Month: June 2014

Are you a hungry ghost?

A few weeks ago I posted some quotes from the book Happy Yoga I am reading for my RYT (registered yoga teacher) training I begin this fall. Besides from helping me get into a yogini mind set, it has helped a lot with my recovery and made for some great therapy sessions. Recently, I read a part that talks about being a hungry ghost. Not just being a hungry ghost but living in a real hungry ghost realm. The section was short and sweet and to the point and really stops to make you think: am I a hungry ghost?

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“If you were a king in India, the first thing your spiritual teacher would warn you about is the most common pitfall of all pitfalls, the easiest to slip into, and the most difficult to drag yourself out of: the hungry ghost realm. This is a term used by both yogis and Buddhists to describe a place-or a state of mind- where beings wander and dart, never seeing one another, never taking anything in, never enjoying the moment, always mulling become consumed by their mulling over the future or the past, and always feeling very alone, despite being surrounded by other hungry ghosts exactly like themselves. Hungry ghosts are possessed by desire. If they see something they think they can’t have, they immediately become consumed by their lust for it. It is not a realm of having. As soon as something is acquired, it’s immediately ignored and wasted. A hungry ghost wouldn’t even be aware of having, because once a thing is had, a new want arises and consumes every nook and cranny of the now even hungrier ghost’s being. There’s no room for having when you’re full of wants. Hungry ghosts are constantly wondering, ‘What’s next?’

A hungry ghost’s mind and identity has become consumed by a long list of desires. There’s always something more to jones after. A hungry ghost would be the last being to see itself as a hungry ghost, because it still believes strongly in the appearances of the phenomenal world-a world that seems to be full of promises. The promises, however, always fail to deliver satisfaction. Like a drug addict or a compulsive gambler, the hungry ghost is oblivious to this seemingly obvious pattern. Nothing is ever good enough once they get it, and everything is perfect when it’s just out of reach. The hungry ghost’s main attribute is absolutely insatiable desire-constant and relentless wanting and craving.

….

Hungry ghosts typically get caught in a downward spiral of want, lack, and poverty. This is a major problem if you’re a yogi aspiring toward a higher, more profound experience of life. Energy, attention, and awareness-the keystones of a yoga practice-are consumed with wanting, leaving you stuck wresting with the everyday superficialities of life. Having, on the other hand, requires much less attention and energy. Once you are no longer desperately seeking satisfaction, but feeling satisfied, the world will do everything it can to further satisfy you. It delivers itself to you on a platter. Having can take you to a place of maturity where you can deal with deeper questions of existence and attain enlightenment.”

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Tough isn’t it? What does it make you think? Are you a hungry ghost? Were you at one point a hungry ghost?

I know that living with an eating disorder makes you a hungry ghost. And no, not just because you are hungry, but because an ED consumes you. Instead of a material want, you crave perfection/attention/numbness etc…An eating disorder life dulls you out from life. All you can think about is your next food fix or your next exercise session or the next laxative you are going to take. All you can think about is how skinny you look, how skinny do you look, do others know I am hurting, do others think I have an eating disorder? All you can think about is how close to being perfect one more day of starving, or one less calorie consumed can bring you to. How can you enjoy life when all you do is the forementioned?

In college I was a super hungry ghost. I enjoyed some moments, but there are more moments that Melvin (my ED for new readers) took from me than he gave me. Looking back I wish I had went to more parties instead of not going since they weren’t in my color coded schedule. That I participated more in groups. That when I went to my dance intensives I spent more time focusing on my dancing and not what I am not eating/am I eating enough/how I suck compared to the dancer on my left/drink more wine on top of that mountain at midnight, let others know who I am, be more friendly, lived each and every moment like a beat in a song. That when I did go out, I didn’t worry about how many calories were in my beer and how fat I looked, that I could just dance and drink and live life. When I went to dinners and picked around, when I had to lie about my eating situation, when parties made me nervous because of food. All of this is just a few!

And with no food in my system I had the head blurries so I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t focus on the prettiest rose, smell the Christmas tree, look up at the sky and take in God’s creation. I did occasionally, but not as much as I needed to. In yoga class, it was a competition. I had to do the best push ups, the most advance postures, I couldn’t do corpse pose and meditate (still difficult for me, I think I am up to ten minutes of relaxing. WOW!) just because my mind was consumed with everything else but the present moment.

Nothing was ever good enough because I thought I wasn’t good enough. My disordered thoughts made me believe (and still make believe when I am not careful), that there is always more. But more being skinnier. More being people pleasing. More being self-indulgent. More being self-harming. More being perfection. More being a bigger pile of anxiety. More Melvin and less Leslie.

As I move on in life with my therapy sessions and when I start yoga school, healing can begin more fully and I become even more aware of living in the moment. That I can clear my mind, rid myself of self-concept, have more Leslie and less Melvin, and most of all…never be a hungry ghost again.

 

Peace, Namaste, and God bless!

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Throwback Thursday….Poetry Style

As everyone knows, Thursdays are #Throwback Thursdays or #TBT (I am still unsure of hashtags, so I think it is all caps)?I have been thinking about what to write and was stumped. Then I used the whole Throwback Thursday as inspiration for my post. When I was in high school and early college I wrote poetry. Actually I started poetry writing when I was in middle school and creative writing in elementary. The older I got the more I got into poetry, not just reading it, but writing it. Playing with free verse because I felt rhyming was to stifling, mash up poems were fun because I could use lyrics by  my favorite bands. I was completely influenced by the Beatniks and modern verse. I even had dreams, well aspirations, to one day be a published poet. I stopped writing poetry after my relationship before I meet my husband. Sometimes I wonder why I stopped when I have gone through so much that would be great poetry! I also wonder and think if it is too late to take poetry back up. Could I still get published one day?

I never shared much of work with anyone. Just like most artists/creative souls, and most insecure anxious people, art is so personal you hate to get it critiqued. You think it is perfect because it is you….and when someone doesn’t like your work you get offended because you think they don’t like you (this has happened to  me a lot in my dance choreography/dance life). So here ya go blogsphere. Here is my soul, my heart, via high school and college. These are some poems that to this day I still enjoy and I am proud of. If this goes over well, who know I may dig up some more 😉

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*Untitled (really, it has no title, I just jotted it down)

We’re two of a kind, you and I. Similar in mind, soul. Two drifters longing to see the world. Traveling around looking for happiness. through books, through beer bottles, we pine. Pine for things beyond our control. But you just grab a joint. But our talks are endless, filled with depth. Maybe through our tete-a-tete’s we’ll find acceptance. Someone to hold our heart. Someone to hide our tears. I hope to find that in you. But we have our vices. What does one expect?

*Yay for another jotted down poem w/ no title

Parade me around

Wear me on your arm.

I want people to see that I am yours.

*Being a Woman

What does it mean to be a woman?

Pretty nails?

Skinny frame, nice shoes.

Big boobs and a bimbo mind.

The submissive piece of meat,

Who is only good for making babies and doing laundry.

Years of oppression are still followed by  moments of tears.

It isn’t easy being female.

With the biological things going on within our  bodies.

What does it mean to be a woman?

A brain?

Shattering molds of society.

Saying no to what is expected of us.

Accepting who we are inside and out,

Ok with being petite or curvy,

Ok with being the opinionated bitch, getting what she wants.

It’s ok to step out from behind the curtain,

The veil,

Time to reveal who we really are.

What does it mean to be a woman?

It means to be you.

Hold nothing back.

*Boulevards of Plastic

Mixed signals fill my head.

What is beautiful?

Let’s band super skinny models, and get in shape.

But you’re still too fat.

10 ways to go from flab to fab,

This is the closest thing to the fountain of youth,

Botox city.

Walking down boulevards of plastic.

Big boobs are the in,

Lift that body with the right pair of jeans,

Victoria’s Secret is no longer a secret.

Be like them.

It’s not good to be different.

There’s no such thing as pretty pudge, captivating cellulite, short stubs.

Commercials of pretty women,

Models on the cover of Vogue, Elle,

Shape me.

They brainwash me into believing what they believe.

I walked the boulevards of plastic,

The right diet street.

Led me to a place,

A hole I couldn’t get out of.

I came close to chocking. I couldn’t breathe.

These images clouded my mind from age five.

They are my chains of being a woman.

*Painted Noise, a tritina

Let’s laugh

And sing the night away. While our heart dies

And sway to the rhythm of this noise.

If we fill our minds with all the noise

And fill our heart with laughter

Then watch the sun die

And tye-dye

The sky with painted noise

That settle’s our soul and eases our mind to laugh.

Let’s feel this rhythmic noise and die to the sound of sin, music and sky and match it with the roar of our laughter.

*Edge

Breathing in the salty air, feeling the waves crash around my feet. Hot sand between my toes as the sun warms my face. I look out into the ocean and beyond the horizon. As far as the eyes can see. The edge  of the world seems so far away, yet, within my reach. I long for the horizaon and have my life stretch as far as the sea into the sun. I take my  worries and fears and throw them into the ocean. I watch the waves carry them away, give me a clean slate. Start my life anew.

*How I Remember You

This is how I remember you:

A blurred image of my past

With a brightly colored aura

And one hand on my heart.

This is how I remember you:

A speedy afternoon rendezvous

With laughs and giggles

And a kiss on my cheek.

This is how I remember you:

A tearful goodbye

With a blackened heart

And one of us lying on the floor.

*Tear Stains (my last poem that I can find)

Tear stained pillow, tear stained eye, and tear stained heart. Everything is coming out tears, everything is coming up tears. My heart is tye-dyed with tears and memories of you. These tears are bombs to my soul, leaving scars and bruises.

These tears are tearing me apart as I slowly fall to the ground, as I beg for you to come back into my life. I make friends with the floor, longing to feel your touch.

I see you  here, there, everywhere…when the tears aren’t clouding my vision like glaucoma.

These tears are painful. They burn like hot coal and sting like your words: I love you, but I can’t be with you. Don’t think for one minute I’ve never loved you, the timing is just wrong.

Everyday I think for the better. O no tears today! I should know better because them come. They come on their own time, just like you. When it wasn’t convenient for me, but when it was best for you. They ruin my life and my mascara. I can’t do my makeup for it will get ruined. Like my party dress, the one I wanted to wear for you. Now it will go to waste. Just like my love.

How about some #tbt pictures?

Senior homecoming 2007 with of course, my bestie!

Senior homecoming 2007 with of course, my bestie!

Opening our heart centers. Tiffany and I in 2008/9

Opening our heart centers. Tiffany and I in 2008/9

Burning pictures and memories....just a little pyro. My bestie did this with  me!

Burning pictures and memories….just a little pyro. My bestie did this with me!

UT Homecoming, 2009 with my bestie

UT Homecoming, 2009 with my bestie