“My thoughts turn to something I read once, something the Zen Buddhists believe. They say that an oak tree is brought into creation by two forces at the same time. Obviously, there is the acorn from which it all begins, the seed which holds all the promise and potential, which grows into the tree. Everybody can see that. But only a few can recognize that there is another force operating here as well- the future tree itself, which wants so badly to exist that it pulls the acorn into being, drawing the seedling forth with longing out of the void, guiding the evolution from nothingness to maturity. In this respect, say the Zens, it is the oak tree that creates the very acorn from which it was born.
I think about the woman I have become lately, about the life that I am now living, and about how much I always wanted to be this person and live this life, liberated from the farce of pretending to be anyone other than myself.” from Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
There are a few times in our life, if we’re lucky, that we can palpably feel that we’ve become what we were becoming. This isn’t to say we stop growing, changing, maturing, just that there is an arrival of sorts.
When I started my business four and half years ago (on 1-1-11), I very much felt like an acorn that intimately knew the oak tree she was becoming. But she wasn’t there yet. I didn’t start things off as the oak tree. I couldn’t. I had to live my way to her unfolding.
I had to coach, teach, sit with, circle, and guide so many hungry women. I had to make mistakes. I had to taste things that didn’t taste good. I had to risk being seen. I had to open to receive praise and affirmation. I had to let it be easy and to let it evolve in the ways it wanted to evolve.
And today, as I reintroduce myself to you, I can feel my deeper roots and the broader expanse of my branches. I know the heart of my work. I know the fingerprint of my magic. I know the trimmings that needed to happen to that the best parts of me could shine. I know not to aspire to be a different kind of tree, but rather to embody as much of my own self, my own suchness, as possible.
A website, if you let it, is so much more than pretty dressing or a means to deliver information. A website, I believe, can meaningfully narrow the distance between you and me. The internet age is a time filled with a lot of pseudo-connection, but I believe a good website married to honest words does bring us closer.
So if you want to know who the oak tree is that I’ve become have a look around. Watch the video on the about page. Read the words I’ve written about my work. Browse the testimonials those who have worked with me have shared. Check out Feast, the best thing I’ve ever created. Let’s get reacquainted.
And while you’re exploring perhaps today is a good day to reflect on who or what you are becoming?
Add a splash of gumption. Rinse, lather, repeat.
Pleasure is a food group. I’ve been known to say this fairly often.
It’s a way I remind myself and my clients that things other than food go into making us healthy and well-fed.
While the USDA no longer promotes a food pyramid (I think it’s a circle now?), most Americans remember this popular illustration from our childhoods outlining the types of foods and number of daily servings our government claims is optimal.
Inspired by the pyramid’s iconic image, and also as a tongue-in-cheek jab at it, I created The Fulfillment Pyramid.
Instead of me telling you what and how much to ‘eat’, it’s blank.
It’s up to you to fill it out based on what you know about what feeds you.
There is a 2D and 3D version of the pyramid plus suggestions and instructions are provided in the kit, which is free, when you sign up for my newsletter list.
Below are lots of examples readers have sent to me of their Fulfillment Pyramids. I’d love to see yours.
This is a fun right-brained way to approach building your own well-fed life. It’s great to keep on your personal altar or bedside table—reminding to feast in ways that leave you feeling most alive.
If you already are on the list and missed the link to the kit, send me an email and I’ll resend it to you. If you’re not on the list, sign up over there on the side bar or at the bottom of this.
Ask yourself: “How many of my daily servings of pleasure have I gotten today?”
It’s not uncommon to have a house or pet sitter for when we’re on vacation. In such cases we often leave a list of to-do’s (“water the plants”), rules (“Don’t go in the basement”), and emergency contact information (“Call the neighbors, if…”)
Perhaps the metaphor is stretched a bit here, but I’m headed to Taos tomorrow morning to teach and I thought your spirit could use a little reminder information while I’m gone.
Make the bed. Fluff the pillows.
Experience pleasure. As much as possible.
Talk kindly to your houseplants. If you don’t have a houseplant, get one.
Eat what your body and heart wants. Enjoy it.
Tell the truth.
Savor all the evidence that suggests you too are a perfectly, imperfect human. Take amusement in how much you resist this fact.
Marvel at your functioning anatomy.
Ask yourself “What am I truly hungry for?”
Make art. Big or small. Make something.
Smile at an animal or child.
Change your linens. Ask yourself: “Do I love my sheets/towels?” Listen to the answer.
Do something that reminds you just how connected and alike we all are.
Wear something from your closet you haven’t worn in the last 30 days. Rock it.
Call the oldest person you know and set aside at least thirty minutes to talk to them.
In case of emergency…
Call the person you trust the most and that has the biggest heart. Be honest. Be vulnerable. Allow yourself to be supported.
Go outside. Look at the sky. Breathe deeply. As if it were a new shade of paint, give the sky’s color a name.
Send flowers or an actual letter to another human being.
Go on a photowalk. Capture things that start with all the letters in the alphabet, or all the colors in the rainbow, or just what looks interesting.
Write it all down. All of it. Don’t edit.
Consider your attitude.
Back Monday night.
Many might assume that as a well-fed woman–as the poster-woman for well-fed living–and an avid Pinterest user that I would have a board dedicated to delicious, sumptuous foods.
I don’t collect gorgeous images of food to drool over because food isn’t an obsession for me anymore. At one point in my life, scouring food blogs, food porn on TV, and collecting recipes was a way to distract myself from the fact that I was starving. Years after I began to simply feed myself everything I was truly hungry for these mediums feel empty to me.
The truth is, my real life is often like a living pinterest board of gorgeous food. Whereas I might not (yet) get to put on that incredible sequin gown or swim in my own gorgeous indoor pool at home, I can cook like a rockstar.
I don’t need to look at it when I can simply eat it.
I’m personally rarely inspired by images of food. I want to smell it, touch it, and taste it.
The other, less central reason I don’t collect food images on Pinterest is because I’m conscious that others who haven’t yet become rooted in their own internal hungers look to me for guidance. I do not want people to compare what they eat to what I eat (or pin) and use it as a way to judge themselves.
We live in this ridiculous time of online hero worship and as much nonsense as it is, people do project stories on to me like “She has it all figured out” and “I bet she has a perfect diet” and “There’s no way she eats the crap I eat.”
I don’t want to play that game. I don’t want women using images of food I pin as tools for comparison, projection, or mimicry. I want followers of my work to come home to themselves and their own hungers. It’s my belief that my pinning food isn’t part of that.
If you have food board on pinterest, there is nothing–absolutely nothing–wrong with that. Many people use Pinterest to organize their “recipes to cook” file or because food photography is a beautiful art. That said, if you have such a board, check in with yourself on how you use it. Is it so you can drool of over dishes you won’t allow yourself? Do you use it to collect recipes that are low-calorie, low-fat, or low-carb? In other words, is it a tool in your toolbox of dietary control and disconnection?
Food for thought.
Now come on over and check out how awesome these dogs are!