Monday, May 3, 2010

"The Big Fat Lie" May 2010 Community Focus


This month our community focus is about clearing the clutter to allow more room for personal fulfillment. Clutter comes in many forms and it's not just about the extra stuff filling up your home. It is also about all the unnecessary things we cling to that are taking up residence in our minds, bodies and spirits, preventing us from moving forward. This month, take out the trash. Toss all that junk that is getting in between you and the life you deserve to live.


Sometimes our minds can become so full of clutter. We find it hard to let go of our thoughts about all the things still needing to be crossed off our to-do lists. Stress is created when we flood our minds with concern about what tomorrow will bring, or continually mentally go over events that happened to us earlier in the day. In the stillness, we find peace and relief.

Begin a nightly practice of emptying your mind of cares and concerns by starting a, "Take Out The Trash" journal. Let this journal become the space where you deposit all the garbage at the end of the day. Let it all go. Whatever worries, concerns, or stresses are occupying your thoughts can be emptied in the journal. It's easy to become entangled in the stress to the extent that it almost feels like a part of you. It can become difficult to hear your own voice above all the noise of mental chatter. It helps to get it out of your system and onto paper. It allows a fresh perspective to come in.

Write in your journal in a free-form style. This isn't about composing a compelling writing piece. It is literally about allowing your stream of thought to be emptied so you can find some solace at the end of the day. Gripe, bitch, moan and groan all you want. No one is going to judge you. Let it come out raw and uncensored. This is your private space to clear out the trash so you can let it go and get back in touch with you. Make a deal with yourself that once you have finished writing in your journal you are done stressing for the day. Signal this to your subconscious with a symbolic act. After you've had a chance to take out all the mental trash and have read your entry, rip the page out of your journal, crumple it up or tear it to shreds and throw it in the garbage bin. You'll be amazed at the en-lightening effect this has.


What is getting in the way of providing yourself with consistent self-care? When we notice imbalanced behaviors developing it is time to engage in the most basic self-care. This is particularly relevant for those in recovery from eating disorder. What is basic self-care? What does this look like?

Basic Self-Care Is...

  • Making sure you get enough quality sleep.
  • Feeding yourself a variety of nourishing foods, consistently.
  • Tending to personal hygiene and grooming, i.e., bathing, combing hair, brushing teeth, etc.
  • Managing stress with meditation, yoga, time spent outdoors in the fresh air, therapy sessions, listening to music that soothes you, connecting with a friend for a walk, journaling, etc.
  • Getting daily exercise that you enjoy.
  • Making sure you have support from others and in your environment through, support groups, social connection, and spirituality.
How do we recognize that we are dancing close to the edge, about to lose our balance? By paying attention to the warning signs and clearing the way to engage in a practice of the most basic self-care. What signs show up when we are letting our needs slip?

Red Flags...

  • Staying up into the wee hours of the night. Inevitably, this causes the quality and quantity of sleep to decline.
  • Depression: Feelings of hopelessness or despair. Can't even muster the energy or desire to provide yourself with the most basic self-care.
  • Popping Pills: Sleeping pills, laxatives, diuretics, weight-loss supplements, excessive intake of stimulants like caffeine from coffee and soda, abusing alcohol or drugs, taking meal replacement shakes instead of providing yourself with a real meal.
  • Feeling resentful because all of your energy is going out and nothing is coming back in. The surfacing of issues such as, co-dependency and caretaking of others to the extent that your own needs go unmet.
  • Irritability, moodiness, and hostility.
  • Isolation and withdrawal from social interaction.
Take an honest look at the physical state your life and health are in. Do you feel supported? Do you have a solid practice of self-care in place? If not, what's getting in the way and what do you need to do to better support yourself? Maybe there is so much chaos in your home that it acts as a distraction and prevents you from focusing on what needs to be addressed in your life. Perhaps you are over-extended with obligations and are so exhausted at the end of the day that you feel there is no time left for you to take care of yourself. Then again, if you are dealing with an issue like eating disorder, depression, or anxiety, you may be lacking the help you need from therapy or support groups. Be truthful with yourself. Acknowledge where you are stuck so you can begin to move forward. Take the steps you need to take to declutter your life so your basic self-care is non-negotiable. Immediately get back to addressing your needs so the imbalance does not take on a life of its own. Show up and act on your own behalf.


Work with the, "When One Door Closes, Another Opens" exercise to clear the emotional clutter that is blocking you from living your authentic life.

Feel Your Connection to Nature:

With all of this clearing work, it is important to refill your cup. Nature, nurtures. The natural world is such a powerful healer. Allow yourself to receive the healing, grounding energy of the natural world that is all around you. This month, make it a daily practice to spend some time outdoors in contemplation. Perhaps you could go to a private spot and watch the sunset or sunrise each day. Commune with nature. Think about your life and the issues before you. Ask from your heart for nature to renew you... to give you clarity, guidance, healing energy, direction... whatever you feel you are in most need of at this time. Then sit and allow yourself to receive. Be open to the experience and honor whatever comes forward. Allow yourself to feel the healing power of nature.

When we were children, we weren't so questioning. We didn't require so many explanations. See if you can let go of the reasoning mind for this moment in time. Allow your wild, intuitive nature to take over when you come into contact with the natural world. Keep your judgments in check and give yourself the opportunity to receive whatever gift nature has to offer you. It can be a deeply enriching experience.

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