Sunday, January 31, 2016

Challenging Body Image and More

As I wrote last week about resurfacing health challenges - in fact the most difficult of all - the gut, I realized a gift in the making.  This process, long, drawn out and painful, has purpose and intention far beyond what meets the eye.

Each day was a new day and what kept me going was knowing my purpose here on this human plane. I am here to serve, I am here to experience challenge but not to succumb to it, I am here to continue to learn how to love and honor what I need.

It would have been so easy to call in sick - oops, I am the boss, but I had patients awaiting my knowledge and support.  This literally got me through my day.  I also honored myself more than ever by cancelling social and outside business plans that were not in my immediate "need to do" list.  I rested more.  And of course, I went to yoga most every day.

There were days on my yoga mat when by belly hurt to lay on the floor, but by the end of the hour, I was more balanced, refreshed, tuned up so to speak.  There were days too, when I looked about 6 months pregnant, bulging over my yoga pants and yet, I kept going.

This bloated belly did not stop me and this was such an amazing win on many levels.  I have worked in eating disorders for over 35 years, counseling women, men, girls and teens, struggling with various eating disorders and body image issues.

I came to this work from my own background with compulsive eating and know all too well, body dysmorphia.  I was challenged with this as a teen and young adult.  In some ways, I wonder who escapes this body denigration since as a society, so much emphasis is put on what's on the outside rather than on the inside.

I felt pretty triumphant in that how I felt and looked did not stop me from taking care of my patients or myself.  My sense of self has strengthened during this challenging few weeks and I do know that when the spirit heals, so follows the body.

To be continued . . .

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hey Change That Channel

As I have deliberated what to write about this week, I decided to start with this phrase as metaphor for interrupting potentially self-limiting thoughts and possible actions.

I was finishing a book on tape by Paul Selig, The Book Of Love And Creation, a channeled text and the language is pretty much the same as other books in this genre regarding everything in creation as having  frequency.  By maintaining a loving attitude about self, others and circumstances, the vibration can be raised to a higher level, thus bringing about healing on a deeper level.  This fits in with last week’s blog that was inspired by Jack Kornfield. 

I began to think about vibration, frequency and radio waves with channels.  I’ve actually been stuck being able to reprogram my own car radio, left the book on my car seat thinking that I may need to go to the dealership to help me.  Since I was early for yoga class, I decided to give it one more try, reading very slowly the instructions about how to preset the channels.  Now one may say, “You’ve got to be kidding, you can’t do this?”, but for me, the language of device manuals has never been a forte and I learn much better when someone works directly with me.  However, I chose to give it one more try.  Bingo, I got it.  I needed to hold the selection button down longer than I had been doing and now I have a few channels that I like and can change the channel when I want/need!

What does this have to do with vibration and personal evolution?  Everything!  In my next blog, I will address more specifics about continued health challenges, but for now, will just mention that it is on my health list to now take on healing the gut – my biggest and most challenging of all.

I was prepared with herbal antibiotics, read over the likely symptoms to expect and did my grocery shopping to manage the upcoming dietary changes, but nowhere did I really know what this would feel like for me.  I have tried healing my gut in the past and could not get past a few days of treatment, and so I already knew that it might be difficult.  Oh boy, is this hard!  In fact, while explaining to my girls how miserable I feel, I commented that this may, in fact, be the hardest of all the health challenges I have faced.

I am bloated beyond compare and have about three clothing items to wear.  Luckily, I know how to dress to camouflage this distention and the elastic bands at least offer some physical comfort.  Nausea, extreme fatigue, joint and muscle achiness all accompany this process.  Foods that I usually love are pretty distasteful.  I decided to use the phrase, “change the channel”, when I start down the road of self-pity because you know what, I’m human just like the rest and my mind can wander into the dark caverns.
While I am empathic by nature, this brings even me to a deeper knowing when I work with my clients.  This discomfort is real, is painful AND I believe it to be temporary.  As Geneen Roth, a wonderful author on eating disorders states, “The Only Way Around It Is Through It!”  I have used this phrase for years and will offer it to you today when you face a challenge that seems impossible.

Until later,


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

On Forgiveness: Jack Kornfield

As I was perusing the Kripalu catalogue, mouth watering at the many wonderful workshops, continuing ed seminars and yearning to be there for myself, I came upon a feature article by Jack Kornfield, a licensed psycholigist who has also trained in buddhism.  This excerpted article from his book,  Bringing Home the Dharma:  Awakening Right Where You Are, had such a powerful impact on me in the moment, with tears in my eyes.

I began to think about places where I remain stuck in unforgiveness, bringing myself back in time rather than remaining in the present, with the gifts that I now possess. I also recognized the recurring theme of self-blame and a lack of compassion for the self.  I have and am in the process of understanding this theme not only from cognitive-emotional level, but from the spiritual plane as well.  I see how where and when I was born and the family into whom I was born, plays such a rich and vital role in how I transform "fate into destiny", as Robert Ohotto so eloquently wrote and taught about, and how Jamy and Peter Faust have shared in their new book, The Constellation Approach:  Finding Peace Through Your Family Lineage.

As Jack talks about real life experiences of people whom he has met or worked with, he reminds us that "Our own story may not be so dramatic, yet we have all been betrayed."  What he continues to come back to is the theme of the heart and forgiveness - "No matter what happens, we can always return to the greatness of the heart", and "No matter how extreme the circumstances, a transformation of the heart is possible."

What I hope to convey is a message of love, true love, that which is heart-felt from within and extends way beyond ourselves.  To begin, take a few moments to place your hands criss-cross over your heart (a reiki position), close your eyes and begin to breathe deeply with intention.  Say to yourself that you are bringing in light with each inhalation and that you are breathing out darkness - that which no longer serves you.  Feel the warmth of your heart, see it expanding throughout your body first and then into the world.  After all, you are the light of the world.

With Love and Compassion for All,

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Coming Back With Gratitude

This "coming back" has a few meanings and twists - not so unusual from my way of seeing and interpreting life!  Lindsay and I arrived back safely in Boston following a long day in airports, making connections, getting through the interrogations of Customs and found the car dead as we eagerly arrived to get back home.

It was freezing, unlike the temperate but drizzly weather in both London and Amsterdam.  I was unarmed with my AAA card, but the kindness of our bus driver saved the day.  He told us to stay on the airport bus while he called for the tow truck to jumpstart my car.  He also informed us that it had been so very cold over the past few days that this was a common occurrence.

One jumpstart and we were on our way.  Upon arriving in Marblehead, I was anxiously awaiting to see Tammie, my dog.  It had been the longest time away from her except when I was in the hospital and as always, she greeted us with such excitement.  If felt good to be home.  As Lindsay and I walked her to her "duty area", Linds commented about the stars and clears skies.  Yes, the ocean air is clean and the skies beautiful.

While away, I had been brewing a cold, accompanied by the usual stomach discomforts that not only are generally with me, but are worsened by travel.  I had worked very closely with my medical team to support my less than ideal immune system while away, but unfortunately, I did succumb to a whopping upper respiratory infection, fever and general miserable state of being.

This was on my physical plane, but not on my emotional/spiritual one.  I felt such gratitude for being able to spend time with my girls, to see where Ashley is living and to put context to our "whats app" free phone calls and "skype" visits.  It is so amazing how technology has transformed our ability to be with one another while thousands of miles away.

In a matter of moments, the three of us were together as if we were never separated for these past four and half months.  We toured London, ate lunch at the famous Harrod's, took a canal cruise to see the buildings in Amsterdam, and the highlight was dancing the night away on NY eve with music that brought me back to the "disco" days.  I loved it.  Of course, the Amsterdam chaps were so nice and friendly, that while I may have been one of the "older folks" on board, they treated me like one of the "youngins".

Coming back has also broadened my appreciation for what we have here in the US - friendlier customer service, clean restrooms that do not charge to use the "loo", streets not filled with cigarettes.  I thoroughly enjoyed seeing other cultures and the beauty of the history, while also having an awareness of what I am thankful for in my own country.  In one of our many conversations, Ashley expressed similarly - she had expected to fall in love with Europe and to consider moving there for a while.  Why?  She is passionate about non-GMO living, glass not plastic, fresher food.  And while this is so, there are the other public health areas and sanitation aspects that makes her appreciate what we have here.

I am on the mend, having employed my many learnings over these past few years - hot epsom salt baths, coffee enemas, gentle yoga and have also met with a wonderful chinese bodyworker who is quite gifted in the healing arts.  I am truly grateful and excited to begin anew in 2016.

With love,