Day of Rest

feastI 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.

feast04Rachel’s description of the program says “Feast is designed to help you,”

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,
right now,
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.

8 thoughts on “Day of Rest

  1. Barbara Markway

    I’m so excited for you about “Feast.” I hope it’s everything you need. And I love your notebook!

  2. barbranostay

    Thanks for sharing the poem about self-acceptance – we all need to do more of that! It is interesting when you stop to think about it of all the ways that we have been taught not to love ourselves or even like ourselves. It seems to be more acute in our particular culture than other “less advanced” cultures. It must start early, because by the time we are in our teens and twenties , it is quite ingrained already.

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      Yes, it is deeply embedded in our culture. It comes first as an external message but we learn to internalize it early on, become our own bullies. Have you ever heard the story Sharon Salzberg tells about asking the Dali Lama about it, about how to help students who don’t like themselves? The Dali Lama had no idea what she was talking about, took a long time to understand what she even meant because the idea was so foreign to him, how anyone with Buddhanature could possibly hate themselves.

  3. Jean-Nicole

    If we are conscious and reading the newspapers that tell us of wars the world over, we need to apply that same consciousness to the war we wage with ourselves.I hope Feast is wonderful for you. I applied and was turned down,bummed about that, and simultaneously glad that I can read about it from you. The notebooks are beautiful. I love doing collages, something anyone can do, and as a magazine collector, the sources are endless. It is so beautiful that you are honoring the process of what you are about to do, with the intention involved in creating the notebooks as a special place. Oh, and I didn’t know John Welwood wrote poertry – and here’s yet another case where you mention an author, and I want to go searching for the book I know I have of theirs on my endless shelves and stacks. What I am recalling is a book he wrote about marriage – is that possible? Does not, alas, apply to me anymore, but I may have others. I also stopped weighing myself after 40 years of daily weighing. I’d have to write you a book about this; for now I will just say it’s a miracle. I used to even travel with a scale! Sheesh! Congrats on that – I KNOW what it means. I believe in intuitive eating, my guru is Geneen Roth. I can’t believe I used to eat practically the same thing every day. Now I keep abundant food around, and a wide array of choices, so that I can go into the kitchen and say, “hmmm…what do I WANT?” All that said, I struggle with binging and night eating now, to assuage loneliness. I pray that this will pass, the way severe restricting did. Geez, I really over-shared!!!!! Hope that was “OK.” Finally, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that you said you trust yourself. That is into the soul, down to the bones beautiful. And I can tell from all I have read from you thus far, that it didn’t come easily. Once again, “angel wings, blessing, and all good things.”

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      Yes, I love Geneen’s work — Women Food and God is one of those books I read over and over again. I love how your experience is an example of how we evolve, how what used to be problems aren’t anymore because we’ve shifted the way we see things, then other things crop up giving us the opportunity to work on something else. Noticing and being able to be gentle with ourselves, kind, is so important. ❤


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