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Posts Tagged ‘eating disorders’

So, I said I was going to do it. And here I am.

I got out of my warm, cozy bed after Claire’s first morning feeding–at the ripe hour of 5:30 a.m.–and blearily wandered into the living room. My heart was willing, but my body was not. A quick yoga routine (man! that felt good!) fixed that and then a Tarot draw for the day.

Intention: what should I be aware of in myself or others today (something that will help me or give me clarity/direction?)

Card 1: Kind of Wands

Clarity Card: Four of Cups

First off, I was very mystified by the combination. I’m not very familiar with the Tarot yet, so I read some interpretations. Now it makes a lot of sense. For the past few weeks, after weeks of success with weight-loss and fitness I have relapsed pretty hardcore. It’s always the same, isn’t it, with any bad habit/addiction? Anyway. Yesterday I felt confused about it.  I spent the whole day (while eating-for-comfort the whole time, not necessarily bingeing but close) in circular contemplation about WHY WHY WHY I couldn’t get over this. I dithered the whole day, which just ultimately made the problem worse. No action. Just dithering.

To me, the King of Wands tells me that today I need action. I need some fire in my gut. The Four of Cups could be seen as yesterday, in one way, but I also think it is to give me pause about the action I take. I’m an extremist. A perfectionist. I have failed perfectionist syndrome like you wouldn’t believe. Four of Cups seems to me to say that the action is wonderful–but it needs to come with a dimension of contemplation and direction.

Also, the Four of Cups could mean that I’m sick of this problem. Which I am.

That’s the most immediate meaning to me. This can also relate to my creative life. I finished NaNoWriMo in November and I’ve been letting my manuscript sit fallow. Which is awesome; it needs to do that. But perhaps I should start polishing it off and deciding just what I’m going to do with it.

Was the yoga and card reading worth getting up for? Yes. Most definitely yes. I feel grounded, energetic and hopeful–albeit tired. The first days of new routines are always wonderful, non?

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I bought my first Tarot deck on Tuesday.

I started writing a post (for over an hour) about the experience of buying the deck, but it just didn’t seem to address the heart of that matter. I knew that I wanted to introduce the topic onto the blog, but all the words just seemed…flat. So I’ll put the topic out there, and perhaps later I’ll revisit the experience of buying the deck.

So let’s do a little play-blogging. I’m going to ask myself questions and answer them. Maybe we’ll get somewhere.

Why did you buy a Tarot deck?

I bought it for a few reasons. Primarily as a journaling tool, but I’m interested in other applications.

Why do you need a journaling tool? Especially one like the Tarot? Can’t you just sit there and think?

Again, I have a few reasons for this. I am a visual person and looking at something helps to agitate my mind and get me thinking. I’ve read in several places about Jungian therapists using the Tarot as an archetype tool to address their patients addictions and depression. As I am currently dealing with those two things (eating disorder and depression) I felt I needed a little help. I could just sit there and think, but a person’s ego, I believe, resists plumbing honestly into their own darkness. Without the help of a therapist, at present, I desired a tool that would guide me.

Did it work?

Yes.  I did a simple spread and journaled for well over an hour. I’m not sure of the proper word usage here. “It revealed” sounds too much like I believe the Tarot has a consciousness, which I don’t. Let’s say—the cards I drew, and the interpretations I drew from said cards and arrangement, helped me to piece together an overarching problem I’ve been having. It helped to see it visually, interpret it, then write in my journal.

Any after effects?

Yes. For the past two days I’ve felt more clear-headed than I have in a long, long time. This could be for a few other reasons: I’ve been exercising consistently (but I always do that), I had a great weekend, I dealt with some issues in my personal life that were reeking havoc (apart from the depression/eating disorder mix, though, certainly, a contributing factor to its intensity). Cart before horse? I don’t know. How about everything interrelated?

Does this mean that you are a PAGAN?

Labels, at the moment, are uncomfortable. I’ve always rushed into labeling myself too fast. I’m given to this cycle: extreme view-point, perfectionism, pride, fall, burn out. That cycle is so persistent in my life it would be almost laughable if it wasn’t so dangerous.

However. Let’s just say that I’m leaning towards paganism in…a more distinct manner.  The Christian label doesn’t fit me anymore, and I’m not “just” agnostic.

Then again, how useful are labels? Ah, the never ending battle…

Isn’t the Tarot a fortune-telling tool? One for divining the future?

I suppose one could use it that way, though I’d find that unethical both on the part of the reader and the seeker. I view it as a tool to hone intuition, to delve into current and past situations, to predict possible outcomes of acting out of those different places.  And while some might argue “that’s a fine line”—well, not really. Predicting the future is a very distinct action, and not one that I am trying to practice. I’m trying to gain insight, and, for what it’s worth, most people who use the tarot seem to view it in the same manner. A divining of self, not of the ever-fluid future.

Were you afraid to buy a deck?

At one point, yes. A few months ago I started playing with the notion of getting a deck, but I never did. Truthfully, I am still furtive when it comes to even being in the Pagan book section of Barnes and Noble, or the Metaphysics section of Half-Priced Books, but that’s more that I don’t want people to see me.  Buying the deck—I had to overcome some residual slime of hell, damnation, demons and punishment (!!!!).  Fear, fear, fear. But since I first played with the notion, till now, I’ve overcome that fear. Fear comes from misunderstanding, which is exactly what I had about the function and use of Tarot. And any paganism/witchcraft really….though, that’s definitely a topic for another time.

Okay. Well. So there it is…the Q & A. Much more concise than the drawn out ramble. Questions, comments, advice are always welcome.

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Okay. I admit. I reread yesterdays post and feel a little…embarrassed. Uncomfortable. So much emotion! So…dramatic.

I did talk to my husband last night, and, per usual he took it in stride. I think he’s confused. We approach spirituality/religion/interior life very different from each other. But that’s part of being married—I value his input and he’s always valued mine, and though they come from two very different places they only serve to strengthen. Not to say it’s not difficult for me to find words for something that is largely a feeling for me…but, it’s worth it.

So now…Today, the plan is to clean my house. I’m going to go to the local ‘pagan-ish’ shop, Ancient Mysteries, and buy some Frankinscence to burn in the house.  Perhaps journal. Hopefully take a walk in a nice park in our neighborhood. That’s all I really can do…one action, one day at a time.

And for some humor:

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As I wrote that last snippet I stood amid the refuse of a binge.  I’ll go all out and dirty for you (the food writer in me is ashamed—alas, this is a part of that disconnection): there were Oreo Cakesters, Reeses, cheddar popcorn, bean-n-cheese burritos. Not a huge binge, actually, they’ve been getting less “huge” and less frequent. But their pattern, their substance, is generally the same.

Under the refuse on my table sit these books: The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, Omnivore’s Dilemma, Anam Cara (a book of ‘Celtic’ Spirituality), The Metamorphoses by Ovid and sits next to organic lemonade, organic Emergen-C and vegan multi-vitamins.

I realized in that moment something that…well, let’s just say the pebble just dropped in my still lake and the ripples haven’t yet begun. I am in that suspended moment of epiphany since I have never put this into words before.

I am…primarily…a disconnected person. Differentiated. Dual, but not in the ying-yang way, in the…my right and doesn’t know what my left hand is doing kind of way. I espouse values that I don’t apply. In fact, I say/want things for my self that are diametrically opposed to what I actually do.

I am American. I am a product of modern, technological, monotheistic, patriarchal, material, Western civilization.

I just offended myself by saying that…to myself. Part of me was deeply offended. How funny. But how true.

Even as I write this part of my brain/spirit/mind/whatever sighs and says, “thank God. She’s realized it. Now, time to act.” And part of me sighs and says, “Oh, Lord. Just let her get it out of her system so we don’t have to think about it.”

I can’t tell you which one is winning right now. Honestly they both sound good. The call to action, the call to change and then the call to…non-action, non-change…ultimately, nihilism, I guess. I am a creature of comfort. Of great comfort.

And in my love of great comfort (really, it must be emphasized how much I adore comfort/luxury/laziness!) is spawned on my great fear. Great, abiding, huge, yawning black hole of fear. And from that fear, shame.

Fear of: death, dying, loss, abandonment, CHANGE, damnation

And all that fear leads to shame…for only when we’re afraid of being judged, of being damned, of some ultimate consequence can we be shamed.  And when I’m shamed—I binge.

But also when I binge I am putting aside my spirit for the needs of my sickness (comprised of the fear and shame). I am directly feeding that gaping tear in my spirit/psyche. I am making it bigger, not actively healing it.

How does one become whole again? Where does it start? With what does it start?

In Christianity, it would start with me repenting and coming back to Jesus, Healer of all things. Part of me wants to do that…like an instinct.

But a larger part now wants to look, to discover, another way. Maybe it includes Jesus as the Divinity I turn to, maybe not.  I do respect Him as a healer and a truth teller.

Right now though I want to investigate…nature…I guess…as my model. That’s what draws me to panentheism (from Wikipedia: is a belief system which posits that God exists and interpenetrates every part of nature, and timelessly extends beyond as well).  When I was a child I felt so connected to ‘nature’, to the outdoors, to the environment and it’s causes. But as time has past, I grew up, got busy, became charismatic Christian and battled with myself and my true Spirit for years (see this post).

I have so many doubts and so many fears. And so many questions! About everything! About polytheism, panentheism, paganism, magic(k) and the properties of and theology behind, about Spirit, about nature, about skepticism and what we can and can’t know, about believing and trusting, fears of looking stupid/silly/gullible/idiotic…All of this, running in my head.

I know nothing. I am confused. I am disconnected, dual, differentiated and depending on the minute I do/do not care.

I need to go clean my house.

ETA: the first step is letting the shame out. Tonight I will tell my husband that I binged. I don’t always because I’m ashamed at my lack of control. I will also be telling him about the disconnection.

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