One of the most powerful self care practices in the world

 

Kirri 24 682x1024 One of the most powerful self care practices in the world

I still vividly recall the days when crossing the threshold of my front door coincided with an immediate pull towards the kitchen cupboards and refrigerator.

The familiar signal of an an imminent binge…

I would mentally count the 12 and 1/2 steps between myself and the kitchen, before loading up on whatever food I could find and stealing away to my room.

It was a daily ritual of mind and body anesthesia.  A momentary blanket of soothing nothingness.

Thirty minutes later, I would be bent over the toilet bowl, purging.

This pattern continued for many years until one day when, for whatever reason, I paused and began negotiating.

‘You can still do this if you want Kirri, but stop for a moment and figure out what’s going on here.  Please!’

I paused for a few seconds, before blindly continuing towards the fridge, frightened by the throat choking intensity of feeling.

But something had shifted that day.

I caught a glimpse of the ugly story that I had been telling myself. In time, I was able to extend that 3 second pause to 30 seconds, then minutes, and after a while, it was like a circuit breaker.  One day, I just stopped.

That pause provided another doorway – an invitation to explore my pain.

That was the place where I found some answers. The place where I eventually discovered that my disordered eating was causing far more suffering than the emotions I was attempting to drown out.

That was the place I needed to visit to find my answers. (Maybe you do too?).

This pause – taking a beat, a moment and a breath, has become one of my most powerful self care practices.

An ally that I have learned to call on, in many life situations.

One of the most powerful self care practices in the world.

Here are some examples:

The de-stress pause –  Stop and take three deep, slow breathes for an instant de-stress.  Slowing our breathing helps us on a cellular level. This is incredibly helpful for getting out of your head and back in your body.

The mindfulness pause – use it when you are caught up in the busyness of doing and want to get back to that space of being.

The gratitude pause - Take a moment to reflect on your daily gratitudes and more importantly, to inhabit a space of gratitude.

 The people pleasing pause – For the people pleaser who has a habit of automatically saying YES to everyone. Use your pause to check in with yourself – Do I really want to do this, or am I agreeing out of habit and obligation?

The angry retort pause – When things get heated – take a moment before you respond. Walk away if you need to. (It’s so much better than saying something you know you will regret).

The mamma bear pause – to be used whenever your kids look at you, beseechingly doe eyed and wanting something. (I use this one a lot!).

 

A well intentioned pause provides us with the opportunity to get our thoughts aligned with our actions, to respond more consciously, and to loosen our grip on unhelpful thought patterns.   It’s also a magnificent tool for getting embodied and reconnecting with our kinder, more knowing self.

As always, I’d love to know what you think.  Has this been helpful? Are you a fan of the pause?

36537AFECECB02374C1B7A4B5318F1EA One of the most powerful self care practices in the world

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Body Nourishment minus the perfectionism

Untitled design 5 Body Nourishment minus the perfectionismWhen it comes to improving our diet and changing our eating habits, many of us begin with unrealistic standards and expectations.

We choose targets of ‘high weight loss’ or ‘getting ripped’.  We use words such as ‘complete overhaul’ and ‘total transformation’.

We talk about eating 100% organic, wholefoods, when we have spent the last three years eating crappy takeout twice a week.

We set ourselves up for failure before we have even begun.

How’s this for a fresh perspective?

Focus on being ordinary vs extraordinary. (Stay with me here).

Small, achievable changes to your diet. Incremental tweaks that are simple. Baby stepping your way to radical self care.

Body Nourishment minus the perfectionism

Here are a few ways you can make positive nutritional changes, easier:

1. Get more greens.  One of the most positive changes I have made, is to include one green smoothie or juice to my diet, every day. This has meant buying a juicer, reading over some recipes online and ensuring I am always stocked up on fruit and veg.

On the days that I am extra busy, I have a frozen smoothie ready to defrost or a glass of coconut water or Organic OJ, (to which I add super greens powder).  In the winter, I mix it up by making stock pots of vegetable soup and freezing individual portions.

Some might balk over the fact that a glass of juice has all that sugar in it, or that a frozen smoothie and one day old juice will have lost some of it’s nutritional value. That’s true, but it’s more important that I give my body much of what it needs most of the time, than optimum conditions, some of the time.

We also have a bunch of garden boxes now, to grow our own veges and herbs (something I never thought I would be into).

I adore taking my kids to the weekend markets, where they can pick their own produce. The conversations we have and the learning that has taken place, has lead to all sorts of fun and experimentation with food.

2. Reduce consumption of packaged foods.  Sadly, most of the packaged convenience food we buy these days contains added sugar and artificial additives, so it makes sense to cut back or be more selective of your choices.

We don’t have white, refined sugar in the house. We choose coconut sugar, maple syrup, or raw honey to sweeten things up.  I am learning to read labels and avoid anything with numbers or words I can’t pronounce.

I still choose to buy my nut milk over making it and there is a brand of baked beans that my daughter can’t seem to live without. We’re not aiming for perfection, but have made considerable, steady changes that have never felt like deprivation and that has been pivotal to our ongoing success.

3. Embrace healthy fat. Extra virgin olive oil, macadamia nut oil, and coconut oil are our friends.  I eat so much coconut oil, I’ve been told that I smell like it! Avocadoes are a daily staple and butter…oh how I love thee!

If you are keen to learn more about the hows and whys of eating more fat and making healthier choices, you can start here:

 Don’t fear the fat - Dr Joseph Marcela

A beginners guide to coconut oil - Natural New Age Mum

Butter vs Margarine - Naughty Naturopath Mum

Overall, the way I nourish my body has improved considerably. I view food as medicine and most of the time, I feel vibrant and healthy.

I reject the use of carcinogenic additives as much as possible and I am far more responsible with the waste I create, and the resources I use.

However, I’m far from perfect.

Most of the time, I still eat milk chocolate, because I prefer it over dark.

If I’m eating out, I will head for the freshly baked bread roll, or the chocolate mousse cake, because I believe that the pleasure quotient found in these play foods, is more beneficial for my wellbeing, than the stress of restriction.

I purposefully reject the perfectionistic ideals of ‘purist’ clean living.  I’ll go as far to say that I believe this perfectionistic approach is fast becoming the new way to measure our worth.

As someone who has spent far too many years agonizing over my weight, I can’t afford to go down this path of pursuing ‘perfect’ health and I’m certainly not taking my three young daughters there (but that’s a conversation for another time).

And, I started small.

By making change so easy that it is almost impossible to fail.

Small, consecutive steps and a focus on the ordinary vs. extraordinary.

Body nourishment minus the perfectionism.

36537AFECECB02374C1B7A4B5318F1EA Body Nourishment minus the perfectionism

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Giving is more important than receiving and self care is selfish

Untitled design 2 Giving is more important than receiving and self care is selfish

Many of us have been taught that giving is more important, more appropriate, and more gracious than receiving.  A lot of us, still struggle with the notion of nourishing ourselves. We continue to hold on to the ingrained belief, that self care is selfish.

(I’ve lost count of the number of times I have had this conversation with clients – particularly those who have kids).

And I get it.  I really do – because I was also brought up to believe that a life of giving was far more rewarding and definitely more ‘spiritual,’ than a life of putting yourself first. Ever.

However, I also believe that this is exactly why so many women feel dried up and stressed out!

Learning to receive and allow others to nurture us is just as critical to our wellbeing, as learning to give.

Just check in with yourself for a minute:

:: How many times have you poured so much energy and love into others, that you came away feeling depleted?

:: How many of us have created a life out of caring and carrying others, while losing ourselves in the process?

:: How does it feel when you continue to push yourself, pretending that you have a little more left to give?

Because last time I checked – this kind of endless giving, looks like exhaustion and feels like resentment.

Giving from a place of abundance, whether to our friends, our families or our jobs is a completely different experience, than giving from a place of ‘having to’. That’s inauthentic and energy sapping.

Obviously, there are times when we have to persevere (a work deadline, a sick kid or new baby etc), but most of the time, the choice is ours.

If we don’t take time to replenish our reserves, it will eventually show up in our bodies as stress, or even disease.

Giving from a place of abundance feels so much better

If you want to live a life of kindness and extending yourselves for others – genuine kindness – you need to fill your own cup.  Respect your personal boundaries. Nourish your desires and treat your body the way that it deserves to be treated!

Examine the things that get in the way of preventing you from fully expressing the life that you know that you were born to live. THEN share that abundance in whatever way it wants to be expressed, with others.

This is, the true essence of giving and compassion and care. To be able to give freely, with a generous spirit and full heart.

You can’t continue to give lovingly, when your tank is empty.

You can’t live fiercely without fuel.

And the beautiful thing is that when you take care of yourself, there’s no downside.  You are more open to giving AND receiving.  It’s all a plus.

So if that makes self care selfish, then – Yes please! Let’s do more of that.

36537AFECECB02374C1B7A4B5318F1EA Giving is more important than receiving and self care is selfish

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