Are you among the majority of us who struggle with a weight issue? Are you wondering how much you will be gaining during the upcoming Holidays? If you go to one of your local bookstores or check online, you will of course find a multitude of books and information on the subject, many of which claim to have ‘the’ answer to a “new, slimmer you.” Hey, I’ve written a book about it too. And though I do not claim to have ‘the’ answer, I do have a few answers. The answers I have are about what has worked for me, on the Path, and what I’ve found is the same thing many others have found: “it’s not what you’re eating, its what’s eating you.” So that is why I define the kinds of assistance I offer as “holistic.”
Now if there was ‘the’ answer, holistically, surely someone would have written about it. I’m convinced they have. And I found there are many wise words out there written and spoken by many wise people. The ‘answers’ are usually short and simple and have to do with just being yourself, being in the moment, daily meditation, and other quite simple sounding things. Many of us begin these things, only to stop or abandon them later as we get caught up in the business of contemporary life and the greater culture around us. For example, if you decide to do daily meditation, how long did it last? Did you pick a certain time of day to do it, then later find other things to do during that time? Get the picture. Our lives are busy, complicated. We easily stop doing the things that were most helpful to us and we again joined the fast, anxious, angry world we have all created. There must be a way to “be in the world, not of it.”
I have recently found some answers that have proven to me are authentic and most importantly that work. One of the life long problems I have is grinding my teeth. I stated doing this during my childhood and it has become a life long habit. Not only has it contributed to tooth problems, I think it may also be responsible for high blood pressure, weight problems, and perhaps many other things we have yet to discover. How? Well, I believe it may contribute to creating cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a hormone our bodies create when we are stressed. Our bodies do actually need things like high blood pressure when we are stressed; because if we are in danger, we need our bodies to be able to run, to take flight, etc. In short cortisol helps to turn on our sympathetic nervous system, which is designed to help us fight or take flight during dangerous, stressful times. Problem is, in our modern society, we often allow this to happen when it is not needed. I believe that is what kept my blood pressure high for so long. Until I began to stop all of this.
What I did was to become very aware of when I was grinding my teeth, which usually happens frequently throughout the day. I prepared myself through a meditation where I trained myself to stop grinding as soon as it started and instead to think of being really happy and calm, as I soften my jaw and mouth, letting go. I was thinking of good times in my life, times where I felt completely pleased and happy about myself. After doing this for several weeks, my blood pressure has come down to around 120/60.
This new, more relaxed version of myself is enjoying life so much more. I am happier and more satisfied with myself than I ever have been in my life. The next step will be to associate it more with overeating and I will keep you advised of this. My theory is we sometimes overeat in response to be stressed. If we feel satisfied with ourselves, we will only eat to sustain our bodies. We will learn to listen to feelings of being sustained and not overeat. As I continue with this very simple, yet extremely effect practice, I will continue to write about it. I invite your comments and your experiences with it. In fact, I would love to hear from anybody regarding this kind of practice and the results. In the meantime, stay happy, stay calm.