January 2010 archive

Where Is This Craving Coming From?

Cravings happen to all of us. Recently, a seminar participant pointed out that she had intense cravings for tuna melts. How is this possible? Does our body “need” a tuna melt?

Well, yes and no. The craving itself is real. There is no denying that when a strong craving appears, it feels like a real need. My experience has shown that most of us that have strong cravings must satisfy them in some way. Gritting our teeth and denying ourselves the resolution of the craving doesn’t usually work. What we can do is break the craving apart and try to be more aware of what we truly need.

A tuna melt, for instance, is salty. It is also cheesy and bready and fishy. It is also a warm food. It might come with chips and a pickle, as well. The question here is: What do I really want? If it is a lunchtime sandwich, it might be just the thing. If you’re between meals, try a piece of cheese. If that’s not it, perhaps a piece of toast or a little cheese toasted on a cracker will do. Or maybe sardines give you the salty fish thing you’re looking for. Or possibly all you really want is the pickle or the crunch of the chips!

So this month when a craving arises – pause and return to your breath. Ask yourself what aspect of the craving needs to be addressed. Break it down and try something new. As you become more skilled at recognizing what you really need, the cravings will begin to shift from the original food (the tuna melt) to the new food (a pickle). You will be feeding your true desire in a way that is more beneficial to you.

May you find nourishment and peace.