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Old 12-30-2013, 10:15 AM   #16
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Valkyrie,

I don't practice any specific type of meditation, as in something that would be taught in a specific way. I was taught something about Zen meditation, and how to focus on your breathing and not thinking. That was way too difficult for me back then. I just got stuck in the loop of "must not think, must not think, oops I'm thinking about not thinking…how do I make this stop!" What I do kind of developed organically for me. It was really painful time for me in my life and I had no option but to face it. I no longer was able to just look the other way and pretend like everything was OK. It was horrible torture to be alone with yourself and your thoughts with no way to escape the situation. I really had no other option than to accept all those feelings and try not to think about them too much.

What this translated to was to allow the feelings to come and accept them, but not ruminate over them. Then I realized that ruminating was the verbal chit chat in my mind with myself. I felt hurt because a loved one had left me, and the subsequent rumination was filled with thoughts about me being bad and worthless. That just created even more pain. I realized that I was causing most of the pain to myself, not the events in my life. So I started to let go. I was unable to continue turning my back on the truth, so the only other option was to accept the truth and either just accept, let go and move on, or to try to see the positive side of it. Or both.

I still have extensive conversations in my head, but sometimes I want peace and quiet, and that's when I rather just be and feel, not think. Thoughts come and go, and I try not to verbalize anything. If I hear something in the distance, I notice it, but I don't start telling myself what it is. A sound may be familiar, but I don't need to tell myself that it's an accelerating car outside. The constant chatter and explaining everything that's going on is not only useless most of the time, it can even be harmful. If I walk outside and a person looks at me with a frown, the reality is that a person has looked at me. What ever explanations I start to create for it afterwards is colored by what I think about myself. It's not me experiencing reality as it is. It's me narrating a story that I've invented. So acknowledge and let go; just feel, don't think. It's a constant exercise, which makes life much more enjoyable.

That said, I would love to attend a Vipassana course. Though much of what I've read about it very much resonates with my own experiences. You have to face and accept the truth sooner or later, no matter how painful it is, and then realize that even the pain is just temporary, just like everything else in life.

As for the Outer Child, this is the website for the book and the workshops: http://www.outerchild.net/ I actually still haven't read the book completely. It just helped me to understand the concept and compartmentalize my childish actions. Not only do I offer compassion to my inner child, the feeling part, I also understand the need to act out. Though after processing all of this, I am now painfully aware of other people's "outer children" as well :-) Childish, egocentric behavior is very common and the only solution I've come up with thus far is to try to be as compassionate and caring as possible, but very firm with your values and boundaries.

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Old 12-30-2013, 10:18 AM   #17
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SparklyBunny— Your posting is the most eloquent description I've ever read of the psyche of someone with an eating disorder. I especially appreciate how you related the inner and outer worlds of that psyche. Thank you so much for taking the time to put into words what so many of us feel!

Valkyrie1— What SparklyBunny describes about her meditation practice—being a nonjudgmental observer as one's unconscious contents emerge—sounds a lot like mindfulness meditation, also called Vipassana. The book from which I learned mindfulness meditation is Bhante Gunaratana's Mindfulness in Plain English. It's written with a Buddhist slant, but I'm not a Buddhist myself, and I found it easy to ignore that part.
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SparklyBunny View Post
We're constantly comparing ourselves to something that doesn't actually exist and then feel bad, because we think that we're somehow flawed.
That's right. I like the way eating/weight writer Geneen Roth put it: "We compare our insides to other people's outsides, and inevitably come up short." (Not verbatim, but close enough.)

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Old 01-03-2014, 12:30 AM   #19
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Thank you, SparklyBunny and Fiona. I have read about Vipasana meditation and watched documentaries about it. There is one fascinating documentary I which it is taught to prisoners.
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:21 AM   #20
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Thank you, SparklyBunny and Fiona. I have read about Vipasana meditation and watched documentaries about it. There is one fascinating documentary I which it is taught to prisoners.
I think there are actually two documentaries about Vipassana being taught in prisons. The other one is based in India and the other one in US. I've watched the first one, Doing Time, Doing Vipassana (it's on YouTube). It was quite fascinating, but also showed how terribly difficult and painful it can be.

Anyway, I think that anything that might helps us to quiet our mind even for a moment is beneficial. OK, not anything. I've used alcohol to quiet my mind and that certainly wasn't helpful :-) It's just so nice to have a quiet moment once in a while, plus if the words you are using in your mind are judging and shaming, you'll do so much damage to yourself. Words have much more power than one might imagine.

I'm getting way off topic already, but there's one more practice I'd like to share with others that was really helpful to me. I used to talk about myself in a very self-deprecating way. I didn't even realize how much I put myself down in all kinds of ways, whether that was false humility or making fun of myself before others could or just plain telling myself and others that I was unlovable. A man told me to stop that immediately and that I wasn't allowed to say those things anymore. When ever I would start saying bad things about myself, even if it was disguised in humor, I was to stop. I did what he told me to do and after a while there was a clear change. When ever I started to say something bad, I just stopped and didn't say it at all. It felt really weird, but it was like those associations slowly died down and there was indeed a really big change in how I felt about myself after a while. I didn't even do any kinds of positive affirmations (I wouldn't have believed them anyway), but I just stopped the negative stuff and tried to stay neutral. Ended up being a huge deal! So I definitely recommend trying that to everyone.
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