When we feel the drive to participate in an unwanted habit what’s really going on? This three-part answer is based on my experience over 30 years of dealing with an unwanted overeating habit, and on my exploration of the field of spiritual-psychology called the Three Principles.
- What is happening when you feel a craving?
- Our experience of life from the inside out.
- How to deal with a craving.
- Understanding the nature of cravings.
- The true nature of who we are.
- The nature of habits and habitual thinking.
- How to resolve an overeating habit.
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
- Freedom from Overeating – the self-paced online course with over 5.5 hours of lessons, plus bonus materials
Transcript of episode
Hello explorers, and welcome to Q&A Episode 19 of Unbroken. I’m your host, Alexandra Amor.
Today the question we’ve got is:
What is happening when I feel a craving?
This could be a craving for anything really. Specifically we’re talking about overeating, or that’s what I talk about very often in my work. But it could be anything, any sort of that what I call, I call it a drive. That drive to participate in a habit that we perhaps know better and or think we shouldn’t be participating in something that we’re overeating. Like overspending, over shopping, over drinking, over TV-ing, whatever it is.
When we feel that craving that drive to do that thing, what I see from my experience, and based on my exploration of the three principles is that three things are actually happening. So I want to talk about those things today.
The first is that we’re experiencing some weather, and we’re not aware of that.
The three principles point to the fact that our experience of life comes from the inside out, it doesn’t come from the outside in. What that means is we don’t live in the world of our experiences or our circumstances, we actually live in the world of our thinking. And that thinking flows through us from the inside out.
The metaphor that we so often use is that it is like the weather. And we don’t have control over the weather, either the weather that’s in the sky, out there in the world, or the weather, that is within us, it’s energy, just like the outside weather, it’s moving through us, it’s calm sometimes, and it’s volatile, at other times and everywhere in between on that spectrum.
Before I came across this understanding and got my head around this idea that our life is moving through us from the inside out, whenever I felt a craving or the drive to overeat, as I call it, I thought I had to do something about that. Which was a very innocent misunderstanding.
I would have the feeling, have the craving, and immediately jump into a whole bunch of thinking about how to battle with that, how to suppress it, how to control it, how to avoid it, or whether or not I would give into it.
All of that was done innocently, of course, I just didn’t know any better. Now what I see is that when we’re experiencing any kind of craving, any kind of drive to do a habit, it’s weather moving through us. When we see that, we understand that it will pass that we don’t have to white knuckle it even that we don’t have to manage it, that it is temporary and flows through us like a river.
Sometimes it can be really tricky to try to just be be with the things that are flowing through us in the moment they can feel, of course, they can feel incredibly powerful and urgent, almost, especially when it comes to feeling a craving. And that’s simply the nature of thought. It’s such a powerful force, that it really affects our experience of the world. And especially when we’re not aware that that’s what’s happening, and that we can simply leave it alone.
Now that is not to say that I was ever very successful at simply watching those things happen, experiencing those craving feelings and just letting them be. That was something that I was never very good at. I took lots of mindfulness classes years ago and did other things related to that, and the difference that this understanding made for me was simply from a broader perspective.
Understanding the nature of that craving, and that it is always temporary, and that it will move on, just like any thought or feeling or experience that we’re having.
So that’s the first of three things that’s happening when we have a craving.
The second thing is that that craving that drive to do our habit, is actually a brilliant piece of feedback from our human design, which is so elegant.
The way that we feel is always a reflection of the quality of our thinking. So what that means is that whenever we experience some sort of discomfort, uncomfortable feeling, a clenching within us, any sort of feelings of disgruntlement, what that’s a reflection of is the quality of our thinking in that moment. So when we can look at our cravings, our drive to overeat, instead of seeing them like they’re a problem, we can develop a little bit of detachment by seeing that they are actually simply feedback about our thinking.
Their feedback about the fact that we’ve individually and collectively to actually we’ve fallen asleep to or we’ve forgotten or we’ve never known the nature, the true nature of who we are. And that is that we are entirely well and whole, always, no matter what’s going on that our default, our innate nature is peace, and well-being and resilience, and resourcefulness and joy really. Our habits, it seems to me, and what I can see now is, unwanted habits are there to point out the fact that we’re unaware that this is who we truly are.
As we gradually begin to explore this understanding and see that insightfully not just take it on board intellectually, as a piece of information that we understand, but to have insights via this exploration about our true nature about who we really are about our well-being, and our innate peace.
That’s when the habits that we have the unwanted habits, the cravings, the drive, things like the drive to overeat, begin to fall away, because they become unnecessary.
So that’s the second thing that’s happening when we have a craving it’s feedback from our divine innate design of our humaneness.
The third thing that’s happening that I see is that there are some neural pathways that are being fired up.
That’s the nature of habits. And it’s the nature of habitual thinking. That’s another part of being human. We have this physical brain that’s in our head. Part of what we’re exploring is the habitual nature of the primitive part of our brain that has this little cycle that it goes through that when we feel a craving, all kinds of neural pathways are fired, that are familiar. They’re like grooves in a record, and the needle just falls in there. And then we just follow through on all the things that we’ve done in the past, to get rid of that craving.
Very simply, the way that we can get rid of that craving is by doing our habit. So if someone if I have a craving for a chocolate chip cookie, and that pops into my head, all those neural pathways from dozens and dozens of years of eating chocolate chip cookies are going to fire up. And my brain knows that if I have the chocolate chip cookie, that that craving feeling is going to go away.
There’s a very physical response in the tiny little neurons in our brain. And that’s the third thing that’s going on. In my experience.
When I was able to get my head around all three of these concepts, that’s when my unwanted overheating habit fell away.
There were just there was no need for it anymore. And like I said earlier, it wasn’t a matter of simply understanding these three concepts. I had to come to this understanding insightfully. And the way to do that, because that might be your next question. Well, how do I do that is really simply to stay in the conversation to continue to explore this understanding. To learn more about it.
There’s nothing wrong with educating yourself and learning and then and gathering information. And then from that comes insight, and when we begin to see things insightfully, that’s when real change starts to happen. So I hope that’s been helpful for you.
If you would like more about resolving an unwanted habit, specifically, overeating, but other habits as well, I have an online course called Freedom From Overeating. You can find that at FreedomFromOvereating.com.
On that page, there’s lots of information about what is within the course. There’s over five and a half hours of material related to resolving an unwanted habit. I’ve put that together based on my 30 plus years of experience with an overeating habit and then finally having that resolved because of my exploration of this understanding.
So I hope you found that helpful. And I look forward to talking to you next week. Take care. Bye.