I am noticing a cycle that exists within myself.
The cycle begins with an almost imperceptible shift, that happens somewhere in my mind. My comfy brain, as I like to call it, seems to drift away somewhere. Comfy brain feels spacious and easy. I get up, go to work, generally eat to hunger, and dance around in my body, feeling OK. But when comfy brain goes away, cravey brain comes to town.
Cravey brain won’t leave me in peace. I see food, I want food. I don’t see food, but I think about food. I’m doing my work, I’m not hungry, but I feel the pull. And ultimately, eventually, I cave in to the crave. My mental energy is sapped. I feel tired, irritable, weary.
Once I’ve caved, self-doubt creeps in. Eating when I’m not hungry – isn’t that overeating? Overeating – that’ll lead to weight gain. And weight gain – we can’t have that. Urgh, look at this body. Isn’t is fatter than yesterday? Must get back in control. Must fight the crave! Must eat as little as possible.
And I am smack bang in body rejection, in my own little restrictive prison, and cravey brain is king.
For some of us, cravey brain might well be the only brain we know, for weeks or months on end. I feel deeply grateful that comfy brain seems more present these days, but in times of transition, of stress, of uncertainty – cravey brain creeps back in.
If I give myself half a chance to get quiet, and take a gentle look at my life, I usually know why cravey brain has sneaked back in. I’m overwhelmed. I’m asking questions that don’t have answers yet. I’m trying to control, figure things out, find solutions.
And all this could be gently, easily resolved, if I just stopped trying so hard. If I reminded myself that I didn’t need to achieve ultimate life satisfaction (tick – done!) right now. If I reminded myself that all I need to do, today, is be present to my experience. Today, I’m enough. Today, I do what I can. Today, I accept myself, comfy brain, cravey brain, all of me, as parts of my imperfect whole.
And then I breathe, and funnily enough, comfy brain seeps back in. I rest back into my centre. The fridge stops calling. I pass by the fruit bowl unperturbed. Everything around me is the same, yet my internal experience has shifted again. I truly breathe a sigh of relief.
Awareness is not forced, or pushed, into being. You can’t try harder at being present. There is no medal at the end. Indeed, there is no end. There is just incrementally more peace, more kindness, more softness with myself and others. Until I find that even King Crave deserves a cuddle.
If you are in deep crave, my darling, I know how it aches your brain and heart to be so pulled here and there. Rest. Sleep. Go gently. Underneath it will be something for you to ponder. The answer will always be the same. Acceptance, gentleness, kindness. You are enough.