Saturday, July 25, 2009

Diary of Addiction

Yesterday I came to grips and admitted an addiction. After eating 15 ounces of Swedish fish in a twenty four hour period and then noticing I was not happier as a result of my binge, I can admit my desire for the sweet, red gummy-like fish can consume me. I believe it qualifies as an addiction.

I always liked any gummy candy, but Swedish fish are my number one favorite. My 91 year old Mom likes them too. In fact, the bag of candy I so decadently consumed was actually purchased for her (something I'm not proud of). In a weak, sugar craving moment which occurred after weighing myself and learning I had just lost another two pounds, (the fear of weight gain was absent) I succumbed to my craving and went fishing for a treat.

When I decided to open the bag and made a promise to myself to buy another for my mother, I told myself I can have just a few and then put the bag away. Well, that is exactly what I did....although I repeatedly reopened the bag and ate my fish in schools of five over the course of the whole day and into the next.

When the last fish was consumed, I began to think about the experience I just completed. First of all imagining a gummy wad in my stomach that will probably take weeks to digest did not feel good. I can honestly say after the first few fish went down the hatch, I did not fully enjoy the treat. In fact, it seemed the more I ate, the less I tasted them and the less control I seemed to have. Before long, the fish were eating me, not me eating them.

This incident had all the markings of addiction. I could not control myself after awhile. The fish were all I could think about. I told myself I had self-control, but yet I gave into this craving. It became very clear that the sweet cherry taste of Swedish fish is not more important to me than being in control of my own actions.

I realize addictions to alcohol, tobacco and drugs carry with them other elements that make them even more self destructive than my love of Swedish fish, but believe the bottom line of whether or not eating, drinking, smoking or using a chemical substance actually improves your quality of life, the answer seems clear to me. External influences can never replace the contentment that comes from within. I temporarily forgot that.

Since I choose to live my best life, I want to remember to make decisions that support that goal. Asking myself how what I am about to do will feel, and whether or not it is in alignment with who I am is a great place to begin. If it is in alignment, I feel joy.

If I had listened to my intuition, I would have walked away from the fish. Next time, I will remember this experience and make another choice that will actually feel good to swallow.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why Would I Do That?

I'm happy much of the time, because I like how it feels. I do things I love because it's fulfilling. I hang around people that move me in some way, because I enjoy connection. I especially love to laugh, so I do things that are fun and playful. I work with clients that I enjoy. I speak on topics that get me excited.

One thing I don't do is worry. I saw a quote this morning about worry that grabbed my attention in the moment and stuck with me all day ......"Worrying is using your imagination to create something you don't want". Why would I do that?

This is so simple and eloquent in it's simplicity. When we worry, we are fabricating a scary story in our minds. If we are in a state of worry, then that means the story we're telling our self is not a happy one. It is surely not one that exemplifies hope or a positive outcome. In worry situations, we use our fantastic imaginations to create one or more frightening scenarios of what could possibly 'go wrong'. Before long, we are believing in our own story and then worry it may come true. As we build on worry that sprouts like weeds in a spring garden, it can soon overcome us. Any sense of peace, calm, happiness, and especially joy, are dashed.

You may be thinking that if you tell yourself a "happy story" rather than a "worry story", you may not be prepared for the imagined disaster. Since we never know for sure, exactly what will happen next, I subscribe to the belief that the better I am feeling in any given moment, the better I can deal with whatever happens next. Feel free to quote me on that.

One more piece to this simple equation is if you ascribe to the power of attraction then your negative, scary, made up worry story will actually attract that which you don't want.

Even if you don't believe you create your own experience in life, worry will never feel good. Since that is true, why do it?