So Ben (the dog, not the founding father) and I went on a 2 1/2 mile leisurely walk today.
Sometimes a good, long walk is a type of meditation. I don't necessarily clear my mind, but it's like a slipstream of the subconscious, just allowing the thoughts to flow by and just go with it.
We went walking along side the canals watching the ducks, looking at houses and imagining what I'd do with the garden or how I'd decorate the porch if it were mine, stopping at the fruit stand for some fresh lemons.
And I got to thinking how I wasn't hungry when I was walking around, or when I was at Disney, or when I was younger if I were out dancing or running around Central Park, the Museum of Natural History, the Bronx Zoo or the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (some of my absolute favorite spots in the entire world).
And how I don't get hungry when I'm doing something artistic, or when I'm really into my work, or reading a great novel or watching an interesting movie.
I get hungry (or at least, want to eat) when I am unhappy, bored, too tired to do anything interesting, or want to mentally and emotionally take a vacation from a situation.
And I got to thinking about living in the moment; when you find something interesting-- engaging-- about the moment, food returns to being something for later, pure sustenance with little other meaning.
And I got to thinking that maybe that's been part of my problem. I worked doing things I wasn't that thrilled about doing, boring and frustrating tasks, or I worried about the kids (and I don't mean spending time with them; that's nice-- I'm talking about the fussing that mothers have to do about cleaning rooms and folding laundry and making balanced meals and overseeing chores and such), or I worried about the house and getting it in order and about my husband or my mother or my committees at church or homeschooling co-ops, and I realized something:
- I spent a lot of time not taking any time for me
- when I did take time for me, I was so bored, or sick or laid up from my accident or depressed, so I didn't appreciate it, I just sort of wasted it... layed around like a lump feeling sorry for myself.
I didn't sieze the moment and make it mine; I just sort of muttled through them thinking about other things I did, or had to do, or needed to do that I couldn't figure out how to do.
Joseph Campbell is right when he says follow your bliss, and I think I would have been happier and would have spent less time getting fat if I had lived more in the moment, absorbed in what was happening rather than my head being somewhere else. Because in the moment I generally don't think about food much; food is something I reached for to escape the moment, to avoid using it for anything else productive.
I've started taking lemon (or 1/2 lemon squeezed into) hot water every morning. No sugar, no tea. I read somewhere it was good when trying to lose weight, that it acted like an astringent or something on your stomach. I don't know the science behind that. I do know that lemons (planet: moon; element: water;) have the powers of purification and longevity. I'm finding that they are more energizing than coffee.
I used to wake up and stumble to the kitchen for coffee, barely awake enough to make it, and sit there trying to wake up and get into my day. I'm trying something knew; I have my lemon water and wake up, do my devotionals then sit down to work and have my coffee then... and at that point, I'm already refreshed and enjoy the coffee on a different level and I'm ready to plan my day out, check e-mails, and get the kids started schooling.
I should enchant them like I did the grapefruit, shouldn't I?
And note to self: I keep talking about it, but have yet to get into a regular exercise routine. I realize that in trying to get healthy, this is going to be absolutely necessary. I'm not so much lazy as I don't like hard-core exercise, and when I plan to do physical things I enjoy more often I always let other things get in the way. I need to establish a routine.