Oct 23, 2022
Realized connection between eating disorder and poor mindset. Recognized the power of peacefulness and reconciled with my mother. | 讲述我发现饮食失调和穷人思维之间的关联，并与母亲和解的故事。
Jan 18, 2023 11:31 PM
I am known for my thriftiness. In my life living alone in Tokyo, I rarely eat out; I will move to another supermarket to save 20 yen; I compare prices of any product in different stores; and I sell unused items in second-hand markets.
However, I have not realized that my pride in thriftiness has long been rooted in a "poor mindset" that become my fetter.
Manifestation of My Poor Mindset | 穷人思维在我身上的表征
I know I'm a penny-pincher, but when all my friends want to go to a fancy restaurant and split the bill, I get scared. I'm afraid of disappointing them, so I go along with it. But, deep down, I'm really upset and end up blaming myself. That's why I started to stay away from dinners and other social activities and just stay in my own world.
When I'm shopping, I don't usually have the courage to haggle. So, when I meet a smooth-talking salesperson, I just give in and go home feeling bad. I want everyone to be happy, but my thriftiness makes me feel ashamed.
Connection with Eating Disorder | 与进食障碍的联系
Eating disorders are often associated with excessive dieting and body image issues, leading to behaviors such as anorexia, compensatory behaviors, and self-criticism. However, my experience with eating disorders was quite different.
I never thought I had an eating disorder, since I wasn't on social media or worried about my body. But I realized I had to find out what was causing my fear when my body had trouble digesting food and I was anxious when I ate.
After observing my eating patterns, I noticed that I was never full after cooking my own meals for three meals a day, and that hunger and the resulting hormonal imbalances were the cause of my mood swings. On the other hand, when I ate out, I would often overeat and end up clutching my stomach in pain.
Previously, I could not find the cause of these two behaviors, but now I realize that they both stem from my unhealthy "poor mindset".
As a student living alone in Tokyo, my most pressing life issue was to save money. Having grown up with frugal parents, I had to carefully budget my daily food expenses after subtracting my scholarship, rent, and utilities. To do this, I even studied nutrition, calculating the most balanced PFC ratio from the daily calorie intake, and choosing the most cost-effective ingredients from the market to plan my meals.
My eyes were foggy from all the numbers and science, so I no longer had a strong, emotional connection to food and me. I was never content after I ate, and my brain kept telling me to save money by not eating more. When I had to eat out, I'd always pick the cheapest buffet and stuff my body with food I wouldn't normally get, even if my body was telling me no.
It was only during my trip to Morocco that I truly realized my disconnection with food. With its abundance of resources, Morocco was full of fruits and vegetables that I would never buy in Tokyo. The most tempting of all were the pomegranate trees in the gardens, which I could just pick and eat. For a month, I would eat pomegranates with the thought of "how much would this cost in Tokyo?" in my head. Looking back, I don't think pomegranates were that tasty, but I forced myself to accept expensive food on a price scale.
Reconciliation with Mother | 与母亲的和解
The undeniable fact is that my poor mindset was greatly influenced by my mother.I remember my teenage years and how my bad thinking influenced lots of moments. People might have seen me as being cheap, but I thought of it as being thrifty. This didn't matter much in high school, but when I moved to Tokyo and lived alone, the bad thinking mentioned before eventually caused my eating disorders.
Realizing that I was completely unable to control this obsessive thinking, I was caught in a cycle of pain and self-blame. Every time my mother kindly told me not to be too hard on myself on our phone calls, I angrily blamed my mother, saying it was all because of her education. My mother's apology could not cure my obsessive thinking, but I had nowhere else to vent my emotions.
After listening to the episode "Farewell to Knowledge Payment" on Flip Radio, I realized I had an unhealthy way of thinking, like standing on a moral high ground and shifting responsibility to someone else, and trying to escape the blame. But avoiding the problem never fixes the hurt.
I stepped away from my own views and thought about things from my mom's point of view. My mom's life was hard. She grew up in a poor village in China and had to deal with hunger and an unstable atmosphere. She was used to being thrifty in all parts of life. She realized how much her teaching had helped me and she said sorry. Why should I still be mad at her for not doing enough?
Moreover, as a yoga teacher, I deeply understand the philosophy of Ahimsa-peacefulness-in yoga. There is no peace without unconditional love, compassion and forgiveness. Forgiving others also means receiving ourselves.
此外，作为一名瑜伽老师，我深刻理解了瑜伽中的Ahimsa-平和。 没有无条件的爱，同情和宽恕就无法获得内心的宁静。 原谅他人也意味着接纳自己。
On a warm afternoon in October 2022, I talked to my mother for three hours and deeply expressed my apology to her. For the first time, we calmly discussed our poor mindset. My mother accepted my apology with relief and said that she didn't realize the trauma left by poor mindset until she was 55 years old. Even if she realized it, she couldn't control it most of the time. But now, the mother and daughter who have forgiven each other will never be too late to help each other with the scars.
Escape the concept of money | 脱离金钱观念
Money is just a made-up idea, but capitalism has made us used to judging things by their price instead of their worth. Especially in cities, where people are the focus, time can be traded for wages, relationships can be turned into interest, as if everything is a number.
However, when leaving the city and experiencing the customs of community that helping each other without consideration of benefits, I can't help but reflect on myself, being blinded by capitalism, forgetting to feel the true world. In the power of love, people can give without expecting returns; however, the warmth and support it receives is far more important than the returns of material. Although, in many feudal and patriarchal society, those relationships are more often an obstacle to diversity and individual freedom. But, more and more communities are emerging in the world that find balance between public and private, supporting individual’s happiness and freedom. I also hope that I can put down the burden of 21 years of city life, connect, and meet more vivid individuals.
然而，当离开城市，体验到社区里有不论价值的礼尚往来的风情，不计较得失的互相帮助后，我不禁开始反思自身，被单位和计算所蒙蔽，忘却了数字背后的人情的力量。 在爱的力量中，人们可以不计回报地付出；然而它所收获的温情与支持，却远比金钱和物质的回报重要。 虽然，许多封建和家长制的关系社会中，人情更多时候是阻碍多样性和个体自由的绊脚石。但是，世界上涌现出越来越多在公私中找到平衡，扶持个体自由幸福地发展的先进社群。我也希望，自己能卸下21年在大城市中成长的包袱，去链接，认识更多鲜活的个体。
This is the analysis and self-reflection on my poor mindset. Realizing its inferiority does not mean that I have already solved it, sometimes I still fall into its trap. However, just like mindfulness practice, instead of trying to overcome it, when falling into the trap of our mind, quietly observe its existence without judgment, and the emotions will naturally resolve themselves.
Thank you for reading. Wish you be free and happy!
(Cover Photography by Sunshine)
- Author:Sunshine Yang
- Copyright:All articles in this blog, except for special statements, adopt BY-NC-SA agreement. Please indicate the source!
Vol 5. The start of my journey and resettlement | 旅程的开始与重置
Vol 4. Non-Dualism as Prescription for Self-Exploitation | 非二元论作为自我剥削的处方
Vol 3. About my years with creative bottleneck | 有关我”堵了“多年的创作瓶颈
Vol 2. Exploring Yoga on the Other Side of the World | 在地球的另一端与瑜伽相遇
Vol 1. About identity problems I am going through | 有关我正在经历的身份危机