The Descent

RilkeBeing stuck in the diet trap can sometimes feel like drowning . We  gasp for air ; we reach for something (anything) to hold on to ; we flail about trying to reach the safety of the surface. We are desperate to escape the perils of the water and yet , in our drive to survive, we fail to acknowledge what is pulling us down into the depths.

The surface seems so tantalisingly close. Within our grasp. We can see the light of the sun penetrating the water above us. We can see the hulls of boats. We can see the legs of other swimmers . We sense the possibility of rescue at arm’s length.

And even though something from the depths is hauling us downwards : we struggle against it. We refuse to acknowledge its pull or what it means for our survival. We put all our energy into attempting to get to the surface and to get out. Afterall, the surface looks so close. So tempting. Rescue looks so certain.

We flail. We grasp. We reach out. And, exhausted, we sink.

Until we free ourselves from what is dragging us into the depths, the surface will always be beyond our reach. It is the descent that will free us.

The latest fad diet;  fat-loss pills and potions;  shakes and vitamins ;  celebrity miracle body-sculpting regimes;  “lose- weight- while- you- sleep” audio programmes : these are all on the surface. Promises of rescue. So close. And yet, if we swim in this direction, we will never escape because the pull downwards is still there and will always be stronger.

Our real chance of escape lies in our courage to dive into the depths, to discover what is pulling us down and then to free ourselves  so we may swim in any direction we choose. In order to free ourselves from the diet trap, we must be prepared to descend into the very guts of who we are. We must be prepared to face the stories, emotions, thoughts, beliefs and attitudes which shackle us. We must be prepared to work skillfully with what we find and, above all, we must respect what the depths of the our vast oceans hold.

Divers are often fearful of what they may find in the dark recesses where the light of the sun never penetrates. And yet, when the divers shine their torches, the most beautiful, raw aspects of nature may reveal themselves. Wondrous, wild and untamed ~  our deepest nature reveals its secrets when we are prepared to dive.

You want the “real secret” to weight loss that the advertisers harp on about? You’ll never find it outside, on or above the surface. The secret is inside you. And all you have to do is go diving for it! (Oh – and I should give you a bit of a warning ~ it’s not just the secret to weight loss that you’ll find in your depths 🙂 )

“It is not too late to dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out its own secret”~ Rilke

© Jane Talbot 2013

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