Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Playing Ball

So, last night was the second session of the online conference with Geneen Roth, author of "Women Food and God."

Yesterday, on this blog and also my main blog (So, The Thing Is...) I tried to make an oh-so-clever parallel between the behavior of my (completely neurotic) Border Collie Mix and my own behavior.

Judging by the fact that many people sent me dog training advice, apparently I wasn't very clear. What I was TRYING to say is that my dog (Scout) wants to play fetch more than anything else in the world and something keeps stopping him from bringing the ball back to me. Eventually, he remembers that's what he's supposed to do if he wants to play and he starts bringing it back and we lavish him with praise and he is happyhappyhappy until the next time we start to play Fetch when he cannot seem to bring himself to bring the ball back again.

I want to live healthily and mindfully and wow, I want to be kinder to myself. I want to reap the benefits of a life lived fully and not numbly.  I want to once again feel at home in my own body--happy and strong and living every day in that state of grace that comes when you live in harmony with yourself and your body and the world.  I want to do all the right things and lavish praise on myself. I want to freaking play Fetch all day long. But something keeps stopping me from bringing the damn ball back.

Last night, as I got ready to sit down to listen, I wish you could have seen how many ways I didn't bring the ball back.  I poured a big old glass of wine, I ate a handful of marshmallows.  When the call started and Geneen was leading us through a centering exercise, I cleaned my kitchen sink.  I did everything I possibly could not to show up with the damn ball and play.

And then I spoke to myself sharply (because that's all I know to do) and I sat down and Geneen Roth blew my world wide open.

Geneen talks about The Voice (which I call, "The Editor") and she gave such a spot-on impersonation of the voice in my head and the way I talk to myself that I just put my head down on my desk and started to cry. It was so vicious and horrible and she said all the things I say to myself every day.  Things you wouldn't say to a dog --that *I* wouldn't say to SCOUT. About what a failure I am and how dare I think that I can change myself or my life? Who do I think I am, wanting more?  Everyone knows I'm too lazy and stupid to achieve anything.

Under the weight of those words--MY WORDS--I couldn't even lift my head.

And then she gave us some tools for shutting up The Voice.

Can you imagine how freeing it is to be able to tell your inner Editor to shut the heck up?  It's AWESOME.

Today, I am going to concentrate on that.  Every time I start to talk to myself without respect or in some sort of demeaning fashion, I'm going to do something kind for myself.

After 45 years, it stops today.

Anyone else here feel like jumping up and down?

(I just have to say that if you have any extra money and you deal with some of the same issues I deal with --especially a disconnect between your body, your brain, and food-- this conference is worthy of your consideration.  It's not too late to join.  You get the replays of the sessions for download (for me this is vital because I don't take everything in the first time).  You can easily listen to the first two session before the third and if you can't commit to sitting down every Tuesday night for six week, you can listen to the replays at your leisure.  Here's the link. I am not affiliated with Geneen in any way, nor this conference. But it has been so worth it for me to put aside all of my preconceived notions of what I understood about my relationship with food and try to embrace an entirely different approach.)


  1. awww ... due to technical issues (problem exists between chair and keyboard) I did not respond to either of yesterday's posts. But I so totally wanted to (dog trainer extraordinaire that I am!)

    If you want to play, you have to bring the ball back. If you want to change X, you have to show up and do the work. If you stand on the side-lines wishing and thinking (and, o.k., beating yourself up) it won't change.

    You have to show up.

    Sometimes, my mother had it sooooo right.

    Dog story: Aurora (little diabetic that she is) wants food more than just about anything in the world. And she shows up every time anyone is making any noise that might be about food. (She doesn't beg so much as try to be available for drops, pre-wash, clean up and leftovers.)

    Reprogramming/reconditioning your brain (or Scout's or Aurora's) is about the hardest thing to do. I could fight it out with Aurora but I just ask her to stay away from my feet (and reward that with a piece of carrot or chunk of cheese now and again.)

    The brain is hard-wired for survival to be as efficient as possible and re-wiring is decidedly concentrated work. Good luck!

  2. good for you! here, girl, go fetch!!!

  3. I sent you an e-mail - but I am so happy that this is clicking for you! And make that voice go away!!

  4. Great analogy! I guess I am a non-fetcher in so many areas... I want to change that. Now off to find that ball....