For over a year I’ve been leading small groups of women through the process of becoming Intuitive Eaters. Without question, it’s the very best work I’ve ever done. Four groups went through the first six weeks, then women who were hungry for more, continued on in ten week master groups. One of the ten week master groups wanted even more and are about to wrap up their twentieth week together.
What I have loved most about leading these women is the honest to goodness, grounded transformation that occurred when we added all this up: time+space+community+compassion+knowledge. This is simply the best formula I know for lasting change, paradigm shifts, and cellular reorganization.
Carolyn is one of the brave, brilliant women in my groups. Upon completing our journey together she shared this manifesto of sorts she wrote for herself based on all I taught. She calls it her “Lovely, Freeing Eating Guide” and after hearing her read it, I knew it had to be shared.
I honor my Holy Hunger as often as possible, letting my body Desire so that the food I eat tastes delicious and nourishes me body, mind and soul.
Before I eat, I ask my body (not my head), what she desires.
When I do eat, whether or not I am hungry, I don’t judge it. I enjoy it. Slowly, one bite at a time, not future or past but just this moment. The texture, the taste, the aroma. Sloooow Pleasure. I also notice how full my stomach is getting.
Throughout the day, I ask my body how She feels and what She needs. What would increase HER pleasure?
I satiate myself with life.
My body can be trusted. I eat, I fill up, I get hungry again.
When eating, I want to be effective. To scratch the itch. If I binge, not only am I NOT scratching the itch, but I’m blocking the resources that will.
When I overeat, I can always ask myself “How can I become more present and alive in this moment?” Or “What is the kindest thing I can do for myself?”
I hit the pause button more before, during and after eating. I notice my thoughts, my emotions, how my body feels. I slow everything down to super slow motion. I breathe, remembering I have lots of options. They are all okay. What does my sweet self want? What’s the most supportive, loving thing I can do for myself in this moment?
That’s the practice.
Simple, yet brilliant, right?
That’s the practice.
I’ll be direct: the holidays will be here before we know it.
It’s already the close of October and at year’s end time has a funny way of speeding up.
It’s become an annual tradition to take a break from sharing wise words to share some of my favorite candidates for holiday gift giving.
You can find the previous year’s gift guides, here:
May this year’s treasures spark your hunger for beauty, inspiration, and generosity.
Add a splash of gumption. Rinse, lather, repeat.
I moved to California almost 10 years ago.
I didn’t know anyone here when I made the trek.
All of the sudden I was living 3,000 miles from my family. I had to find housing, employment, and survive in graduate school on my own.
I felt invisible in a town where I had no connections and, at the start, it was a pretty lonely time.
On the one hand I felt separate from those around me and yet I knew deep down that we were all connected. I felt that I was amongst fellow humans and I just needed a way to bridge the gap.
So I told a little itty bitty white lie.
To get a daily boost of connection I began to tell random strangers–at the grocery store, in the steam sauna at the gym, at the bus stop, in waiting rooms–that I was working on a creative writing project (which wasn’t true). I told them I just needed to ask them one question.
The questions i asked would shift. Sometimes I asked “What’s something you’re grateful for?” Sometimes I asked “What’s been your greatest life lesson?” While the questions changed, the way these small moments fed me did not.
Almost every exchange was heart-warming and effortless. On occasion someone would decline my curiosity, but that was the exception in my experience.
This one tiny white lie made a world of difference on days when I’d otherwise have little to no connection with other people.
In the time since then I’ve built a robust community of local friends but when I’m in the cereal aisle or at the dentist, I still feel the urge to reach out and ask the nearest stranger a question that will create a moment of connection. Reflecting back on that time I’m struck by what a sweet and simple little practice.
Perhaps those early California days are what make me sensitive to one of the challenges I see my clients face frequently: making adult friendships. (That and the fact that I went to five schools before college so making new friends and starting over are familiar territory for this sensitive woman).
I’m sharing this piece today to offer you a little exercise if you’re feeling alone or disconnected. If you’re not, I’m sharing it to start a wee conversation (over on my facebook page) about what small ways you find connection, build community, and make new friends.
It’s simply true that we’re all in this together and we’re all the same.
–– Oh, and it’s not lost on me that writing this blog post almost makes that old white lie, a truth.