Zoomin’ With Noomin.

I finally committed. Well, actually I’ve been committed for a while, but I wanted to add a greater depth of accountability to my efforts to lose weight, manage my diabetes, and feel successful, so I signed up for Noom. Noom is a downloadable app for your cell phone into which you can log your daily food intake, exercise, and so much more. It was created by psychologists, so there is plenty of motivational material available as well. You can check it out at Noom.com. Tell ’em Susan sent ya. My co-worker, Mark, is using the app, and his recommendation is what finally led me to commit.

Some of the biggest hurdles to overcome, whether I have been following the ambition of self knowledge, improving my route to better health, developing a following for my Rune reading or pet portraits, have been negative thought patterns. Training from the Gurdjieff work, to see myself as I am -not as I want to be, or think I should be, or how I judge myself- has taken my work on self to a deeper level. I swear the process has spiraled me back down toward the earliest conditioning of childhood, which was not something I expected when I left home for good forty-one years ago. Just when I expect my work is leading me to something new, I have to deal with something old.

The Subconscious is so deep that it’s often challenging to see the shadows that are down there. When I look at the surface of “real life” water on a sunny day, I cannot even penetrate the surface with my own sight in order to perceive the depths. I’m no Eagle. Shadow work is the same way. I have often had to struggle for those things I want badly, because inevitably resistance will come up. The simple observation, that there is a down side to human nature, even as there is an up side. We can feel happy and upbeat for no reason except Being; we can feel down beat and sad for exactly the same reason -of no reason.

For me, it is this “binary” aspect to human nature that brings me into closer devotion to the Gods. “I want/I don’t want”; “I like/I don’t like”; “I feel good/I feel bad” are those feelings and sensations that make me think of the Triune nature of the Gods themselves – Odin, Hoenir, and Lodhur, in particular, as They gave two trees the gifts of themselves that became humanity. This process of “Know Thyself” sort of begins with our capacity to observe our own being within the Bright and Murky aspects of our own natures. When I can identify an emotion, I can relate to the God most closely allied with that emotion. I receive a lot of resonance from Loki, whose heiti “Lodhur/Ve” gave humanity the resources of sensation and perception. The sensation of human well being begins, after all, in the body with the body’s own perception of how it is feeling, a process called interoperception. And we build on it from there, with our life experiences acting through thought and memory to predict what comes next.

It’s like our emotional and thought processes are binary too, and this brings me into devotion with Odin, whose Ravens Huginn and Muninn (Thought and Memory) serve in the Lore as guidance for human interaction in the worlds. Inspiration leads to action, which in itself leads to another action. Physical life grants humanity experience which has the power to inform the spiritual life, and seems important to me in matters that affect honor and integrity.

On the topic of spiritual and soul evolution, the Norse have a God or Goddess for every occasion. On the topic of honor and integrity, one might seek out the God Tyr and Fenris Ulfr. (See the chapter on Tyr/Teiwaz in my book Rune Play). If one has concerns about the nature of life and death, the Death Goddess Hela, who seems to have evolved from earlier aspects of the German Goddess Frau Holle/Hulde, is a compassionate listener, and together with the Norns can provide guidance toward understanding, not only one’s relationship to Wyrd, but open those doors to the work of deep emotional healing. This, however, stems from my own unverified personal gnosis, so I invite any interested reader to explore their own personal relationship with the Norse Deities.

In short, I am committed to far more than losing the extra weight. I am committing myself to a better life by adapting my lifestyle to those life changes I am seeking. I am seeking to deepen my relationship to the Gods and Great Nature through an active devotional practice. I am seeking to no longer waste my time on activities that do not support these changes. But as with any intention over time, there will be failures as well as successes, and I am also developing ways to keep myself motivated across the time it will take to achieve these goals. There are the feel-good aspects of exercise. Any need for confession can be committed privately to my journal. Art helps me to stay happy and upbeat throughout the process. And so…


Published by susanofthenorth

Susan Hintz Epstein is an author, Rune diviner, healer, non-academic scholar, and former Methodist Lay Speaker who was called by the Runes in 2013. The time since then has been a serpentine shedding of one skin for another, as Susan's spiritual practice with the Runes and the World Tree, Yggdrasil, deepened. Susan keeps company with the Norns and other like-minded women.

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