TAG | self-compassion
I was cleaning out an old filing cabinet the other day as part of a massive de-cluttering project in my office. I found many nostalgic items like sweet, handmade cards from my son, old report cards, and photos with funny haircuts. I had also kept materials from many self-development programs I had taken over the years, and a whole file folder of random pieces of paper labeled ‘Inspirations.’ I enjoyed going through this material as a window to who I was in the past compared to who I am today. The list below, dated 1995, stood out. Reading it through, I was struck by the significant increase in my “symptoms“ at this point in my life, and, though not a perfect score, I couldn’t help but smile and pat myself on the back with “Nice work, Cecily!”
Enjoy the list, and may your symptoms be many!
Symptoms of Inner Peace by Jeff Rockwell
- A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experiences.
- An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
- A loss of interest in judging self or others.
- A loss of interest in conflict.
- A loss of interest interpreting the actions of others.
- A loss of the ability to worry (a serious symptom).
- Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
- Contented feelings of connectedness with others and with nature.
- Frequent attacks of smiling through the eyes and heart.
- Increasing susceptibility to love being extended by others… as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend love to others.
Jeff warns: If you have all or even most of the above symptoms, please be advised that your condition of INNER PEACE may be so far advanced as to not be treatable.
With Peace and Blessings,
I have “released” 40 pounds in 4 ½ months! I spent the weekend going through my closet and trying on Spring/Summer clothes. It felt so amazing to try on my “skinny clothes” and have them fit, and in some cases be too big. Many of these clothes still had tags on them, and I’m going away this weekend with a new wardrobe having shopped in my own closet! I have 25 more pounds to go to be back to my college weight, and I’m looking forward to replacing my entire wardrobe. Besides celebrating the smaller me, I feel fantastic and healthy, and my energy has gone through the roof!
So after endless attempts at dieting, what’s making the difference this time? I want to share with you three secrets I have discovered and am applying in this successful journey to my ideal weight.
The first secret I’ve discovered is to practice self-compassion. I have taken a kinder, gentler view of my body, my whole self, and toward my imperfect food choices and daily weight fluctuations. I hold a more accepting, less competitive attitude toward weight loss that has nothing to do with deprivation, self-loathing, or self-discipline. Take a moment and focus on the word “self-compassion.” Notice the subtle shifts in your mood, your sense of well being, and your posture. How do you feel? Now focus on the word “self-discipline.” Again, notice any shifts in your attitude, sense of well being, and the tension in your body. How do you feel now? Which one is more motivating for you? The key here was to become more forgiving of myself, and ultimately more loving towards my body. Loving all of me; even the parts of my body I had learned to hate at 13 years old, when I went on my first diet. Self-compassion is transformative, and practicing self-compassion is part of the recipe for all personal change.
The second secret is to feel your feelings. Having grown up in an environment where I believed that having feelings was unsafe, I have been working most of my adult life to crack the numbness and truly experience my real feeling. Food had always been a way to stuff my feelings in exchange for momentary pleasure. It was a long-standing habit I was determined to change. I discovered a simple formula that helped me be aware of the distinction between real hunger and an emotion that I was reluctant to experience. When I have a craving for a snack, I stop and ask myself three questions.
• What am I feeling?
• What do I want?
• What actions can I take to get what I want?
Here’s an example of how it works. I’m trolling the kitchen pantry for something to eat. What am I feeling? I stop and notice that I’m feeling frustrated and anxious about the project I’m working on. What do I want? I want to let go of trying to control the things I have no control over. What actions can I take to get what I want? I can take a short break and walk outside for some fresh air and sunshine. Does it work every time? No. But, combined with self-compassion, I don’t worry about that piece of chocolate that I ate, and I’m now regularly experiencing and releasing my feelings in a healthy way.
The third secret is that food matters. I’ve known this and practiced this to some success in the past. The difference for me now was discovering that it’s not only important what you put in your body, but that what you consume can actually help your body take out what is harmful to it. We live in a toxin filled world. There are toxic chemicals in the food we eat, the products we put on our bodies, the clothes we wear, the products we clean our house with, the furniture, rugs and building materials we live with, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. Our livers and kidneys are working overtime to eliminate these toxins from our bodies. When they can’t keep up, they create more fat to store these toxins and protect the body. By consuming products that are made from fresh, organic foods and combine ingredients that naturally help my body cleanse itself and replenish the nutrients it is missing, the extra pounds literally melt off and my body craves for nothing.
If I’ve inspired you to learn more about developing your self-compassion, feeling your feelings, eating cleansing and nutritionally balanced food, and becoming an incredible shrinking person like me, please let me know. I would love to support you on your journey.
With love and celebration!