Posts Tagged ‘meaningful life’

A Journey to Wholeness via Mindfulness

I remember times in my life when I was afraid to let myself be free to just be me.  I always needed to look around to see who was watching.  What would they think of me?  Would I meet their approval?  Would they think less of me and shun me? Maybe if I kept my mouth shut they would think I was smart.

As a result of this concern, I let my life become smaller and smaller.  It was safe because I was playing it safe by doing nothing – except EATING!

Yes,  EATING!  I did lots of that.  Now,  I have to add that I did my eating in secret.  I would never allow anyone to see me stuffing Reese’s Peanut Butter cups into my mouth – Oh, no!  Never!  Not in public.  This was a very solitary, secret  project.  It was also very shameful.  As a child I would  grab a handful of cookies when no one was looking, run to my room & hide them under my bed.  All evening I would remember, fondly, my delicious secret that was waiting for me in my room.

Later in college I would sneak food into my dorm room.  Later as a wife and mother, I also continued this trend.  Food and eating were my secret obsession.  I was a good Mom, but in most of my spare time in my head I was plotting when I could next sneak off to eat.

My life had become smaller and smaller.  The one interesting thing that I did for myself when my children were growing up was to begin to meditate.  For the first time in my life I began to calmly notice my patterns without judgement.  I just noticed.  It slowly dawned on me how I had allowed my life to shrivel up into a little dried up ball of doubts and fears.  I saw how my concern about what others thought about me was paralyzing me.

It slowly dawned on me as I sat in quiet meditative reflection that I was dying to be free to be the woman I was meant to be, using my own heart and intelligence to begin to make wise decisions that were in my own best interest.  I could never make everyone happy.  That was not possible.  Besides that, it was not the point.  The point was to behave in a way that I respected.

Certainly my relationship to food changed during this time.  Food began to fade into the background.  I no longer needed to use it as a distraction from living a meaningful life.  I could actually check in with myself to see if I was hungry before I ate – Imagine that!  I slowed my eating down so that I could mindfully savor the healthy food I came to prefer.  With mindfulness I had come to notice that peanut butter cups were extremely salty and made me painfully thirsty, leaving a bad taste in my mouth for hours and a lethargic feeling in my body and mind for an entire day.  I had never noticed this before.  I was too busy running away from my life.

All of the years that I spent playing it safe are over and gone.  I thank God that I finally woke up,  via meditation and mindfulness.  They saved my life and I hope that the sharing of my story might help to save someone else’s life.  Dare to be who you are meant to be.  Take risks.  Make mistakes and learn from them.