I start Feast with Rachel Cole on Monday. I spent some time putting together a journal I’m going to use to respond to prompts and make notes. I cut out pictures and quotes, gluing them into the first few pages. It wasn’t because we had to or that I felt like I should, it’s just what I do to every space I inhabit where I am going to practice. It’s a way of setting an intention, honoring the process. It’s also a weakness, born of fear — I want to feel like I have some control over what’s about to happen, to make sure I’ll be comfortable and safe even as I know that’s impossible.
The above image is from the latest Prana catalog. When I was looking for pictures, I kept coming back to it. The color palette matched what Rachel is using for Feast and I loved the light, the shadow, the form. The real reason though is the pose — how she holds herself, burying her face and hugging herself tight, but so strong, so graceful.
Root into self-compassion
Turn down the volume on your inner critic
Cope with your emotions in ways that support you
Eat in a way that is attuned to your body
Reclaim and revel in pleasure
Joyfully move your body
Identify what you are truly hungry for in life
Every time I read it, I feel a “yes” form deep in my belly. Sometimes I cry. This is what I want for myself, have always wanted, even before I knew exactly what it was. Rachel is so keyed in to my particular struggle that everything she creates seems like she made it just for me. Feast is no exception, and comes at exactly the right time. Since completing her Intuitive Eating Reading Group, I’ve stopped weighing myself and stopped restricting, stopped overexercising, became a certified yoga instructor and broke up with my personal trainer, took Buddhist vows, raised a puppy, and continued work on two books, one about self-compassion and the other about practice. So even though maybe I should be, I’m not nervous to take this next step. I’m not afraid. I trust Rachel. I trust myself. I’m ready to do what comes next … so ready.
On the first blank page of this journal, I’m going to write this poem by John Welwood.
Forget about enlightenment.
Sit down wherever you are and listen to the wind that is singing in your veins.
Feel the love, the longing, and the fear in your bones.
Open your heart to who you are,
not who you would like to be.
Not the saint you’re striving to become.
But the being right here before you,
inside you, around you.
All of you is holy.
You’re already more and less than whatever you can know.
Breathe out, look in, let go.