Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Paradox

©Brian & Wendy Froud
Another daily meditation, this time with card 52 from the Heart of Faerie Oracle (Abrams Books, 2010).  I've scanned it twice so that you can see both faces.

I see so many paradoxes here: the fact that there are two faces in one, the fact that one is fat and the other thin, the fact that both look sad.  That last might not seem like much of a paradox, but when the words fat and thin come together, most people expect happy and sad to go alongside, in one combination or another.  Either as a jolly fat person, Santa-Claus-esque and always smiling, contrasted with a sad anorexic, deprived of all of life's joys.  Or else as a slim person happy to be so in our culture that values image, dieting and plastic surgery, contrasted with a sad, overweight person who feels out of control and unloveable.

Yet really, as the examples show, happiness is rarely directly connected to appearance - it has far more to do with attitude and a sense of self-worth.

©Brian & Wendy Froud
Like so many others, this is something I struggle with.  The wonderful Arwen, of Tarot by Arwen, wrote a couple of really moving posts last week about just this topic: here and here.  For me, the issue isn't exercise and movement, I'm an exercise junkie!  However, comfort eating, and in particular sugary treats, are my downfall.  When I'm stressed or unhappy, angry or resentful, out come the chocolate/cookies/cake.

At one time, I tried making my own: non-dairy, non-gluten, non-sugar etcetera etcetera.  No matter how "healthy", though, eating too much is still eating too much :(

I have had stretches of time where I find a healthy balance, at least for a while.  But like the saying goes: "the only thing constant is change"!  And when one thing changes, other things do, too.  Strategies that worked in the past may not work now: there is no "final solution".

Instead, I realise that I have to be constantly mindful, trying to tune into my emotions.  My daily meditations and card readings help a lot in that regard.  I am also wary of having any sweets in the house.  If I'm really upset, there's always the corner store - one of the problems with our "instant gratification" society!  Still, just not having stuff in the cupboard is at least a first step.

I'd love to hear what works for you, and what doesn't, how you struggle, and how you forgive yourself if you occasionally fail...

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