Do you wish you did MORE? Do you think you HAVE TO?

Room in the half-day retreat Seattle Sunday 6/10 2-6 pm (that’s today). Last half-day in The Work before summer break. Join us here. Or write grace@workwithgrace.com for directions.

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If you want to be a part of a private, secret, free facebook group of people from all over the world who are interested in healing eating battles applying self-inquiry and The Work of Byron Katie (plus body-feeling awareness)….send me an individual email grace@workwithgrace.com or a facebook friend request, and I’ll add you.

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Have you ever run around cleaning everything in your house because someone texted they’ll be knocking on your door in five minutes (someone like your mother, perhaps)?

You have to make it perfect. You have to make it look right. They have to see you as organized, clean, tidy, a good hostess. You have to work. You have to do laundry. You have to clean the bathroom. You have to mow the lawn. You have to weed the garden.

You have to.

If you don’t finish it…if you don’t at least put in a very good effort and get MOST of the job done (see list in head) then you’re a failure.

Is that true?

“Have to” is a push, a demand, a command, an order. And what do we do with someone who is extremely controlling and bossy?

We rebel, or ditch them.

And if WE are the dictator….then you may very well EAT.

Who wouldn’t want to escape from that voice?

Who would you be without that thought you HAVE TO?

Perhaps a normal, mediocre, addiction-free, relaxed person enjoying this moment in life…not trying to get to the moment when everything’s done and clean and the list is checked off.

Instead, just here now. Unfinished. But absolutely fine, just as we are. Ahhh……

Much love,

Grace

Eating Peace: Stop Obsessing About Food, Eating or Your Weight Right Now

Anyone who’s eaten off-balance knows what it feels like to be plagued by obsessive thinking about all things related to food, eating or body image.

We have thoughts like:

  • I should quit eating “x” completely (fill in the blank with some kind of food you’ve heard people should stop eating, or food you really like)
  • I’ll go on a diet
  • I need to weigh “x” by graduation, the wedding, the reunion, the summer
  • I can’t stop thinking about the yummy “x” food so I need to go get it
  • those other people look so much better than me
  • I need to worry about what’s going to happen next

These thoughts chatter away in our minds, and get louder and louder until finally, we DO something–we eat, or we go on the diet, or we engage in the rigorous exercise routine.

Have you noticed how this kind of thinking, obsessing, and frantic energy is all in the head, up in the mind–literally located at the top of your body?

So what if we took a moment to do this very surprising exercise to gain awareness of far more than this compulsive mental activity?

Much love,

Grace

Fixed links to secret facebook group and new Eating Peace eBook with Seven Day Practice Guide

Well that was goofy and confusing.

This past weekend’s Eating Peace note had whacky dead ends and non-working links.

(Sometimes the way we feel when it comes to eating, right?)

First of all, you are not crazy if you couldn’t find the facebook group for eating peace. It’s secret and not find-able.

For some of you, there was ALSO trouble accessing the newest version of Eating Peace eBook with a Seven Day peaceful-thinking practice.

To access these gifts, please follow the steps below.

I love your feedback and investigating this powerful journey of finding permanent peace with eating, body image, food….and our experience of life overall no matter what’s ever happened to cause us suffering or pain.

  • Download the Eating Peace: Seven Thoughts to Question, Seven Days to Practice ebook by heading HERE. You’ll enter your email (you won’t be double-subscribed so don’t worry) and receive it in your Inbox.
  • Second, if you’d like to join the secret facebook group Eating Peace for conversation and healing in eating (and often sharing that I only do there) then you’ll need to send me a quick email by hitting “reply” to this message. Just say something like “YES! sign me up for the eating peace facebook group”. I’ll send you a personal invitation from the group to join via email.

When I was bulimic or anorexic, I was filled with shame and couldn’t imagine writing or sharing about it anywhere unless I was kept very anonymous to the outside world. If facebook had existed at the time, I would only have joined if it was a secret group like this one, so I hope this serves those of you wanting to explore your relationship with eating.

Sharing and community changed my life. It was a key factor in altering the roots of my eating troubles. Because I know how life-savingly valuable finding community support is, I’m making it available to anyone who wants it, for free.

I hope either the ebook, or the facebook discussion, or both will serve you, if you’re drawn. I hope you may find the peace and end of the battling or compulsion you so deserve and want.

I know it’s possible to dissolve eating wars and no longer live in fear of weird, off-balance eating. If it’s possible for me, it’s possible for you.

We can find the working “links” to peace so eating is no longer a mine field, but a joyful pleasure every day.

Much love,

Grace

Ugly Is In The Mind, Not In The Body

So many of us see ourselves in a mirror, glass, or window reflection and we immediately think “ugly!”

It’s like there’s an exceptionally mean, critical, even bitter voice or perspective within that’s so speedy quick….we don’t even consider questioning it.

It’s simply filled with rejection, immediately.

That voice believes it’s going to motivate you to change RIGHT NOW, with punishment and control.

The mind begins to solve the “problem” it sees of ugliness, and use the words “I have to….”

I have to lose weight, I have to eat differently, I have to go on a diet, I have to push my body, I have to look good, I have to be thin, I have to succeed (etc, etc).

But who would you be without the story, or without believing the thought “I have to….” do anything?

You may WANT to, you may choose to, it may be fun, joyful and an experience full of self-care and kindness, but NOT a “have to”.

It would be patient and kind to notice what you are drawn to and what feels right, here in this moment now, with the image of your body.

A turnaround to this “have to” thought is the statement “I do NOT have to”.

Could this be just as true, or truer, to have a happy life?

If you had a loving, powerful, supportive friend wouldn’t you rather sit with them instead of the nasty, vicious, mean friend who’s sure about what “perfect” should look like (and it’s not you)?

And of course, another important turnaround in The Work for this concept of having to is “my thinking has to”.

I have to lose this weighed thinking, I have to think differently, I have to go on a thinking diet, I have to push my thinking, I have to think good, I have to have thinner thinking, I have to succeed in not believing my thinking.

I notice when I question my thinking of UGLY or REJECT or NO….

….and feel this body from the inside out instead of holding judgment from the outside in….

….I experience gratitude. I feel the nature of this present moment now as BEAUTIFUL, ACCEPTABLE, and YES.

How do you think it’s more likely to take care of yourself, or actually make changes that support yourself physically: with mean have-to dictator thinking, or joyful I-don’t-know open thinking?

Much love,

Grace

Know less, have no future, eat in peace

Eating Peace: So many of us want a food plan.

Someone tell me what to eat! I can’t do it all by myself, I screw it up by myself, I freak out by myself.

But are you sure you have no capacity to find natural balance with eating?

One thing I’m very glad of when it comes to food and eating is that I never doubted that there was some natural capacity within myself to eat like a normal human being.

We’re all born that way, in fact. We want to eat when we’re hungry. We want to stop when full. We’re in tune with a flow that makes sense; filling and emptying over and over.

To diet or make a food plan or have a huge list of rules and regulations moves you away from living in the present moment….and into the mind and living in the future. Your focus becomes on what you’ll be eating later, what weight you’ll be in x months, or the craving you’ll need to control today.

Often, this attention on the future is so weighted with what you need to do, eat, or measure that it’s very difficult to remain present with physical sensations, eating, taste, fullness, hunger right here, right now.

In my old relationship with food, my practice was to ignore natural hunger, mistrust fullness, worry about hunger and/or fullness in the future, panic about either one, and be entirely suspicious of food.

When I quit trying to apply management to eating, but allow everything about eating to happen with a Don’t Know mind….

….things got much, much easier.

Much love,

Grace

Where did some key eating woes begin? Do this exercise and see.

We all know the way we think is influenced by the reality we noticed happening around us, often from an early age.

Even if it’s in the long-ago past, we remember. Sometimes it’s in the file cabinet in our mind without even being super conscious of it, and locked away with a key.

What does this have to do with eating?

Well just like any behavior, many ways we’re influenced appear to start really early in our lives, as we experience the world.

We absorb what’s appearing around us, often without question.

It just becomes “this is the way it is.”

I certainly had this when it came to food and eating, and body image. Thoughts and beliefs appeared in my consciousness that I heard, observed, picked up from those around me: mom, dad, grandparents, peers.

So what did your mother, your father, or other important adults believed about food, body image or eating when you were a kid?

What was your dinner time like? What was happening at the dinner eating event? Who was talking, who was eating, who was cooking? What were people feeling?

Remember well, and notice the beliefs, the ideas, the concepts present around food and the emotional life of your experience in that moment.

Sometimes the awareness of what happened around eating in your earliest memories brings unexpected clarity.

 

Why do this exercise?

Because when we identify the thinking, the mindset, the characters, the feelings that were pouring out around that typical eating event….we can then inquire more deeply into what’s really true for us now.

We can actually change the foundation we’ve built some of our behaviors on, by turning the way we’re seeing around.

It’s such a huge relief.

And it’s important work. You have to know what you think in order to dissolve it, right?

Try this exercise this week. Take a look at what you came to know, or be aware of in your early life with eating.

The most important place to begin?

Mother.

You were nurtured by your mother’s body from the very start, in the simple process of becoming human.

When we identify our thoughts about beliefs about mothering, our unique experiences of mother, we can begin our self-inquiry.

Self-inquiry leads to freedom, in every way.

“I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn’t believe them, I didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that. I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment. That joy is in everyone, always.” ~ Byron Katie

I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I ate, I fretted, I over-exercised, I under and over-ate, I binged, I dieted, I hated my looks.

So let’s see what these suffering-inducing thoughts are.

Much love,

Grace

Eating Peace: Believe this Fairy Tale Horror Movie, and Battle Food

Many of us grow up with rules.

Sometimes, there’s great fear put forth about why the rules are in place: Don’t go there! Watch out! Be careful! Never, ever, ever go down that street! Worry about this! Be afraid, very afraid!

This is the attitude I heard, and began to adopt starting pretty young (childhood): Be afraid. Be very afraid of food. Certain types of food are bad and evil. Sugar, candy, bit-o-honey, bread, chicken skin.

People are easily susceptible to overeating, gaining weight, being fat, being ugly, being rejected, appearing as weak.

WATCH OUT.

You must be very, very, very careful NEVER to go down that road, and control yourself…..lest you fall into rejection and have a black mark on your soul.

Yikes.

But I’m not kidding.

In this mindset, we get fixated on needing to appear successful and show up beautiful and forever eat the “right” and “good” foods.

The comparison becomes intense. It’s vital I look a certain way, in order to be safe and connected and seen as a good citizen, good family member, good daughter.

The problem is, it’s a fairy tale, and no way to live when it comes to food and eating, if you want to enjoy yourself.

It’s so important to question this bitter and frightening story that food is a dangerous mine field, and put it to rest.

You can regain your sense of inner peace and personal authority.

Who would you be without the belief that some foods are against the law, you need willpower, you have to control what you eat, or there’s something horrifying about eating? What if there was no Law Book or Bible of Eating and dieting?

What I discovered, is as I remained calm and questioned what I most feared about eating, about food, and about life outside of food and eating….I found laughter, curiosity, peace, and power (in a good way).

Without our stories about food, eating, emotions and ourselves and our potential (to fail, especially) we find eating peace.

It’s here, now.

Much love,

Grace

 

Fear. One of the most powerful parts of the equation that keeps eating from being peaceful.

Fear.

We all know what it is.

There’s very mild fear, exciting fear (amusement park fear) and there’s horrifying fear.

Some of us are fans of the first type of fear while others are not, but none of us really enjoy the second type of fear, when the volume is turned up to a ten on the emotional level.

I used to be so against fear, I’d do anything to set the world up so I wouldn’t feel it. Including not leave my house.

The problem is, something wise within knows you can’t ever be guaranteed to be “safe” if you define safety as not feeling strong emotions, not feeling threatened, and not every getting sick, hurt, or dying.

All those things will happen. They mostly already have.

And why is fear so very important to study when it comes to our strange or off-balance eating behavior?

Because it’s present more often than we realize when we eat in ways that don’t feel peaceful. Fear, in many forms. It could be anxiety, worry, upset, nerves, discomfort–large or small.

It arises out of our fearful thoughts about eating (and really about life).

Fear-inducing thoughts go like this:

  • I’ll never get to eat this again
  • I might be hungry later
  • I’ll miss out on something pleasurable
  • I’m too fat
  • Stopping is sad, disappointing
  • I don’t want to think about “x” and I will think about it if I stop eating
  • Thinness isn’t safe
  • The world is a dangerous place
  • people can hurt me
  • I need more sweetness in my life–this moment is sour
  • there’s no easy way to find rest
  • I hate that there’s no guaranteed safety
  • I have to store for a “rainy day” (bad things happening)
  • I am not safe
  • If I stop eating, I’ll have to do things I don’t want to do
  • I need to grab it while I can–pleasure is scarce

These are thoughts distilled down to basic commentary in the mind we have going about food, eating and our bodies.

And they don’t feel good.

But here’s the good news: they’re not even true.

That’s why they’re creating FEAR in the first place!

Step One: look and see the fear. Become aware of how your thinking is creating a sensation or experience, no matter how small and fleeting, of fear.

When we question our thinking, we can see other ways of thinking and being with food that aren’t threatening.

Ahhhhhhh.

Much love,

Grace

What does an abiding, loving, no-brainer “promise” look like? Not one you could break in 15 mins.

We’ve all said to ourselves: I’m never going to do that again. We make resolutions. We vow. We promise.

I’m never going to smoke again. I’m never going to binge again. I’m never going to drink again. I’m never going to eat “x” again.

Then the following week (or okay, a few hours later) we’re doing it. Again.

Someone asked me recently how you could ever make a single promise and keep it?

While you can never know the future, it made me reflect on when I’ve known a promise was keep-able.

What an interesting question, because a positive, supportive and enduring “promise” is very different than a promise made out of fear, anxiety, desperation or rage.

It’s not a “diet” promise. It’s not a violent promise. It’s not a promise that feels forceful and like imprisonment.

It’s important to give foundation and support to a deep commitment and do it with a mind that’s clear, and a heart that’s understanding.

Much love,

Grace

Someone needs to tell you what, when and how to eat….is that true?

There’s a basic thought you may not have questioned for many years: someone needs to tell me what to eat, and when.

This arises out of deep self-doubt about what, when, and how we’re eating.

I had this thought regularly when I binge-ate and when I starved and categorized foods into “good” or “bad” foods.

But it was a stressful thought. It kept things on edge. Never trusting what I chose or trusting I was able to stop when full, eat when hungry.

Trouble is, when I felt doubt about knowing how to eat, I dismissed my own sense of hunger or fullness. I completely ignored by own body sensors, my own feeling about what and when to eat.

Who would you be without this very stressful story that you don’t know when or how to eat?

I found, far more confident.

Able to be anywhere, with anyone, at any level of hunger, without getting scared or judging myself.

Without this belief that you don’t know how to do it right, you can become your own very kind caretaker, and very wise caretaker.

Much love, Grace