I’m in the middle of pulling together an Embody event in London and I’m being tested. I’ve got a person who’s a Yes and I don’t have space lined up. This is backwards. It’s not how I like to operate. I want the details ironed out first so I can announce to the world with certainty that this is going to work.
But this time, I’m being asked to play. Play with my version of God and let the magic unfold without me controlling all the strings.
Before I came to that conclusion, I had a minor-mini-freak-out. I know I’m freaking out when I find myself standing in the kitchen preparing myself a random snack, aimlessly rummaging the cupboards, eating whatever my eye lands on. Peanut butter on a cracker. Avocado on a cracker. An apple. A pickle. Some almonds.
Totally ‘acceptable’ foods to eat, and while you probably wouldn’t intentionally put all these things on a plate and call it a meal, you also wouldn’t really call it a binge. But my wiser self knows this random selection of foods isn’t purely just to satiate hunger. It’s the way I learned to calm my nerves whenever I was faced with what seemed like an impossible task.
In college it was papers on who knows what. They wanted 20+ pages on topics that I could care less about. But I had to hand it in to make sure I didn’t fail, and so I’d sit down in front of my computer, open up Word, a jar of peanut butter, a box of Cheerios, and if my roommate was around, a tub of icing, and stare at my screen, hoping I’d be able to nail this one quickly.
Once the random snack stash was sufficiently depleted, I could finally think straight and start to string sentences together.
That’s how I got through college and the first 5 years of my career. It got really messy and out of control because I didn’t want the weight gain that came from 1 am (and then 1 pm) binges.
I ended up ticking a lot of DSM boxes, then ‘got better’. However I’d be lying if I said I never stress eat.
I’m ok with that now. Mostly because I’ve learned that trying to control my imperfect way of [trying to] gain control, doesn’t really help the situation. Letting myself be a bit chaotic is sometimes the kindest thing I do for myself. I say something like this to myself: “Ah, here you go eating a random combo of food while doing laps around the kitchen. You’re stressed. Why don’t you enjoy one more cracker and then try sitting down.”
It’s like I’m learning to be a really caring mother to a toddler that still needs mother’s milk to feel safe.
Loving, instead of punishing, myself feels good.
When I finally did sit down, I pulled out my journal. That’s my more grown-up go-to when my nerves are frazzled. Writing down the God’s honest truth of what I’m feeling inside is the medicine I need 98% of the time.
“This London thing is stressing me out.”
Sometimes it’s not this PG. My journal is not censored. Language, violence, and nudity of the heart are found all over its pages.
But today was pretty tame, and I cut to the chase with some questions that help me quiet all the noise and land on a deeper wisdom.
What’s my desired outcome for this London Embody situation?
I want it to be a success. I want to make moolah. I want it to create traction for next year.
What’s the should?
I should have all the logistics sorted before people sign up. It should be in a posh yoga studio or somewhere nice like that. It can’t happen in a church because I like to play music with swear words.
I’m totally turning my nose up at the church. They just don’t get it.
I’m gonna fail, look a fool. I’m going to book a place and then no one’s going to come and then I’ll be short on cash.
Bam…. there’s the freakout I was trying to calm down with an avocado.
Then I turn to gratitude.
And I find one thing about myself that I like.
By then the Wisdom starts to whisper… ‘Why don’t you just see who wants to come? Gauge interest. And why don’t you make a list of all the places in London you used to go to when you lived there, see what leads you might have.’
Me: But when I lived in London all I did was go to work, and church, and that one yoga studio in the community center in West Hampstead.
Wisdom: So why don’t you start there.
She’s always so simple, Wisdom is. Sometimes it drives me nuts.
But I listen.
Because I don’t have a need for peanut butter on crackers any more.