In Transition and (finally) Loving It!–Letting Go Into the Void

As you may have noticed, I have not been blogging as much this year.  The reasons are multi-faceted, and I wanted to share the most important ones with you. The biggest reason is that I have been in transition. While I’ve been in transition, it has been more difficult for me to focus my attention, and I needed to wait for some clarity and understanding to arise before writing about it. If you are in transition, I’m sure you can relate to the uncertainty these periods of time and gestation can have in your life.

Changing Careers (or paths, relationships, cities, etc.)

Over the past year, my career path in mindful eating has slowly moved from the center of my attention where it had been for the past 15 years. I’ve had a lot of passion for this topic and have given much love and time to helping people cultivate a loving relationship with food and their bodies. I wrote a couple of books about it, taught thousands of people, traveled the world teaching it, and was the President of The Center for Mindful Eating for several years. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. I have truly been blessed with an amazing career, along with colleagues and friends that I’ve developed as a result.

I knew in an instant when things had shifted for me. I had felt it at other times in my life when I knew something was over, whether it was a relationship, career, or job. I was in the middle of an Eat for Life class last fall, and I suddenly knew it was my last one. I had loved teaching this class for 15 years and I loved it still. But there was an ingredient missing. Was it my curiosity, my interest, my passion, or my compassion? Maybe it was a combination of all of them.

And yet, all things change and its time had come. While it has been a psychological journey of letting go, complete with sadness and grief, there are no regrets and there is no looking back. You can’t fight a wave that is pushing you to shore.

Not Filling the Void

Of course, sitting with an empty space in one’s life is not all that comfortable. You know that space where one thing is over but you don’t know what’s coming next. It feels uncertain and scary and out of control—none of which I’m particularly fond of.

I even sought out a healer that I had seen in the past and thought this might give me some clarity or show me the future. She confirmed what I already knew—that I was done with teaching my class that had been an anchor in my life for so long. She also could see that I was very uncomfortable with “not knowing” what I would “do” next.  She sympathized with my discomfort, yet she encouraged me to sit in the middle of that “not knowing” for a while.

I knew she was right, and it is good advice for people going through big changes. Don’t just jump for one thing to the next without a mindful pause. For instance, right after you get divorced it’s probably not a great time to jump into another relationship. You must give the body and heart time to let go and rebalance after a big change. Of course, being me, I started to do my version of jumping into a relationship and considering teaching something I had taught a long time ago to fill in the space. I knew quickly that this would not be a skillful choice.

So, I waited and finished my class, and it was done.

One Thing Leads to Another

When the pandemic hit in 2020, we were all forced to do things differently. I had been in the middle of my 500-hour yoga teacher training at Kripalu Center but it had to shut down for a while. In the meantime, my interest was piqued by an email I received from Lauren Walker, who is the founder of Energy Medicine Yoga (EMYoga). I took her Foundations level training and have continued with her Advanced Teacher Training. I’ve met some amazing new friends and been challenged in ways that I find exciting and stimulating. 

Pretty quickly after my training, I started offering an Energy Medicine Yoga class at alleyCat Yoga here in Columbia, MO and offered some online series on the topic. In fact, as a result of teaching these series, I’ve realized that there is so much I want to learn and understand.

When you start working with the energy in your body, there are many things that can happen. For one thing, my intuition has improved, and I feel able to follow my own inner guidance and wisdom so much easier. This guidance might come in the form of how I eat, how I exercise, what I choose to do or not do, how I interact with others, and how I can become a better partner with myself—body, mind, heart, and soul.

What my intuition told me this winter was to deepen my training in Energy Medicine. So, I recently signed up for the intensive 2-year Foundations training program in Eden Energy Medicine which starts this June. I am very excited about it, and I keep getting signs from the Universe that I’m on the right path.

Eden Energy Medicine

You might be asking “what is energy medicine?” According to a recent research article, “Eden Energy Medicine is a hands-on healthcare approach providing assessments and interventions that focus on the body’s electromagnetic and more subtle energy systems.”   Several energy fields apparently work in concert in governing fundamental biological processes, including a biofield surrounding the body, local fields concentrated in specific areas of the body, and pathways that regulate the flow of energy within the body. These fields, interestingly, correspond with energy systems that have been described in the healing traditions of other cultures. Specifically, ancient constructs such as the aura (biofields), the chakras (local fields), and the traditional Chinese meridians (energy pathways).

At the Forefront of a Paradigm Shift

When I was describing energy medicine to a group of students recently, it dawned on me that I feel now like I did back in 1997 when I first started teaching mindfulness. At this point, hardly anyone had heard about mindfulness, and I was at the forefront of what would become a worldwide phenomenon. I remember having to explain mindfulness repeatedly to my doctoral professors (and many others) at the time, many of who were decidedly dismissive.

But that didn’t stop me as I knew in my heart that I was on the right path with this “mindfulness thing.” Many years later, I was invited back to the same psychology program to talk to the students about mindfulness. It is now in the mainstream.

I am now ready to forge a new path. It won’t exclude my past teaching and learning but it will be seen through a new lens. As Marcel Proust said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” I, once again, feel in my heart that I am on the right path, and I am excited about where it will take me.

Stay tuned! I will be writing more about all of this in future blogs.

Becker, R. O. (2008). Six pillars of energy medicine: Clinical strengths of a complementary paradigm. Health Med, 14(1), 44-54.

Eden D, Feinstein D. Development of a Healthcare Approach Focusing on Subtle Energies: The Case of Eden Energy Medicine. Adv Mind Body Med. 2020 Summer;34(3):25-36. PMID: 32931459.