Let me tell you a story about me, Addison Bell, when I was about 20 years old. It’s not a pretty story. Actually, it’s quite the opposite, and so I desire to give a warning that this is not going to be beautiful and sexy. It is also a part of the story I don’t usually tell both because it saddens me to think of and also because the person I speak of is no longer the person I see in the mirror.

I was 20 years old, going to college for psychology, working as a dance teacher, still dancing myself, had a part-time job in corporate America, and my sincere desire at that time was to work with people with eating disorders. Why you might ask would I want to work with eating disorders? The answer is that I was smack dab in the middle of my own very ugly and soul-stealing disorder and was in complete denial of this fact. I had convinced myself that I was not sick but just wanted to help others that were sick. Looking back, I’m shocked at how both myself and those surrounding me could be so blind!

I was driving home one night and was feeling really stressed out because I had a 30-page paper due, a recital for my dance students was coming up, deadlines were approaching at my corporate job, and I was just so unhappy with it all. I suddenly became incredibly ‘hungry’ that night and so pulled into a fast food restaurant and ordered not only a meal, but a meal that would have fed 2-3 people. I shoveled the food down in maybe a maximum of 5 minutes. Then I saw another fast food restaurant next door, and it felt like demons had possessed me as I went to another fast food restaurant and then a gas station and got more food. About $50+ later, I was sitting in my car literally surrounded by bags, wrappers, and food that my poor stomach couldn’t fit. Not to mention the food I was choosing to consume was very representative of how I felt about myself. And yet I still had this ache of being incredibly hungry, and now I felt so disgusted with myself that I am shocked I did not end my life right there at that moment. I then proceeded to drive to a woodsy area and vomit $50 worth of food into the grass! Bye bye to my food, my self-esteem, my health, and to the hard worked for money. I was so incredibly ‘hungry’ to get this food and all these emotions, and this complete disgust out of my body. I vomited to the point of vomiting blood and until I could no longer stand. I ended up on the grass right beside the mess I had left. I cried. I was so hungry, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not find what would truly fill me. I cried out to God, but was too far away from my soul at this point to hear any answers. I would, years later, transfer over to Anorexia, and although it felt more like an honoring of the empty hole in my chest that I felt at the time, it still never filled me.

Twelve years later, and I barely recognize the above girl. My dreams have changed, my focus has changed, my life has changed, and although I have my moments of struggle in life like everyone, food is no longer one of those struggles. I actually achieved my goal of working with eating disorders and saw the hunger in others eyes, just like today. As a Sex & Relationship Coach and Tantric Practitioner, I look into the eyes of many of my clients and see deep hunger.

It doesn’t matter if the hunger is food, sex, love, or relationship, the fact is that we are all hungry in some way. The hunger is not the problem! Hunger is the way our minds and spirits alert us to the fact that we are on the wrong path or that we have a greater purpose in our lives. It’s a signal to feed ourselves in some way and to lean into our desires.

The problem comes when we don’t listen to the message the hunger has for us. This hunger that we all experience in different ways is what can push us forward to get more in alignment with our soul’s purpose. Though when we are unwilling to listen or get stuck in negative energy, then these pangs of hunger can lead us on dangerous paths, like in my case years ago. I hungered for self-acceptance, love, focus, and to live in my passion. I wasn’t ordinary and was sick of living the ordinary life.

Pangs of hunger that are met with curiosity suddenly go from “hunger” to desire, “emptiness” to passion, and drive. These things can feed us or deplete us, and it is our choice. I used to desire to stave off the hunger, bury it, and never have to experience it in any area of my life, and especially emotionally, but now I realize that I want to stay hungry to a point. And at the same time to fill myself to the point where my “cup runneth over.” This is truly the best way to be!

How can you do both? Be full and yet hungry.

Full, by meeting yourself. By looking at what you need and providing it to yourself and looking beyond the facade of the presenting hunger (food, sex, drugs, oversleeping, social media, etc.), and looking at what really needs to be filled. This is taking care of yourself to the point that you fill yourself up with bliss, your desires, joy, love, and connection. Often in our culture where we are encouraged to overwork, overgive, and “not be selfish,” we never take the time to truly get to the point of fullness in any area of our lives… except maybe too full of negativity and faulty belief systems.

While at the same time staying hungry for life in general and always being in a state of growth. Staying hungry for life is remaining passionate about the things that turn you on, make you motivated, and for continuing to grow into a higher vibration of yourself. A fellow coach, Kendal Williams, always states, “I want for nothing, but I desire for everything.” This sums up the difference between being full and yet remaining hungry. It’s being at home with yourself and knowing that you have everything you need in your life, but at the same time continuing to propel yourself forward because it is what your soul desires.

That sounds all well and good, but it does require a commitment to yourself above all others. To be selfish and be okay with this fact and also by asking for what you need. In order to get full, it requires true determination on your part to allow the filling process. This could mean taking hours to just focus on you while having to set limits and boundaries with lovers, friends, and even children. This could be asking for time/love/attention and allowing the receiving without stepping into giving to another and doing this consistently. In order to get full, you must become a little selfish because we cannot give what we do not have. If we are not full in certain ways, then we will not be able to pursue our greater desires and purpose in our lives. When we stay hungry in this way, we stay in alignment with God or higher power, but this can only come about if we are in a way filled.

Not only must we become selfish, but we also at times must take extreme actions. This could mean leaving a job or changing careers, breaking off a relationship, opening an existing relationship, large expenditures of money to step into a next level you, etc. Extreme circumstances often times require extreme measures. Isn’t your life worth extreme measures?

I can promise you that people will give you hell. That you will feel guilt/shame. You will have to deal with your own shit. And it will be uncomfortable… BUT it will be worth it. Our life, our dreams, our selves are always worth it.

Are you full? Are you living hungry in all the wrong ways? Are you wanting to live in a more free and spirit-guided way? Then jump into your life. Start now. Don’t wait!

If you’re not growing, you’re dying.

Don’t be like a 20-year-old me… Follow the me of TODAY, and let’s fill ourselves to the brim with BLISS, FREEDOM, and SPIRIT!