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Keepin' it Reel...

How are you doing? I mean, really, take a moment…take a deep breath, or two, or three…and check in with yourself…how are you doing right now, in this moment?

Clients are telling me that they have struggled this week – not only with mindful eating but with staying in the present moment and not getting caught up in worry, rumination, and the collective fear that has become the norm in some of our communities. I’ve heard about people being so very uncomfortable with the feelings that have come up that using food, alcohol, shopping, endless talking, or mindless internet surfing seems to be the only way to escape. (I struggled too and ate all of the frozen peanut butter cups left over from Halloween. Sorry family!)

One common thread in all of these behaviors is that they take us out of the present moment and can numb what we are really feeling. I asked my clients, “If you had any, where did moments of awareness come in?” Some said before eating – and choose to eat anyway, some said after eating, and some admitted to little or no awareness at all. Another common thread – they all felt bad about what they did or didn’t do and had a lot of negative self-talk going on. My next question –

“What would it take to forgive yourself? Would it be possible to allow yourself to be human and imperfect? Would it be possible to be kind and compassionate to yourself?”

Let those questions sink in for a moment…what is possible? Some clients were moved to tears.

After sitting in silence for a few moments I asked, “How can you take care of yourself?” Difficult times call for some radical self-care. What will nourish your soul? Clients said things like, “I really need a hot bath with salts and lavender.” “I now know I need to reach out to a good friend.” “I’m going to cook that pasta and white sauce dinner that my grandmother used to make and eat it mindfully.” “I realize that I have not walked in the woods all week, so that’s what I am going to do.”

So what will you choose this week? How will you practice radical self-care? Will you take that bath or walk? Will you cook that meal or eat those peanut butter cups? It’s all okay. We practice so that we have a choice – so we know what we really need, so we are able to pause for a moment and ask, “How can I take care of myself in this moment?” As my teachers, Jan Chozen Bays, M.D. and Char Wilkins, LCSW, often say,

“We practice in the good times so that we will be prepared for the difficult times.”


Will you join us for our first Making Peace with Food Through Mindfulness Mini Workshop? This is the last chance to sign up for the November 14th event and space is limited!

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