Self-Compassion

Body Kindness for Your Here-and-Now Body

I have noticed that many people who are interested in mindful eating are very dissatisfied with their body and want to lose weight. They are plagued with this belief: “When I lose weight, then I will have the confidence, health, and well-being I wish for.”   Even if you are committed to learning to trust your body, it’s very understandable to feel conflicted about intuitive eating and weight. I see people struggle with this strong wish to lose weight quickly while at the same time knowing they can’t withstand yet another diet.  Mindfully consuming a balanced, nutrient-dense pattern of eating can …

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Skills for Re-Entry, Part II

Moving forward with awareness and kindness I recently heard someone comment that there’s less room for small talk after the year we’ve all had. We’ve been through something significant together, even while apart, and we probably have a lot to say about what happened, or what we lost, in the last year. Still, like me, you may have noticed yourself answering the well-meaning, asked-out-of-habit “How are you?” with a one-word answer that doesn’t sum up how you’re feeling. But how would you answer that question? Do you feel in touch with your experience? Or have the days been passing by? …

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Meeting Difficult Emotions with Compassion

Life is just hard sometimes. We get sad, angry, frustrated, lonely, and afraid—and the events of the last year may be providing us with a real test.  I have a long history of running away from pain.  When I was in college, there were times when my anxiety hit the roof and I would do just about anything to get away from it. As a young mother, I struggled with depression, and there were times when I would eat a whole pizza so I wouldn’t have to feel it. As a business person, I can remember being super overwhelmed and …

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Beginning Again in 2021

2020 has been filled with one heartbreak after another, each one seeming worse than the last. Many of us have felt at times like everything we’d thought we could count on was lost, and that the weight of the failures, setbacks, and tragedies might crush us.  I get it; sometimes things just feel too hard to face. I’ve spent way too much energy trying to bury my head in the sand – and then feeling more and more overwhelmed with each of my refusals to acknowledge the problem.  Looking to the helpers And yet, we have also seen the most …

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Greeting the Holiday in a New Way

Although I am normally an optimistic person, lately I’ve found myself feeling a bit down as I realize that so many of the things I love about this time of year won’t be a possibility; that this holiday will be like no other. Things like the whoosh of cold air when I open the door to welcome family on Christmas Day, or the warmth emanating from the fire as I gather with friends whom I haven’t seen in way too long. Or, watching the kids’ excited faces while waiting for the moment when the adults finally say, “OKAY, let’s open …

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What If It’s Not “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” for Me?

If you polled the people in my innermost circles about whether I lean more heavily toward optimism or pessimism, I would venture to guess that they’d overwhelmingly label me as a positive person. I’m a hugger, I’m a Pisces, I call all my dear ones “My Love”… so you might be inclined to assume that I’m also the type of person to put my Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving and host cookie exchanges.  I hate to disappoint, but I’m not. Nearly imperceptibly, a feeling of dread and resistance begin to creep into my emotional body just before Halloween, and it …

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Moving Forward: Embracing All Parts of Ourselves

I want to think of myself as level-headed and compassionate, slow to anger and reasonable, but lately, it has become evident that’s only part of the story. I am also a person who can get lost in feelings of anger, judgment, and disgust. Being forced to contemplate these two sides of my personality has been a struggle. It’s painful to look into the shadows.  Over the last few months, I’ve been depending on my mindfulness practice to bring me back again and again from the brink of despair to a level of equilibrium. As I’ve listened to the rhetoric of …

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Care for Yourself This Holiday Season by Asking: What Do I Really Need?

Now, more than ever—amid the ongoing pandemic, social unrest, and divisive political climate, the pleasure I seek from food goes a long way in soothing the raw edges of my emotions, connecting with family, and entertaining myself with a love for cooking.  I teach what I need. When I teach mindful eating, I often say mindful eating is a lifetime practice. That may feel daunting to hear, but my personal experience tells me that it’s true.  Lately, my own mindful eating practice has needed some extra care and attention as I find myself struggling with more internal distress. The ways …

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Election Stress: Ways to Meet a Mess of Emotions

This month’s election is unprecedented. It is unprecedented in the sense that everyone will be impacted by it one way or another. After the election is said and done, there will be a group of people celebrating and a group of people grieving, angry, and scared. There may also be a third group who feels indifferent or ambivalent.  There is no doubt in my mind that we are going to be dealing with a MESS of emotions—a mess of so many different thoughts and feelings, both on Election Day, as well as after the results are announced. As I pondered …

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How to Motivate Yourself in the Midst of Hard Times

My teenage son and I recently got into yet another argument about bringing his dirty dishes from his bedroom to the kitchen. Have you ever stumbled upon a bowl full of months-old, dried-up cereal and milk? Or a glass with a mysterious sugary substance now devoured by mold? Yuck! We’ve gone back-and-forth about this issue over the course of days and months. I have tried every possible creative, as well as punitive, solution to remedy the situation.  During one of our most recent disagreements, my son protested that he kept forgetting to bring his dishes to the kitchen because he …

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