The feeling of hunger and its relationship to death anxiety.

September is always an interesting month for me—in some way or another things shift. Similar to how March feels like a birthing month when I feel reborn—September feels like a grounding month—a time to get back in touch with reality.

When I was younger, September brought a lot of fear and paranoia. I seriously felt as though something was always watching me—stalking me. I now recognize that feeling as my senses opening up to the darker side of reality — Autumn: the time of year when the earth begins falling back to sleep for the Winter. I'm not fearing the dark right now. In fact, I'm very open and accepting of it. Last Winter was the darkest ever, and I learned that it's nothing to be feared. In fact, darkness is what is encourages the light to shine.

In that way, September is feeling as refreshing as this past March. In March I felt reborn into the light. September is feeling like a rebirth into the darkness. It's all beautiful and perfect.

A trend I've noticed as far as my raw lifestyle: it seems to be easier for me to eat raw foods during the cool and cold weather than it is for me to eat them during the warm and hot weather. This intrigues me, and I can't help but wonder why it seems to be so.

Lately, I've been noticing anxiety come with the feeling of hunger. When I'm hungry my body tenses up from the resistance to the hunger—so much so that I often become irritated, and end up eating whatever is closest and easy. I have the feeling that investigating into the way I respond/react to this may be the answer to why I seem to have more trouble eating raw in the summer.

Perhaps it's because Summer is a lively time—a time to feel alive. I'm going to presume the anxious feeling that arises from the feeling of hunger has something to do with death anxiety. We need food to live, therefore feeling hungry must mean I'm going to die, right? Well, I guess my body believes that because it's been programed to do so by society. I know full well that the human body can go for days without food and still live. So, I understand that there's really nothing to fear when I'm hungry.

Now, what does summer vs. winter have to do with how I relate to the hungry feelings I get? Well, in winter I'm closer to a state of survival and more accepting of being closer to death. There isn't as much life in the New England Winter—the earth sleeps; the air is cold; I need to protect my body from the elements. Therefore, I constantly have in mind that my body needs to be cared for. One way of caring for it is to feed it the healthiest foods I know—raw fruits & veggies.

However, during the summer, in the bright warm sun, surrounded by lush green foliage, etc… I feel protected and safe. So, I don't feel as though *I* need to put any effort towards survival. It all happens for me—or so it seems. I go along for the ride, and with it comes whatever food is there. I don't necessarily care to make the effort to eat healthy.

So, it has to do with how tolerant I am about the concept of death. When I'm in an accepting mode of death (winter), I can accept hunger, therefore I'm not anxious about having hungry feelings, and therefore can put more thought into what I feed myself, in contrast to the summer, when death is far from my mind. In the summer, because death is so far from daily life, when the hunger strikes I relate it to death and become anxious about the idea, then try to do anything and everything possible to make it go away. This often means I lean toward heavy, starchy foods that I know will numb the feeling away.

This is pretty much just a theory… as nothing I say can be thought of as *fact*. But it's an interesting theory that I will enjoy watching as we become closer and closer to the still, quiet, Winter.


Alyce said...

oooohhhh... That's really interesting. I have the same reaction to hunger. It has made it really hard not to succumb to fast food when I get that anxiety. Recently, I read somewhere that "hunger is your friend, and it will pass" - I was reading up on fasting. I thought that was really interesting, and I've been experimenting with letting the hunger come & abate before I eat. It takes about 20 minutes for me to go from omgiwilleatanythingatall to a state of hungry but not ravenous. I hope that I'm teaching myself that hunger is okay and I will be fed.

Anonymous said...

extremely interesting read - many thanks for posting!

All the best from Dublin

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