Plants are great. They really are. Plants is one of my favorite “p” words. But plants are nothing to me without my very favorite “p” word: peace.
Three and a half years ago, I made a promise to myself. I hit my knees in the dark, tears streaming down my face, and surrendered my eating disorder to the Universe. I was done.
Three and a half years ago, my favorite “p” word was perfect. I listened to my ego (my fear voice), which operated under the thought that if I was perfect, I was good enough. But my ego also told me that perfection was unattainable and since I couldn’t attain it, I was not worthy. So, what was I? At my deepest core, all of my egoic thoughts boiled down to five words:
I am not good enough.
Whether you have recovered (or are recovering) from disordered eating and/or exercise obsession, or whether you are addicted to alcohol, money, shopping relationships, or drugs…the root of every addiction boils down to those same five words: I am not good enough.
Three and a half years ago, I decided to re-write that fear-based mantra I kept repeating in my head. I took a cue from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and my new mantra became, “I am good enough. I value progress – not perfection.” I changed the “I am not” in “I am not good enough” to “I am.” While it was hard and I didn’t honestly believe it at first, I figured that repeating “I am” affirmations to myself would be a lot more productive than the chaos that was going down in my mind. Deep down, I knew this was the key to achieving my new favorite “p” word: peace.
I worked my mental muscles every day. I promised myself that I would become dedicated to the muscles in my mind, just like I was dedicated to the muscles in my body. This time, I would be fueling my mind with positive affirmations and fueling my body with plants. The words “positive” and “plants” were not “p” words I lived and thrived by before. But it felt good, so I kept going.
And now, here I am: recovered and abundant…and here to share my story with you.
Every morning, I get up and move in some way. Right now, I’m loving yoga, pilates, and teaching barre classes. I challenge my body and breathe into the muscles I’m working. I feel my body as it works. While I move, I recite affirmations like, “I am strong,” “I am abundant,” and “I love this body because it is a container of love.” It’s really important to me that I remember the purpose (another “p” word!) of exercise: an opportunity to connect my mind and my body. It’s equally important that I remember the purpose of my body: to be a vessel of service and love.
After I move, I meditate – sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes 10 or 15 minutes – and follow it up with free writing… simply journaling whatever comes to mind. The morning is the best time for meditation because our brains are a blank canvas. We can paint whatever picture we want on them. We can choose to believe whatever thoughts we want. Why would we choose the stuff that doesn’t serve us? As Wayne Dyer said, “Just because we have a thought doesn’t mean we have to believe it.”
When it comes to plants, I’ve realized that I became detached from animal flesh when I was a kid. I never liked steak, chicken, or turkey and wouldn’t touch seafood. I never liked the idea of harming another animal and I never liked the way I felt after eating meat. I just thought it was something I had to eat to…well…live. I wonder if my eating disorder started in part because I felt like I couldn’t be myself around food. I’m still working on that one. I do know that when I started eating plant-based, I started thriving. I felt at home; I felt like myself.
So, for me, peace of mind comes first from me being an observer to the chatter that’s going on in my mind. Just because I have a thought doesn’t mean I have to believe it. I choose to believe that I am a person of progression. I’ve realized that perfect, the old “p” word that I allowed to take me down, only applies to love. We cannot give love that is imperfect because that simply isn’t the nature of love. All love is perfect. We all came from perfect love, and that’s something we can give every day.
I am a person of progression who gives perfect love every day. How’s that for peace of mind?
P.S. – Make sure you check out Kasey’s post today!