Tag Archives: calm

Rhythm

27 Oct

Every morning

I watch the dark

recede,

gracefully

moving into light.

I’ll be soaking in the sunrise

for the rest

of my

life.

Every evening

I look up at the

dark night sky,

and watch

ever so gratefully

it sparkle for all of us.

I’ll be counting the stars

for the rest

of my

life.

Every moment

I feel the rhythm,

the breath,

the pulse

seeping through my skin.

It is the heart

that keeps

the life. It is the life

that keeps the heart.

I’ll be dancing.

For the rest 

of my 

life.

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23 Dec

“Some girls are just born with glitter in their veins.”

Paris Hilton

Though I don’t necessarily think Paris Hilton is the best role model, this quote made me smile. Deep down, I have a wild spirit, glitter pulsing through my veins. This holiday season, I feel giddy, happy, light; sometimes I find myself grinning for absolutely no reason at all. I am happy. I am happy! FINALLY.

And I know a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed I could be here. You might think similarly- that you will never escape from the constant struggle, the enveloping hopelessness, compounded by the rest of the world celebrating. I’ve been there.

And when I think about sparkles, I always think of wishes. I wish for you.

May you be happy. May you peaceful. May you be loved. May you have tranquility permeate your holidays. May you know you aren’t alone. May you be compassionate and patient with yourself. May you take time to just be. May you find some glitter in your own veins. May you know that you shine, gleam, glimmer in your own beauty. May you hold on to the hope that one day things will all work out and life will just sparkle.

 May you have a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah, and a fulfilling New Year!

May you find all the sparkle of the season!

 

 

 

 

Seven Steps to a Good Day

9 Aug

Do you ever feel like an Alexander? You know the one. Yep, I do. I hate those Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days. And entrenched in my eating disorder, I used to have a lot of them. Life wasn’t fun… at all. It seemed like I couldn’t do anything right- that no matter how hard I tried, the only thing I succeeded at was being thin. But I wasn’t happy.

Don’t get me wrong- Life still seems to think my name is Alexander sometimes. Recovery is not easy-it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done- and I have my share of breakdowns, anxiety attacks, and “fat phases.” But the hard days become less and less frequent and I’ve slowly started figuring out that a “bad” day isn’t a product of fate alone. We have the ability to create a good day and avoid those ones filled with lima beans, no cereal prize, and soap in your eyes. Here are the ten steps I have come up with to ensure my day is as good as it can be, whether in recovery from an ED or not:

1. Pack the night before. Ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll tell you I love to travel and HATE to pack. Packing suitcases, packing lunch, packing boxes- doesn’t matter. Even though I’m an organization freak, there’s something about packing that I absolutely dread. So to avoid feeling anxious in the morning, I have made it a habit to pack everything I need for the next day, including my computer, materials for work, book, lunch, etc. the night before. It’s nice to wake up and not have such a sour chore to ruin my morning.

2. Stick with Structure. For months after I left inpatient treatment for my ED, I struggled immensely. Looking back now, I realize I falsely believed then that there was nothing to fill my time. The over-exercising, starving, bingeing, purging became a game to occupy my underused mind. Now, I have many appointments and work to go to that occupy most of my days, but I still add to my schedule to create more structure for myself. Even on days off and weekends, I still pencil activities in on my calendar. That way, if the ED pipes up with a suggestion, I can counter with, “Oh, that’s really too bad. I’d love to [insert: starve, binge, purge, run fifteen miles, crunch to exhaustion] but I’m too busy today. See? My calendar is filled up. We’ll have to reschedule for another day when I have nothing written down to do.” Which will be never…

It doesn’t mean that I have to fill every single second of the day; it simply means if I have large blocks of time, I pre-plan what I’m going to do, even if it’s just read, take a nap, or watch something on TV. And I don’t stick to the schedule rigorously, but it’s a fall back plan if I feel the anxiety of empty time beginning to rise or the ED starting to whine.

3. ” A Teaspoon of Sugar helps the medicine go down…” Life is stressful and a little bit like Robitussin, my least favorite medicine- sometimes the best thing you can do is accept it and swallow as quick as you can. Oh, and follow it with Mary Poppin’s famous remedy. In my case, I always plan one thing that makes me excited, that’s just for me, when I’m scheduling everything on my calendar for the following day. That way, when I wake up, I don’t think about what I’m going to have to swallow and endure that day, but rather the sweetness that will follow. Today, my “teaspoon of sugar” was going to photography class, but in the past I’ve also planned:

  • an early morning yoga class
  • coffee with a friend
  • eating a packed lunch in a different location(outside on a bench, at a park on the grass, on the porch…)
  • window shopping after work
  • renting a Redbox movie Continue reading

What a Wonderful World

20 Jul
The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky 
Are also on the faces of people going by 
I see friends shakin' hands, sayin' "How do you do?" 
They're really saying "I love you" 
I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow 
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know 
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world 
Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world...








Feeding the Feminine Soul

23 Jun

The Setting: Huge, airy windows and sun filtering through purple stained glass. Soft lighting from global, Moroccan lamps. Organic, hardwood floors scattered with plush cushions. Calming flute and woodwind background music. Fresh, pink carnations gazing down from a tall vase. The smell of baby powder mixed with woodsy notes and eucalyptus. 

The People: Women of all ages. Dressed in the most comfortable fabrics- loose, flowing, ahh… cotton dresses, stretchy yoga pants, whispy tees. Bright-faced, rosy, healthy glows, too many smiles to count. Instant friendship.

The Mood: Eager and excited. Strong and determined. Joy. Acceptance. 

Don’t you feel relaxed already??? Last weekend I went to a mini-retreat of sorts led by body-image expert, Elissa Shapiro. Called “Feeding the Feminine Soul,” it shed light on how today’s society impacts the self-perception of ALL women, not just those with eating disorders. It was a blissfully quiet and peaceful afternoon, filled with reflection, group discussions, mindful movement(Nia), and lessons on combatting society’s skewed ideal of what women “should” be.

Here are the most important things I took away from the day:

  • The journaling question, “What if you woke up tomorrow and your body was the cultural norm/ideal? What would you change in your life?” I was shocked by this prompt; I had never stopped to consider who decided that thin was in. Though I pride myself on intellect, I have dumbly chased the “thin ideal” for years without questioning who got to decide that was what is beautiful. I was also shocked by how much relief I felt when I imagined this situation. I have wasted such a large portion of my life trying to be the ideal body type. What would I do with all that extra time I have spent and currently spend on improving, toning, losing, obsessing…? So much would change. So what is preventing me from living like this now? 
  • In an exercise where we had to ask ourselves, “Who am I?” and write down the first seven words that came to mind, here is what I wrote:
  1. an explorer
  2. a learner
  3. compassionate
  4. creative
  5. deserving
  6. a daughter
  7. limitless
             Then, we had to chose which one was the most important definition of
ourselves.Can you guess which one I chose?

             I am limitless.

  • I realized how much gratitude I have for addressing my discomfort with body image NOW, instead of dealing with it for the rest of my life. I am working with my entire outpatient team to get to a place where I can maintain a healthy weight- not too thin, not too heavy- and be comfortable there. I feel relief when I think about this ideal because I won’t have to play on the seesaw anymore- up, down, up, down. It’s so tiring, and I’m glad I get to get off the seesaw sooner rather than later. There were women at this workshop that had dealt with poor body-image and self-esteem for 40, 50, 60 years! I am so grateful I will not have to hate myself for that long. I’m addressing it now, so that I can actually LIVE in the future.
  • And finally, this poem was read aloud because it presents an ideal that is so radically different than our modern culture’s:

Imagine a Woman in Love with Herself:

Imagine a woman who believes it is right and good she is a woman.
A woman who honors her experience and tells her stories.
Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life.

Imagine a woman who trusts and respects herself.
A woman who listens to her needs and desires.
Who meets them with tenderness and grace.

Imagine a woman who acknowledges the past’s influence on the present.
A woman who has walked through her past.
Who has healed into the present.

Imagine a woman who authors her own life.
A woman who exerts, initiates, and moves on her own behalf.
Who refuses to surrender except to her truest self and wisest voice.

Imagine a woman who names her own gods.
A woman who imagines the divine in her image and likeness.
Who designs a personal spirituality to inform her daily life.

Imagine a woman in love with her own body.
A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is.
Who celebrates her body’s rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource.

Imagine a woman who honors the body of the Goddess in her changing body.
A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom.
Who refuses to use her life-energy disguising the changes in her body and life.

Imagine a woman who values the women in her life.
A woman who sits in circles of women.
Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets.

Imagine yourself as this woman.

           – Patricia Lynn Reilly


A woman who doesn't hate some part of herself. Who thinks she is beautiful inside and out. Hmmph... imagine that...
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