How to NOT Eat Your Way Through Relationship Woes

by OneTaste Living Library  Oct 21, 2013

This past weekend I began the Orgasmic Mastery course that will be taking place here in New York for the next six months. If the first weekend was any indication, it will be a very wild ride. I experienced a dramatic and sudden shift in my relationships all at once. In Orgasmic Meditation parlance, it was a swift change of stroke. It was jarring and precipitated a downward spiral. And so down I went.

I spent four days down there. I vacillated between turned on and off, coming up for periods, then seeing some other shocking new relationships woe and going down for another dip. It was tempting to wallow and stay there, to feel sorry for myself and get stuck, mourning what I perceived to be lost and grasping to return to the very high up that preceded the down. But when I allowed myself to simply feel all that I was feeling without trying to fix it and stay present and connected, I was able to move through and ascend to the next peak.

I learned some valuable lessons about coping with the situations that we dread. In the throes of emotional turmoil it can be very tempting to rely on compensatory behaviors rather than feel what seems like more pain than we can possibly bear. For me, it’s food: I try to soothe and smother my emotions with large portions. Here’s what helped me move through the down and start to come back up—without eating too much gelato:

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1. Stay connected with your body. Notice the sensations you’re feeling. Not the emotion, like anxiety or sadness, but the actual feeling of tightness in your chest, or nausea in your stomach. Check in with your body and feel what’s there in the moments before you turn to food to numb out feelings, or after you’ve forgotten to eat for long periods of time. Approach these sensations with curiosity and just notice what’s there without judgment.

2. Stay connected to the people and situations that triggered your down. Our inclination is to detach and separate in an attempt to not feel the hurt or the pain. Don’t do this. It will hurt more than staying in communication, telling the truth, and looking at whatever comes up—together. Connections are never truly lost or cut off, even if you’re not speaking with a person. It is when you turn away from or deny the connection that is there that the most pain is inflicted. Stay connected and feel.

3. Let yourself feel everything. When things hurt and we experience pain, our tendency is to want to run away from it and not feel it. We use prescription drugs to avoid feeling depression, and analgesics to suppress bodily aches and pains. However, not feeling it doesn’t make the hurt go away. It can also cause greater harm by not allowing for the healing that needs to take place. Like when you take a Tylenol for a muscle ache so you can go to yoga class, and then you overdo it and end up pulling the muscle—you couldn’t feel how tender that spot was and how it needed care and attention.

4. Let yourself go fully down. Many of us have a fear of the depths of the down, especially when it feels like a bottomless cesspool, and exalt the highs of the up because it feels sooo goood up there. So we resist the down—the letting go of everything as we cycle through climax, the place where we feel incapable of doing, because it’s taking everything we have just to be. But when you surrender fully to the down cycle and drop all the way down, you can find your feet on the ground at the bottom and look around with eyes wide open. You see all the shit that surrounds you down there, see how it’s not serving you, and clean it up, clear it out of the way, and and in doing so find movement to make your way back up. There is tremendous power to be alchemized from actually taking the opportunity to burn through old stories, habits, assumptions, and other hindrances that no longer serve you.

5. Expand. Take what you’ve learned and apply it other areas of your life. I resisted and felt guilty about this particular downward trip because I abandoned all the projects I was working on in my business and disconnected from the internet world. It I felt like I had other, more important things to be doing than sitting with and sorting through my feelings. But now that I have come back up again, I can see more from this height. I can see that the lessons that I learned—asking for what I want, staying connected even in the face of discomfort, and not shrinking away or allowing myself to feel small the way I used to—completely apply to the way that I operate in my business. The way you are in one area of your life usually reflects you in another, and so taking the time to move through your ups and downs in relationships provides an opportunity to learn more about who you are, and what you really want, in every area of your life.