One of the Chinese terms for the Heart is Tui – the lake.
Like the water of a lake, our Heart reflects the world around us – as long as it is calm.
If you throw a rock into the lake, the reflection becomes distorted and inaccurate.
If you throw a sleepless night, a fight with your girlfriend or a traffic jam into your Heart, your internal picture of the world can become distorted and inaccurate.
You may find yourself hearing a sarcastic tone that wasn’t actually there, or seeing a pointed look that wasn’t meant for you, because you are looking at the world through the filter of “this is going to be a bad day” or “everyone is on my case this week”.
Your emotions do not always reflect reality.
So far, this is probably a concept you have run into before, just without the pretty nature imagery, right?
Maybe you’ve seen
“Don’t promise when you’re happy, don’t reply when you’re angry, don’t decide when you’re sad”
“HALT if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired”.
But have you ever thought about your body’s side of things?
Shira was about 3 years old when I heard her explaining to her mother, very calmly and reasonably, that she needed candy. Her mother told her that too much sugar was not good for her body. Shira said that she understood that sugar was supposed to be bad for her body, but that right now her body was telling her that it needed the candy. Shira explained that she wasn’t lying just because the candy tasted good, but that she really felt her body was in need of candy, and that her mother told her that she should listen to her body.
Shira’s mother then explained to her that she was feeling the need for candy because she had gone to bed very late the night before and had slept less than usual, and her body was tired. Her body was craving sugar because it could feel that it needed more energy. But actually, what she really needed was sleep.
Shira, being a tired 3 year old, had a very hard time with this concept, but I find myself thinking about it often.
Because if I don’t get enough sleep, I find myself “needing” candy, or chocolate, or caffeine.
And I have to remind myself that what I really need is rest. Because it is very important to listen to our bodies, but we need to remember that our bodies are not always reflecting the world exactly as it is.
So don’t forget to HALT if you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.
(P.S. This is one of the many reasons why getting enough sleep is essential to healthy and sustainable weight loss).
Want to learn more about for more about cravings, nutrition, Chinese metaphors and my friends’ kids’ logic? Feel free to poke around the archives and subscribe here.
Hi! I’m Havva Mahler, a practitioner of Chinese medicine: acupuncture, Chinese herbs, tuina, reflexology, sotai and massage and a lifestyle, motivation and nutritional consultant. You can normally find me at my clinic in Be’er Sheva or Sderot, or reading something about health and/or motivation. You can find out more about me here. Get in touch with me here. And sign up to get the next blog post delivered straight to your inbox here.