We have 5 aspects to our being: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic. It’s really important to not neglect any of these if we want to make a true change in our life. I think it’s crazy when we are told to just throw willpower at our food habits and just try to fight against it! There’s also an emotional and spiritual and mental aspect. It’s not as simple as, “Stop eating this.”
The Tree Analogy:
Think of your symptoms as the leaves of a big tree of life. Symptoms could be any negative pattern showing in your life. It could be, “I’m overweight” or “I’m always giving into my cravings”. Those are symptoms that have a pattern that show up in our lives.
Those behaviors are symptoms and they are the leaves of the tree. But you can’t grow leaves without branches, right? The branches of the tree represent our emotions. And our emotions, deep down, cause the behavior. Examples of emotions can be guilt, rejection, anger, resentment, depression, powerlessness, fear, stress and anxiety. What causes the emotions? What causes the branches to grow?
The trunk of the tree, which represents events in our life. It could be that we were bullied when we were growing up, it could be abuse in any form, it could be times in our life where we were neglected or abandoned in some form or unsupported or unloved, it could be an alcoholic parent or otherwise detached parents, it can be so many things, and the trunk represents all these events.
When these events happen in life, they also cause roots to dig deeper into the ground. Wind storms, cause trees to go through some stress, and that stress in turn initiates deeper root growth so in can grow stronger to weather the next storm. Emotionally, when we have traumatic or significant events in life, we also create deep rooted beliefs as a support system, and often times those beliefs can be limiting. When we go through events in life, it causes our emotional roots to dig deeper, positive or negative. Examples of these roots, or these limiting beliefs: “I can’t do anything right”, “I’m not lovable” or a limiting belief that we are not good enough.
Heavy Eating Comes In
When you crave heavy foods or if you crave that feeling of absolute, stuffed fullness, remember those are just the leaves of the tree; those are just symptoms! “Heaviness” is resonating throughout other places in our life.
We also crave heavy foods because we are living in the present moment. We can go through a day, a week or even a good portion of life not living fully present. And since we are not paying full attention consciously, we are not planted firm in the present moment. We stay in this mindless state, and we eventually will mindlessly eat heavy foods, or we will eat excess food in order to make us feel heavy to root us. Eating heavy foods mindlessly and without being conscious of it is often our psyche’s last ditch effort to get us to feel grounded, but it doesn’t really work that well.
If we were to recognize that, “I’m not really present” and we were to Zoom In, do some meditation, or stop and become very aware of our senses, this REALLY does ground us to the present moment, and then our cravings for those heavy foods go away.
Identifying our heavy emotions, being aware of them, and setting them free allows us to automatically make better food choices. The next time you find yourself craving heavy foods, or craving the heavy feeling you get when you eat a LOT of food, stop and explore what heavy emotions or memories are present. Acknowledge them and then take a moment of mindfulness. This can automatically de-sensitize your cravings, making them weaker. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to use your willpower against unhealthy eating once you start noticing the link between your emotions, life events, limiting beliefs and eating habits.
What do you think are your “symptoms” or your “leaves” and how are they connected to the emotions and events in your life that lead to overeating?