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The Trouble with Buffets By: Alison Loyd

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As a child, Ryan’s Steakhouse was a regular weekend dinner. That was buffet heaven! I could eat anything and as much as I wanted. Unlike when I ordered, I didn’t have to answer for my choices until it was already on the table. The best part – The dessert bar! Frozen yogurt with all the toppings! It just didn’t get any better than that!

As a recovering food addict, there came a point when buffets stopped being my friend. In fact, in bondage to guilt and shame, my dining experiences were often ruined. I would walk up to the buffet and the foods in front of me looked so good, but there was a voice that said, “I’m beckoning you. Don’t you want me?” That voice competed with one that said, “You shouldn’t eat ANY of this.” Buffet foods CALL MY NAME by the sight of them and often my choice becomes either overindulge or deprive myself.

When I order my food, on the other hand, I have more control over the decision. I can see what it is I really want without being distracted by the sight of all the other food. For instance, my favorite meal right now is asparagus fries and a salmon salad from Marlow’s Tavern. Delish! I crave this meal. Something INSIDE of me desires it!

In her book, Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, tells stories of women and then gives an analysis of the symbolism in those stories. In one of them, she compares the spectrum of our cravings to a smorgasbord (a buffet). Sometimes, we can look and see what we are hungry for. Other times, we have to look deeper at our cravings. It’s a metaphor for intuition and instinct.

Intuition is defined as “knowing something by a feeling rather than by facts.”

Instinct is defined as “something deep inside of you that feels so familiar you have to listen to it.”

I don’t have great eyesight, but I have a lot of intuition and instinct. There are things that I just know. They don’t come from my eyes. They come from inside of me.

Problems come into my life when I allow myself to get so distracted by what is going on around me or the number of choices I could make that I forget the truth that is inside of me. I allow myself to be overwhelmed by the buffet of the moment, just like I used to at Ryan’s Steakhouse, and I make choices that aren’t the best for me and others.

At The Journey Training, I learned tools to sort through the distractions – the buffets of the moment. I was reminded that everything I need to get what I want in life and to be who I was created to be is inside of me! I learned how to slow down my mind, to pause, to quiet the voices, to focus on the truth.

“Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.”

The buffets of life are always going to be calling your name. If you’re overwhelmed by all the voices calling your name, how do you choose what is best? Go with your intuition and instinct. Enroll in the next Threshold class!

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