I can so relate to my students when they say a big YES about feeling as if whole foods plant based eating is one more diet ….and then we rebel. That happens in me too. All the time. I was caught in rebelling AGAINST for so many years. Rebelling against food plans and diets. Rebelling against Twiggy bodies.
For many long years I rebelled against authority, railing against rules. When anyone would tell me what to do, I’d say–automatically, on auto-pilot, knee-jerk, before I even considered it—– “I’m not doin’ that.” It was the beginning of my breaking free, of finding my own way; a good thing, yet not always skillful if not done mindfully.
Mindfulness/heartfulness has taught to me stop before I go into automatic mode with rebellion, with “what-the-heck-you-can’t-stop-me,” or with “You are not the boss of me,” or with “Oh, ya? I’ll show YOU!”
I have learned to stop and ask myself if what I am about to do (like stuff my face with whatever the so-called forbidden food is) will serve me or the cause I am trying to protect (usually my own freedom). Breathing into the body, feeling into the heart as I write about in FOOD FIX gives pause before I re-ACT (as in dive for food) so I can re-spond (as in be response-able: able to respond).
As I look back on my inner rebel, I see my rebellion, in this “get-outa-my-way” fashion, didn’t help, even though it was the best I could do at the time. Rebelling against, when it hurts us, is not freedom. It is just another prison. In my healing from food frenzy, I have had to look deeply into my self-defeating tendency to rebel.
So, when you feel that rebellion rising up in you, when you feel someone is taking away your freedom in some way, drop into your heart for a moment or two and ask, “what do I REALLY want? Do I want this bread? Am I pulled by the good/bad story in my head about it? Am I torn between my inner knowing and what I am being told? Do I want autonomy? Self-authority? Sovereignty? How can I give myself what I want with real self-care? Maybe it is the bread. Maybe it’s something else. Really, what do I really want?””
What would happen if we didn’t react AGAINST, but rather responded FOR, and TOWARD what we want?
Can we be kind to ourselves? Can we bring great self-compassion to whatever we choose?