31 Jul Anorexic Mind
For some time now I have known that I have not fully healed the aspect of myself that identifies with the anorexic mind. I may not exhibit this mindset externally as I have done a lot of healing and the severity of it isn’t so that it shows up physically for me. I have talked about the steps I have taken to heal my eating disorder and have outlined it as an easy to follow guide in the Break Up With Your Diet workbook. The steps I have taken were essential for my healing. But I still have the anorexic mind.
I’m not talking about the mindset an anorexic is consciously aware of because I no longer obsess over counting calories (or food in general) or over-exercise. Instead, I’m talking about the underlying, subconscious mindset that fuels this disorder; the inability to receive. To receive is to be presented or given something from an external source and then to embrace it as a part of yourself.
The physical manifestation of anorexia becomes apparent when you have repetitively experienced actions that display that it’s not safe to receive. Everything has strings attached. I can recall numerous times that this was a reality for me in my childhood. It became safer not to accept anything around me. It’s when this pattern becomes so amplified in your being that you stop wanting to receive life itself and the disorder becomes life threatening. In ways, this upbringing prepared me for this life of impermanence and variability yet, it scarred me and made me afraid to receive anything. Shortly after becoming physically healthy I realized that I would never receive what I truly needed from my parents.
A few years ago, when I was at the height of my recovery (the time just before intuitive eating became so easy for me that I no longer had to work at it on a daily basis) my father told me I wasn’t allowed to live at home and said he would charge me storage fees if I were to keep anything in my childhood room. At this time I wasn’t in a good place financially, I was taking refuge with an ex-boyfriend and I felt as if I was forced to sell and donate all of my belongings.
The hardest thing for me to get rid of was my bed. This bed was actually an integral part of my journey to wellness. Right before I got it I was at the height of my eating disorder, that summer I had been sleeping on my sisters futon because my room was being re-decorated. Once the painting and flooring was done, I was allowed to choose a bed and move back into my room. I went to Ikea and found my dream bed. This bed was everything to me; the place I did many nights of homework, where I cried as I tried to get better but didn’t understand how, where my high school sweetheart came to surprise me with flowers, where I began writing, and where I finally made it on the other side of my disorder. Parting with this bed felt like parting with my home, leaving safety and comfort behind and venturing into the unknown. I’ve never had as peaceful a sleep as I did on that bed since I gave it up.
It felt very real to me once again that it wasn’t safe to receive anything. I had accepted something into my life that became such an integral part of my journey, only for it to become a bargaining chip. As I was still holding this vibration, I created close personal and business relationships where this belief was reflected back to me again and again. It became hard to move forward because it felt as if everything I was working towards was on the brink of being pulled out from underneath me. Even to this day, I still find myself working through this mindset but I have found a few things that shift my experience when I practice them regularly.
“The Universe supports my great work.”
“I am open to receiving.”
Repeat these as often as needed to align yourself.
#2. Lotus Mudra
To perform this mudra bring the base of the palms together at the heart centre, touching the thumbs and pinky fingers together. Then, spread the rest of the fingers out like a lotus flower opening to the sun. Finally, close your eyes and take several long, deep breaths. I like to perform this mudra in the shower and imagine the water flowing into my hands as different things I would like to receive or simply to cultivate the feeling of receiving.
Do you suffer from the anorexic mind?