As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I grew up in a house of food. A very stereotypical Midwestern home where you eat when you are happy, you eat when you are sad, casseroles are taken with the birth of a new baby or death of a family member. You eat your feelings whether they are positive or negative and that is sure as heck how you show “your presence” for someone – you eat with them. We got to eat off a special plate for our birthday and got to choose what was for dinner with a good report card. To say that food was ingrained in our heads as a mood stabilizer would be an understatement.
Old habits die hard – ask my husband. I land a contact with a large company at work – let’s celebrate with tacos! I have a stressful day of managing a caseload of clients while still running show around Healing Tree – let’s have nachos! In my adult life there has occasionally been a theme of chips with melty cheese and salsa. It’s a craving that to this day catches me from time to time. It usually comes on a day I’d rather forget – one where there is too much adulating; and so it gets smothered in the goodness that only a creamy queso can provide.
It has become important to me, though to be mindful of my “quick, cover it with queso!” urges and allow time for the feelings, positive or negative, to just be. To allow myself with sit with the discomfort of a success or a failure. To walk it out, talk it out, but for heaven’s sake do not put a chip in your mouth. I have been using a phrase for a couple months now with all of my clients and I’m pretty sure they are all sick of hearing it, but we need to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Let me say it again; we all need to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Taking on this approach will lead you to a sense of peace, a truer since of authenticity and your greatest self. Embracing discomfort will shrink fear associated with having new experiences, meeting new people and starting great things. Think of what it would be like to wake up and accept discomfort; no different than accepting you need to be on time to work or have a cup of coffee before you go.
Comfort food – whether it’s chicken noodle soup or cheesy nachos – is called comfort food for a reason. It makes us feel good, and safe, and usually reminds us of better times; or at least simpler ones. That doesn’t mean we should use it to reinforce emotions; good or bad. Be mindful not only of what you are eating, but why.
Put that chip down. Take a minute. Comfort with discomfort.