My partner and I just returned from a week and a half in France, during which we hung out in big cities, relaxed with friends in the country, hiked near waterfalls, walked among a herd of grazing cows on the side of a mountain, and took a cable car up to a mountain peak in the Alps (just to name a few things). I ate and drank and laughed and enjoyed both the stillness and the chaos of exploring another country. While I was missing my five cats, we had at least four other cats find and follow us at various points on our journey…perhaps our spirit guides, reassuring me that all was well.
While away, we took hundreds of photos and, several times, my partner remarked that he wished he has his other camera. He wanted a different lens in order to get a different kind of focus or view on a particular subject…the snow-capped Alps in the bright midday sun, the cat who sat inside the darkened church, or the contrasting brightness between the sky and the silhouetted tower of a basilica. His remark got me thinking about how important it is for us, in our journey towards recovery from disordered eating, to change lenses every now and again.
Reading the book, “The Religion of Thinness”, before I left has given me a new lens through which to look at the world around me. While I saw tanned, thin women sunbathing on the rocks in the mountains, my new lens simply let me see them objectively…not in comparison to my own body and not as an ideal body shape to attain. My new lens allowed me to see the delicious piles of brightly colored, rich foods that were regularly laid out before me and say, “how pretty!” while enjoying each mouthful instead of seeing the calories and fat behind the foods. My new lens allowed me to see the beauty in my surroundings as I walked around each day instead of counting the number of miles walked or the number of situps not done.
What would happen if you changed your lens? Would it allow you to focus on new things? Would you be able to live more fully in the moment, cultivating connections with your mind, body, spirit, and those around you? For now, I’m happy with this change in view and hope to hang onto it until another lens becomes useful to me.
Peace, joy, and health,