Eating and traveling: whether days away or out in a new place…safety is with you

So many of us have had the thought “I have no idea what to eat!” or “I need to make sure food will be where I’m going that I can eat!”

We feel lost, confused, full of analysis.

We have to read about “the plan” or understand “the diet” and have someone tell us what to avoid, what to add, what to never eat, what to always eat. Maybe we take books and calculations with us everywhere, so we can look up whether something is “allowed” or not.

Then we plan and manage food, and take food with us on trips when we travel, even if there’s plenty of food where we’re going.

Not that there’s anything wrong with finding structure and balance that’s peaceful and supportive. Education is sometimes amazing for this. Asking questions is also helpful, when you have them.

(I’ve worked with many people who follow a food plan for awhile in order to learn normal portions, comfortable ways of eating, balanced amounts and types of foods).

But what if you had a built-in compass that could support you in a balanced way with what you eat?

Well, you do.

It’s not in the mind.

Which is tricky, because the mind gets so loud and brash, it appears to override our experiences and take over everything….including (it seems) our contact with the wisdom in our own bodies.

Yet, the mind never kills off our access to the body.

In the body has an inner compass or refined measuring mechanism that is through the felt senses. We feel “enough” or we feel “too much” when it comes to eating and foods.

How do you find connection with this built-in compass you already have, since the day you were born?

Slow Down.

We don’t follow the impulses of the mind or emotion so quickly. We question “I need to eat that immediately” or “I need to eat x to be happy” or “I need to NOT eat x to be happy”.

Who would you be without your story about what’s going on around you?

What if it wasn’t frightening to be without a thought or story about what’s going on with food, eating or your weight?

What if it was peaceful, relaxed, and natural instead?

If you’d like to come experience what it’s like to question your thoughts, in a loving, kind, supportive environment so you tap into what’s happening in the mind, what’s happening in your emotions, what’s happening in your body….

….then join me at Eating Peace Retreat 2019. We begin Weds evening 7 pm on January 9th and end Monday morning 11:00 am on January 14th.

You may experience the relief of discovering your inner compass that you thought didn’t exist anymore. The one that you can hear again that says “enough” or “done” and the one that says “let’s eat” with joy and freedom!

When we pay attention to the body, we’re attuned with the natural flow of What Is, not grabbing for concepts about foods and eating and bodies that really are not true–or are only ideas in the mind.

If you are not able to come to retreat to experience the joy of questioning stressful thoughts and eating in peace, then enjoy this guided meal meditation right here.

You can do this. If you’re wondering whether or not you can, remember it’s a process, a practice. You can question that you don’t have what it takes.

Is it true? No.

You can find trust, balance and joy in the flow of eating where no kind of food is evil, poisonous and frightening, and you get to notice what works for you and what doesn’t, without shame, fear or control.

You were born this way. You can return to it.

If I can, so can you.

“The most peace I have ever felt in my life with food was at the Eating Peace Retreat.” ~ participant

Much love,

Grace

 

Deep abiding eating peace happens one step at a time, not by following Urgent Mind

Urgent Mind. It will scream “something needs to dramatically change RIGHT NOW!”

And maybe add in a few cuss words and demand that you go on a fast, yesterday, and quit your sick behavior with food.

It will threaten, cajole, condemn and criticize with grand viciousness.

Sometimes, speaking from personal experience, we really can make changes–for awhile at least–by listening to the Urgent Mind.

But that same urgency can also pop through when you have the idea to break the fast, or go off the diet, or get the food into your mouth.

QUICK! NOW! MOVE IT! EMERGENCY!

I never found it worked to follow Urgent Mind’s commands.

What to do instead? Slow down. Take micro steps.

Notice what is, notice what’s happening, and get support.

Today, I’m talking about the tiny but abiding voice of peace and kindness and yearning that’s within all of us.

It is possible to slow down, and not approach our relationship with eating and food, in this moment, as so horrendous and full of failure.

Watch below for more on this idea, and if you’re wanting to participate in the quiet practice of Slow Mind – Slow Eating, then come to the eating peace retreat.

Eating Peace Retreat is a profound ways to reset your relationship with food and eating….and your thinking.

It happens this upcoming year from January 9-14, 2019 beginning Weds evening and ending Monday morning, in Lake Forest Park, Washington (my home town).

Join me for an absolutely beautiful time in inquiry and peaceful, mindful eating, for every meal.

Strangely, our goal is not weight loss (although that can be a side effect) or thinness or pristine eating or health management (although, again, all these usually wind up happening as side effects).

Our goal, as a group of wild, wonderful, deep inquirers….is freedom.

Freedom from obsessing, freedom from managing, freedom from controlling, measuring, analyzing, criticizing, documenting, endlessly evaluating our eating and our food and our bodies.

Our intention is freedom from caring so very desperately about food and eating so that we become filled with Urgency and panic.

What I find, is as I have inquired, relaxed, accepted myself and followed my natural hunger and fullness….the fear has diminished, and dissolved.

You can come experience yourself with inquiry and peaceful eating for five whole days and start 2019 off by hitting the reset button on your approach to eating and food.

Instead of force, control, or fierce will, we discover trust, acceptance and love and the power of these to affect change in a most sincere and abiding way.

Sign up for the annual Eating Peace Retreat right here: https://eatingpeaceprocess.com/retreats/

Maximum 12 participants. If you would like to repeat the Eating Peace Retreat, I have a small coupon for you (please write for the code).

Our beautiful group assembles in a private elegant cozy January retreat house we have to ourselves. There are five bedrooms for those who wish to stay overnight (two are already taken). To read more details about the retreat before committing, visit this page here.

I’d be so honored to have you join us.

But honestly, from the bottom of my heart, you will ultimately find your own retreat within. As they say “the way in, is the way out.”

So even if you can’t come all the way to Lake Forest Park, Washington for eating peace retreat, you absolutely have access to a peace beyond your beliefs when it comes to eating.

“Hi Grace, I wanted to thank you for a wonderful retreat. It was life changing. The Work has been such an amazing tool in my life and to combine it with eating peace could not be more perfect. In my heart i feel it was the missing piece and exactly what I was hoping for when i signed up and more. I am so grateful and excited to practice eating peace in my daily life and continue to use The Work on my stressful thoughts around food and eating…Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your guidance, wisdom and teaching, it is such a great gift to share”.~ participant from New York

“Grace, As I returned home I can very clearly notice, that eating without silence and in rush now is not fun at all. I WANT to eat slowly and take a good care about myself. It is so loving and beautiful. I am happy to see I am again being aware of my thoughts about food and hunger and different kind of wanting. Grace I am very thankful to you for manifesting in my life and for bringing the inquiry about food and hunger. I really needed this retreat, I feel refreshed, stronger and more aware about my body and its real needs again. Thank you so much Grace, thank you for presenting your workshop in such a dignity, balanced and elegance way. It was for me a real honor and privilege to participate, observe and to learn from you”. ~ participant from Wisconsin

“The most peace I have ever felt in my life with food was at the Eating Peace Retreat.” ~ participant from Colorado

Much love,

Grace

 

We eat to live. Is there something dying in you if you’re eating too much food?

I’ve been deep in the autumn retreat I’ve seemed to offer for a few years now doing The Work of Byron Katie. True, honest sharing together questioning stressful stories. I’m so grateful for the fabulous group of people who attended.

Now that it’s over…it’s a wide open road to the Eating Peace Process; a circle of people who will travel together live online through self-inquiry and guidance in mindful and peaceful eating for five months together.

It doesn’t matter if;

  • you’re somewhat discouraged about a tendency to overeat a lot and you’re feeling slightly (or very) chubby OR
  • you’re desperate for some kind of balance between binge-eating and self-starvation OR
  • you’re someone whose mind is filled constantly with labels, chemicals, diet plan(s), measurements and worry about what and how much to eat OR
  • you over-exercise and think you should eat salads all day….

….No matter where you are on the spectrum or experience of eating battles, you don’t feel peace when it comes to eating. There’s a pain in eating, in this whole thing called “eating”.

Instead of joy or ease, you often feel anger, fear, discouragement, and sometimes even self-hatred.

At least, that’s what eating used to be like for me. It wasn’t ever fun. My experience of eating went from craving and ravenous to unpleasant to torturous regularly.

Even as the autumn retreat was underway this past weekend, I sat on my front porch Saturday morning to make a video for you.

It was inspired by a bird’s-eye look at eating itself as an activity we humans seem to be required to do.

This thing called “eating”. What is it for, bottom line?

Life.

Eating provides fuel for being alive physically. Keeping this body running and going.

It’s often pleasurable, too, and built to be that way. It’s lovely to have the organism kept fueled from activity that’s appealing. (That was a smart creation move).

And there’s so much to choose from, it’s rather astonishing. We can eat so many things in this world!

So what’s happening when there becomes urgency for eating? Could it be a bid, or a symbol of feeling urgent about living life, having life, being alive?

When I think about this act of eating itself being a basic need and drive for life, I recognize from my binge-eating days that something in me was driven insane trying to LIVE.

I wanted to EAT, EAT, EAT….but really I wanted to feel alive….and something, honestly, felt dead inside.

Something was locked away, suppressed, dismissed, overlooked, ignored.

I had a hunger that wasn’t getting fed or satisfied, and I thought my only option was to pretend it wasn’t there, and bottle it up inside.

Freedom to eat in a relaxed way was not possible in that state of mind, where some things were “killed” within and not dealt with. At the time when my eating was seriously out of whack, I was so hungry for an honest life, and full of sadness and desperation because parts of me felt ignored, needy and even dead.

One good question you might ask yourself, if you overeat or over-focus on eating: what have I tried to kill within (the opposite of life)? What feels like it’s died inside me? What am I really hungry for, or wanting to give fuel to? What am I so afraid to do or be that I’m not trying it?

In preparation for the upcoming Eating Peace Process Immersion starting November 13th, I’m offering a webinar for anyone and everyone seeking eating peace. Mark your calendar for the time that works for you best. These will be free, and I’ll share information and answer questions only at the end about the immersion program running November through April.

Eating Peace Free Masterclass Webinar, offered 3 different times (you choose what works best). If you want to join, you must register by entering your email here.

  • Tuesday, October 30th 4:00 pm PT
  • Thursday, November 1st 8:00 am PT
  • Sunday, November 11th 10:00 am PT

Because so many people have questions or feel pretty discouraged about new eating programs (especially because you’ve been on 800 diets or food plans in your life) I am ALSO offering a new experiment in online support before the full-on program starts:

An 8 day free course delivered through facebook LIVE. If you’re interested then sign up HERE to receive daily alerts via email for the live course. It will run Nov 4-11th, and you’ll have access to the recordings.

In this facebook live eating peace 8-day course, I’ll share one very important principle each day for freedom from eating battles through the process of self-inquiry, meditation and inner rest.

In a way, all these courses and offerings are simply the creative act of living. It is not ultimately required that we know “more” about how eating works, or the body’s digestive system, or to get a PhD in Nutrition or Psychology.

Maybe the way through is feeling comfort with life here in this moment now. Not being so afraid of the past, or painful ideas about living (which can be very scary).

Who would we be without our fearful stories about living as humans on planet earth? Who would I be without my thoughts?

Wow.

“Both pleasure and pain are projections, and it takes a clear mind to understand that. After inquiry, the experience of pain changes. The joy that was always beneath the surface of pain is primary now, and the pain is underneath it. People who do The Work stop fearing pain. They relax into it. They watch it come and go, and they see that it always comes and goes at the perfect moment.” ~ Byron Katie in 1000 Names For Joy

Eating Peace Process 5 month Immersion starts in November. You can read about it and learn more about the schedule here.
Eating Peace Process Participant: Miraculous Peace
I feel an indescribable peace. I saw this in action this morning. I had the experience of waking up, filled with anxiety and doing the exercise where I listed all the stressful thoughts. What I did next was genuinely say to myself that I was excited to know what the insight was and I really felt the excitement and gratitude…I went to respond to the list of complaints and world-class wisdom came out me. It was amazing! This is new. I can put the stressful thoughts on the side without having to do more than a few minutes exercise and get to a peaceful place. It’s kind of a miracle!
Much love,
Grace

 

How do you react when you don’t feel at home? Easy. I ate.

As I prepare for the new Eating Peace Process Immersion, coming up in mid-November, I’m creating two helpful (I hope) and complimentary events that I hope will support eating freedom and clarity, and give you the chance to experience online group connection and learning with me:

1) a brand new completely free Eating Peace Webinar on changing the stories that drive eating wars, and;

2) a one-week Eating Wars Challenge where we’ll be together daily from November 4-10 on facebook live to question and shift compulsive or emotional eating in our lives.

I’ll share more in upcoming Eating Peace Notes soon, including information on how to join one or both of these complimentary trainings.

The other day, I was reflecting on one of my first most terrible, dreadful “loneliness” stories.

The “I Am Lonely” story.

I am not connected, I am abandoned, I am alone, I am not safe.

I AM NOT HOME.

This story is incredibly stressful.

When I believed it was the truth, what did I do?

I isolated, I tried to hold back tears, I slept a lot or lay in my bed…and I ate.

This is a truly powerful story to question. So let’s do it today (and you’re welcome to watch my live youtube on this right here).

I am not home.

Is it true?

No.

When I think about this right now, today, I can still find the voice that wonders where home is….that isn’t so sure it’s here, now. But I really can’t know that voice is accurate.

The thought comes in “where else would home be, if not here?”

I can really see it’s not True.

But how do you react when you think it is?

Doubt enters my heart, and I feel it in my body. I believe I won’t be safe quite soon, and I’m not emotionally safe now. I can’t relax. I want to go home, like a little kid saying “where’s my mommy?”

And if you watch my story I shared on youtube, you’ll know that the way I reacted to this belief “I am not home” is that I ate.

I ate and ate and ate and stuffed and filled myself. I remember I knew how to say in French, “J’ai manger trop”.

“I ate too much!”

I said this many times to my student leader on my foreign exchange program who was probably about 24 and seemed so old and wise and capable. I remember her saying back to me “you’ve said that a lot!”

Ugh.

I’ve sat with many people in this stressful belief. Some people react by hunting for the perfect mate. Some people buy clothes and go shopping and try to enhance their environment with a feeling of “home”. Some people watch TV or movies, or join a ton of groups, or fill their time with way too many tasks.

Just watch, if you’ve held this belief that you are not ultimately at home, how stressful it can be.

I notice that I’ve felt source, reality, universe, God, were very far away somewhere and not listening to me. (I notice it makes no sense at all, really, but the images are of distance, outer space, being cut-off, feeling desperately sad).

Now….who would you be without this belief you aren’t home?

I instantly notice a sense of relief or wonder about this moment. It’s quiet, yet I can hear a lot of sounds–crows and eagles outside, a group passing by on bikes calling to each other, wind chimes on the front porch, a loud motor from the busy street in the distance.

But I suppose it would be fine if suddenly I was deaf.

And what would this moment be like without sight, without the belief you aren’t home?

I find there’s a trust present that I didn’t feel before. Something kind. I’m not assuming darkness or blackness means aloneness or separation.

Turning the thought around: what if you are connected? What if you are home?

I am connected, I am found, I am surrounded, I am safe.

Was that actually true for me at that time so long ago when I shared my story of being so far away in another country?

Yes.

I had a group leader, I had adults who had welcomed me into their home to spend time with their family for the entire summer, I sang all summer with my friends in 3-part harmony during our bike ride adventure through France, I felt joy at the beauty I witnessed of landscapes and castles and camping in barns on hay, I learned that I didn’t need my parents or family around in order to be happy.

I also learned that something in me felt terrified and reached for food for relief, escape and comfort. I lost some of my innocence of childhood and discovered I had something vital to contend with—my inner soul’s desire to connect with other humans honestly (instead of food).

It was not easy.

I am still practicing and learning the living turnaround: I am home.

But what I can see is when I do not believe that I’m not home and there’s no hope in returning home, I do not eat wildly and desperately.

I notice a need to articulate my feelings and speak them. I ask for support and put myself in environments where I will receive it. I connect with other people–including all the clients and people who appear for groups–and we do this work, together.

I feel in this body, and in my consciousness, a sense of now, here, being, open.

Gratitude may appear. Thankful for this chair. Thankful for this tree. Thankful for this mind, these thoughts, these feelings even.

This. Nothing more required.

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.
~ Wendell Berry

Much love,
Grace

P.S. All new Eating Peace webinar in the works, along with a 7 day Eating Wars Challenge (long-time requested, and I’ll finally do it). Stay tuned, the webinars will happen October 24th 9 am PT and October 25th 2 pm PT and again on the weekend November 10th 4 pm PT and November 11th 10 am PT.

The daily LIVE challenge will begin Sunday, November 4th and I’ll go live on facebook daily with a really life-changing important “story” to challenge when it comes to dissolving compulsive eating.

Eating Peace Process 5 month Immersion starts in November. Registration will open at the end of October. Read about it here.

Eating Peace Annual Retreat. Limited to 14 people. Learn more here. Amazingly, already this is filling even though 3.5 months away. Love to have you start the new year with eating peace Jan 9-14, 2019.

What is emotional eating? The one most important thing we can do to interrupt the cycle.

What is emotional eating and how do we stop?

Whenever we feel uncomfortable feelings, and we hate feeling them, the process of addiction actually works.

Kind of.

We feel very upset because of some contact with reality, with people, with difficult situations. We FEEL triggered, upset, troubled, and we want to calm down.

So, we eat, drink, spend, escape. We change the channel. We don’t feel bad anymore, we don’t feel guilty anymore. For about five minutes. Or a few hours.

Then, the medicine of numbing offered by our behavior wears off, and we feel then feel horrible about ourselves and our eating (or other behavior we dislike). We think we deserve punishment!

When we feel awful about ourselves, we think violence, control and punishment will create change. It can force something to happen (but it never works in a permanent, abiding way of course).

Here are the steps to enter a more compassionate state, vs the mean ruler voice that often steals our peace:

1) Notice you are experiencing emotions. I am filled with feeling. It’s uncomfortable. I may even begin to panic about these feelings.

2) Interrupt the cycle. Instead of reaching for something to eat, let’s pause and slow down. Just for 60 seconds. Can you wait for 60 seconds? Can you handle these feelings, without doing anything? Can you relax, even though emotions are running?

3) If you actually eat or do something to help you cope with your feelings, you’ve spun into step 2 on the Sin-Guilt-Punishment Cycle. You feel horribly guilty and like you are a terrible person. But it’s not too late to once again interrupt the cycle and question your thinking.

 

You’re a bad person, you are wrong…is it true? Are you sure that’s true? Who would you be without this belief?

4) If you still feel bad, and you believe punishment will indeed resolve your discomfort with experiencing feelings like anxiety, depression, or anger which led to escaping those feelings….pause and interrupt at this phase if you can.

Notice the meanness of that voice, and what a dictator it is. “You deserve to be punished, now that you’ve gone and done it again.” Is that actually true? Could something else be going on? Could you be reaching for love, peace, calm, understanding?

Self-Compassion can interrupt the cycle in any place on the merry-go-round. Self-compassion is kindness to yourself.

Self-Compassion reminds us that we can handle feelings, and they won’t kill us.

You can handle this moment. You can handle this discomfort. You can pause, breathe, slow down, and notice feelings are a part of you, not all of you.

Can you imagine someone or something that is very compassionate, kind, loving, unconditionally accepting?

This could be your guide. Your Compassionate Advisor. Maybe it’s God, the Force, Love, Life, a tree somewhere, a Guide, an Angel, A Fairy Godmother.

If you find that you absolutely cannot seem to stop the merry-go-round cycle of addiction: a) Believing your feelings are a sin or crime, b) suppressing or escaping from your horror or discomfort, from your feelings (by eating or whatever else), c) punishing yourself for being a bad person….

….then find people you feel safe with to connect with who can help support you in your feelings, and not want to crush them with an addictive process.

Twelve step groups, therapy groups, spiritual groups, retreats, support groups offer immense value for helping us connect honestly, and breaking this cycle.

You can end eating your emotions, and discover eating peace.

“Addictions are always the effect of an unquestioned mind. The only true addiction to work with is the addiction to your thoughts. As you question those thoughts, that addiction ceases because you no longer believe those thoughts. And as those thoughts cease, as you cease to believe them, then the addictions in your life cease to be. It is a process. And there’s no choice; you believe what you think, or you question it.” ~ Byron Katie

Start Here to End Emotional Eating From The Inside Out

I’ve been off traveling again, but while away I received lots of emails–a surprising number–about where to begin when it comes to ending this whole crazy eating-weight-food-craving concern?

Today, I’m sharing three things that you can do to start your journey to end this weird eating thing that I know is very frustrating and agonizing:

1) Questioning your thoughts is a relief, and can change your behaviors with food, entirely. If you want the simple, lazer-sharp, quickest version of self-inquiry I’ve ever encountered (and I’ve seen a lot of ways to inquire and dissolve your thoughts) then I highly, deeply, sincerely recommend The Work of Byron Katie.  Read “Loving What Is” to understand this method and get the full and complete instructions on how to do The Work.

2) Question these two thoughts:

a) I MUST stop this eating thing, I MUST lose weight, I MUST change NOW!! Immediately! This is WRONG! I must control myself! I must WIN this BATTLE!! (notice there are lots of exclamation points with this energy, and these thoughts).

Why should you question this thought?

Because when you do, you have the opportunity to open up to understanding what’s going on in the first place. You can quit pushing, or controlling this situation with such vengeance. Diets are not necessary any longer.

b) I must suffer in order to end this problem. I must not EVER accept myself and relax with what is or I will remain fat or addicted, and never change. 

Why should you question this thought?

Because when you do, you get to feel supported by the world, by life, by food, by eating….even when you are not perfectly “thin”. You have a body, but you are NOT your body. You don’t need to get somewhere else that is not here. What a relief. This never means you won’t lose weight, because as you shift your thoughts, you likely will (if you find you’re overweight). Many people balance to their natural normal weight.

How do you question your thinking?

As I mentioned…use the four questions and turnarounds and question just one thought at a time. The Work is the best and most simple way I’ve ever found to follow this process.

FINALLY, do this third exercise:

It will seem too easy, but you might be surprised: practice the 60 second wait-period. This means, instead of starting to eat when you want to eat, wait 60 seconds and take three very deep breaths, slowly.

As you wait sixty seconds, ask yourself “Do I really need food right now?” If you’re hungry, then be kind and give yourself some food.

If you notice you aren’t hungry, literally see if you can imagine eating peace instead of food. Like a pale pinkish purple cloud of lightly glowing peace that you fill up your body with through your mouth.

Let it go into your stomach, then spread it through your legs to your feet and all the way up your body, filling your arms, torso, neck, head. Relax your skin and let peace sink in–see what colors it changes to and see the peace filling your entire being.

Much love,

Grace

P.S. I’m creating an Eating Peace Experience 101 Introductory class. It begins July 26 and runs for 2 months, with 6 class sessions on Thursdays at 8 am pacific time. Stay tuned for more coming soon.

P.S. If you’d like to join Summer Camp for The Mind, a 7 week program of practicing The Work for anyone and everyone (not specifically for eating issues–although they can be brought to these sessions)– read more about it HERE.