I read an article somewhere about 40 years ago that explained that people who expected bad luck on Friday the 13th often found bad luck, while those who did not expect bad luck rarely find that Friday unlucky. I decided then and there the I would not expect bad luck on Friday the 13th. I took it one step further when I decided to dub Friday the 13th my own personal lucky day. Since then I have had many happy encounters on Friday the 13th, in fact my first child was conceived on Friday the 13th.
Around that same time I also read an article that explained that symmetry was one of the markers for beauty in human faces. The more symmetrical the face, the more attractive other humans find it. In fact currently Wikipedia says “Facial symmetry has been found to increase ratings of attractiveness in human faces. More symmetrical faces are perceived as more attractive in both males and females, but facial symmetry plays a larger role in judgments of attractiveness concerning female faces.”
I agreed with the concept when they trotted out photos of beautiful celebrities and started measuring and comparing the two sides of their face. Symmetry is wonderful indeed. Nature is symmetrical in many beautiful ways. Symmetrical lines of architecture always draw my camera’s lens.
When I woke with Bell’s Palsy, that long-ago article was the first thing that came to my mind. My next thought was, “I’m no longer beautiful,” because my face was completely asymmetrical.
My smile opened many doors to me in the first fifty years of my life. It was difficult to imagine my life could ever be the same or that people would ever see me the same magical, privileged way I had been seen when I had my symmetrical beauty.
I mistakenly believed that my value, my worth, was intrinsically tied to my physical beauty. Once I began working with my amazing energy coach, I began to see that my worth was intrinsic. My value had nothing to do with my smile. My beauty emanates from my core vibration, not my face. This shift in perspective improved my life in more ways than I can say.
It must be my lucky day! After all these years it finally occurred to me that if I can just decide that Friday the Thirteenth is lucky for me, then I can just decide that asymmetry is beautiful.
What thoughts/beliefs/perspectives are you currently holding onto that do not serve you? In what ways is that thought/belief/perspective limiting you?
Life throws us curve balls. It’s part of being human.
We have challenges in myriad forms, every one of us. Some challenges are self-chosen, like training for a marathon, changing careers, or getting a puppy. Others are gifted to us by Life University, like a broken bone, health and weight challenges, or caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s.
Oftentimes the challenges we choose can inspire us, grow us into new phases of our lives, or give us a sense of accomplishment. In other words, these challenges can energize us.
Challenges we do NOT choose can often burden us, feel like a crippling blow, or give us a sense of powerlessness. In other words, these challenges can deplete us.
So HOW do we keep Life’s challenges from sucking the life force right out of us? Facing challenges requires stamina, effort, and energy. If we feel victimized because circumstance was forced on us, our energy is stolen before we begin, and the challenge quickly drains us.
Choose the Challenge
One strategy that can preserve our precious life force (ENERGY) is to choose the challenge. Yes – the unwanted challenge that Life just threw in your lap. Choose that one. Why? Because it’s the one Life gave you, so it’s meant for you! Hating it, despising it, resisting it, and running away from it drains energy faster than anything.
Choosing to be with the challenge gives us power. Choosing to be present – with whatever life hands us – gives us energy. Wishing we didn’t have the challenge exhausts us. The simple act of choosing to be here, challenge and all, shifts the energy in our favor.
Many clients come to me with challenges they did not choose, do not want, and wish to be rid of quickly. Often they have the idea that this unchosen challenge must be overcome so their ‘real life’ can begin. But real life is here and now. If we wait for it to begin at some distant point in the future, we are missing life!
Life handed us a challenge. We can choose to cast ourself as the victim, resist the challenge, and try to survive till it’s over – at which time we will presumably step into our power and begin our real life. Right? Or we can choose to live our lives right through this challenge, rising to meet it at each step, and retaining as much energy as possible.
Let’s take a broken ankle for an example. How do we choose a challenge like this?
I seriously doubt that a broken ankle is asking us to get a walking cast and stomp right on as if nothing happened. How do I know this? Because ‘business as usual’ is what Life is trying to shake up! Life is asking us to grow in new directions.
Choosing this challenge might mean accepting help from others, letting go of commitments, or learning to care for self – it’s different for each of us. Rising up to meet this challenge might mean slowing down! If Life is asking us to slow down with a broken ankle and we do not slow down, Life will deliver another challenge and another and another – until we slow down.
Choosing the challenge means getting curious about what Life is asking us to learn, and doing our best to listen for the lesson. We are not being punished. The challenge is never a punishment.
We are being asked to grow and mature into the competent, confident beings that we truly are! Life is trusting us with this lesson at this time because Life knows we’re ready. We can trust Life, relax into the challenge, and get curious.
When we choose the challenge, the challenge is still challenging, we just have more energy to meet it, learn from it, integrate its gifts, and grow. In other words, we allow it to energize us instead of deplete us.
Does your current challenge feel energizing or depleting? What is this challenge asking you to learn? If this challenge has a message from the Divine, what is the message? What insight have you gained from this challenge? How is this challenge asking you to grow as a person, or grow in relationship with others?
There is no one right answer that fits every body. There is no food plan that is perfect for every human, no exercise prescription that suits every life, no one plan that will create the a healthy body/life for every person. That’s why we can’t just read a book, follow all the guidelines, and create our body in whatever image we deem perfection. If there were one right way to transform our body, that “way” would have been discovered and marketed for zillions.
There are billions of dollars being made annually by diet systems, workout plans, and nutritional supplements, but have you noticed how different they all are? Some say eat large amounts of protein, some dictate no protein at all. Other diets are non-fat, while still others include healthy fats at every meal. Some are effective for some people. All of them claim to be the magic bean – the one system that works miracles.
While it’s true that many of these methods may be effective for some – at least short term – how do we know which one works for us?
If you feel confused or frustrated around this topic, it’s with good reason!
What should I eat? What exercise should I do?
These questions have been documented and debated to death for decades. It’s no wonder so many people are confused about what works and what is hype!
So how do we do what is best for our health and our body? If I have a goal to transform my body in some way, what is the best approach for me?
There is only one authority on your body and your health: YOUR Body.
If we ask the body what it needs and then listen, our body will clearly tell us what is beneficial and nourishing, and what is not.
This is a super simple technique, but it requires slowing down and being present. In our fast-paced society where time is in short supply, we rarely do that. But if you are telling me that some kind of transformation is your goal, slowing down and being present will allow you to find your way. YOUR way, the way that most benefits you.
The path to the healthy body you desire will not be found in books, but in slowing down and really listening to what your body says. This takes practice, and patience, and time.
Elimination Diet –
The elimination diet is one of the BEST ways to help people find out what is, or is not, working for their health and their body. An elimination diet is NOT a diet meant to sustain us for life. It is meant to be used over a few weeks to discover which foods we eat regularly are not serving our health.
The main thing I want to tell you is that NOTHING IS FOREVER. Many people won’t try the elimination diet because they fear they will find out they are allergic to a food they love, and will have to give it up forever.
Nothing is forever. This is just an experiment to see how different foods nourish or deplete the body. Even if you discover that you are allergic to something, you don’t have to give it up! That’s a choice you get to make. We make better choices when we are informed, so this is simply a way to gather information.
Think of the elimination diet as a playful experiment to uncover valuable treasure. In this case, the treasure is information that allows us to make choices to improve our health and transform our body. There are myriad reasons one may wish to undertake a playful experiment with the elimination diet. Many kinds of digestive complaints are eradicated with an elimination diet. Many people release all kinds of other issues including skin problems, headaches, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, sleep issues, low energy, brain fog, and more! Many people accept these issues as a normal part of life, when they may actually be caused by something we are eating regularly. If you suffer with any of these, wouldn’t it be AWESOME to be able to stop the suffering?
The elimination diet is a very simple basic experiment that anyone can try without paying a dime. Since it’s not profitable, we don’t hear about it. It doesn’t have an advertising budget. The elimination diet provides specific answers right for YOU. Then, armed with body wisdom, you get to choose.
I will briefly discuss each step below, but I attach a PDF HERE from the University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine that explains the details fully.
Explore which foods enhance your life, and which foods are depleting your energy.
Step 1 – Planning • Decide which foods to avoid, which to include. Ask yourself a few key questions: – What foods do I eat most often? – What foods do I crave? – What foods do I eat to “feel better”? – What foods would I have trouble giving up? – What foods have I noticed symptoms of irritation when I eat them? (Runny nose, burning sinus, upset digestion, low energy, headache, etc.) • Make a list of the foods from your answers above, and any from the list below that your health care practitioner advises: Foods problematic for many people: Dairy Gluten Soy Corn Eggs Peanuts Tree nuts Citrus Shellfish
The list you just made is your list of foods to avoid for 2 weeks. • Now make a list of foods you CAN include!
Step 2 – Avoiding Enjoy eating from the “Eat this” list. Avoid foods on your “avoid this” list • For 2 weeks, avoid the foods that may be causing issues. Many people notice health symptoms improve in the first few days.
Step 3 – Challenging • If your symptoms have not improved in two weeks, stop the diet and talk with your health care practitioner about whether or not to try it again with a different combination of foods.
• If your symptoms improve, start “challenging” your body with the eliminated foods, one food group at a time. As you do this, keep a written record of your symptoms.
To challenge your body, add a new food group every three days. It takes three days to be sure that your symptoms have time to come back if they are going to.
Step 4 – Choosing • Based on your results, choose which foods you want to continue eating, which foods to let go, and which foods you want to eat in smaller amounts.
If you would like further guidance in creating a sustainable way of eating, and a happy relationship with food and body, please, schedule a free 30-minute chat HERE to see if I’m the right Mind Body Eating Coach for you!
Over my nearly 20 years as a massage therapist, I’ve seen hundreds of clients over nearly five thousand office hours. I’ve seen every shape and size of body, but the one thing I’ve seen that every single body has in common is that it is truly a miracle, without doubt. You may have forgotten that your body is a miracle, and if that’s true for you, you are in the majority, because most of us have.
We forget about breathing because we don’t have to think about it. Our miraculous lungs do that for us. We do not have to think about making our heart beat, so it’s easy to take it for granted and forget that our entire form is a miracle. When a baby is born – our children and grandchildren – we glimpse the miracle of human life, we may even remember that we are also miracles. But days, weeks, months, years later we simply don’t think about it because we don’t have to.
Our miracle bodies often take enormous abuse and neglect before breaking down. They support us 24/7 without ever stopping – even while we sleep – until they stop for good, then our Soul/Spirit/Energy moves on without the body. The true essence of Who We Are moves on, and leaves the body like an astronaut stepping out of her spacesuit.
Our spacesuit supports life, so it’s worth taking care! We care for all kinds of things; plants, kids, cars, pets. If you own a home, you take care of it. The body is no different! It is the home for the physical experience of your eternal being. Our body is supposed to be loved and nourished in return for all it gives us. Our physical body is meant to be enjoyed while we are in it, and it’s so much easier to enjoy when it’s feeling great.
It’s super easy to fall out of the habit of self-care!
I’ve been fascinated for years by something I have observed as both a massage therapist and a life/health coach. I have observed that any time humans feel short on time or money, we let go of the things that serve us best to make space for the “have-tos” in life. We focus on finances and chase work hours at the expense of our health. We take care of parents or children, and let go of our own spiritual and physical needs. Most of us assume that at some point things will calm down and we’ll get back to the yoga class or the spiritual practice when we have more time.
I invite you to celebrate your spacesuit NOW! That miracle you’re wearing has been with you, supported you, given you life 24/7 since you arrived here. I invite you to celebrate that amazing feat, that miraculous performance, that steadfast support, in whatever way feels satisfying to you!
Honor the temple that houses your eternal spirit in ways that elevate your spirit!
The following is a short/incomplete list of little daily acts that honor/celebrate/nourish the body.
Brush & floss teeth. Wash hair. Moisturize skin. Eat slowly. Choose foods that nourish YOU (different for everyone.) Be present when you eat. Rest. (Two ten minute relaxation periods a day do wonders.) Hydrate. Soak in the tub. Move in ways that feel good. Make love. Focus on breathing. Get a massage/facial/mani-pedi. Walk barefoot in the grass or sand. Ask the body what it wants and LISTEN to what it’s saying. (MORE on this in my next post!)
Make a list of ways you are already celebrating your body. Congratulate yourself for all the things you already do. That’s awesome! Look at the list above and pick one or two that sound really great to you. Add them to your schedule and try them out.
Most of us know that when we look good, we tend to feel good. But are you aware that the opposite is also true?
When we feel good, we look good.
Think about a time when you felt really great about yourself. How much more comfortable were you in your own skin? How powerful and confident did you feel? When we feel accomplished, triumphant, successful, truly loved, filled with purpose – of course we look better. Our body chemistry is completely different than when we feel confused, failed, unloved, directionless, or under attack.
It is common in this world, I have noticed, for people who are reaching for a weight-loss goal to try to reach that goal by forcing, harassing, restricting, stressing, pushing, and hating themselves.
It is also common to decide that the body is not right by societal standards, so it must not be liked, in fact it must be hated. We feel we must hate the body into submission, hate our eating issues for making us fat, hate food for being so fattening and delicious at the same time, hate our appetite, flog ourselves at the gym until we finally reach a weight where we will feel better about ourselves, or just give up entirely and eat for solace because we are so damned imperfect.
If any of this resonates for you, you’re not alone!
Somehow this crazy world has conditioned us (brainwashed us through media propaganda, and advertising campaigns designed to sell a magic fix for bodies that are not right by societal standards) to believe that we must hate ourselves until we reach their standards. To which I feel compelled to reply:
Fuck. Their. Fucking. Standards.
I invite you to join me in saying, “Fuck their standards.”
If they don’t like my body, FUCK them. Because you know what I decided to do? I decided to approve of my body right now. I decided that their standards are fucking stupid, and they do not appeal to me, so they do not apply to me because I am the authority on what is fucking beautiful in my life.
Why? Cause it’s my life.
Their judgements only count if I give them validity and I just revoked their right to decide anything for me. I choose to decide for myself. I invite each of you to step into your own power and decide for your self what is beautiful in your life, because who the fuck are THEY anyway? Who are they to judge ME unworthy?
I am a child of God, a conduit of Divine love and light, and I will not dim my light to allow them to feel comfortable in my presence!
They want me to feel diminished, unworthy, and powerless so that they can grow rich and feel better about themselves. Fuck that! And while we’re at it, fuck the collective ‘them’ who believes they are anyone’s authority on what is good and right and beautiful.
If we feel more beautiful when we are feeling truly loved, then what POWER we wield when we choose to truly love ourselves as we are, without waiting for the approval of others.
I choose to feel my true divinity flowing through me. I choose to feel confident and powerful. And every time I feel the Divine Truth of Who I am, I look fucking amazing.
What is stopping you from feeling good about you NOW?
What baby steps can you take toward loving yourself more now?
What kind of example do you want to set for your children and grandchildren?
Each time you become aware that negative self-talk arises, what can you say to remind yourself to move gently back in the direction of self-love?
This week I want to talk about one self-chosen stressor in particular. It’s insidious in our culture, and most of us are not even aware that it is a stressor!
Are you a fast eater, a slow eater, or a moderately paced eater?
Ninety percent of people asked this question answered, “fast”. And guess what? Human biology interprets eating fast as being stressed.
Remember, we saw that constant low-level stress causes increased insulin, and increased cortisol which can lead to:
inability to lose weight
inability to build muscle
decreased calorie burning
increased fat deposits at midsection
gut microbiome die off
desensitivity to pleasure
decreased Thyroid function
decreased oxygen uptake
Imagine how this affects us if we have a weight challenge, or body transformation goal! Even if we are not pursuing a food and body goal, none of these optimizes our health. It makes complete sense that we want to reduce stress whenever possible.
If you answered that you are a “fast” or even “moderately paced” eater, then you have now identified a stressor that you can choose to get rid of! Reducing stress always has positive benefits, so why wouldn’t we put some effort into slowing down with our food?
The main reason is because eating fast is a habit.
Generally, until someone asks us this question, we never even consider our eating speed. In fact part of the problem is that many of us never even consider our food!
We may skip breakfast or grab a pastry at the coffee shop, then eat lunch at the desk or running between clients, then grab some take out on the way home for dinner. If any of these behaviors sound familiar, then you have a golden opportunity to release some of the stress that you carry!
(Slowing down with food is also a first step in releasing patterns of bingeing, after-dinner eating, and overeating.)
If you are interested in trying to break the habit of eating fast, you have much to gain! So what do you have to lose (besides stress)?
Here are some other symptoms caused or exacerbated by fast eating which can also diminish or go away completely:
Eating fast is a habit. Eating more slowly requires some effort because we are creating a new habit, and new habits take time. This is NOT about counting bites. This is about relaxing with food and increasing pleasure! This is about enjoying our mealtimes and boosting happiness. This is about being present, becoming aware & listening to our body.
Fast eating is a habit.
Slow eating is a habit worth cultivating.
If you want to release the stress of fast eating, start by coming to your meals in as relaxed a state as you can. Try to eat somewhere quiet when possible, or at the very least not in an environment that feels stressful. Don’t watch the news, and incorporate some music that relaxes you if that appeals to you.
Before you begin to eat, take two or three grounding breaths. Allow your heart rate to calm, then turn your attention to your meal. Be present with your food. Savor the flavor. Explore the textures on your tongue. Really enjoy the relaxed time with your food. Food is meant to be a satisfying pleasure.
If you are eating food you do not enjoy, ask yourself, “why?”. Food is meant to nourish body, mind and spirit, and we absorb far more nourishment from food we enjoy than from food we do not enjoy.
If you generally take 5 minutes for your meal, try to make it last 10 or 15 minutes. If you generally eat in 15 minutes, try to stretch that out to half an hour.
I hear you!
Life is busy. Sometimes, unfortunately, we might actually have only five minutes to eat. We can still approach our meal in a more relaxed and calm manner. If you truly only have a short time, make that time count. Breathe deeply and relax. Taste what you are eating. Be present to the flavor and texture.
Find lots more information on the benefits of slowing down when we eat in this fabulous book by Marc David, the founder for the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
The dictionary says stress is a state of mental or emotional tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
The dictionary is wrong. How do I know? Because stress is a feeling – an emotion – and the only place our emotions come from is from the thoughts we think.
Adverse or very demanding circumstances will absolutely cause some people to think thoughts that lead to feeling stressed. Those exact same adverse or very demanding circumstances will cause others to think thoughts that lead to feeling exhilarated.
Since this is absolutely true, we want to select our thoughts with great care and intention.
Self-chosen stress vs normal, natural stress.
What is a “normal” or natural life stress? These are stressors that we cannot control, like aging, health concerns, natural disasters, financial setbacks. Those kinds of stress show up in every life, and Google can offer myriad advice on how to handle them. I want to talk about optional stress – the stress we choose that is completely unnecessary – yet is often MORE damaging to our health and peace of mind than natural stress.
Self-chosen stressors include, but are not limited to:
self body shaming & body hate
adopting weight loss strategies that are stringent & impossible to maintain
artificially controlling appetite
limiting a needed macronutrient such as protein, fat, or carbohydrates
believing we are unlovable, and will never be loved unless we lose weight or look different
trying to create an impossible-to-have body
unfavorably comparing oneself to others
believing we are alone in this world, or that the universe is against us
The list goes on, and is different for each of us. When we choose these stressors, we live under a constantly higher level of stress than is necessary.
Most of us have plenty of natural stress in life, so why would we choose this type of self-harming thinking? We have been conditioned over a lifetime to choose these stressors. We didn’t make this stuff up. We didn’t invent thinking negative thoughts about ourselves. The world we live in trained that behavior into us, some more than others.
Other than the fact that stress feels crappy, why do we want to begin learning how to let go of these self-chosen stressors? Constant stress causes increased insulin, and increased cortisol which can lead to:
inability to lose weight
inability to build muscle
decreased calorie burning
increased fat deposits at midsection
gut microbiome die off
desensitivity to pleasure
decreased Thyroid function
decreased oxygen uptake
So how do we begin to let go of these self-chosen stressors?
Awareness is always the first step. We cannot change it if we do not see it.
The Grow on! section below includes a way to begin cultivating more awareness around self-chosen stress.
Don’t beat yourself up for thinking stressful thoughts! It’s a conditioned human behavior. Give yourself some grace, practice letting go of self-chosen stressors, and see what happens for yourself!
How does stress show up in your body? Write a physical description of how it feels when you are STRESSED about something. For some people it will include sweaty palms, or a racing heart. For others it might feel like a twist in the solar plexus or a kick in the gut. Whatever it is for you, take a minute to describe the physical sensations that arise for you when you feel stressed out.
Practice awareness by noticing these physical symptoms each time they show up. As you become aware that you are feeling your symptoms of stress – ask yourself what thought you were thinking that caused the symptoms. Then ask yourself if it is a life stress, or a self-chosen stress.
If it is something you are choosing to think/believe, what will it take to give self permission to let it go?
Reframing thoughts is a superpower that grows with coaching!
If you are ready to let go of some of your self-chosen stress and need some help or guidance, I would love to chat with you! Click THIS LINK to schedule a free conversation to see if I am the right coach for you!
Have you ever told your best friend that she looked fat in her outfit, or that she needs to drop a few pounds? Have you ever looked your best friend in the eye and told her she should be ashamed of her body or her weight? No?
Then why the fuck would you do it to You?
Have you ever looked at an infant with her chubby knees and thought, “I just can’t love someone with all that fat!” I seriously doubt it.
So why do we withhold love from ourselves, or shame ourselves for fat on our body? Why would we hold ourselves to a higher standard of perfection? How possible is it to love ourself the way we love our friends?
Hate does not help. Hate does not motivate. Hate does not inspire.
If we perceive that someone does not like us, we often feel wounded, or hurt. It is no less painful when the disapproval comes from self! Disapproval of self can damage the psyche, delay healing, and derail our goals.
We cannot hate ourselves into loving our body, and as a wise client recently reminded me, we cannot heal what we hate. If we live in a home we hate, how much effort will we put into repairing it? Same goes for our body! If we have a body transformation goal, how much effort are we willing to put in if we constantly tell ourselves the body is unlovable as it is, and needs to be fixed?
Next time you look at yourself appraisingly, give yourself as much love and support as you would give your best friend! Next time you get a little off track with your plan, or goals, try gently encouraging yourself back on track rather than belittling or berating yourself for a perfectly normal human moment.
Perfection is a damaging illusion, a standard to which we rarely hold others, yet frequently try to hold ourselves. Our body transformation goals cannot manifest when we are under attack.
What will it take to treat you like your own best friend?
Practice looking in the mirror and telling that beautiful human how MUCH you love them. This is challenging for many people, so don’t give up. Persist with the practice of telling you that you love you, more often than you tell yourself negative messages.
Next time you catch yourself saying something mean to self, pretend you caught yourself saying it to your friend, or your child. What would you do? I might hug them and apologize and promise to be more intentional as often as possible moving forward.
Make a list of everything that you appreciate about your body! Our body is a miracle that we often take for granted. We can be so grateful for our lungs that breathe without any effort, a heart that beats for our lifetime, and so much more! We cannot focus appreciation and disgust onto the same object at the same time, so keeping this list handy can help when we are feeling frustrated with our body in some way.
I feel confident in saying that one of the larger underlying goals of most body transformation goals is to increase the amount that we like ourself, and be more happy.
I might like myself better in that special occasion dress, or maybe I like myself better as a potential employee at an upcoming interview. Maybe I believe that I will be more likable to possible romantic partners once I achieve my goal. I will like my life journey more when I reach that goal! I’ll like the way I look in my vacation photos more once I look a certain way. Along our path we became conditioned to believe that we are “not enough” and that our body is not good enough. “If my body’s not good enough by cultural standards, I can’t love my body. If I can’t love my body, I have to hate it.” But we know we’ll like ourselves much more once the body transformation goal is met.
Here’s the fucking problem ~
We try to hate ourselves to the goal! We may restrict calories, skip meals, increase workouts that we hate, over commit to new changes, get on the scale every day, get discouraged by weight fluctuations, overeat to soothe our emotions, then beat the crap out of ourselves for not being perfect at body transformation in every way. We compound our brutal physical treatment of ourselves by brutally beating ourselves mentally for what we see as our own failure.
If this sounds familiar to you, please know you are not alone. This is pretty common human behavior. It’s the way we’ve been trained to go after our body transformation goals, and we’re beginning to realize that it’s doomed to failure. We simply cannot hate ourselves into liking ourselves more. The path to love and friendship is not paved with hate and shame.
No one has ever been motivated by shame.
Shame and self-hate take us in the opposite direction of our goals.
Let’s shift for a minute from a body transformation goal to a reading transformation goal.
Imagine you have a child who is struggling in reading. The teacher tells you they are behind the rest of their class. Would we shame and belittle them into reading better? Would we hate them until they catch up with the rest of the class? Would we tell them that we can’t love them until they are a better reader? Of course not! This course of action would not only damage the psyche, it would cause the child to hate reading.
Will we create success by insisting they do exercises they hate or by finding fun ways to grow their love of reading? Will they gain more confidence if we yell at them each time they are imperfect or if we are supportive and encouraging each time they perform well?
How can we shift this same loving approach to our weight and body challenges?
Rule #1 ~ Don’t beat yourself up.
Our healing journey is a roller coaster full of ups and downs. We need to be easy with ourselves as we learn what works for us, and what does not work. As I mentioned in a previous post, there are no magic fucking beans. There is no magic pill, nor is there one right way to do relationship to food and body, nor one right way to eat.
For these reasons, we are the scientist in our own body transformation journey. Through trial and error we will find what is best for us individually, though it might not be right for anyone else! What does not work is not “failure.” Rather it is valuable information to inform our future choices!
"The more you beat yourself up for doing something you said you didn’t want to do, the more you will continue to return to the ‘scene of the crime’ and you will continue to do the very same thing that you said you didn’t want to do - NOT because there is something wrong with you - but because that is how body wisdom, and life wisdom teaches us. We learn through repetition, so body wisdom, life wisdom will return us to the scene of the crime - life classroom - until we learn to integrate the lessons. Until we learn to love ourselves, until we learn to stop beating ourselves up because we did something we said we didn’t want to do. Until we learn to forgive self."
~ Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating,and author of Nourishing Wisdom: A Mind-Body Approach to Nutrition and Well-Being
Body transformation starts with love, not hate.
If you’re feeling shame or hate about self or body, please remember you’re not alone. You didn’t make this stuff up – it’s embedded in our culture. Shame and hate feel icky because they do not belong to our true vibration (our true vibration is unconditional love). Since they don’t belong to us, we can choose to simply let them go! Check out two ways to do this below in the “Grow on!” section.
Letting go of body shame and self-hate is the ESSENTIAL, non-negotiable first step toward every body transformation goal. We can’t transform the body while simultaneously beating it up. Healing transformation can never happen in the presence of the toxic body chemistry created by shame and hate.
Here are two techniques that are wonderfully useful in letting go of negative emotions like shame and hate that do not serve us.
Grounding it – When you become aware of feeling shame or self-hate, remind yourself that it is not yours and you don’t have to carry it. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, simply drop it onto the ground. Imagine it pouring out of your palms onto the ground until it is gone and you feel lighter.
Give it to the light – The vibration of shame and hate can feel BIG. See it shrinking smaller and smaller until it fits in the palm of your hand, or on the tip of one finger. Hold it up and offer it to the Light. You feel lighter as the light easily removes the unwanted emotion.
We want to collect practices that make us feel connected to the energy at the source of everything. All of us emanate from one Source. We come from Source, and spend our entire lives trying to reconnect with Source energy because it feels good. Connection with source is what we came here for.Connecting with Source feels like plugging your human batteries into a charger.The more practices we collect and play with, the more energy we have for living our lives.
One of the battery-charging practices I love is called Mind Movies.
Mind movies feel GOOD when we see them in our mind.
We each want to curate our own collection of favorite memories, fulfilled desires, sunsets that bring us to tears, magical moments when we feel infused with love, where all is right with our world and we feel as if our lives are charmed and we are connected to the whole universe, and to Source!
When did you last feel high on life? When did you last imagine an upcoming event that was so exciting you could hardly stand to wait for it?
Maybe you felt it the first time you saw your puppy, or maybe you remember feeling completely loved by your grandmother at some moment in the past. Can you remember a moment where you felt completely connected to your partner as if you were the center of their universe?
I’m not talking about a time period in your life, or a six-month span or even a really fun weekend. I’m talking about moments. Laser focus in on moments that make you feel like your heart has wings. Like that time in the hot tub at that hotel when the wind came up and for a moment, the entire world seemed magical and perfect.
These moments – our Mind Movies – energize us, sustain us, nourish us, and recharge our batteries. They don’t even have to be moments that you’ve experienced already, they could be ones that you’re still looking forward to as long as they make you feel uplifted, happy, connected, fulfilled, nourished or joyful when you think them. Play the movies frequently to add energy to your day.
Why do these kinds of thoughts charge our batteries? Our brains run on chemistry, and when we think happy thoughts we create happy chemistry. Our super human brains are incredibly magnificent, but they have no way of knowing if the thoughts we are thinking are happening right now, in the past, or in the future.
So we use these mind movies about things that make us feel really good to charge our batteries, and connect us to Source energy.
Mind Movies is just one practice we can play with to charge our batteries, raise our energy, and increase metabolism!I’ll be talking more about energy-raising toys & practices, so stay tuned!
Set aside some time to sit quietly and mull over your life.Sift through your memories to find the juiciest, most marvelous, and delicious ones.Make a list of moments as they come to you.Imagine them in as much detail as you can remember or CREATE – remember these movies do not have to have already occurred.We can conjure vibe-raising moments.
What are you wearing? What do you smell, taste, hear?Is it windy? Sunny? Are you in the forrest, mountains, at the coast? The more details you add, the more vivid the movie!
Keep your list of Mind Movies handy to raise your vibe whenever you want!