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What Rumi can Teach us about Emotional Eating

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There's this 13th Century Persian Poet named Rumi...Maybe you've heard of him since he's one of the most widely read poets in America.

But, even if you haven't heard of him, today will change that because he's about to blow your Emotional Eating Habits out of the water with a simple poem!

He's that good.

Here's his Poem, The Guest House:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

-- Jellaludin Rumi,


In this poem, he tells us to invite every emotion in rather than to avoid it or drown it out with substances (ahem, food). Not only does he ask us to invite these emotions in, he asks us to entertain them and be with them.

Even if the emotion is unpleasant and it feels like it is tearing your whole world apart, you never know if this emotion is clearing the way for new, more pleasant experiences in the future.

Emotions are your own personal guide.

To avoid them or drown them out with food is to miss an opportunity to change the course of your life.

The next time you feel bored, sad, angry or stressed, rather than try to push it away or run for the Wine and Oreos, just sit with it. Go to a room where there's no food and sit with it.

Ride the wave of that emotion out until it subsides. As hard and painful as it may be, the emotion is there for a reason- to teach you something or lead you to a new experience in your life.

Ask it what it's trying to teach you and then wait for the answer to come.

Are you bored? Sit with the boredom and ask what it's trying to teach you- maybe you need to start brainstorming ways to be more creative.

Maybe you need to start writing that novel you've always dreamed about writing.

Are you stressed? Is this job really worth the stress it creates for you? Are you needlessly working yourself up into a tizzy because of negative self-talk?

Maybe it's finally time to take that vacation you been fantasizing about for the last three years.

This practice will lead you to epiphanies and aha moments that you can only dream about! Trust me, I know- I've been practicing this for a few years now.

But don't take my word for it- just try it yourself and see. Reply back in the comments below and let me know how this works for you! I can't wait to hear from you.