feeling over eating

Feeling over eating

I wanted to share a little bit about my week last week. It was a highly emotional one. But honestly, nothing really out of the blue happened, the difference was, I allowed myself to feel.

Some people think that since I’m a therapist I must be a pro at all of this stuff, but honestly, I continue to work on it all the time…

I’m a firm believer in practicing what I preach. If I didn’t then that wouldn’t be authentic now would it?

The funny thing is I continue to surprise myself when I do things well

For example I was in awe of myself for independently waking up to an alarm and getting to work on time for about the first 5 years of my career before it no longer seemed so foreign. I was the kid that needed a lot nudging in the morning to get out of bed…. I say that surprise is long gone… but when I remember those moments as a teenager I still feel elements of surprise that I am somehow a functioning adult.

Anyways….. onto the food….

The philosophy I practice under and believe in, is that if we fully experience our feelings, non-judgmentally, and care for ourselves in the process, we can fight addiction (which is emotional numbing).

Getting back to last week. Like I said, it was an emotional one, but nothing horribly crazy. I was stepping hard outside of my comfort zone though. Ordered podcast equipment, allowed vulnerability, when I felt sad I allowed it all to come to the surface. I talked about my sadness, I sat in my sadness. It was a full spectrum of emotional experiencing.

The funny thing was, after a particularly sad day I got home late and still needed to eat dinner. I wouldn’t put it past myself to eat a box of Oreos for dinner because it’s easy and feels good. Since I was allowing all my emotions to be there and be with them, I didn’t want the Oreos. I wanted soup….

Even though I’ve worked on this process for quite some time as I mentioned earlier I still amaze myself.

I’m like “way to go Stacey! You’re feeling your feelings and tuning into your body in a loving caring way, and giving it what it truly wants, what will truly nourish and replenish it in a healthy way and not a self-destructive way!” HUZZAH! #positivereinforcement

I truly believe that when we feel our feelings and tune into our bodies, we find that we really don’t want the Oreos, we want what will truly replenish us.

There is a reason we want soup when we are sick. It’s warm and comforting; it’s light and has nutrients in it that allows the body to rest and recover.

I wasn’t sick, but I was emotionally drained from feeling.

Which brings me to my next point: Treat yourself with the same love and care as you would when you’re physically sick

For some reason society seems to shame people who don’t take care of themselves when they’re sick and assume you’ll still go to work etc. But there are people out there that do take care of themselves. And guess what? They recover and feel better. They do what they need to get back on their feet again, quickly. Now it’s just taking that knowledge and translating it to emotional needs and BAM, we are doing fabulous.

The moral of the story?

Feel your feelings, receive support from others, provide compassion and love to yourself, tune into your true needs, tend to those needs in a loving caring way, and shine from the inside out.

Loving the darkest parts of ourselves

Loving the darkest parts of ourselves

For some reason there seems to be an underlying belief that we must not feel certain ways and think certain ways. That some ways are bad and some are good. I do agree that some things are helpful and some things less helpful, however there is a reason for your suffering, and the reason isn’t that something is wrong with you.

Some thoughts and feelings can be scary. Just because we are having these thoughts doesn’t mean we will act on them and if we can mindfully observe our thoughts and be curious about them, we become more skilled at not becoming immersed in them.

Many people try to stuff these thoughts and feelings away and think if I don’t entertain it, it will go away.

It doesn’t.

There is also concern about entertaining it too much, and becoming one with it, and immersed in it.

Where is the happy medium?

This comes with increasing the emotional tolerance to observe it and having compassion and curiosity about it.

Even suicidal thoughts serve a purpose and when understood and met with compassion, the thoughts decrease and do not become overwhelming.

How is it possible to have compassion for these dark places?

Usually the process starts out slowly because depending on your age, these internal systems have been working on auto pilot for quite some time. Therefore it is going to take a while to sort out the intricate foundation that has been laid in the mind and body. But know this system was built for a reason. It had an important purpose at one time in your life. It’s just that now the coping mechanisms are starting to cause other problems, so the system just needs some re-working and tuning up really to fit what your life looks like now, vs. what it was before.

Increasing our ability to feeling calm is paramount in this process. When we numb emotionally we numb out the calm too. Thus emotional exercises are recommended.

When we experience thoughts and feelings we don’t like, would rather not have, and find to be inherantly unhelpful, I encourage you to stretch your mind and be curious about what the benefit is. There is a benefit as weird as it might seem. When you realized the benefit, the emotion starts to lighten up a little bit and things start to make sense, and you feel more “normal.”

When things start to make more sense, and you feel better you now have more agency to dig in and provide compassion for these wounded parts of self, making room for healing.

This folks, is the process. It’s a difficult one and takes a lot to “go there.” If you want the amazing things in life, love and connection, happiness and joy, then working through the dark places are essential. Otherwise you’ll be left with an internal battle competing for space, instead of a community filled with diversity that always comes together in the end.

Confidences saves and makes you money

Confidence saves you money and makes you money!

The investment of time and money to work on yourself, your personal growth, your confidence, is not only worth it, but I honestly believe that the actual money comes back around.

What I mainly work on healing with clients are the deeply rooted maladaptive beliefs that we have held about ourselves since we are young. Most of the time we don’t always believe these scripts or stories, although some of my clients are firmly rooted in them and others bounce back and forth between adaptive information and unhelpful information. Therapy solidifies the adaptive information that breaks down these self-deprecating stories we have told ourselves which ultimately leads to increased self-esteem, confidence, feeling true to yourself, and not taking on all of the negative shit of the world (which there is clearly a lot of – but there is a lot of beauty too :-p).

I’m not good enough

I’m powerless

I am not safe

I am not valued

I’m unloveable

Depending on the things that have happened in your life, not only your response to the event, but also the responses you received from your caretakers/loved ones, contribute highly to these deeply held beliefs. They’re not just beliefs held in your mind, but beliefs held in your body. The beliefs are felt in places such as our chests, shoulders, stomach, etc.

These beliefs and feelings pop up in weird and unexpected ways and can really limit you and prevent you from moving forward in life and following your dreams. Today I wanted to talk a little bit about confidence and money and will use some personal examples.

Wardrobe confidence

The past 6 months or so I’ve really wanted to work on creating a “capsule” wardrobe. I’m no where near that goal as it overwhelms me so I’ve been slowly pairing things down and exploring what it is I like wearing the most. I’m taking my time with it and using it as gifts of self-discovery.

I love expensive clothes. I say I have expensive taste, or just like good high quality made stuff? Not sure. Or Maybe it’s the environment in which the clothes are bought, or the message the company stands for.

Oddly enough I realized recently that I love wearing $10 shirts.

What?

Why the sudden change? Well I still like some other expensive stuff, especially if it’s something I need in higher quality, but in working on my wardrobe and finding what I like I realized a plain fitted Ts are my current favorite items in my closet.

Why?

Confidence.

I’m confident in who I am and how I look.

It all started about that time in life when people started making fun of my clothing. Or how I look. Or the fact that I couldn’t fit into the styles and clothes everyone was wearing. Then it turned into not looking professional enough, not looking old enough, not looking good enough basically. You might say it’s because I’m older now, which could be a bit factor, but also because in working on myself and my confidence and accepting myself for who I am, I don’t need to hide behind a brand or expensive clothes. It’s confidence and it’s saving me money.  I see a world of not just a SMALLER wardrobe coming my way but a CHEAPER one too! Who cares if I wore this yesterday? I like it and yes, I washed it….

Lesson I learned? Confidence can save you money!

Confidence can also MAKE you money

It doesn’t matter if you are self-employed or if you work for a company, confidence in yourself is key to moving up in your career. Growth happens outside of your comfort zone as you likely know. Therefore having adaptive information is really helpful to manage the difficulties of being outside of your comfort zone.

When you believe you are good enough, when you are likable and lovable and can access feelings of safety and power, you have more agency to navigate the difficult periods and tenacity it takes to move forward WITHOUT STUFFING/IGNORING/AVOIDING/ADDICTING/ETC.

It sounds pretty savvy to work on yourself and even invest in yourself especially knowing the result can help you to increase your income as well as safe your hard earned money. When we are confident and comfortable in ourselves we look less to external means of happiness that can put a hole in the pocketbook that never ends, and it doesn’t end because external factors just won’t do the job.

Will I become a narcissist?

Often times people think that the opposite of not good enough is thinking you’re the shit. No. The opposite of not good enough is just good enough. The pendulum doesn’t swing the other way. Because it’s all about enhancing adaptive information, not creating a fake self to hide behind. That’s not healing; that’s not the goal.

So what’s stopping you from working on yourself? From investing in yourself? You might find that you’ll benefit in ways you weren’t expecting.