for a living.
We don’t always know. And it’s OK.
I learned that day I didn’t have to know my bliss that second. That it was inside me and it would be that knowing within that would bubble up when it was the right time, without force. And it did…
Fast forward, my bliss today is writing and psychology. Yvonne died at 44 years old in her sleep. I think she was blissfully happy, mostly. She danced to her own tune. She knew that she just wanted to be her authentic self. I loved that about her!
I learned a great deal about bliss watching Yvonne. She was one of my greatest teachers, as was Dr. Dyer, who recently passed only a few years after he and his daughter Serena wrote: Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You. How appropriate.
So what’s really eating you? Is it the food or is it finding your authentic self? And if it’s none of the above, let me know. What did I miss here that you would have added…
You can leave a comment by scrolling down to the section that says leave a reply. I look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you for being a part of the reading blog forum of this blog. YOU are important to me. If you have something you’d like to say, I’d love to hear it. YOU are important and your words need to be heard. If there was something you think I should have added, I’m here and want to hear what you have to say…
To learn more about recovery from food addiction, eating disorders, weight issues, dieting, and aging, please check out my Release Your Obsession Series.
Stay tuned…you never know where my mind will wander…
And now my newest release: