I had a major win last night. I'll be honest, most nights I battle my appetite and some particular food calling my name after dinner because I'm not satisfied. Luckily, I happen to be going through the Mindset Performance Institute modules again, refreshing my memory so I'm practicing what I'm learning more diligently. And this is how the tools saved the day.
So it's after dinner and the cravings start. I knew I shouldn't be hungry. I had eaten plenty all day, like I always do, and had a very good dinner of salad, some baked fish and plenty of wild rice that I even mixed some ghee in to...YUM. Yet, I was literally thinking about how good and satisfying it would be to dive in to the nut butter in the fridge. I tried to deny the cravings but the feeling in my stomach and the thoughts in my mind would not stop!
I knew I needed to get to the bottom of what was causing the cravings or the nut butter would be ON my bottom! I asked myself, "What are you feeling?". I felt anxious. I realized my heart rate was up, my body was tense and my breathing was shallow. I then asked, "Why are you anxious?". Taxes! Money! I was feeling stressed about financial stuff. As soon as I acknowledged this, I started to relax. I had to tell myself it will all be ok and that I'll simply get on a payment plan but it's not anything I can't handle.
I had to check in with myself at least 4 or 5 more times again after that because the cravings kept coming back and each time I'd say, what are you feeling now and I would respond, anxious. I would breathe and acknowledge anxious and I would start to relax again.
Anxious was coming from my ego or the subconscious mind. It's not necessarily a bad thing unless I didn't deal with it head on and instead decided to binge on nut butter. It was reminding me that I needed to deal with it. I couldn't just brush it aside and think it would take care of itself. I needed a plan.
Most of the time, ego has you playing out roles like jealously, comparison, cynical or annoyance whose scripts run in the background of your mind like an app on your phone that needs to be closed out or it drains your battery. It usually needs acknowledgement like a child nagging at you.
I won the battle last night. The only way to maintain this level of awareness is to practice it daily! Doing this once a week or even once a day is not enough. If you want to get really good at this, it must be moment to moment. Every second you are not being mindful and present is an opportunity for the ego to interject. It will happen. It's simply about being awake so you can notice.