Angel Wings and Herb Tea

Life after loss; healing through creativity, writing and art

Stifling with food


Ok I’ve just realized that this is quite a big one for me.  Food.

I wanted to write something here today and started a few times, but nothing seemed right for today. Finch had grabbed my box of Healing cards which I keep beside my bed and this one came tumbling out onto my pillow….



I need to eat…..but do I need to eat all the time?

I almost never leave space when I eat.

Swallowing down emotions, pacifying anger sweet comfort reach for the peanut butter jar, make a hot chocolate, suffocate blanket down dull suppression denial..

I’ve just finished a thirty day stint going without sugar wheat and dairy, and honestly it was good…my whole family succumbed to a deep chesty cough and prolonged cold…me? On very broken teething baby nights, not much sleep and constant busyness and stress…a tiny sniffle, gone in a couple of days.

I made green smoothies, salads, dehydrated cashew apple cookies, quinoa, millet, raw mushroom burgers (not completely sold on those……..) It was good but I suddenly found myself eating a lot of dried fruit….in between meals after meals before meals…alot of nuts, tahini peanut butter. All good stuff but it was kind of obsessive kind of what I did when I was bored, kind of what I did when I was upset, uncomfortable frazzled irritated annoyed or impatient. That’s what I do. Maintaining a a grey emotional equilibrium with my face full. Swallowing the fear sadness worry, even excitement…down it went with a nice sweet mouthful. That’s what I’ve done for a long time. Only in the past it was packets of biscuit,s chocolate, brownies toast and marmite after alot of beer on a Friday night.

Comfort eating.

Its not exactly uncommon is it?

A friend of mine followed a forty day juice fast a while back in her dance with cancer and apart from being very thin at the end, she said that she had never felt so clear, sensitive, her taste buds had never experienced such subtleties, her body minutely attuned to nuances which she had never felt before….the breeze on her cheek, the colour of the Beech leaves in spring, unseen energies, spiritual awakenings, meditative revelations….

There’s a hidden sweetness
in the stomach’s emptiness.

We are lutes, no more, no less.
If the sound box is stuffed
full of anything, no music……

So the dairy free sugar free wheat free four weeks was great but I still felt like I wasn’t quite getting there.

I still rarely felt hungry.

I still nibbled..I am known as the mouse in our house…

I still ran to the cupboard when things got tough.

Suffocated dulled desensitized

….If the brain and the belly
are burning clean with fasting,
every moment a new song
comes out of the fire

At the moment I am fully immersed in Our word,  the spectacular gut searing bone splitting, soul baring down deep and dirty writing collective  (that I still seem unable to provide a link to here…have left one on the face book page)

and I am digging deep, diving head first into  a dark rich seething brew of alchemy, word magic, healing and connection with the other women on the course. I need Rumi’s new song coming out of the fire, I need to be a hollow resounding lute with clear clean resonance and vibrations, not clogged and hampered by the suffocation of overeating.

Sometimes when I write, I  get to the shimmering moment where the magic happens and the words just seem to flow through me from somewhere else, and its often then that it’s scarey, so I get up and have a snack.

….The fog clears, and a new
energy makes you run up the
steps in front of you.

Be emptier and cry like
reed instruments cry.
Emptier, write secrets with
the reed pen.

When you’re full of food and drink,
Satan sits where your
spirit should, an ugly metal
statue in place of the Kaaba…..


A while ago a friend  started a mindful eating group, based around this book



I made it to one meeting, with the newborn Finch, and we reverently sniffed strawberries, caressed  mangoes, discussed our smoothies before taking slow thoughtful bites letting the delicate flavours roll into our mouths like a lover. It certainly wasn’t bolting a packet of hobnobs while checking Facebook. We were full on a small plate of fruit, satiated in all ways and nourished far beyond our bodies. Unfortunately life with lots of children and a new baby precluded any further part in the group for me and my energy  and time dissapated more quickly than my drive to continue.


The book  considers 7 types of hunger, Eye hunger, Nose Hunger, Mouth hunger, Mind hunger, Heart hunger, Stomach hunger and Cellular hunger.  It’s that  complicated, its that simple. We are hungry for so much and in so many ways and food can fill lots of needs.

Its worth diving into that complex  charged issue of just why I eat. Not often because I’m ravenously hungry I can tell you…

But now, now its time.


Gently, kindly without harsh self judgement , no self berating if I mess up, just starting a more mindful relationship with food, seeing it as nutrition and medicine rather than a subsitiute for emotional deficiencies. A slow savouring experience rather than a gobbling urge to suppress strong emotion.



When you fast, good habits gather
like friends who want to help.


Rumi expresses it like I can only dream of, his words ring like clear calm bells which inspire me and make me breathe into the deep well of inspiration which lies hidden and clogged in the layers of coping suffocating tactics I employ….

I’ll let you know how I get on.

What’s your relationship with food?

Do you simply eat when you’re hungry or is it a substitute for something else?


2 thoughts on “Stifling with food

  1. Thank you for this. “Stifling strong emotion with food.” I understand this. I do it. I also fight back fear with it. And it is not working. How do you stop? I love it when I am out of this destructive zone – everything feels lighter. But how? Hmmm…I think I’ll just step off – again – into the journey.

    I never thought of it as a journey before, maybe that will help.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Amantha, yes that is a very good question how do you? I think its one of those issues that its impossible to stop suddenly, its a journey which encompasses so many factors, emotional, social, physical, hereditary.
      Realising and meeting needs is good..I mean in other ways than eating obviously. So if you are lonely, call a friend, if you are fearful, grab a journal, talk to someone, step into the fear….
      Starting to practice mindful eating is a great first step…really focussing on each mouthful, how it looks, how it smells, feels, really listening to your body/mind reaction, slowing down, savouring…. I really recommend the book!! Good Luck

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