Cultivating abundance — instead of eating!

Last night I was writing to my Body Buddy, Sabrina, about recent struggles to eat healthily when I’m out all day. No, not healthily — mindfully, which is slightly different, and much harder to do when I’m SHUT (stressed/hungry/unsure/tired, my take on the traditional HALT: hungry/angry/lonely/tired). I realized that I seek out food, and comfort foods in particular, when I’m in need of some nurturing. I guess food is just a very instinctive, instantly-gratifying way to feel good when we need a lift. But when this habit causes me to overeat, or to eat when I’m not hungry, then it’s a problem.

In today’s Morning Pages I probed this matter a bit further, making a list of non-gluttonous things I could do for myself when I want some nurturing. This is what I came up with:

  • scented bath with bath oil, and a book. (This is something I used to do constantly when I was a teenager.)
  • deep stretches, followed by savasana with blankets and a scented eye pillow
  • a foot massage w/lotion (or really any kind of massage)
  • winding down with Erik, candlelight, and massages
  • a tidy house, perhaps?
  • a walk in nature
  • meditative writing time
  • fragrant cut flowers
  • stretching to music
  • singing?
  • dancing?
  • being just-showered and wearing comfortable, “nice” clothes so I feel like I look nice
  • “special” fresh fruit (fruits I don’t usually get, but love, like mangoes)
  • hot flavorful broth or soup
  • hot tea with a little sweetener
  • GOING TO BED WHEN I’M TIRED. Incredible how big a deal this is. In a COMFORTABLE bed, meaning pillows fluffed, blankets free of cat fur, etc.

What I discovered, in coming up with this list, is that these activities are all geared toward reawakening my sense of abundance. Kimber talked about this once in yoga, and it was a real revelation. Abundance isn’t the same as having a lot; in fact, it’s often easy to feel smothered or buried in all the things we have or all the projects we’ve accumulated. I know that when I get stressed, it’s usually because I feel like I’m stretched too thin. I want more of something: time, money, relaxation. Abundance is a frame of mind, and these self-nurturing activities can all help me feel like I’ve got enough again… and more than enough. Even just making this list refreshes my feelings of abundance: look how many things I can do to care for myself, instead of just eating big plates of noodles! I’m looking forward to incorporating more of these ideas into my daily life.