After years of trying to control my world by having a tight six pack abdomen, I've come to realize my real power comes from filling up my belly, letting my gut hang out and leaning in to the experience before me. With that comes breath, relaxation, and a power to conquer the world. --
If you read my facebook post the other day you'd think that I had finally hit a great milestone in my eating disorder recovery. That's not exactly the case. I moved past my eating disorder years ago. The experience I had that led to my post was a milestone that happened on the back of a horse. What led me to that milestone was a complete implosion on the back of a horse.
A few years ago something changed. Up until then I thought I was pretty fearless. Certainly a number of factors were at play, but what I watched manifest inside my body was a physiological response to fear that I could not control. My mind could be aware that the fearful thing I was predicting had an equal chance if not better of not happening. My body, on the other hand, was trying to freeze. It would have been better if my response to fear was to fight or even to flee (which it did try sometimes).
I've spent a lot of my life holding back and being afraid. I've constricted those muscles and my experiences. It manifested most with Sparrow because it held in the moment consequences. He imploded or I imploded, then I imploded or he imploded. I stopped breathing. I drew up, constricting my breath and my presence and he learned to hold his breath, draw up, constricting his presence with the power of refusing to have faith. I never blamed him. We went from nearly conquering the world- at least, what was going to be the height of our world- to falling.
Nothing in life is linear. The ideas that there is a predictable order is a fallacy. It's a prevalent fallacy among obsessive-compulsive folks. The idea that control can diminish fear instead of realizing the idea that we can hold fear in our hands is the utmost illusion. Yet, instead of trusting... instead of leaning in... instead of letting my belly hang out open to what would come, I started sucking back. The problem was it didn't stop on the back of a horse. It began to happen everywhere. That's the power of what we do. We rarely do anything in a vacuum. We do it on a grand scale, even when you can't see it.
It's powerful. It's in our essence. We look down. We shut down. We don't speak up. We hide. We stay home. We run away. We listen to what's inside our head. We allow ourselves to be bullied emotional. We suffer the physiological consequences and physical manifestations of turning off our light. But, who's the bully? It's not you. It's not them. It's me. I control looking someone in the eye. I control riding to that fence with my belly full of air, full of essence, full of faith. I control the volume and the channel of what's in my head.
My future is what I what it to become. With my belly hanging out, I want it to become all that I can achieve. What I can achieve is not up to anyone else. What I can achieve is a product of what I want to deliver to the world. It's not about what the world is trying to deliver to me because running away and hiding from that never taught me how to manage those moments and make them work. It's the working that life is about.