I once went on a 10 day silent meditation retreat called Vipasanna. Mostly I learned not only to avoid aversions, but to avoid cravings as well. This leaves us with something called equanimity. In not recognizing cravings or aversions to, for example pain or pleasant sensations while meditating for hours straight, this eventually comes out in our day to day life. We become more even-minded about everything.
After the 10 days of silent retreat, and for a couple weeks following it, I was more balanced than I have been since. I tried continuing with the meditation two hours a day, but life or something got in the way. I regret letting it go, but know I could and should pick it up soon.
I am not sure though, that the teachings of the Buddha can help me control my cravings and aversions to food during this pregnancy. I think it must be chemical, not all in my mind.
I have been awaiting the crazy cravings. But as someone who typically eats BBQ sauce on my bagels in the morning, and sometimes eats raw onions with peanut butter toast, I think I am more likely to start craving “normal” combinations of food. What has been happening to me more often is aversions to food.
Salad, for example. I do not want anything to do with lettuce or raw red peppers. Gross.
The other day I was looking for a smoothy (OK, maybe that was a little craving) I NEEDED a real fruit smoothy. I asked at Second Cup if their smoothies were made with real fruit, because I was dreading the sugary fake taste that I have come to expect from chains. I happily took my “real fruit:” smoothy from the woman, took about three sips and threw it out.
I surprised myself and my boyfriend. “I’ve never seen you throw anything out,” he said. He was right. In the past I would just suck it up because I do not like to waste things. I paid for it and I would drink it until I was left slurping the bottom. Not this time. The strawberry smoothy I purchased was the most disgusting thing ever concocted.
Finding something I am not adverse to is hardest in the mornings. This morning we made pancakse with homemade raspberry and rhubarb sauce, and that was alright.
I have only been sick in the morning twice. The first time a few days ago we went for breakfast. I had stuffed a plum in my mouth to tide me over until we got down the street. As soon as we walked into the restaurant, a wave of six thousand different smells hit me. I ran to the bathroom and puked up the plum!
Then yesterday, I had trouble getting my buttered bagel down (I seem to have developed an aversion to my once beloved BBQ sauce). A bite sat in my cheek chewed. Something happened and I started crying. Then my boyfriend hugged me and I ran to the bathroom to puke. I’m not sure how that made him feel.
I have been feeling panicky as I enter my ninth week of pregnancy (I am eight weeks pregnant, this is how it is counted) I am starting to feel very nervous about losing this kidney bean sized embryo. I phoned an old friend, who is a mother of two and gave her my good news. Then I told her I didn’t have any pregnancy symptoms.
She reminded me I do, of course, still have lots of symptoms. Boobs hurting less is okay. Not feeling as sleepy is normal too. She said to me something very truthful and very valuable. Instead of the “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine,” speech I have had from my parents and babyless friends, Cheryl said to me, “Of course you are going to worry about misscarrying. There’s nothing that will ease your mind, so just stay calm.”
I am grateful that she recognized this fear. I can only hope my baby comes out as healthy and beautiful as her two precious kids!