Sheryl grew up with a fear of being hungry, and a belief that it is not safe to ask for what she wants.
“Not surprisingly, I have eating and food issues now. I know that it is best to eat when I am hungry, but I don’t know when I am hungry.” She paused. “Oh actually, I do know when I am hungry. It is just that I have not wanted to feel the feelings under the hunger. It doesn’t matter that my body is telling me that I don’t need more food. I don’t know when to quit, I don’t know when I am satisfied.”
Saying that reminded her of her partner‘s recent comment (not about food), “You are never satisfied. You always want more.” That really hurt. She felt that he was wrong, but she couldn’t quite articulate why.
I asked her how she would know when she was satisfied. “It is a feeling of peace for me,“ she said.
I noted that we often use the word “peace” to mean “when everything bad stops.” But I believe that we really want a generative state of being, that continually moves and grows, and births new, different creative directions. Peace is really a state of emergence and flow.
“That is exactly what “satisfied” fees like to me!” Sheryl exclaimed. “It feels like a fluid beginning.” I loved that phrase! Fluid beginning.
We talked about how her partner was misunderstanding Sheryl’s “always moving forward” state of being. His frame about that was: “You should always set goals, get what you want, be satisfied, and then stop wanting.” This was more of a digital, linear, energetically masculine way of thinking. Sheryl was coming from an intuitive, energetically feminine, fluid perspective about her life.
I asked her if she wanted to work together with either her feelings about food, or with this intricate interesting response to her partner’s opinions about satisfaction. I felt the two issues were related, but they were two very different pathways. She chose to work with “satisfaction.“
I asked how she felt when her partner said “You‘re never satisfied.”
She said, “I was shocked, it took me by surprise. My feelings were hurt. I had a ‘punched-in-the-gut feeling.‘ I said to him, ‘You just take that back! It is not true!‘ Then my ability to defend myself with anger rose up. I got mad at him. As a child, people in my life always said that my wanting for myself was bad.”
Tapping with the Re-Imagine Your Life Triangle
I asked Sheryl to find three 3 x 5 cards, and write “Old Story” on one of them, “True Voice Story” on another, and “I Wonder… What If…” on the other. I told her to write on the “Old Story” card, “You are never satisfied.” She laid the three cards out in a triangle in front of her, with the broad base closest to her and the apex ahead.
“Now,” I said, “standing with just your toes just barely over the edge of the card that says “You are never satisfied,” begin to relive the moment that he said that, until you can feel those old feelings beginning to be triggered inside you. OK…. And now step back. Let’s tap.”
Even though he said, “You are never satisfied,” in this accusing tone of voice (I had asked Sheryl to notice what was most disturbing about what he had said. Was it his actual words, his tone of voice, his body posture?) I accept myself anyway, and I want to bring healing to this.
Even though he accused me of never being satisfied, and it fit right in to that old theme in my life of wanting for myself being bad… and I felt punched in the gut… I deeply and completely accept myself, and I’d really like to change this reaction.”
Tapping through the points
He said “You are never satisfied!”
He accused me of never being satisfied
That really took me by surprise
He said, “You always want more,” —as if we’re not supposed to want more!
As if it is bad to want
As if you shouldn’t want something for yourself
Like all those people in my past
I felt punched in the gut
His accusing tone of voice
Eventually I got angry
I said, “Take that back, it’s not true!“
But it was already out of his mouth
I felt shocked
My feelings were hurt
Now I asked Sheryl to put her toes on the card again, and go back to the moment in the story when her partner had said “You’re never satisfied.” How was it different in her body now?
She said, “ I have this little giggle under the surface! You know—maybe this is HIS story. Maybe it doesn’t really have anything to do with me!”
I asked how true that statement felt, on a 0-10 scale. She said it felt like a 6, with 10 being totally true that it was his story, not hers.
We tapped some more.
Side of Hand
Even though he said that to me, in that accusing tone, I accept myself anyway, and I am considering that maybe he was just speaking out of his own story about wanting.
Even though what he said took me by surprise, and my feelings were hurt, and I got mad…I felt he’d punched me in the gut…. that whole story in my life around ‘wanting is not for me‘ is tender inside me….I’m wondering if this isn’t maybe his story about it not being OK to want….
“Now, I added, “if this next bit doesn’t feel right for you, delete it or change it.”
Maybe it is possible that all the people in my past believed it wasn’t OK to want for themselves… it was their story about wanting that they were telling me…and it wasn’t necessarily my story…but I was a child and I thought they were right, and I believed them…
Tapping through the points
He said “You are never satisfied!”
It punched me in the gut
It hit me in that tender place of not being able to want, it‘s not safe to want
I am wondering now if that was his story too
When I was a child I believed those people
And they probably believed it when they were told that too
So this story got handed down over the generations
And no one, until me, thought to question it
So I am wondering if it was just a story
I acknowledge that there are those tender places, and I want to touch them with a more true story about wanting
Sheryl took a deep breath.
Next, I asked her to step onto the “I wonder…What if…” card. Standing there, she could look over toward the card on the apex of the triangle, the True Voice Story, and imagine how she would like to think differently about that comment he made. What was the story that she wanted to tell about that experience? What would she prefer to think about the concept of wanting and being satisfied in her life?
Sheryl paused for several moments. Then she said a wonderful thing:
“What if wanting is really powerful?”
I suggested that she tap on the side of her hand, and talk about that. What would happen if wanting really was powerful?
“I would get what I want…“
And then what?
“I would be satisfied, until the next fluid beginning.“
I asked Sheryl to check inside: was there any part of her going “hey, wait, stop! Don’t go there!” as it heard her say “I would be satisfied, until the next fluid beginning“?
I said, “Imagine wanting being powerful—for you, and then getting what you want, and then being satisfied, with that inner sense of peace that flows you toward a new wanting. Would that be OK?“
There was no resistance. So we tapped again:
Especially because wanting is powerful, I would get what I want
The old story says that is not safe
But my body says that sounds good!
If I got what I want, I would be satisfied
It would give me a feeling of peace…
And it would open me to wanting more.
I would begin to flow towards what I wanted
I could be really curious, because the universe is going to bring me what I want in ways I could never plan for myself
So wanting is what moves my life forward
That is a really powerful thing
I like this feeling of fluid beginning
I can be at ease with this feeling of fluid beginning
Sheryl took a deep breath, and stepped to the card at the apex of the triangle, to stand in her True Voice Story. I suggested that she take a quiet moment to build and enhance and actually experience all the feelings and images and beliefs that emerged in her when this is the story that she tells herself.
I spoke softly. “When wanting is really powerful, and it moves your life forward, it gives the universe an opportunity to be really creative with your life in ways that you couldn’t have planned for yourself…. you can get this wonderful feeling of fluid beginning that is your way of feeling peace any time….” I invited her to add, inside, whatever she wanted to.
Standing in the Presence of her True Voice Story, Sheryl said, “I feel like I can explore my wants now, and it feels like an adventure! There is a sense of peace, satisfaction, happiness and joy in saying that. It is a full body experience, around my belly. I feel a tingly sparkling light everywhere inside.”
We explored what it would be like to allow that wonderful tingly sparkly light to expand up through her heart into her head, and down through her arms, past her belly, down into her hips, legs, into her feet, and right into the earth.
As Sheryl stood in this place, I asked her to go inside and just be with these thoughts:
Pay particular attention to your whole digestive tract, from your mouth all the way down to the exit points. Let yourself just slowly track that whole pathway. Imagine that this digestive tract pathway is about taking in the world, and allowing yourself to utilize what is best, and then packaging what you no longer need. Your body knows how to let that package go on through, out of your body and back into the earth. Your body is a conduit for good things to flow through and expand you, and you can let go of what you don’t need, return it to the earth… and the earth creates goodness out of it.
Make sure that this whole pathway is full of this tingling sparkling light bringing peace and happiness and satisfaction and joy through you. All the body functions do this. The body itself is a sparkly-tingly-goodness-and-light processing machine!
Use your imagination. Play with this thought, notice where it goes. Let your body really receive and integrate this experience by tapping through the points, as if you are telling each of your meridian pathways that they can be open to transporting this tingly, sparkly light throughout your whole system. That’s what they naturally do.
Now, take a moment as you stand here in the deep true story of your body, the sacredness of your body….and consider eating. Consider your relationship with food in this light.
Consider that eating is a natural part of this process. You can trust your body to take what you need, and let go of the rest. Whether that means that you take it, or don’t take it. Either way, you can trust your body. That is its job.
When Sheryl emerged from this rich, resonant inner space, she said:
“It feels awesome. As you described how my body takes what it needs, I noticed that I am actually in partnership with the energy of food. For first time I am noticing the energy of food. It shifts my perceptions of the act of eating something. By eating, I am in partnership with the earth in a way I hadn’t thought of.
“So I think my relationship with food has shifted now. I am curious about what it will be like to have something to eat. I can bring conscious awareness to eating.
“I’m experiencing this soft pulsating energy that looks like underwater fluorescent anemones, smooth, but with form, moving here in my stomach and belly where before it was tight with resistance. “
I suggested a practice that might be a lovely prelude before eating. As she sat down for a meal, Sheryl could let there be a moment of awareness of this fluid light-filled energy filling her body, and be in relationship with her food from that awareness, and then eat. It would be an actual experience of grace before eating: honoring food, body, and earth, with sparkling light surrounding the whole eating experience.
Sheryl said: “So, now I realize that my issue has shifted from being about food, and not getting enough, and not being able to want, and not knowing when I am satisfied—to being about collaboration, a partnership with earth and my body. This is truly a blessing.“
With my love and blessings all around –