April 29, 2013

bananaflowerrachelcole

 

All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s post comes from the wild and brilliant Julie Daley.

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My well-fed life moves and flows with the erotic: the impulse, the beat, and the breath of life. The erotic is what spring does to cherry trees, as Pablo Neruda wrote of, or ‘the force that through the green fuse drives the flower’ that Dylan Thomas wrote about so beautifully. It’s what is at the heart of creation, the urge to bring forth something new into being.

For me, being well fed is the lived experience where the numinous meets matter; spirit becomes human, and life dances in this woman’s body. Well fed happens when I am in a healthy, open, trusting relationship with life. It’s not always that way, but it’s more often that way now in my life that it ever has been in the past. It’s taken me years to come to trust life; years of a lot of deep healing work, personal growth courses, and traveling to different parts of the world where things are completely different than what I had experienced; years of guiding others to do the same; and, years of raising children, and now being a grandchildren to four beautiful souls. It doesn’t have to take these things. These are simply what have brought me to this profoundly humbling relationship with life. Life brings you exactly what it takes to wake you up to trusting life, to giving yourself to life, to living life as this vital creative force.

Consider this beautiful banana flower, above. It is completely erotic… to look at, to touch, and to smell. The cells of this blossom are full of life force. I took this picture while at a ten-day camp on Molokai. Each day a group of us worked around the grounds of this retreat site, doing jobs such as planting native plants, painting and staining, working in the organic garden, tending the orchard, and taking care of the cottages.

Each morning, I walked the orchard picking up fruit the trees had released. As I walked past each one, I would check for any fruit that looked ripe, and then give each one a little pull to see if the tree would let go. While each fruit appeared to be completely ripe, pulled down toward the earth by the weight of its flesh, the tree didn’t necessarily let go. The tree knew when the time was right and ripe. And, even when the tree hadn’t let go, sometimes the fruit would drop overnight due to heavy winds blowing through the orchard. Sometimes it would be the tree itself, and sometimes it would be life outside of the tree causing the fruit to drop.

As I noticed this, I could see the correlation in my life. I, too, am this fruit tree. I, too, am in a continual cycle of creation and creativity. All of nature is conspiring to aid me in coming to fruition. Sometimes I feel like I am ready, and I might even push to try to make things happen. Yet, just like the tree, when the fruit is not ready, it doesn’t fall. And sometimes, other forces in my life, like the overnight winds, come to bear on my creations, causing them to come forth when I don’t expect it.

What I’ve come to see is that I am fed and nourished by deep gravity; by how it feels to be here fully, leaning in to life. When I soften and exhale, and really allow the earth to hold me, I can feel the green fuse moving through me, I can feel spring doing to me what it does to cherry trees.

For me, this is what feeds me. Everything flows from this relationship to life and the earth. And, from this relationship with life, all other relationships flow. When I am not relating to life, I am not relating to myself, nor can I relate to others.

Hungering and thirsting are visceral feelings for the body. And in a similar way, they are for the soul. In the past, one of the ways I avoided being here, was to nourish myself with transcendence, with a kind of fullness that is also empty. It worked for a while, but then I could feel a kind of sadness and grief in my soul. Something was calling me to come more deeply into life, into the here and now. This takes vulnerability. This has been the hardest part of my journey, trusting that as I age, deep gravity is pulling me closer and closer to the earth, to a sensual relationship with life that exposes the sweetest nectar and most succulent flesh.

Life is erotic by nature. So are we. I know I am Eros embodied. The very same force that pulses through everything, including this beautiful banana blossom, pulses through me. That pulse is impulse. It is hunger for touch and a thirst for beauty. Sometimes, it is a raging river, and other times it slows to a trickle.

It can sound esoteric, and on one level it is, yet it is also very practical. In real life, it is Being in motion, where what I am continually creates itself over and over to feed the hunger of the soul to know itself anew.

This is creativity.

This is wholeness.

This is feeding Self with our own sustenance.

Nothing will ever be as nourishing, or as satisfying, as this.

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A dancer at heart, Julie Daley would love nothing more than to live her life and do her work from the dance floor. Ten years in the practice of 5Rhythms has opened her to the joy and wildness that is at the heart of women’s creativity. A writer, teacher, coach, and yes, dancer, Julie savors life playing with her wee grandchildren & serving the women and men who are called to work with her.  Julie is happiest when she is breathing through her feet.

Rachel’s Note: Julie takes the MOST amazing photographs of flowers. Follower her on Instagram @juliedaley

posted in guest posts
April 24, 2013

rock

photo credit

All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s post comes from the solid and savvy Mara Glatzel.

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There was never anything overtly wrong with my life.

I had a pretty face. I got a couple of fancy degrees. I drove a new car. I had a dream-like wedding to someone wonderful.

I could have been happy in that life – with my credit cards paid off in full every month, and commute to work with to-go cups of coffee and light road rage. I was the kind of little kid who dreamed about the “real jobs” that “real people” had.

I came from a family of artists and writers, and all I wanted was a 401K.

During this time my body was my ultimate project, and eating to shove down any acceptable feeling was my ultimate self-love tool.

As much as I loathed the skin I was in, working on it made me feel like I was doing something. I lost and gained weight, with purpose.

All the while, when I said I hated my body, it was because I didn’t have the vocabulary to describe the incredible boredom I experienced living my life as though it was a series of events happening to me. I didn’t have the words to describe my deep hunger for being lit up from the inside out.

I knew how to say, “I feel fat.”

I did not know how to say, “I want a huge, exciting, and adventurous life, filled with friends, hot romance, and big words.” Whenever I thought about that yearning, it was as if it was blacked out like the sensitive information in a classified document. As if, preoccupied by my fear about whether or not I was deserving of that kind of a life, I didn’t have the security clearance to access my hungers.

Until, bubbling up out of my deep craving: I want to feel really good.

I was lying in bed in a hotel room in Vermont at 6 am looking at the ceiling. I had been crying for four days straight. I was supposed to be relaxing, but, instead, I had been fighting with myself about getting a job.

I asked myself: If this is the last year of your life – do you really want to look for a social work job?

No.

Ok. Then what?

In that moment, I realized that I had never truly asked myself what I wanted to do next.

Up until that point, I had allowed my life to pick me, wandering around from opportunity to opportunity fairly happy, but without any intention about the life I was creating for myself. My life was good, but it wasn’t mine, persay. It was the kind of life that you get when you have pretty good luck, but never actively engage.

Then what?

I want to make my own schedule.

How?

I want to work for myself. I want to build beautiful things. I want to feel inspired. I want to make a habit out of expanding my threshold for experiencing joy. I want to help people. I want to help myself. I want to feel like my life is mine.

You just paid $120,000 for your education. You have to become a social worker.

In that moment, I realized that there are very few things in your life that you actually have to do. I started crying, but this time with tears of relief.

My well-fed life is built upon a foundation of radical self-responsibility.

For a long time, I thought that my important work was improving my body image. I spent my time writing about it, thinking about it constantly. But, that was one half of the story.

The other half was quietly repairing the undercurrent of boredom – the deep yearning that I hadn’t really had the words to describe. It was the work of cultivating a relationship with myself.

It took one choice: if this is the last year of my life, I want to feel good.

Then, the floodgates opened. I wanted to choose everything.

Short socks instead of tall socks. Hot coffee, even in the summer. Horizontal stripes, always. Time to pray. Time to read. Sweating over stretching. Sleeping late without guilt. Time alone.

My well-fed life is a series of well intentioned choices, and a relaxed relationship with outcome. Experimental.

My well-fed life is fueled by doing what I say that I’m going to do. Showing up. Dressing up. Talking fast and embracing my love of idioms.

My well-fed life is filled with active decisions, carefully curated experiences, and replacing that undercurrent of boredom with one of languid joy seeking. It is brimming with intuitive hits, and no thank you, I’ve got a really important date to keep – with myself conversations.

Now, when I imagine how I truly want to live my life, I imagine a dinner party at dusk on a warm day. Underneath the sparkling lights in a lush garden, there is a long table with many seats, each seat occupied by someone that I love with my whole heart. In the dream, I’m having a fantastic time at the party – laughing deeply in my belly and feeling lit up from somewhere deep in my core.

Everywhere I look things are growing and sparkling and cozy in their place.

Each seat is occupied by one of my many parts. Each part feels welcome and loved.

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Mara Glatzel is a life-coach and the creator of the Body Loving Homework E-Course. She works with brave women looking to chase what lights them up, and cultivate deeply satisfying lives. In creating this sacred space for women to thrive, she’s bringing a masters in clinical social work, her spot-on intuition, and the lessons  picked up along the way as she built a relationship with herself grounded in self-trust. Catch up with her on facebook, twitter, or join her body-loving mailing list for secret swapping and insider news.

posted in guest posts
April 22, 2013

mwfl.laurie

All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s post comes from my fabulous writing teacher Laurie Wagner.

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A couple of weeks ago, David Bowie put out a new record, which is a big deal in the music industry. The man is 66-years-old, a legend, a huge rock star. I’d heard an interview with a member of his band a few days before the record launched, and the interviewer asked, “What earlier record is this new one like?” I found myself hoping he’d say The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust or Hunky Dory – two of my favorite Bowie records from the 70’s. But this band member only said that it was the best record Bowie had ever made.

So when the album came out on iTunes this week, I checked it out, hoping to hear songs that would take me back to 1976 and tanning by the pool in Palm Springs with my friend Marcie. Those were some days. I was 16 years old, had long brown hair, and wore bikinis. Boys liked me and I loved music; a doorway into a rich place full of feelings that I couldn’t yet articulate, but which I knew promised me access to a deeper part of myself.

But when I listened to this new album, I didn’t hear anything resembling the Bowie I had loved. Instead I heard the crooning stuff he’s been putting out in the last few years – not my cup of tea.

Here’s the thing: I don’t know what Bowie was thinking when he put out the record, but his band mate told the interviewer that Bowie makes the kind of music that’s coming through him.

I didn’t get the Bowie album I wanted – but if what his band mate said is true, and Bowie responded to the music coming through him, then Bowie made the best album ever, because as a creative person, hearing and responding to your own music is everything to your deeper success and ultimate joy, and the only way to do anything authentic and sustaining.

Hungry For the Sound of My Own Music

Of course, I’m not just talking about music – I’m talking about all the juicy juju that comes through us when we follow our instinct and imagination: ideas for projects, colors we’re drawn to, clothes we want to wear, friends we suddenly want to be in touch with. It has a lot to do with saying yes to ourselves, yes to what’s moving through us.

We train for this at the Wild Writing table, where our job is simply to be a channel for the words that are coming through us: bad words, silly words, potty-mouth words, words that don’t make sense, words that we’ve never spoken before. I invite the women I work with not to reject a word or thought that is presented to them, not to try and find a “better” thought or a “better” word. If they do, I tell them, their writing will go south. When we write or make art, we’re in partnership with the creative unconscious, and if we ask for its help but reject what is offered, it stops working for us.

If we follow our desire, our instincts, what we hear, what we’re hungry for, our whole earthly vibration rises. We might actually hear ourselves humming. That’s the music inside of us getting louder. That’s us tuning into our own unique and glorious frequency.  The only thing we have to do is start listening and be brave enough to act on what we hear.

And here’s the icing on the cake – when we’re walking around the planet vibrating as the creative animals that we are, more people, more ideas, projects and opportunities will come to us because we’re easier to spot. The best way for people and ideas to find us is when we’re lit up. And we light ourselves up by following what moves us, what brings us joy.

Creativity chooses us, but we have to be listening for it. When I look at anything I’ve created, it’s all rooted in what I love – not what I think other people will love.

And so I have to think that’s what Bowie did when he was making his latest album – and why he’s still making music  –  83 albums and 44 years later. I don’t have to love it. What matters is that Bowie can still hear the sound of his own music. Lucky, lucky Bowie.

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Laurie Wagner  is a writer, creative writing coach, author of 7 published books and numerous magazine articles, creator of the 27 powers Traveling Writers series, Wild Writing classes, Telling True Stories ecourse and the new digital daily drip 27 Days: Writing Prompts to Grow Your Powers. She lives in the Bay Area and can be found at www.27powers.org

posted in guest posts
April 19, 2013

mwfl.jac

photo credit

All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s poetic post comes from the secret weapon of many mavens: Jac McNeil.

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She knows

she sits on the rocks of the rough Atlantic coast

feeling her heart sync with the pounding of each wave

she knows she is home

she sneaks under the covers next to her sleeping daughters

enveloped by the soft rhythm of their breathing

she knows she is safe

she laughs with him until they’re both gasping for air

wiping tears from their eyes

she knows she is well loved

she drops to her knees with the pain of losses long past

and the acceptance of what lies ahead

she knows she has loved well

she closes her eyes and turns her face toward the stars

her hungers have been well-fed

she knows she has lived well

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Jac McNeil is a certified and credentialed professional coach and a self-leadership expert. Her work helps women entrepreneurs unearth their own powerful business truths so they can do more of the work they love and feel called to do. She is the creator of the business building program In Your Element and her work has helped hundreds of women thrive in business and life.  She lives in Fall River, Nova Scotia with her husband Matt, little girls Sophie and Emilie and their Bernese Mountain Dog, Guinness. You can learn more about her here and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

 

posted in guest posts
April 17, 2013

mwfl.tanya

All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s post comes from the all-heart super-coach Tanya Geisler.

Joy Dividends

My well-fed life requires joy.
Joy, joy beautiful joy.

Nourishing, satiating, expansive
Joy.

My joy requires connection.
Connection requires attention.

Immersed, deepened, hot tub,
laughing soul
Connection.

My joy requires gratitude.
Gratitude requires attention.

Heart-full, heart-fueled
head bowed
Gratitude.

My joy requires generosity.
Generosity requires attention.

Given, received, reaching, finding
open-palmed
Generosity.

My well-fed life requires attention.
Attention paid, joy dividends received.
Heart stilled and stirred by grace.

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tanyaTanya Geisler is certified Life and Business Coach (CPCC, ACC) with a penchant for clarity (her Clarity Sessions have been likened to “divining rods of truth”). She’s coached hundreds of people who were ready to step into the starring roles of their lives. She wrote The Joy Pages, created Board of Your Life, is a blogger for the wildly popular The Daily Love, has served as contributor and was featured in Canadian Living, and is an in-demand speaker who talks with great passion on all things joy, meaning and purpose (just try to stop her). She recently spoke about the Impostor Complex at TEDxWomen. It is her indomitable belief that if everyone knew their own unique recipe for their personal brand of joy, they’d hold the key to shining in their life, in their work and in their life’s work. (It really does change everything.)

posted in guest posts
April 15, 2013

mwfl.kyeli

All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s video post comes from the radiant Kyeli Smith

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Kyeli is an idealistic storyteller photographer HSP witch, living a wild crazy beautiful life – and helping others do the same! She sings in the shower, wears fantastic stripy socks, and believes in faeries. She has an unusually sweet and loving teenaged son, an amazing gorgeous wife, and a black cat who’s an extension of her soul. She likes most things. She’s generally happy. Life is good.

posted in guest posts
April 12, 2013

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All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s post comes from eagle-eyed heartfull guide Vivienne McMaster.

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At 28 I found myself at a crossroads.

I was deeply hungry for a life I wasn’t living and so depleted of nutrients of a well-fed life.

I was empty to the core and felt like I had been feeding my friendships and relationships far more than I had been feeding myself. I had been for a long time and I had nothing left to give.

It was clear I couldn’t continue that way.

I had to find my way out of this emptiness that could really only be described as a loneliness. One that couldn’t be filled up by hanging out with friends or starting a relationship.

I knew one thing for sure, that I needed to fill up my own well.

I had no clue what that would look like, but the sun was out and the cherry blossoms were starting to bloom and it seemed logical to go outside and put one foot in front of the other and go in search of something to make me smile.

I quickly became a hunter of light, a gatherer of beauty. One day it would be water droplets on a flower petal, the next a ray of golden evening light on the sidewalk, the following day it might be purple blossom found on a bench in the sunlight.

I didn’t have a plan for how to fill up this void of loneliness but this felt right. To seek beauty, things that made me smile and that I could capture with my camera for those moment when loneliness engulfed me again.

The camera became my tool to find my way back to myself and to fill up that hunger. Photowalks fed me, nurtured me and reminded me that you never know what each day is going to bring.

I started to put myself in front of the camera too, first my hands holding that camellia blossom or my feet standing in that ray of light. Then I let myself take up the whole screen, be it looking into the camera or putting it down and stepping into the frame.

I was no longer alone. I had her, the woman in the photographs that went deep into the healing with me. Who looked me in the eye and made me feel seen, who danced freeling in a field and who I could think of when I didn’t feel in my skin.

She became my beloved and together we found our way out of loneliness and into a life deeply fed each day in sunlight and bits of beauty found along the way. 8 years later I still need to go for those photowalks a few times a week to refuel, to fill up my own well. Maybe for others it might be meeting yourself at the canvas at paints or by creating creative and beautiful meals.

A well-fed life is a choice that I can make for myself each day and the beauty is always awaiting me (and all of us).

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Vivienne McMaster is a Vancouver based Photographer with a big heart and a spirit of playfulness. She leads workshops and online classes inviting people into a journey of self-exploration and empowerment through turning the camera on themselves to tell their story. Having found her way back to herself after a rough patch through the magic of photography, she believes that self-portraiture and creative exploration can save our lives. She shares her colourful visual stories over at her website www.viviennemcmaster.com.

posted in guest posts
April 10, 2013

No Way Out, But Through

rachel cole image

All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s post comes from the courageous Kate Swoboda

In Sonoma Valley wine country, there is this moment that I look for, every afternoon. The sun is an hour away from completely setting. The light curves around the hills, like wind around the wing of a bird. The landscape is dotted with farms, and cows munch grass in contended formations. Especially in the spring, just past the rainy season, the grass is lush and green, and fields of mustard flowers spring tall, their yellow brilliant.

My husband proposed to me on a hill overlooking the valley. One evening at sunset, he drove us to a favorite spot where you can see the hills in the distance. High up on this hill, the world is exquisitely quiet. The hum of cars going over roads at fast speeds is far away, leaving only the sounds of the wind and the birds.

The sun was a ball of fire in the distance, casting the clouds purple, and I was leaning over a cattle gate to get a better angle with my iPhone when I realized that I didn’t hear Andy behind me. I turned around, and he was down on one knee, and then both of us were crying.

About a week after we got engaged, it occurred to me that I kept having one chronic, irrational thought: a fear that I, or someone I loved, was going to die.

It was irrational only because there was no reason to be any more afraid of people dying at this time than there was at any other. People die. I understand and accept this as much as any human being can.

But suddenly, there it was, the thought as quiet and simple and, well, present as a thought can be:

:: What if Andy died? What would I do?
:: I’m scared that my father will die, and I want him to walk me down the aisle.
:: I’m scared that people will fly out for the wedding and die in transit and then it’ll be all my fault because we held the wedding and they wouldn’t have been on the plane or in the car, otherwise.
:: Will this auto-immune disease accelerate my aging process, and thus, speed me towards death?

It might seem odd to say that I was having these thoughts and not going into a panic attack, but maybe that’s just the effect of nearly a decade of meditation practice. The thoughts were uncomfortable, and sometimes I would cry thinking them, but somehow I was able to separate them enough to understand that they were just thoughts, not reality.

It was only a few months later that I would understand why I was having them.

In many of her books, Buddhist meditation teacher Cheri Huber shares that it’s a common experience to get deeply enough into a regular meditation practice and then to suddenly feel a seemingly irrational sense that you are going to die.

I know–this does not actually “sell” you on practicing regular meditation, does it?

But as she explains it, this comes up when the Ego or the scared self has nowhere else to go, nowhere else to hide. The longer you sit on a cushion and see that your thoughts come and go, come and go, come and go, the less attracted you are to worrying about the “content” of your life. Eventually, fear of death will appear as the ultimate “content” to work through.

It started to make sense to me.

Here I am, so utterly well-fed. There’s the sweet-smelling wine country air and there’s the the golden sky in the afternoon. There’s my man over there who is my best friend and my love. There’s the business that I’ve nourished and cultivated and worked so hard for, such a labor of love, and it’s singing. My best friends celebrated me throughout the entire engagement process, pushing me up against my own self-imposed boundaries of what it is okay to receive from another. My health has returned after several years of being exhausted. I adore everything about my home.

I feel good in my skin, so fully alive. For the first time in my life, all of the pieces are in place, not just some of them, and that is not a statement of perfectionism but rather a statement that the pieces are where they are and I am contented even if they are imperfect.

This terrifies the scared self, the self who has always been hungry. When life is going really well, the parts of ourselves that are still wounded, that still remember what it’s like to hope so high and see things not work out, will step forward to advise caution.

Most of the time, this scared self has other “content” to focus on. The content can be daily resentments and complaints. The content can be an illness. The content can be conflict in a relationship.

The content doesn’t really matter–the scared self has something “to do” when things aren’t working out.

Fear of death steps in at this moment when there’s no other “content” available. When everything else in my life, as far as the horizon could see, was stunningly beautiful, she raised her head to remind me of the one ultimate fear, the one thing that I could not control: the fact that people will die, that I will die, and that death is distinctly uncomfortable.

The day we got married, we were outdoors. Everyone I loved had arrived safely and it was back to the “content” of life, again. Before I was to walk down the aisle, I was struck by a sudden desire to not have everyone looking at me. The big white dress suddenly felt stupid, like a garish, unnecessary accessory.

Walking down the aisle, I couldn’t focus on anyone’s face and I kept thinking, “Who are these people?” My fear was total. I was afraid of looking like a fool. I was afraid of “doing it wrong” in front of all these people, of somehow not doing whatever it was that brides were supposed to do. I was afraid of my husband seeing me in my dress and not really thinking that I looked beautiful.

Then I saw Julie Daley’s face among the crowd, locked eyes with her, and knew that I was going to be okay. Up at the altar, even though it technically broke with tradition, my husband and I fumbled for one another’s hands and stood together, and with his familiar hand in mind, I again knew it was going to be okay. While our officiant was running the ceremony, we whispered to one another behind his back, like misbehaving children–and because that was Andy and I being so very “us,” I again knew that it was going to be okay.

It occurs to me now that another reason the fear of death comes up is because it’s the inevitable corollary of a life fully-lived. When you have more to lose, there’s more fear–and with less to lose, there’s less fear of losing. That’s why so many of us can hesitate to step forward and commit fully to our lives. Committing fully brings many rewards–and the shadow side of fear.

“No way out, but through,” said Robert Frost–the definitive statement of courage.

To live my life fully, I had to walk down that aisle and risk looking like a fool in white satin. I had to make those very public, vulnerable promises to love someone, always and totally, in front of a bunch of other people.

In my day to day, at the same time that I consciously cultivate a well-fed, courageous life, I understand that I risk feeling the fear of death, of loss. They go hand in hand, but the discomfort of potential loss, when it arises, doesn’t make what I yearn for any less worth it.

All the pictures from that day show the bluest of skies and the kind of cinematic clouds you find in movies. The sun is shining bright. We are happy. I am happy. I am alive, not just living and breathing, but fully and vitally alive, present, awake to another golden sunset.

rachel-cole-pic-2

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Kate Swoboda is an author and coach who writes about how to face fear and live with courage over at Your Courageous Life. She is the author of The Courageous Living Program and The Coaching Blueprint. When she’s not working out of her home office in Sonoma wine country, you can find her rocking vinyasa flow, buying too many books, and training for her first triathlon.

posted in guest posts
April 8, 2013

bpilloud.wfl

All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s post comes from the big hearted Bridget Pilloud
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In one of my first memories, my father holds me in his lap, and we eat blueberries together. I feed him a blueberry and he makes a popping sound with his lips. I laugh.

Food is tied to family and nurturing. In my experience, they’re intrinsically linked.

When I hear people say,  food is just fuel!,  I feel like those people are missing out on this wonderful experience. They’re ignoring a sensual pleasure.

At the same time,  the food equals love, family, nurturing equation can be dangerous.

As a young adult, this correlation of food and love made it very easy for me to turn to food when I needed comfort.  Especially dairy.  Especially cheese: soft bries, camemberts and bosina robiolas.

Also, ice cream.

Of course, I gained weight.

My Life as a Chubby Bubby

I’ve spent about half my life as an obese woman, with all of the health and emotional roller coasters that go with it.
I know that my life will be limited if I don’t get my BMI to a better place.  So, a few weeks ago, I started an experiment called 90 Days to Hot. I am spending 90 days exploring what it takes to have a happy, healthy and hot (as perceived by me) body.

As part of this, I’ve agreed to track everything that I eat.

Judgment!

At first, the act of tracking everything I ate felt charged with guilt. I felt like my habits were exposed.

Out in the Open.

I found my foods and my behaviors falling easily into good girl and bad girl categories.

Salad- good girl.  Taffy- bad girl.  Roasted cauliflower and fennel- good girl.  Ice cream- bad girl.  

What the hell? How could what I eat be a representation of my value as a person? Why were my food choices a judgment?

This felt so bad. I got to the point where I didn’t want to eat at all. I didn’t want to play this game.

Being a good girl because I ate good food, that just seemed like someone else’s opinion. And being a bad girl for my sugar predilection? People do far worse.

Where did these judgments come from? Why couldn’t I just love my body, love what I ate, choose to nurture instead of deride? Why was I judging instead of loving?

Pictures

And then I noticed that my Jawbone Up (the super-cool bracelet that tracks my movement, sleep and  calories), has a feature that lets me take pictures of my food.

breakfast

Looking through my lens at my food was weird.

It felt like I was meeting my food. Hello salad.  Hello egg sandwich.  Hello cookie. Hello banana.

lunch

And after I met my food, I took my time tasting it.  I paid attention.  I had this interesting short-lived relationship with what I ate.  I appreciated my food differently.

It seemed more real, somehow.

gingerale

A relationship with something is a different feeling than a judgment.

It feels good to be in relationship instead of judgment. It’s a further reminder that whenever we feel bad about something, it’s an opportunity to explore it, to remember that everything is temporary and to explore what’s directly in front of me.

dinner

Food is yummy.

Being nurtured through food is a good thing.

I find that when I understand this very real relationship between food and me, I make choices that are loving for me. The judgment about who I am from what I eat, it’s gone.  I don’t quite get the correlation, but it works!

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Bridget Pilloud is a professional intuitive and a practicing human.  She works to enact positive change on the energetic spiritual level, and the real world, tangible level.  She likes to say that positive change, inside and out, works. The founder of the Intuitive Bridge, you can find her at intuitivebridge.com, along with her latest experiment, 90 Days to Hot.


posted in guest posts
April 4, 2013

laurasimms.mwfl

All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s post comes from the wonderful Laura Simms.

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What is well-fed?

For today: Well-fed is a hundred, daily, seemingly insignificant decisions.

Well-fed is when I skip the whipped cream.

It can also be when I ask for the whipped cream.

Well-fed is when I get away from the computer.

It can also be a 3 hour Hulu marathon.

Well-fed is when I put together a smashing outfit that makes me feel stylish and capable.

It can also be when I slum in my sweats past noon.

Well-fed is when I go to yoga.

It can also be when I ditch downward dog for couch slouch.

For life: Well-fed is a handful of intimidating, bone deep, course-altering decisions. 

Well-fed is walking away from a career I once loved but that didn’t feel good anymore.

Well-fed is moving half-way across the country to build a life based on my future, not my past.

Well-fed is leaving behind dear friends so I can see my family more often.

Well-fed is not knowing the end, but trusting enough to get started anyway.

For work: Well-fed is purpose-driven.

Well-fed is fusing contribution and self-expression.

Well-fed is helping other folks learn to be well-fed in their own careers.

Well-fed is stepping up and coming out as the leader I already am.

Well-fed is making mistakes and being ok with them.

Well-fed is sharing an office with two hilarious house rabbits.

For real: Well-fed is a choice.

Well-fed is not a to-do list

Well-fed is not a collection of banned substances and imposed guidelines.

Well-fed is a not a “if I treat myself bad now I’ll make up for it later” negotiation.

To me,

Well-fed is heightened awareness.

Well-fed is being the patient and the caregiver.

Well-fed is asking “what are you truly hungry for?” and daring to act on the answer.

And…it’s delicious.

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Laura Simms is a coach, writer, and speaker helping career changers and entrepreneurs craft purpose-driven careers. Head to createasfolk.com/freebies for a complimentary video series to help you “get paid for being you.”

 

posted in guest posts