Sunday, July 11, 2010

Imperfect Birds-Tweet Tweet

I just finished Anne Lamott's new book Imperfect Birds.  And, like I do with most books, I race race race race to get to the Thing that happens.  Right?  Cause all books have a thing.  And so half way through I realized the Thing was happening.  I just had to slow down and soak it in.  And when I did I realized how much I love this book.  Because it's the truth.  As much as the truth can hurt you and leave you breathless all at the same time.

But it all reminds me of my need for speed.  Not the drug, but the pace.  And not my running pace (because we all know I'm slow as hell), but my life pace.   I'm like a kid at the pool that keeps running every time I get up and the lifeguard has to keep blowing his whistle at me to slow down.  And every time I still hit the ground running.

Slow down.



I finished Women Food and God too.  Unbelievable.  I want to read it again already.  I got home from the beach and immediately looked up info for her retreats (naturally).  But alas, they are full.  Well, and $1700 a pop.  There's that small detail.  I'll have to settle for some re reading and mediation on my own.

And speaking of meditation- in her chapter Married to Amazement, Geneen talked about meditation and an exercise she teaches at her retreats.

"I teach a simple mediation that uses the breath as an anchor- which makes anyone who lives aboveground eligible.  We use the concentration to help you become aware of the place between the top of your pubic bone and the bottom on the sternum: your belly...... Eastern mystics believe the belly is the center of our spirit and that our souls reside there."

Hold up.  Belly?  Ick.  Oh wait- good thing I had a tummy tuck and my muscles have been sutured from sternum to pubic bone.  So my anchor is strong, right?  I'm set.  No jiggle happening there.  (My ass is another story)  Roth goes onto  point out that this exercise is especially painful for those of us who struggle with compulsive eating because of exactly what I've just pointed out.  We have bellies.  That is- if we haven't cut them off and sucked them out.  And they represent everything bad we believe about ourselves.  Our bellies and the food we put in them are the outward expression of our very core beliefs.  And so now they are supposed to be our anchor?  Fuck.

"When you ignore your belly, you become homeless.  You spend your life trying to erase your own existence.  Apologize for yourself.  Feeling like a ghost.  Eating to take up space, eating to give yourself the feeling that you have weight here, you belong here, you are allowed to be yourself- but never quite believing it because you don't sense yourself directly."

Whoa.  Wow.  Uh.  Yeah.

For years my mind has tried to figure out my weight.  Over and over.  To the point of insanity.  But wait- isn't the definition of insanity to do the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result?  Yeah.

"Minds are useful when we need to conceptualize, plan, theorize.  But when we depend on them to guide our inner lives, we're lost......Our minds are masters at blame, but our bodies....our bodies don't lie.  Which is, of course, why so many of us learned to zip out of them at the first sign of trouble."
I've spent a good part of my ......forever?  trying to escape my present.  Present body.  Present mood.  Present mind.  Present everything.  "I'll deal with that tomorrow.  Today I have to do x, y, z."  Fast forward 15 years.  I've become a pro at not dealing.

"If you don't allow a feeling to begin, you also don't let it end."

Okay- the one liners in this book are great.  I could just chew them up piece by piece.  They are so filling.  Like a Krispy Kreme.  And a mocha.  With whipped cream.

Anyway- just sharing some thoughts on all this stuff.  It's all so overwhelming.  But mostly I feel freed.  It's an odd thing for me not to think about what I'm going to eat in a calculating way.  It's odd to choose something that I prefer and let it be that.  It's odd to trust myself.  It's odd that I'm trustworthy.  But sometimes the truth is odd, you know?

I'll post some beach pics tomorrow!  For now I'm headed to bed since bootcamp is calling my name at 5:45am.  God help me.


KCLAnderson (Karen) said...

I'm glad we've discovered each other. It's interesting to see what pops out for others when they read the same book. Yeah, the belly. I even considered lipo when I thought I had gotten as far as I could get but one of the docs I consulted told me I was still too fat. I have finally (mostly) come to adore my belly but there are days, especially when I feel bloated, when I really hate it. But even on those days, I force myself to look at naked in the mirror and I cradle it and caress it and tell it that I love it. I look at it with kind, forgiving eyes.

Jennifer Hartley said...

Jen, how tall are you?

Jen Gordon said...

5'6". :)

Meghan said...

I just love you.

I really really do.

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