Probably should have trusted my instincts more; there was no meditation group at the Healing Center tonight. Even so, it wasn’t a complete dud of a trip. First off, I hit my Fitbit daily steps goal on my long walk around the Healing Center. Secondly, I had a mini adventure, and got out of my head for a little bit, despite the adversity. Best of all, I was able to identify some triggers, then stop them in their tracks.
The New Orleans Healing Center is a total maze. There are four floors, with multiple stairwells leading up to various places that you can’t get to by other stairwells. It’s super confusing, but luckily I don’t get stressed out by getting lost or turned around, which is good, because I spent about 15 minutes wandering around in circles. There’s lots of signage, but it’s not entirely clear, so I got to the second floor and couldn’t find the stairs to the third floor, and ended up taking the stairs to another second floor, then realized that the first second floor was actually the mezzanine? Yup, totally lost.
After a while, I found an elevator, but when I got to the fourth floor, there was a security gate pulled over the elevator exit, so I had to go back down to the second floor, where I found a set of exit stairs that took me up to the fourth floor, but then the door was locked. I honestly still don’t know if I was taking the right stairs or not. For all I know, there was a whole other set of stairs on the other side of the building, and the meditation group is happening right now. But it was already past the event start time, so I decided to call off the search for the missing mindfulness group and move on with life.
As predicted earlier, as soon as I realized that I wasn’t making it to a meditation meeting tonight, my very first thought was to go to the food co-op and buy something tasty to cheer myself up. But I took the thought and sat with it for a moment, dissected it and took the time to talk it through and ask myself if I was really hungry, or if I was using food to smother my emotions. As soon as I paid attention to the root of the impulse, it wasn’t strong anymore. I was able to put it away and move on.
I decided to look at all of the flyers and leaflets and bulletin boards (there are many throughout the building), to see if I could find any other meditation group information that might be useful. On the ground floor, there’s a little thrift store that’s always closed when I happen by, but today it was still open. I walked in, and there was a gorgeous tie-dyed maxi dress sitting front and center on the first rack. It was just so vibrant and cheerful, I had to at least try it on. The shopkeeper was this chipper, energetic young woman who brightened up the room when she came over to ask if I needed help, so my mind was half made up before I even found out if the dress fit. Then, when I was trying it on in the bathroom, I came out of the stall to check myself out in the mirror, and another woman was there. She and I chatted for a minute, and she told me that I looked so happy in the dress, it seemed perfect for me. It’s a teeny bit snug in the boobs, but in a good way. My cleavage looks amazing! I’m so used to feeling like a frumpy stuffed sausage in all of my clothes; it’s nice to notice something nice about myself. I’m totally rocking my new frock this summer at the beach.
As I left the Healing Center, on my way past the food co-op I again had the impulse to go in. This time the thought was, “I’ve been so good today – I deserve a treat!” So in less than 30 minutes, I had the impulse to eat because I was frustrated, and to eat as a kind of prize for good behavior. It almost felt like a little kid trying a different tactic to get a treat. I again thought it through as I was walking out, and gently just reminded myself that I wasn’t hungry, and there were other ways to be happy. Thought process filed away for later dissection.
Once I was outside in the sun, safely past the temptation of the co-op soup bar, I thought maybe it was time to find a diversion instead of heading straight home. I decided to text a couple of girlfriends in the neighborhood to see if anyone was out and about and wanted to hang out for a little bit. It turns out that one of them will be available in 30 minutes or so, so she and I are going to take a walk around the neighborhood with her dog.
Down the street from my house, I caught something cool out of the corner of my eye: a really pretty wine box was sitting on the curb. There was a man nearby in his side yard, doing some clean up work, so I politely asked if the box was his. He showed me how it had a little termite damage, and then gave me a second box that was sitting in his garage. Score!
Today’s Interactions: I initiated conversations with three different hotel guests in the elevator today, and ended up meeting people from Raleigh and Nashville. I also spoke with the shopkeeper and a nice lady stranger at the Healing Center. I asked two different people if they wanted to hang out (one said yes!), and then when I got home, I initiated a conversation with my landlord about the new flower garden that he’s planting in the front yard. Later, I went walking with the friend who said yes, and though I don’t know her that well, I decided to take the plunge and tell her about the binge eating and seeking help. It was a great talk, and I think we might help each other, as she had some ideas for me, too.
Definitely patting myself on the back for getting completely out of my comfort zone today, and not freaking out about it. Go me!