What’s Your Lump of Coal?

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sack coal

Holiday seasons are prime times for exalted expectations. Amid all the hype, images of impossibly happy families, outlandish claims for owning hundreds of products, or a desire to live up to other myths, we can easily become discouraged if we don’t see our own lives living up to the big screen.

A children’s story threatens that if we are not “good”, we will only receive a lump of coal. Early on we learn the power of pleasing others, especially those who can give us gifts, fulfill promises, and help us feel especially loved.

After we grow up, we do not believe these stories affect us. Still, the holiday season Continue reading

Veterans of Domestic War

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     October has been chosen as a month of over 100 chances for awareness or observances. The National Holiday Calendar list could be grouped into categories of animal care, human care, food, health, ethnicity, and more.

So it is tempting to wonder if there is a hierarchy of significance. Are, say, the human causes more important than the animal ones? Famously we are aware that there are more animal shelters per population than women’s shelters. But those who are animal lovers may brush this away because humans are supposed to be able to defend themselves.

I am proposing a shift in the way we think about the issue. I am proposing that we shift the emphasis away from violated women as a group that must be advocated for by others and therefore “lower” somehow and emphasize their strengths.    

Women who have survived domestic violence are veterans, veterans of domestic wars. Many have endured the same tactics Continue reading

De-Stress Your Self-Talk

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screamOh my God, now I have to put up with this too. I can’t believe the nerve. What does he expect?! He never thinks of anyone else. It’s damned if you do or damned if you don’t.

Feeling better after reading this? Of course not. But each day many of us inflict barrages like this on our poor adrenal system voluntarily.

We can do ourselves and our nervous system a huge favor by recognizing the top three categories of stress talk and replacing or releasing them to the fiery pit from which they came.

Extremes:

In this sample, extremes are pushing you off a cliff fast. Phrases like “OMG”, can’t believe” and all-inclusive generalizations or abstractions box us in. There’s a reason for the phrase “two horns of a dilemma”- it’s a false choice.

We have probably been exposed to those tests where we have to make forced choices, Continue reading

The 1-5 Food Plan

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I am a believer in the idea that what we focus on increases. What we are thankful for increases. And that our attention creates our intention.   bottled-water

What if I applied this to my food choices each day? I challenged myself recently to try an experiment. If after a week  it didn’t help me feel better about my eating, so be it. I had 7 days of not feeling bad Continue reading

The Courage To Be Willing

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I am pleased that my new book, The Courage To Be Willing, is now available on Amazon and Kindle.   Beth Book pic

Anyone struggling with chronic illness seeks comfort from their pain. Sometimes that search can lead to disordered food behaviors. “The Courage to Be Willing” allows the reader to walk with a woman who found her way out of seeking solace in excess food which complicated her other deteriorating health conditions, including non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Spanning over 30 years, Beth’s story reveals how her willpower sustained her through chronic illnesses but was useless when confronting her eating disorder. She learned in a 12-step program to surrender that same willpower when it came to compulsive overeating. She credited the program with extending her life expectancy and her doctors concurred.

If you know someone who has multiple health challenges that include abusing food, this work can be a source of hope that avoiding further acceleration or complications from an eating disorder is possible.

 

Lighting the Mother Shadow

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For some women Mother’s Day is not an easy day. Daughters of mothers who could not nurture them experience emotional fallout that casts a shadow over this day and indeed their lives.2015-03-06-16-13-26

Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes about the Stone Child, stories and myths of the unmothered child. As women, we experience “collapsing” and a wild hunger that leads us to doubt ourselves, have difficulty seeing ourselves accurately, engage in risky or impulsive behaviors, and an inability to maintain healthy boundaries. We miss training in honoring our intuition, consciousness and common sense. To recover, women must grow their own internal mother to warm their hearts through meditation, connecting with nature, bodywork, and support from other women. We must come to terms with our mother shadow, for she never leaves us. We cannot escape the effects and should not. Our mother effect is the source of our creative energy. Our emotions are our guide to our next level for spiritual development.

Recently a group of women in my workshop Continue reading