When I was 21, I went on my first weight loss diet. I wasn’t personally looking to lose weight, but a friend wanted to lose a few pounds and asked me to join him. Little did I know that I was setting myself up for a 40 year battle with yo-yo dieting and body hate.
During that first diet, I lost enough weight to go from a size 14 to size 8 and hey, at 5’9” I thought I was looking pretty good! I bought, and wore, a little black bikini and skimpy shorts with matching skimpy halter tops. Life was fun – on the outside.
My vision for humanity is global peace, where humans live in love and compassion for self and each other. There are a number of components to global peace and they all work together to create a world where everyone is respected for their uniqueness – for showing up.
I'm curious, how are you doing? Or perhaps the questions is, how are you feeling? Are you filled with a mixture of emotions, ups and downs? Have you managed to stay busy and don't know how you're doing or what you're feeling?
Let me ask you another question. Have you taken an intentional breath today? Or yesterday? Or the day before?
We all know we need breath to survive, more than we need food and water although those are pretty handy as well. And yet, we can take our breath for granted.
Breath is our life force. It's how we know we're alive.
This is what I know to be true. We’re not alive on this planet to be on a weight loss diet, we weren’t given bodies to try and control them. We are, in fact, amazingly beautiful beyond even our wildest imagination. We carry the light of Source – love consciousness within us.
Going on a weight loss diet, is like telling the Goddess of all that is that she’s an ugly bunch of fat that needs to be controlled, denied, and restricted so she can look better. It's trying to control the universe that lives within us - that is you. And why would you want to do that?
Can you recall a time you enjoyed your weight? A time when you hopped onto the scale with delight and when you got off you felt all tingly with excitement?
No? I don't think you’re alone.
I recall times when I’d be feeling pretty good and then I'd get onto the scale hoping I’d see the magic number and when I didn’t, I’d spiral into despair. I’d go make my mandatory “you failed” salad for lunch and pace back and forth in front of the vending machine in the afternoon trying to decide if I should sneak a 100 calorie ice cream sandwich.
Is life so short that we are required to rush through our days limiting ourselves to necessary tasks and chores? Living life as though it were meant to be busily done, or attended to, is not living. Life is by its very definition a stream, a flow of consciousness, a meanderer in time.
Think about your day today. What thoughts were streaming through your head as you put on your slippers or stepped into the shower? Was it your to-do list? Was it yesterday’s to-do list that didn’t get finished? Or did you think about how glorious it felt to wake up one more day, to have the opportunity to put your slippers on once again and walk down the hall to take one more shower. Did you?
Being in the present moment brings us to gratitude for what appears to be the smallest of activities that in truth aren’t that small.
You woke up! Your body carried you through the night and into the day. Your eyes opened and you were able to see the room around you. A soft bed lay under you and warm blankets lay upon you in a room with a ceiling in a house with a shower. In the moment before you open your eyes in the room where you have awakened, there is peace and calm. Can you sit in that feeling? Can you be present to it? Can you notice the beauty of all that is you in that one precious moment?
Most of the time that moment is fleeting, but it doesn’t have to be. This moment, once noticed, can stay with you throughout the day – you can carry it with you. It’s you without your busyness. What if you were to look at your day with the eyes of that moment you felt upon waking? Soft, gentle, spacious.
You don’t have to be busy and stressed unless you want to be. As always, it’s a choice – one that can be continued or altered. If you try making a different decision, by choosing spaciousness and consciously being in the flow of your life, observe how that impacts your day. We’d love to have you share your observations with us!
In love and light,
Photo credit: Debbie Hudson - Unsplash
As unexpected as this year turned out to be, I think it’s important to be mindful of any uplifting or positive moments - things we can be grateful for. It would be sad to let this year pass by letting it think it had been a total flop.
I have an end of the year practice that I have done for several years and this year is no exception. Each December I sit and read through my journals and reminisce, mostly being reminded of the many wonderful things that have happened throughout the year that I’ve forgotten about. That’s the main reason I like to keep a journal – it reminds me of what I have forgotten.
As part of my end of the year practice, I make a list of all the books I’ve read. I’m generally surprised at the number and variety of books on the list. This year my husband and I are taking our lists and sharing them with each other on New Year’s Eve. We’re going to pick out our favorites and share what we liked about the book and perhaps a key point or two. We haven’t done this before, but since there won’t be anything else going on, it seems like a fun thing to do.
In the past, I’ll list out the various places I’ve traveled to over the year. That will be a very short list this year, so instead I’ll list out all the new experiences I’ve created while being in the house which include moving my coaching practice online. I had put that off for several years and to my surprise, it's working out quite well and I am enjoying it very much.
I’ll sum up these lists with a journal entry of what I’m most grateful for the year. I already know that I am sincerely grateful for my health and the health of my family. Having two elderly parents who seem to be able to weather any storm is a blessing.
And, of course, I am grateful for all of you who have subscribed, read, and often commented on my blog. I love thinking about you as I decide what may be of interest as we walk this path of growing and evolving in conscious awareness together.
If you don’t already have an end of the year practice, I hope you will take some time to reflect on what you are grateful for this year. If any year deserves to know it had at least some teeny weeny something positive to offer, it’s this one.
In love and light,
Image: Julia Joppien - Unsplash
The other day I found myself standing at the refrigerator thinking I was hungry even though I had eaten only an hour or so earlier. How could I be hungry?
Sometimes what we call being 'hungry' is really feeling 'not full' and there's a difference I'd like to explore with you.
If, when you sit down to a meal and you eat until you can’t eat any more, the sensation of being full, or overly full, may be the indicator you use to tell yourself you're done eating. You don't feel nourished or satisfied - just full.
That's how I ate for many years and it still shows up periodically. If you can relate to eating until you are overly full, then you may also be able to relate to the notion of feeling not full. It's a feeling that shows up as being hungry when in fact your body is still processing your most recent meal.
If you find yourself snacking to "top off" when you’re feeling not full, your body can't use the food. Yet you want more. Why?
You might think this way of being isn't serving you, but wait - maybe it is.
Our relationship with food gives us information about our relationship with life. What is your relationship with food trying to tell you?
When you find yourself wanting to eat because you no longer feel physically full, perhaps what you’re really searching for is an emotional/spiritual sense of fullness and you’re using food as a substitute. Ask yourself: Am I feeling stressed? Am I allowing myself to process life? What am I avoiding in my life? Am I living in the present moment? What am I truly hungry for?
Maybe it's not food that you're in need of, but rather an activity, relationship, or community. Perhaps what you're sensing is a soulful yearning.
When I find myself wanting to eat when I'm not full, I ask myself these questions, especially "Am I living in the present moment?" My body, in it's infinite wisdom, is letting me know that I'm searching for something more in life, something that can't be found with more food, but it's using the sensation of feeling not full to get my attention.
I'm not talking about denying food. What I am talking about is allowing hunger to reveal itself as a guide. If we, you and me, are keeping ourselves full with food, eating the minute we are not full, then where's the zest for life? How are we finding nourishment and satisfaction? Allowing ourselves to be truly hungry for food and for life is important. We have to make room for both.
In love and light,
When you eat, do you bring all of yourself to your meal?
Or, do you think eating takes up time that is already in short supply so you eat at your computer or in your car while en route to somewhere? Perhaps you forget to eat entirely and only stop momentarily to grab a little something when you can no longer ignore the hunger pangs.
We all have a relationship with food and by looking at what kind of eater you are you can gain insight as to what kind of relationship you have. Why is this important? Because your relationship with food can tell you about your relationship with life. Cool right?
If you believe eating takes up valuable time, do you also believe there's not enough time in a day? Do you multi-task throughout the day taking yourself out of the present moment and straight into stress? If you forget to eat or don't find it important, are you also living your life on autopilot versus being a partner in it?
Food is life affirming. Each time you take a bite of food, you are choosing life. So the question becomes, what kind of life do you want? A kind that you are present to or one that is stressful and lived on autopilot? As I've mentioned many times, we always have choices.
Here are a few things you can do if you choose to have a nourishing relationship with food:
Creating awareness around your relationship with food helps create an awareness of your relationship with life. What kind of relationship would you like to have?
In love and light,
Is there anyone alive who can say this hasn't been a challenging year? I don't think so. Every day it seems like something comes along that we didn't expect, didn't invite, or aren't inclined to welcome into our life. But, here it is anyway.
What can we do?
It might sound like a cliche at this point and utterly ridiculous, but the truth is, breathing is the one thing you can do that will help you through these times.
Long, slow, deep diaphragmatic breathing can bring you into a place of relaxation. It can bring you into balance. It can bring you back to this moment, the moment that you are in, the one that counts.
When I start to feel anxious and find myself going around in circles, it's conscious breathing that brings me back to the present moment. From the present moment, I can assess my next action - do I want to continue in this 'dog chasing its tail' kind of way or do I want to step into a calmer state where I'm acknowledging what's showing up while at the same time choosing my path forward.
We always have a choice.
The body cannot be in a stressed state and a relaxed state at the same time. Breathing fully and deeply signals to the body that you're relaxed allowing your mind to process information and make choices that are beneficial versus reactionary. When you're relaxed, those surprises that come at you can be processed easier - the benefits are infinite.
Remembering that slow, deep breathing is what will bring us into the present moment can itself be a challenge. That's why it's important to practice. Practicing slow, deep breathing while you're washing the dishes, sitting at a stop light, or while you're in the shower will get you in the habit and it won't be such a stretch to remember to breathe when you need to. Although I will say that if you can breathe slowly all the time, the benefits are mind blowing.
So yes, I believe we can relax in this moment and in fact, I believe it's what we're being asked to do. By relaxing, we're better able to see life as it truly is. From there we can see the choices that lay before us.
In love and light,