We Teach What We Need To Learn

"I'm so ashamed that I can't stop eating donuts," 

My client said this morning, "Especially since my identity is so wrapped up in eating healthfully."

"We teach what we need to learn," I responded. And the truth of that has been sinking in all day.

I'm staying at my childhood home for a few weeks while my fiancé Jordan is back in Australia looking after our house. It's nice to be back in a country that feels so familiar and so joyful in its summer abundance.

But I notice that being here is allowing for all kinds of ancient patterns to emerge... I even weighed myself for the first time in years! 

I feel the pull diet. To obsess. To pick at and berate my body. With that comes the urge to say "Fuck it," grab a bag of chips or popcorn and zone out in front of Netflix all day. To close the door with a bottle of wine and a box of cookies. To hide under my covers and eat ice cream to make the discomfort of being alive, of being at home, of being flooded with painful childhood memories go away. 

What a brilliant system, designed to create an epically distracting coping mechanism so I don't have to face the discomfort of what's real, true, and happening right now. 

This time, instead of bingeing, watching Netflix, or stepping back on the scale to see how much I weigh NOW, I am writing to you. I am remembering the truth that we teach what we need to learn. And what I am teaching and learning right now is how to channel discomfort into art. How to take the pain and confusion of life and make something meaningful out of it. How to be with it all, feel it all, and not hide behind diets, food, or Netflix... But rather make it come alive.

Next time you have an urge to eat your feelings away or berate your body, I invite you to channel that energy. Journal, draw a picture, dance, sing, make music, or do whatever comes naturally in that moment. I invite you to make whatever you are feeling come alive instead of trying to tuck it away. 

In this way, food becomes an afterthought... taking action becomes less scary. Life becomes more colorful. A piece of art.

Channeling discomfort into art is one way to overcome dieting, bingeing, and hating our bodies. Please leave a comment with what helps YOU eat and treat yourself with kindness so we can all learn from and support each other. 

Thank you for journeying with and witnessing me. 

So much love,

Ali