Ellie can hardly wait to get to her ice cream and chips. Her week is going badly and it is only Tuesday. Already the tasks that she needed to complete are behind schedule and the clients who were expecting a call back are still waiting.
Her employee needs time with her, and she hates to admit it, but she made a mistake hiring this woman and is having to do extra work because of her mistake. Now everything is snowballing.
Ellie can’t wait to get home. Her fridge is filled with her favourite maple walnut ice cream, her pantry with Bar-B-Q chips, and between those two items, she’s going to take the edge off. No need to eat dinner. Plenty of calories right there.
Dana’s husband has been off work now for three months with no leads. She worries about his self-esteem and gorges herself on multiple burgers, fries and shakes before going home at night. She purges in the fast food restaurants and tells him she is working late.
She is desperately afraid of being caught, guilty for spending money on junk when there’s only one income. But she just wants the satisfaction of the flavours and the fill, and then the calming quiet that comes over her when it is all done and gone and her body is exhausted.
Staying is Not for Sissies
You and I know these stories and versions of them really well.
Upset? Grab a sweet.
Argued with your best friend? Binge and then use laxatives.
Deal with life? Not so much.
The concept of STAY is from the Co-Active Leadership Program with The Coaches Training Institute where I have been learning for the past 10 months. It is a completely transformative way of being and acting in the world.
As a leader, to stay means to be present, to be yourself fully, and to deal with the intended and unintended impact of your actions.
For us body-food issue types, it means being with all of the emotions that surface for so many reasons every day, the waves that hit when things don’t go the way we want them to, or when people say things that we allow to disturb us.
Staying means that you don’t reach for the food, purge, or do anything. You stay. You stay seated. You stay still. You stay shocked. You stay upset. You stay and you notice and wait.
Then you breathe. And breathe some more. And then you use your wisest voice to help you sort through what just triggered you. And when that doesn’t help, you breathe some more.
When you stay still for the ocean’s wave, you can watch it crest. You stay on the shore and you watch the wall of water rise, peak and then topple. You don’t have to bolt. You don’t have to die. You won’t die. For sure you won’t.
You stay on the shore and when you are ready, you take an action.
Here’s how I stayed. Two days ago, on the day when I expected to post my weekly blog, it was not coming easily. In that moment of irritation, the easiest thing for me would have been to grab some snack. Massive quantities of fruit. That’s my new sugar.
You know. I don’t have to describe it.
Instead, I watched and got quiet. Then I asked for my inner Wise Woman to speak to me.
She told me that although the goal was to write one blog a week, in fact, others in my recent Blog for Clients course with Corrina Gordon-Barnes were committing to one every two weeks. Could I give myself a break please?
Staying is a new practice. It means that though I wish to fly away or withdraw or just freeze up, I calm myself down and deal with what is showing up.
Staying means just that. Instead of picking up the habit that numbs you and makes it worse, you watch the emotion wave rise, and from the beach, you stay and notice.
You can trust that there is nowhere to go but where you are, and that when you stay with yourself, you are coming home.
You can trust that you have your back. You can trust that you are resourceful and can figure out what to do.
Staying is a courageous act and learning doesn’t have to be done alone. Contact me to find out how we can work together.
If you want to, you can make this a spiritual practice. I assure you, it will absolutely count as one.
Over To You
This week, choose one situation and see what staying does for you. One. Not the biggest, just one.
How is staying and being still a way of life? How does staying help you with delaying and/or stopping a binge or a purge or the next 5-mile run?
Write and tell me what this means to you. You matter to me, and others need to hear what you have to say.
Pass It On
Loved this? Share it with others by using the icons below.
And leave your email in the top right of this site to receive more weekly articles like this.
© Miriam Linderman 2014