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

Eat or Spend? The High Cost of Insecurity

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Almost anyone who struggles with an eating disorder or really any addiction is familiar with how we can switch obsessions. If we are not drinking, we are eating. If we are not eating, we are smoking. If we are not working, we are drinking. On and on.money-fly

Spending is one of the favorite “go to” switches for those with eating disorders. In fact, some studies show that many seeking recovery from eating disorders have either alcoholism or sexual abuse in their childhood experiences. Because of this, poverty can be a stressor from growing up in an alcoholic family or, on the flip side, a family member may use gifts to secure illicit favors from their child victim. Compulsive spenders report feeling in power, getting a “high” as a stress relief, or needing to “escape” – all of which can be effects from feeling powerless as children. One woman said that, unlike gambling, at least she knew what she had spent the money on and had something to show for it.

Even when these are not factors, in our consumer based materialistic culture, money is probably one of the most misunderstood and emotionally charged experiences Continue reading

Share Your Expression This Season

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In the past two posts, we looked at the foundational necessity of Honoring Yourself in the pathway to spiritual growth. Without honoring our gift of embodied life, we are set at odds against ourselves, constantly battling our right to be and squandering the energy we have been so lavishly given by having a physical experience for our spiritual selves.

Likewise, the second step in our spiritual growth is to Discover our Expression. This is what we are uniquely suited to bring into the world. It provides a sense of satisfaction, a “rightness”, that assures us we are in the flow of our good and what we came here to do. It does not matter how small, how inexpensive, or how quiet our gifts may be, it they provide us with the “click” that signals the integration Continue reading

Discover Your Expression

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rockIn the previous post, we explored the foundational practice of honoring yourself.
Without this in place, our efforts often become disappointing because we are acting from a place of not knowing ourselves or looking on the outside for what can only be found within.

Honoring self allows us to be equals, not subservient to others nor creating resentments through “self will run riot”, as the 12 Step program says.

Discovering Your Expression, then, grows out of paying attention to our intuition, nudges, dreams and life experiences. This attention comes from honoring ourselves.2015-03-06-16-13-26

Our dreams or deep desires are there, I believe, from our beginning. They are linked to what is ours to do in the world, what will provide us with maximum satisfaction.

Discounting our dreams is a way of dishonoring ourselves. Often as children our dreams are in our play patterns. As we mature, we recognize that this was a type of dream language. What we enjoyed was a symbol containing the seed of what would fulfill us. It is not uncommon to forget what gave us satisfaction as children. So we have to rediscover it.

It doesn’t take much looking to see the correlation between children’s toytrucks in the sand and construction heavy equipment activities. The root satisfaction of being able to move objects or land is innate. In fact, many discoveries have come while the mind was relaxed at play, or in dreams.

Discovering our expression usually involves an integration of ideas. All life emerges from an integration of elements, so it is not surprising that our expression will involve putting elements together that we may not have in the past. For example, music and therapy, or technology and healing.

Our expression will create a “click” feeling when we discover it. We will sense that something has “come together” and is right for us. Often all that is necessary to discover it is to observe, journal, talk, or study an interest or group of interests that will not leave us alone.willow-tree-woman

Emerging careers now involve combining fields: biotechnology, educational management, scientific illustration, genetic engineering, and so on. But your field may not exist yet. It may be up to you to invent it by discovering your expression.

Your expression might not be something as large as a career, however. Part of not honoring ourselves is comparing our gifts to those of others and feeling like they are not as important. Your expression may appear small or similiar to others, but that doesn’t matter. It is yours to express and you will feel happy doing it no matter how small it seems. Your painted rock is unique among all other painted rocks, and it is important that you paint it, because it expresses your soul’s work. Monetary value is not a factor in measuring the worth of your expression, but many have discovered abundance pursuing theirs. As the saying goes, love what you do and you will never work a day in your life.

You may not create the next “pet rock” fad, but that does not mean your expression is insignificant. You must express it because it is yours. It is a reciprocal act: expressing it enriches the world and you are enriched by doing it.

Anywhere there is a gap or an unmet need is a clue to something needing to emerge or be expressed.

When we identify it, we can be sure to pursue it because it is our unique gift, both to ourselves and others.

 

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How Did You Treat Yourself Today? Pt. 1

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Recently I realized that there is a disconnect between me and how I treat myself.

Something as small as the vegetables in the garden. Veggies are good for me, they’re free, but I’m not eating them. I’m too busy doing stuff for others.

The apples from my tree are so abundant that even my resident posse of squirrels and rabbits can’t handle them all. Have I eaten one today? Nope.

This lack of attention to self has a long and honored history in my life. In fact, it  has been sort of a requirement in how I was raised.

And so I thought I would share with you a recent insight that I discovered during a welcomed moment of reflection. (No those aren’t real fish. They’re painted on the rock! Reflection showed me that too!)

img_0013There are only three

tasks we have to do in this life.

Yes only trois.     3     Continue reading