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Author: Lyanne Mitchell
Title: Nutrition

I am writing as an ex-patient.

Everyone’s life is a journey - and without wishing to share the personal details of my younger life, suffice to say that for around 20 years I had been working hard on myself - on a journey of recovery.

Many guides and teachers had helped me. I learned to meditate, to change my thinking, to forgive myself and others but I was all ‘up in the head’ I had become addicted to an unhealthy diet and in spite of being fit and athletic as a youngster, I had left regular exercise behind. I was in denial about my physical condition - until my body sent me several ‘wake-up’ calls which could no longer be ignored.

The poem opposite is what I would call a ‘recovery poem’ and it expresses a key stage in my healing under the guidance of my NC mentor for around 3 years.

When people become badly over-weight, they cease to remember what a healthy weight feels like. Their heaviness gradually becomes their normal state and most seriously dangerous of all, they lose hope that they can ever make the journey back - to return to a healthy weight. Along with this, I had lost some inner connection to my sexuality, my former vitality and life-force. The sessions with my mentor over the first crucial stages of my treatment, involved nothing more than honest talking - there was no massage. Through gentle questions I was encouraged to describe and explore many aspects of my life and relationships.

The analogy of ‘the Horse’ was used to inspire changes to my physical life-style – “50 minutes every day, canter walk and trot” (see NC3) and nutrition was covered in a general way ie fresh fruit and vegetables, preferably organic and in season, a sensible balanced approach to diet - I was expected to work this out for myself.

I wrote ‘Mysterious Mirror’ very simply and instinctively, as I began to realise the changes within myself. They were all about self esteem and a re-awakening of feelings I had long left behind.....I was coming alive again after a long period of some kind of sensual hibernation. Hope returned that I could be who I used to be once again.

In a previous File I have mentioned the ‘hungry heart’ (which led to another recovery poem – ‘Hunger’). I believe most over-weight people are really starving for some crucial element within their emotional being - ie - love, approval, passion, creativity, spirituality? They are in denial. Their extra weight is being used as some kind of defence or protective cushion against pain, or sex or any number of challenges which come from being fully alive.

Many join a slimming club or follow a diet plan which may bring about a temporary transformation and weight loss - but unless the underlying cause for the hungry heart has been found and treated, they cannot maintain the effort. The hungry heart can never be fed or satisfied with food - and until the patient wakes up to this, no permanent healing can take place.

I devised a short course called ‘Diets Are Dead’ using NC philosophy and all I had learned from my own journey. Sadly, the course never ran at the FE College where I teach, owing to lack of response. People want ‘quick fixes’ rather than uncomfortable self-appraisal!

Over-weight is a highly complex problem and cannot be solved by merely teaching the rules of good nutrition. The human condition - mind, body, spirit must all be reached and nurtured before the patient can begin to love and nurture themselves back to life. I believe this is an area where NC has the potential to SHINE - but as a movement, it requires its own re-awakening and transformation!

Mysterious Mirror

When I look into your face
Mysterious mirror, mentor, guide -
I glimpse the self I left behind
The child of nature deep inside

She glows with long forgotten pride
Mysterious mirror, teacher, friend -
Reclaims her power to change her life
Trusts herself to heal and mend.

And though you tint the glass with charm
Mysterious mirror, gentle, kind -
You do reflect the self I lost
And now believe that I can find.

And what do I reflect for you?
Mysterious mirror, wicked, wise -
My heart is lifted by the care
Shining in your clear bright eyes

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