I have had the most incredible day. I did some breathing in the morning, ate a delicious and wholesome, warm breakfast with my love, and went for a long walk in the fresh air through trails with the hilarious dogs I live with. Today I wrote in my journal some new entries dear to my heart, I cleaned and felt refreshed, and I did some productive work as well. I spoke to my boyfriend’s grandparents who are family to me, and then the boyfriend proceeded to make me the most TASTY, savoury, love-infused dinner.
He made me enchiladas- vegan of course, covered and filled with ooey gooey Daiya cheese, refried beans, jalapeños, tomato sauce, veggies and of course, LOVE. He wrapped them up in fresh roti we bought together at the grocery store, a place we often love to go to together, and laid them on a bed of rice. We ate it together, and I enjoyed every single bite. We cuddled up and watched a movie together, as cozy as can be, and everything was totally and utterly amazing… That is until I started to think and think and think about what I had just eaten.
Let me tell you the thought process:
“I kind of want another bite.”
“No, you’re full, don’t overeat.”
“Yeah I don’t want it.”
“But I want it.”
“Let’s just watch the movie, Emily.”
“Why are you always so worried about food.”
“I’m probably going to gain weight from all the junk food I’ve been eating.”
-Hours pass and the movie ends-
“I could probably finish that enchilada that I didn’t finish before, now.”
“Way to go, now you’re way too full and you way overate.”
“Emotional eating, much?”
“You will gain weight. There’s no doubt about it.”
Annnnd now this is when the subtle pressing anxiety comes in and I have to go home but I feel like I should have spent more time truly spending time with my lover, in the moment, rather than obsessing about what I had eaten. Which again, was delicious.
So as I’m typing this out I’m thinking that I’ve laid myself out pretty vulnerably with that thought stream. I literally just told you about the thoughts that may sometimes go through my head, while writing various blog posts about how you shouldn’t worry about food and how you should love yourself. This is what makes these posts so important though. I totally, undoubtedly, am going through many of the same struggles as you are, but every single day I am making conscious and loving decisions towards myself to put aside those thoughts and feelings and worries. Every day I work towards it, and some days can feel pretty shitty- like tonight. This is what makes me human. This is what make me understand. This is what makes me determined and passionate to help others, and this is also what has made me heal my emotional, physical and spiritual body more in the past 6 months than I have my entire life.
Process takes time. Growth takes time. I never want to portray myself as some perfect guru who’s got everything right. That’s what that inner voice wants me to be, and that’s why I know that it’s not important. I don’t want to be the “perfect” image that I somewhere, have constructed of myself. The “perfect” standards I’ve set up for myself, that society has set up for us, are just so unrealistic. I used to be “perfect.” I used to be a size 0, on sports teams, working out every day, getting perfect grades, going to University, and being perfect… But I was also bulimic, depressed, anxious, and definitely not feeling… well, “perfect.” And so I dropped out of school, and started slowly becoming a yoga teacher and now I can see that the pedestal I was on has been taken away. I’ve been forced to really look at what that voice in my head thinks of as “perfect.” I’ve learned that the reason I was feeling the way that I was feeling in the past, was because I was constantly trying to achieve the next perfection. I was a runner, and then I needed to run faster and then I needed to run longer, and then when I injured myself I needed to keep training so I injured myself more. I was losing weight. I’d get to my “goal” and then set a new goal to be even thinner. I was getting 80’s, and that wasn’t good enough so then I was getting 90’s. I was going vegan, and then I was going raw vegan. I was always looking for the next “perfect” thing, never satisfied, never fulfilled. I know that many of you guys can resonate with that one.
That woman is not me. Here’s what I want. I want to be perfect in other ways. I want to be perfect as I am. The good part in that is that, I already am perfect just as I am. When I sit here and analyze everything I’ve done “wrong,” it seems like I am so far away from perfect… But when I take a seat a few meters away from myself just to observe, I notice that that voice, telling me to be perfect, is my ego attempting to help me forget about all of my progress.
Heck no ego, I’ve come a very far way and right now I am making the CHOICE to focus on my absolute, cosmic, infinite, grand, elegant, graceful, PERFECTION. I am choosing to focus on my beauty. I will focus on how much I love my collar bones, and how much I love editing writing. I will focus on how passionate I am about helping others heal. I will focus on how AMAZING it feels to really enjoy food, and to put so much love into it when you’re making it. I will focus on how when I started my yoga journey I couldn’t even fathom doing a Warrior 1, and as I graduated, I was doing them with my class. I am NOW choosing to focus on my STRENGTH! We are constantly growing and changing and learning! There is no use in comparing ourselves to our old selves, and there is no use telling ourselves that we aren’t good enough.
Have you ever seriously thought that telling a child they aren’t doing well enough is going to make them suddenly jump into class with a smile and be ready to be exactly what you want them to be?! NO! That’s never how it works. The child you constantly belittle by saying they aren’t meeting your expectations will begin to truly believe that of themselves, and they won’t have the support they need to REACH those visions and to feel happy and fulfilled… So why in the world are we doing it to ourselves? Why are we telling ourselves we’ve done something wrong when we’ve eaten a few extra or maybe a lot of extra bites of food?
Man, in general, why are we telling ourselves we’ve done something wrong when we didn’t get the “perfect” grade, or the “perfect” job position, or the “perfect” career, or the “perfect” home? It’s time to recognize the perfection within ourselves! And that doesn’t mean staying in situations that aren’t benefiting your highest potential. No, no no. What that means is recognizing our perfection, sending ourselves the most pure and unconditional love we’ve got, aligning with our Self (notice the capital S) and BUILDING the life we want.
What kind of life do I want? I want the kind of life where my love for myself is not conditional. I want the kind of life where I will still treat myself with genuine love and compassion when I’ve “eaten too much,” or injured myself, or eaten unhealthily, or am broke, or messy or frustrated. Since this is the life that I want, do you know what I choose to do now? (Because I have a choice, we all do.) I chose to live my life with love, love and more love. I chose to love myself unconditionally now.
There will be times where I may feel like this again, or when my heart will fill with worry or fear or where I will be sad. There will be times where all that I want to do is curl up into my blankets with a tea, and there will be times where loving myself is damn hard, but that does not mean that right now, and each day I won’t make this choice.
It is like a meditation I did regularly in Thailand. My teacher would say: “focus on your heart. Focus on your heart. Focus on your heart. When you lose track and find yourself in your mind, go back to the heart.” Make life this meditation for yourself. Every moment of every day, focus on your heart, on your openness and love and compassion. Focus on this, and when you lose sight of this, which you will, that is okay. Don’t judge yourself. YOU HAVE NOT FAILED. In fact, you have LEARNED, because next time you experience those uncomfortable feelings, you will go back to the heart. And the next time you will go back to the heart. And each time you go back to the heart you are imprinting that program within your SOUL and being, and DNA. You are telling your mind, “erase what I have always told you and what everyone has always told you, I am choosing love instead.” And that is why, my friends, that when you feel like you have failed you truly are just being presented with an opportunity to learn and to heal and to grow. To love yourself. You are being presented with the opportunity to be the best damn version of yourself possible, and what is that? Love. You are love, never forget it.
Namaste my friends. Happy learning.