I remember when I first read about how processed foods were designed. First comes the need to satisfy shareholders and in order to do that, focus groups are brought in to help determine the 'crunch factor' of a potato chip or the 'mouth feel' of a cookie filling. Really? Yes. Processed foods, especially highly processed foods, are big business. And when I learned how much money and effort was put into something just so I'd crave it, I said NO - I don't want to be manipulated in that way. It was a very liberating moment and one that moved me away from most processed foods.
The 'diet' industry is no better. There are shareholders to satisfy and focus groups to help determine the best strategies to bring in customers. When you join a commercial diet program, you are investing in a corporation - lock, stock and barrel. You have put your body and soul into the hands of a corporation that 1) offers the same packaged program to millions of people, 2) doesn't understand or care about your uniqueness, and 3) wants your money.
If you're someone who has ever paid to go on a diet, have you ever thought about how much of yourself you've invested in that corporation? How much power you've given them? You pay them and they tell you what to do. Once you lose the weight, you get excited and then what happens? You gain the weight back. These companies know this! They know you'll gain the weight back because it's human nature. Over 95% of those who go on a diet gain the weight back within a year along with a extra few pounds. So what do we do? We sign back up. Maybe not with the same program, but there are plenty to choose from. We search for another program that will bring the success we've been told we need.
I know for myself dieting was a way of life - for 40 years! And I don't think I'm alone. If one diet didn't work, I'd just try another and another until finally one day I realized what I was doing and said "enough"! It's been a few years now, but no dieting. No more giving my money, my dreams, and my power to a corporation that spends millions of dollars trying to seduce me into a promise that can't be kept.
And it's not just that these companies promise we'll lose weight, that's not what bothers me the most. What really gets under my skin is that in order for diet companies to get our attention and purchase their product, they first have to convince us that there's something wrong with us. For me, this is the saddest thing of all and the most harmful because once we've bought into the notion that we're nobody unless we fit some marketing ideal, it sticks.
There is nothing wrong with you. You are a magnificent human being and you are loved beyond measure. A real 'diet program' is one that helps shed the negative thoughts you have around your body. Most of us who feel compelled to diet and lose weight really only need to lose the negative body shaming thoughts we have.
Your body is unique to you! I hope you will listen to how you talk to your body and let any negative thoughts go. That's the kind of 'diet' I want you to be on, a diet plan where you invest in yourself!
In love and light,
I think we can all agree that 2019 has been a whirlwind of a year. I feel like the year has whizzed right by, but at the same time the days, minutes, and moments have been packed full of opportunities for personal growth. It wasn't always obvious to me at the time, but looking back I can see that I am not the same person I was 12 months ago.
I bet the same is true for you and it's important to acknowledge those changes and growth.
What are two or three things about your January 2019 self that feel completely foreign to you now? Perhaps it's a thought or belief you no longer hold or a pattern or habit you no longer have. Sometimes these changes are subtle and we don't notice that they've occurred. And sometimes, these changes come from circumstances that we didn't appreciate at the time, but can see that the circumstance was given to us for our personal growth and change has occurred in some way.
Awareness of the changes and having gratitude for them will let your higher self know what you would like more of in your life. If you like the changes you are experiencing, a statement of "thank you for the (fill in the blank)" will let your higher self know the kind of energy you want to associate yourself with and want to bring more of into your life.
This exercise is a wonderful way to start the new year as well. Expressing gratitude daily is like creating a feast; it's only a feast because of the variety and number of dishes offered, but they add up to one beautiful meal. Acknowledging each day with gratitude can bring a year - a feast - to behold.
In love and light,
Do you associate self care with long hot baths and a massage? These are important components to taking care of ourselves - taking the time to be with ourselves and relax.
I think though, that self care can go deeper, much deeper. I believe self care encompasses compassion for self. Can you love yourself enough to accept yourself just as you are - acknowledging your pain, accepting your mistakes, and knowing you are worthy and enough? Can you be so in love with yourself that you can forgive yourself and others? Can you trust yourself and allow your inner wisdom to be your guide? That to me is true self care - stepping into the flow of who you are and what life is asking of you.
We all have areas that can use a little work be it physical, mental/emotional, and/or spiritual that are asking to be seen through the eyes of compassion. I know for myself that life offers challenges, asking me to take a look and see if I'm in alignment with my truth. If I'm being compassionate with myself, I can look at the discomfort and see it for what it is. Because I have free will though, I can choose if I want to keep the discomfort or transform it. If I'm out of integrity, I might choose to ignore it, but is that demonstrating compassion for myself? No. That's passing the buck and where life has asked me to step into compassion and take a look at myself, I've essentially said 'screw you.'
Life is our teacher and compassion for self is our greatest tool. Learning to be in our discomfort allows us the opportunity to do the inner work toward transformation. Being able to absolutely one hundred percent love ourselves enough to do what it takes to tackle those areas that are calling us is what I believe life is about. Choosing to take on the task is compassion for self.
It starts with awareness and the willingness to change. That can be hard and we always have a choice. However I believe compassion for self is our true nature, one that calls to us and as much as we might want to push it aside, it can't be ignored. Can you love yourself enough to step fully into life, into compassion for self? I know we all can. When you choose compassion for self, you're also choosing compassion for the world around you - compassion will flow from you and change your world.
In love and light,