Change is in the wind


Whispers_in_the_wind_copyRecognizing when you are crossing a new threshold in your life is part of eating disorder recovery.  Without recovery you remain in the grip of an eating disorder dominated consciousness. Concerns about weight and body appearance, obsessions about eating or not eating grasp your mind, heart and soul with such tenacity that opportunity for change or change itself may flow around you unrecognized.

I'm noticing that I'm crossing a threshold. I'm busy with my book launch. I'm active in my private practice which I love. It's a rich gift and joy for me to work with people striving for recovery.

But...something is missing. Tonight I was looking for a book I could not find. (I still haven't found it, but I may have stopped looking.)  My search forced me to go through all the titles in my library. It was a wake up call.

In my professional life I read professional books in my field. I read Internet articles and participate in discussions. I read mystery novels, and I periodically dip in again to Harry Potter. I read self help books that help me in my life and helped give me a feel for the self help genre when I wrote Healing Your Hungry Heart. I read the newspaper and the occasional novel.

I read books about writing, the occasional autobiography and enjoy memoire by authors I respect.

My reconnaissance through my own bookshelves showed me what I stopped reading.  They showed me what is patiently waiting for me to remember.

In this fast 24/7 world of get it done now I've moved away from the reading and writing that is close to my heart, that nourishes my soul and that enriches my mind.  Waiting for me are the mythologies I love, the Greek playwrights I haven't finished, the works of Dickens with only a few read and a shelf of Mark Twain with only three in me. Great Buddhist writers from the across the ages have their own bookcase. Churchill's war volumes I read, but FDR is untouched, and I still haven't got past the first few pages of History of the English Speaking Peoples.

I enrolled in a Joshua Tree writers retreat where I will write with writers for three days.  I'm taking a little short story class next week end. I'm happy.  It's time for me to give attention to what I have postponed for so long I forgot I cared.

Before I began this post I wondered if I should share these thoughts and happenings with you.  After all, what did my reading and writing dreams have to do with eating disorder recovery?  Then I realized they have EVERYTHING to do with eating disorder recovery.

One way of looking at recovery is to look at the work required to get through the daily experience of living with an active eating disorder and find freedom.  That's what Healing Your Hungry Heart is about.

Another way of looking at recovery is to look at the whole life you lived with an eating disorder and recover from that.

How many phases of living and development are there in a life? My hunch is that there are as many as you are equipped to have and as many as you go for. Evolution doesn't stop.

I'm committed to working for recovery in my private practice. I stand firm behind what I've written in Healing Your Hungry Heart.  And now, to continue my own recovery from the life I led I'm going back to where I dropped my heart's desire.  I'm picking it up again. So here comes a visit with Albert Camus in "The Stranger," and some lessons from Maren Ellwood on writing the short short story. If not now, when?

What about you? Have you left something behind that you care about? Do you walk past it every day while it or something in you waits for you to remember?



0 # Ahhh Joanna - you reminded me of the easshh 2011-10-03 14:59

Ahhh Joanna - you reminded me of the easel (still brand new in it's packaging) and all the artists materials, just gathering dust in my study.

As a child I won prizes in competitions for my art work, as a teenager I was banned from the art corridor at high school, as a gesture of how much I'd upset my art teacher by not electing to carry on with my art work, and "wasting my talent"...she maintained that ban for the whole 2 years too, and only spoke to me again on my final day at school.

And probably about 7 or 8 years ago now, I asked for the easel and the materials as Christmas presents with the intention of trying my hand at it again, but between motherhood, not having a clue what to paint, and being a little bit scared that I won't be able to do it any more - they've just sat there unused.

Since I've started therapy for my ED, I have more ideas and inspiration now for subject ideas, but something still holds me back...maybe I should set myself a goal of creating something by a certain deadline?

0 # Hi Shh, I suggest that you befriend ypinkjoanna 2011-10-03 20:38
Hi Shh,

I suggest that you befriend your easel and art materials with no deadline except to visit once a day.

Set up the easel. Put the art materials where you can easily access them.

Every day, stand in front of the easel. Hold a brush and make a mark on a piece of paper or canvas you have set up with no intention in mind except to visit a friend.

Let it all unfold as it will. Let yourself be surprised.

You are getting reacquainted with an old friend. As much as we love our old friends we and they are not the same as when we last saw them. The love remains and surprises come up as we discover the effect of time.

Be gentle, respectful and friendly, Shh. A lot of seasoning has happened within you since high school. And no one has the power to prevent you from being with your art, so relax and begin gently.

I'm so happy for you!

P.S. I've started Albert Camus' "The Stranger" and am feeling missing and needed nourishment seep into my neglected artistic sensibilities.
Our hearts love being honored!

0 # Thanks Joanna - a daily commitment feelsshh 2011-10-04 15:42
Thanks Joanna - a daily commitment feels like a daunting task - I can see how it could work, but I can also see fending little people off my work easier said than done :-) Maybe I should set up in the garage - the children don't go in there as often, I suppose that could work.

Glad to hear that 'The Stranger' is hitting the spot for you! It's really satisfying to rediscover and revisit things that have been left untouched for a long time, it sheds a certain light on how much we and our lives have changed in that time.
0 # The daily commitment is met if you standpinkjoanna 2011-10-04 21:14
The daily commitment is met if you stand in front of your easel for a minute. Let your own heart set your patterns as the process unfolds.

0 # I think that I have "left" behind my genmylifex2 2011-11-29 18:25
I think that I have "left" behind my general zest for life. I stay busy with my job, kids, and their extracurricular activities, yet I feel very isolated. I don't enjoy spending time with my friends and family as I used to. I have left behind my compassion and concern for others, as I have become very self focused and selfish. I am not being critical of myself here; I am being honest. I miss the person I used to be, I have left this behind. I am consumed with "me" and my thoughts. I do not neglect my children, but I know I do not give as much to them emotionally as I could, or as I used to. This would be the first thing I would like to get back in my recovery.

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