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Mental Wellness

Looking for God in Food

“You know I’m not hiding in the pantry, right?” She told me.

I’ve been exploring Liz Gilbert’s two-way-prayer style journaling tactic, of writing yourself a letter from Love’s (or God’s, or HP’s, or whatever bigger entity you speak to in the quiet moments) point of view. I was telling Her: I miss her. And I miss myself. Life out here in the Idaho mountains is harder than what I know of day-to-day operations back in Los Angeles. I’m used to everything being readily accessible, and tone like a muscle to be efficient, effective, and convenient. I’m used to multiple restaurant options for any kind of food, and all the accoutrements I need to be the woman I like being right outside my door, with rarely a weather event standing in my way. Here, snow piles up while we sleep and changes the pace of your entire morning, and places for supplies (groceries, pharmacies, yoga studios if I need to clear my head and recenter) are few and far between. You make do with what you have, which is the opposite ethos of an LA lifestyle where if you don’t have what you want, you go out and get it. It’s still a mindset of determination, but they work in different directions.

As I journaled, I told Love: I miss the places I feel most like myself, and most connected to all that is, including You. Those places used to be out sipping champagne eating oysters, dressed up beside my best friend. But that’s not who I am anymore. It’s somewhere calmer, now. A run next to the beach in Hawaii or a walk in the sand listening to The Creative Act, or doing yoga and journaling early in the morning. A hot bath. I Long for the places I feel like my best and most present. But I need new places. I’m not in Hawaii, I’m not next to the beach. I need to find new places that are ironically familiar.

 

“Where are those?” She asked.

“A yoga mat, perhaps,” I told her. “On my blank pages, maybe. In a hot bath, sometimes.”

“Go to those places, my love.

Stop looking in pantry cupboards and food. Or in your own starving belly, as if needing nothing will bring you everything. Stop looking inside your phone. Go to where I am calling to you and be with me. Be with you. And everything else will eventually make sense.”

Today, that call feels as though it comes from a new book I’ll open and start reading tonight. It feels like a hot shower after a long day on the mountain. It sounds like it’s coming from just 5 minutes of thinking, breathing, and feeling into the version of myself I want to be in this next year. Feeling into the wife I dream of becoming, and the mother I know I can be for our future kids. It’s coming from the pen, right now as I write this, and the flow-state from which that journal and this post birthed from. It’s miles away and months from those long roads in Hawaii. But with time, I trust Her, they will feel just as much like home.

 

Questions for self-reflection:

What are your most prevalent habits when you’re stressed or anxious?

How do those habits reveal what you really need in those stressful, anxious moments?

What is your equivalent of ‘the pantry’? What are you hoping to find there?

What places and activities that help you feel like true self again?

What new places and activities are calling to you to find solace?

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by Rachael Yahne

I'm a writer, award-winning blogger, essayist, and speaker published by Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, The Seattle Times, The Huffington Post, two books, and my own various sites and projects. At age 17, I fought stage 4B Lymphoma cancer, the experience of which continues to shape both the way I live and the way I write. My work is part personal story, part skepticism, always respectful of the grit it takes to be an authentic human being, woman, and creative. I've also worked as a fashion journalist, won 2012 Fashion Blog of the Year Award in Seattle, spent a few years as a fashion PR gal, and served a year in Americorp.


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