Please enjoy today’s article from Elaina Love, author of three recipe books and founder of Pure Joy Planet and Pure Joy Academy as the guest columnist every Friday in the Journey Back to Self Blog. ~ Chris
Last summer, when I was fasting in Thailand, I read Savor, a book by Thich Nhat Hanh. The fast was a success and it was also a struggle to stay on it at times. I fasted for 11 days while there and in the end I learned a lot about myself. During that time I took ownership of my own self-sabotage and I confronted and honored it with love and compassion. One thing which really stuck with me in the book Savor was the idea of the hungry ghost. Hanh talks about a thin ghost-like figure with a long narrow neck, a huge distended belly and a tiny little mouth. The concept is that we can eat all day or night long and never be satisfied. “Though they are constantly ravenous, driven by the desire to eat, their tiny mouths and necks prevent them from swallowing the food they ingest. The act of eating does not help them overcome negative emotions and cravings. Eating more only causes them to have more pain and agony. Are you consuming like a hungry ghost?”
We continue to eat to fill a void that cannot be filled with food. Because we eat foods that do not satisfy that empty place and sometimes we eat when we are not hungry, and sometimes we eat foods that do not nourish or serve our bodies, we are left feeling like a hungry ghost, wandering the kitchen or grocery store isles looking for something that is not there. If any of this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Many people I’ve spoken to have experienced little set backs which feel like the hungry ghost has taken up residence.
Here are some tips I learned from Savor and from my experience in Thailand to help you going forward:
To mindful eating,
Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and Google+.