So it’s one month to go to my 2 year sober birthday. Whodathunkit? 😉
Mary talks a lot about how our poisons can turn into our medicines and that the waves of compulsions we feel mean we have something to learn. As she says:
Compulsions aren’t an indication that something is wrong;
they are doorways into the joy of being fully alive in each moment.
By learning to respond rather than react,
we can gather the gifts that they hold.
So much of what she says makes so much sense to me. She talks about the stories and spells of childhood that lead to our control issues and struggle as adults. How learning to numb saved our childhood. And that this desire to control and our struggle is made of fear glued together with shame and judgement. It’s that old chestnut about what you resist persists.
So in an effort to turn my current poison into medicine I’m going to detail a chocolate meditation 😉 This is taken from Psychology Today but there are lots of others available online.
The chocolate meditation
Choose some chocolate – either a type that you’ve never tried before or one that you have not eaten recently. It might be dark and flavoursome, organic or fair-trade or, perhaps, cheap and trashy. The important thing is to choose a type you wouldn’t normally eat or that you consume only rarely. Here goes:
• Open the packet. Inhale the aroma. Let it sweep over you.
• Break off a piece and look at it. Really let your eyes drink in what it looks like, examining every nook and cranny.
• Pop it in your mouth. See if it’s possible to hold it on your tongue and let it melt, noticing any tendency to suck at it. Chocolate has over 300 different flavours. See if you can sense some of them.
• If you notice your mind wandering while you do this, simply notice where it went, then gently escort it back to the present moment.
• After the chocolate has completely melted, swallow it very slowly and deliberately. Let it trickle down your throat.
• Repeat this with one other piece.
Mindfulness meditation is often seen as an austere practice (possibly because of all those monks getting up at 4 am and meditating before breakfast). While simplicity has its place, it also pays to remember that Mindfulness is first and foremost about compassion towards yourself and to others. Enforced austerity should play no part in the practice at all.
And that to me encapsulates Mary’s wisdom. This process isn’t about enforced austerity it’s about learning what we do and why we do it and to have compassionate curiousity towards ourselves. Mary says in shame there is no healing and by using compassion we can unhook ourselves from the core struggles that keep us stuck in our compulsions. I’m all for that – with a bit of chocolate thrown in for good measure 😉