Saturday, September 10, 2005

my studies

i feel a sense of responsibility to maintan a continuous thread of conversation on this site rather than jump from topic to topic, and yet my purpose is to reflect what is happening within and around me. in my life there are usually several conversations (various reflections) occurring at one time, and disparate topics may show up in my writing here.

i am currently studying and writing about relationship with body image and relationship with food, and this is becoming a big work. i had hoped it would be simply a healthy-sized magazine article but unfortunately it seems to be a book (sometimes we don't get to choose). its task is intimidating, even overwhelming, but i remind myself a book is created one word at a time just like a poem. more than discussing carbs and fat grams, exercise and recipes, this is a study in the psychology of personal relationship with food and how one experiences her own self. the work is becoming quite spiritual.

while i have never been significantly overweight (i am now two pounds under what my doctor claims is my ideal weight but i had previously gained 15 pounds), my relationship with food has been a bit disordered for as long as i can remember. perhaps much of the american population has disordered eating. i have been attentive to what happens within me and i am now responsible for writing what i have learned. (poetry would be more fun...)

one element i am uncovering is a need for stimulation. i began observing it in my relationship with food but have discovered it to be persistent throughout life, crossing disciplines. one of my most important practices has been to observe the intention behind my eating (true hunger, exhaustion, boredom, frustration, etcetera). when i initially started amending my eating habits (i pursue a holistic practice), i began chewing sugarfree gum or sucking on sugarfree candy to satisfy the desire to have something in my mouth. i realized rather than addressing what was underlying my constant need to eat something, i was merely substituting something that would not contribute to weight. my next step was to address this tendency to reach for stimulation. this became my work. our american society pulsates with constant stimulation, be it in caffeines and chocolates, spirits and entertainment, branding and advertisements, or many other forms. this need for stimulation has created a bloated society and one with little satisfaction. i am discovering a rich spiritual experience in sitting in the desire to be stimulated. i have begun to believe answers lie in the longing, not in the fulfillment of the desire. and in my exploration of my own eating habits i am discovering my own answers. the size of this post doesn't even touch that of an introduction to my work, but writing "in here" and looking at this reflection of my own self moves my work forward. i hope my attempt to be brief is not creating a confusing message.

i have much to do.

photography by graham jeffrey

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