🌿 It is my hope that in telling this story, some souls can be saved. 🕊
What began as a desire to fit into a dress for a homecoming dinner spiralled into a very strict form of calorie restriction gone too far. Eventually I started exercising more, eating less, and then, when I came back from the UK (where I studied for 3 years) and started working at a marketing job for which I had no passion, I was also fresh out of a relationship, and have developed the one meal per day habit. I knew no hunger. I ran two to three hours in the park before heading off to work - and that meant waking up every single morning at 4am or 5am - and I sustained myself on dried fruits that I would masticate and then throw back out into the bin. When it caused a major tooth and gum problem, I switched and sustained purely on water all day and ate a bowl of cereal at night before bed. I slept every afternoon on the weekends, as I was sapped of energy once I finished working out.
And that speaks volumes of which a human mind is capable. Our bodies can be pushed very, very far, if we put our minds to it, and in its bid for survival it would do its best to keep your blood pumping - and yet, all I was doing was flagellating it by burning my muscles without allowing them time to heal; by telling myself over and over again how disgusting I was, how imperfect I was and what a failure I was if I did not complete this circuit, or if I ate more than needed.
When I dropped to my lowest weight (32kg) around 2014, I was also suffering from a foot injury that did not allow me to run anymore (see again how amazing the body is in her ways of keeping us alive? Never ever underestimate something as seemingly innocuous as a flu - it is most likely a cry out to you to take a break). I had to go for my IV drips every weekend, and take tons of pills and injections and creams for my hormones and vitamin deficiencies. My foot injury inhibited me from exercising, which was a real cause for distress because the treatments had opened up the floodgates - in my eyes, it was my worst nightmare materialised - I cannot exercise, but I am eating like a glutton! How terrifying, how lost I was. I was engulfed in this black hole of insatiable hunger. One time, my father found me half-unconscious next to the toilet bowl. I had finished a whole loaf of baguette.
The binges went on for months while I began to see a hypnotherapist. Kate helped me overcome my fears and past. She brought to light that inner child in me who had felt neglected all this while, the inner child who was so desperate to win approvals and favours. Perfection is unattainable, I realise now, and it is okay to be wrong, it is okay to make mistakes. We own our faults and imperfections, and build our days from these foundations. I learned the art of letting go, and believing that I can be love; that I am worthy of love. So many years of desperation, of seeking for approval, crumbled and were swept away like dust.
🌿 Cha Dao is allowing that flow in me, this flow within this Universe that is essentially me. In this tradition, we offer service from the heart. Learning to live from love and from the heart and soul, I am now incredibly grateful for being able to hold space for all who come to the rim of the tea bowl. May we all sit together in love and grace. May we all fall back in love with our own being and all the beings with whom we have soul contracts in this cosmic wave in which we live. 🕊