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10 Tips for Holiday Stress

Dear Friends,

During the holiday season it feels like everything ramps up, especially stress. As I reflect on the days gone past of having 6 children at home, 2 businesses, preparing for the holidays with warm and beautiful decorations, getting the cards out, and all of the other preparations to make everyone happy and feeling the holiday spirit. I remember feeling like there wasn’t even a moment in the day to go to the bathroom! Yes, this experience is prominent during the holidays but I felt this way all of the time. TIME…where does it go and how can I get more? I have spoken with countless women/and/or Mom’s who have expressed the very same thing. They feel exhausted, overwhelmed and out of balance as they try to do it all for everyone. Do you experience anything similar?

Anytime you begin to feel anxious that you won’t get it all done, here are 10 great tips:

1.Close your eyes and take 10 breaths

2. Listen to your favorite music

3. Watch a favorite movie

4. Ask yourself, ‘If I was to have 3 days left to live, what would I most want to do right now?’ The reality is we have no idea when the angel of death will swoop down. Do you think that they would want the present wrapped, the cookies,  or quality, fun time together? Prioritize what really matters most.

5. Express gratitude and generosity through words or creating something together.

6.Take a power nap during the day

7. Meditate for 10 minutes before you start your day

8. Get a Massage!

9. Write a things to do list to prevent overwhelm

10. Try not to eat meals after 6PM so your body has time to digest. This will help you rest more deeply.

Most of all, remember what matters most…the quality of energy residing in your heart!

 

For wellness support, a massage or any suggestions for healthy,holiday treats or gift certificates contact me at grace@embodydream.com

I wish for you a delightful holiday season!

 

Love & Blessings,

Grace

 

Un-Figure it Out


At 2:30AM I awoke in a sweat. My mind stumbled out of a dream running barefoot trying to find my way. Right, left, which way to go? My mind trying to figure out the options while gazing down dark alleys. Even with open eyes, still in the dark, my sleeping dream melded with the waking dream as I pondered which path to choose.

It is no different asleep or awake. We are Dreaming all of the time. This concept is at the heart of Buddhist, Vedic & Toltec teachings as well as other mystery schools. From this point of view we are responsible for how we interpret our creation, our dream. The big difference is in the asleep dream there is no frame. So the projection of the personal dream is unencumbered – and to the one seeking awareness – more obvious.

In my awake dream I feel the fear of not knowing. My mind’s response is to figure it out. I can’t fall back asleep as I have fallen out of faith. Faith in myself and life. So I begin to breathe deeply. Allowing the emotion to course through. What shows up is a sensation in my chest. A tightening. So I breathe deeper. The thing I haven ’t been communicating reveals itself. My mind says this has nothing to do with the fears. But my heart knows better than to rationalize and defend. I chose to feel and un-figure it out.

What I resist will persist + slowdown my process of transformation. Tears well up as in my heart I know. I must surrender & let go of comforts and securities. I go with my gut, void of control because if I don’t express my truth I’ll never find my way home to the center. The more aligned I am with my integrity, the more I hear the inner voice of my heart. I listen, I breathe. The stories in my mind continue to bubble up. More waves of emotion free up. The desire to hold myself. I feel scared, alone. Will I make it?

I’ve been deluding myself with lies and forgetting my connection with all of life, falling from Grace. How many times? It really doesn’t matter. What matters is … do I wake up from the foggy illusion of fear? I keep breathing as I desire my faith more than anything else. The truth is I’ve always been taken care of. I’ve always been shown my next steps when I expose my truth with courage and humility. How else could I be successful with my life? How else could I live with myself free of guilt, shame and doubt?

I can’t figure it out in my mind and thank goodness. Give it a rest trying to figure everything out. In my heart, knowingness burns brightly in the present moment. And in each moment that follows. I begin to relax riding the waves of breath. I am home again. I forgive myself for falling asleep again. I welcome myself with open arms and tears of reunion from my best and dearest long lost friend. My own heart. I love me so. I tell myself I’ll do better and really try not to leave again. My heart knows that it can happen again and has total faith that I will always return, no matter what. It’s just a matter of time. Now I’m ready to write a different version of the story. A new interpretation full of wonder in the unknown rather than fear. My creativity is sparked from the reunion in my heart. Sweet Dreams!

Do I dare,

Do I dare take a peak through the wild woods

That entangle the landscape?

How could I not?

Life is not worth living

Without my beloved.

The web of weeds and brush is thinning

In the barren winter landscape.

Now there’s no point hiding in the forest.

I am coming out

Full throttle with the voice of a lark.

Listen.

Can you hear my song?

I am dancing on the chords with ecstatic abandon.

Remember taking that shower and not giving any thought to who is listening,

With your Heart spread in a huge smile,

The warm water penetrating the flesh.

Ahhh,, such sweetness is the gift of my melody.

Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluiah

The Differences Between Surrender to Life Vs. Death

 

Last week a dear friend Diane, 52 years young, let go of life surrendering her physical body to cancer.

Her mental state swung wildly from a euphoric acceptance of the next phase of her existence to a tightening grip on life. As she approached the mortal door, fear spiked up. Hankering for whatever food she can get a hold of to give pleasure to her human taste buds.

As I reflect on her 9-week process, I question the differences between surrendering to death versus surrendering to life. While in her process, I thought “she is suffering herself in the fight for her life. Gripping to survive. She is in denial and believing she will actually heal and go on living.” Now, I think she knew she was dying and in the big picture not in denial. She really wanted to use the time she had to do her work of transcending the distorted beliefs about who she thought she was, effectively and efficiently with ALL of her heart while enjoying what pleasures she could with the time she had left…mainly her taste buds!. The motivating question ”what would you do if you had only days to live” was her reality. The angel of death was truly at the door. She was taking the opportunity to heal her heart and transcend a lifetime of life lessons in a matter of days. She came to recognize herself as light and not the stories and beliefs her mind played out this time around. Yes the battle ensued because her love and pleasures of life were challenged with trusting the unknown that would take away life as she knew it.

What is the same prior to letting go? The gripping sensation with a bottomless pit of fear. The tightening around the heart and gut with spasms & contractions through muscles in the struggle with fighting for life. Surrender to the unknown. The illusion of control.

In the process of surrendering to death, we are letting go completely of life in our physical body. We are letting go of all of it without a tomorrow in human form and all of the familiar structures, senses, nature and planet Earth: Feeling the sun’s warmth upon our face, our skin. Touching the velvety leaves of mullein, the silky softness of rose petals, the hard and rough crystalline formations of clear quartz, the cold from an icy snowball or heat from a roaring fire; tasting the sweetness of a chocolate dipped strawberry, or the salty crunch of potato chips; the savory spices of a Thanksgiving dinner, the sour of fresh squeezed lemonade on a hot Summer day or the pungency of toasted garlic bread. The sweet music that moves us to sing, dance, and move our body to the rhythms of a drum or to be enraptured with an Andrea Bocceli love song. We are letting go of the magnificent blazing colors of a of a sunrise or sunset, the graceful migration of a flock of geese or the deep love emanating through your beloved’s eyes. We are letting go of the scents of the sweet intoxicating fragrance of gardenias, jasmine, roses & homemade bread baking in the oven. Breathe itself. The pulse, heartbeat and all of the physical pains, pleasures, concepts, mental constructs. Our families, friends, conversations, riding a bicycle, swimming in turquoise, warm waters or hiking up a snow capped mountain.

And lets not forget the depths of intimacy, being deeply touched by your beloved or the wondrous, wide-eyed open expression of your child’s eyes and heart. What an incredible life we have. Death as we know is the culmination, the final journey of the physical body.

And yet our true light nature is not about the body, senses & experiences but rather an essence of light without form, time, structure or matter. Though our human experiences are rich with wondrous and enthralling, magical moments that fill us with excitement, pleasure, pain…all of it…living in the unknown of infinite light, now that’s what I call exciting! “I am light returning to light” from the lips of Diane during her dying process.

From an excerpt of the Tibetan Book of the Dead,

“Remember the clear light, the pure clear white light from which everything in the universe comes, to which everything in the universe returns; the original nature of your own mind. The natural state of the universe unmanifest. Let go into the clear light, trust it, merge with it. It is your own true nature, it is home.”

In the process of surrender, Tibetan Buddhism also teaches that at the point just prior to death, in this single moment from a lifetime of training, we can transcend our consciousness to Dewachen…the land of bliss. This is the First Bardo or transition where the soul can learn its remaining lessons without needing to return to the physical body.

On the other hand, if someone is in fear, confusion, doubt or loss of consciousness, awareness at the moments prior to death, the Tibetan Buddhist’s refer to this experience as “fainting”. Fainting is defined as forgetting one’s ability to control the unruly mind. What can be done if fainting occurs? If we are fortunate to have a teacher with us who can guide us through a meditative practice that can free us & remind us about who we are to seek the place of infinite light.

In surrendering to life we will face our self tomorrow. We will have consciousness & memory of what has passed. We will taste, smell, see, hear and feel our humanity. Breath will continue to flow as our heart continues to pump blood. We take a conscious leap of faith into the unknown having perhaps glimpses of divine infinite light. And yet we still feel scared and the fight as though we were going to die. As the fight ceases, surrender is a moment(s), a flash of freefall, floating where time and space collapses. Peace and pure light radiates in consciousness itself. Bliss, heaven, and then….we reform back to our humanity. For those moments we merge with the clear radiant light and experience our true nature, as we always are and have been. At the blink of an eye we are already here.

Twilight and Dawn

I fall through the stars

With open hands

Only to return again and again

Never quite touching the ground.

With a rush of exhilarating fear

That clutches my heart & belly

As though the ocean pummels my body through

a chaotic wave rushing to shore.

Disoriented and stunned

Filled with the waters of life and emptied through the anticipation of death.

I let go as a feather in my hand takes flight in the gentle breeze of light

Love & trust in this moment

And the next…

Dawn, light

In my heart

I have returned.

I ask you dearest beloved, “what was I so afraid of?”

This bliss? This light?

Silly me.

I fell asleep believing the grasp is my nature

I thought I was the back door

And that life was me instead of I am life!

Wake me & touch me even deeper so I may return home

Even sooner

to breathe my light and float in the bliss of all that I am.

In the end, there is no end.

Whirling Like a Dervish.

Fear courses through my veins to my heart

The beast came out of nowhere

It wants to swallow me up alive

From the inside out

There is nowhere out of the confused darkness

I remember the fear well

It is everywhere

The planet is being consumed

Light swirling with muddy waters

The passion and joy obscured.

My heart yearns, aches for the light that sits a moment away

Through the veils of illusory fear

But wait, I see a crack of light

Through the old worn out door

I reach out and touch the warm, glowing sliver

That spreads its particles across my fingers and hands

Penetrating through the walls of epithelium

Coursing through my veins to my heart.

I am alive with light that birthed me through love.

 

These days the swirl of life, also known as chaos is prolific. The moment I enter my thought, I step into utter confusion. On the one hand it can be mighty frightening to my little mind to consider the end of a relationship, my service to other’s as I know it, and having no solid place I call “home”. On the other hand, I am excited with the surrender to my inevitable evolution. As I stand in the center, my focal point, my heart transforms each moment through a plethora of feelings from melancholy, sadness, grief and loss into the serene and gratitude for all that is.

How do I navigate through these tumultuous, chaotic times? With my breath. With my heart. With faith and trust in life itself. And knowing I am not alone. We are all connected in this great performance of a lifetime. It’s stunning how we support each other to perform so magnificently.

Have you ever noticed how those closest to you bring out the most reactions? I love the quote from Ram Dass, “If you think you are enlightened, go spend a few days with your family”. They certainly stir the pot. To me they stir the pot that allows the residues to come to the surface for the purpose of refining. Like the way you make ghee. Turn up the fire so the impurities rise. Those beloved button pushers play their part so well. And I thank you all. For without you, how could I truly see my self. Like the other day, I was driving with my “tentative boyfriend”. One of my biggest pet peeves is his reckless driving. At one point, he was about 5 ft. from another car on the highway. I was scared shitless. Then he reacted to my being scared and yelled, ”F__k it Grace. You drive. “ Instead of having compassion for my fear, his offended ego just got defensive, making me wrong for my fear. I just wanted him to give me hug, reassure me and be willing to stay at least 10 ft. from another vehicle.

I had a choice in that moment as did he. Do we believe our story? Do we fight about who is right or wrong? In the swirl of emotion and reaction, what’s to do?

As choices arise…how do I decide? My mind does not know. It’s my gut that I must rely on. As I breathe and feel the choices bubbling up, my mind thinks, “What the heck are you doing? You can’t do that. You won’t survive” But my heart and faith wins. I surrender to my integrity. Even though it doesn’t make sense. And then the magic happens. Life flows with no resistance and restrictions. Alignment is the result of integrity meeting intention. Living from my truth is living with integrity. Even though I don’t know what will happen from my choices, I step out with no control and dive in the swirl with my heart ever present.

Standing in presence, I respond. The response of my gut as my mind cannot comprehend the paradigm that my heart and consciousness live in. Each morning I wake up to a new day of complete unknowns. Well, isn’t this really how life is rather than the illusory belief that I actually have a clue? Ha!

Well-done life.

Contact Grace at www.embodydream.com or graceventura1@gmail.com

 

 


 

HCG: Fraud or Panacea? Part 2

Unfamiliar with HCG? Here’s the deal: HCG is a hormone women’s bodies make when they’re pregnant. For optimal growth of the fetus, the Mother’s body utilizes nutrient in stored fat. HCG sends a message to the Hypothalamus (part of brain regulating fat metabolism) to tell the liver to burn the stored deep structural fat which in turn creates a new “set point”. This means not only does the fat get burned but the weight will stay off as long as the system has a chance to get used to the new weight without the onslaught of high caloric foods following the restricted diet.

 

The reason diets don’t work is the deep structural fat is almost impossible to access. The subcutaneous fat gets burned but we are left with this other problematic fat. Once we resume “regular” eating, we immediately put the weight back on. HCG utilizes this fat stored for years. The reason we can subsist on the restricted 500-calorie diet is we are utilizing the nutrients released when the stored fat burns off.

Literally hundreds of companies are selling variations of HCG priced from $40-140 per bottle. With so many choices, how does a consumer know which one to buy? Since creating my own program I’ve tested the HCG products that I sell to clients and have a 100% success rate.

 

The quality of the HCG really makes a HUGE difference. When I first tried the program, I purchased drops online from a very popular company. For 2 weeks I hardly lost any weight. I decided to consult with a Naturopathic Physician who gave me a few great recommendations for the diet itself but also referred an HCG product with a 100% success rate. Some of my clients who previously tried other HCG varieties are reporting great results with FFB. “Frankly I wasn’t crazy about the other HCG drops. I was hungry! I liked yours much better and felt they are higher quality. I lost the bulk of 30 lbs. using your drops”.

The question I repeatedly hear is, “Are we better off with or without the HCG?” In both my own experience and observing clients, the struggle with weight loss has persisted for decades. HCG has been the ONLY thing that has helped me not only lose the extra weight I carried for years but also to keep it off without taking drugs, surgery or extremely imbalanced weight loss diets. I’ve juiced, dedicate myself to healthy vegetarian foods, taught Yoga forever, biked, hiked and run my ass off as a very active Mother of 6. So you’d think I’d be skinny as a rail. But, alas, NO! Not until I discovered HCG. Now I feel and look great! The Final Fat Burner works. So if you’re ready to burn that nasty stored fat on hips, thighs, tummy, check out: www.embodydream.com

 

 

 

Life Strategy: Try Battlestar Galactica.

For Sci-Fi lovers like me, the perennial dilemmas of truth vs. lie … love vs. fear … sex vs. science shine brightly from the furthest realms across time and space with gods, humans and Cylons (supposedly created by humans). In Battlestar Galactica, the Gods: Zeus, Athena, Persephone, etc. really mess things up. That’s right. In the future we humans carry on the tradition of blaming all our troubles on the Gods. Over 6 years BG has loads of despair, hope, suffering, sizzling hot sex, blame and riveting life-or-death drama that rule the day.

Take Gaius Boltar, a shallow egotistical spineless brilliant Physicist who holds the key to the files unlocking mayhem on their home planet Caprica. Because of his obsessive deceitful lusting nature, he gives away the codes to the gorgeous fem Cylon, Caprica 6, who in turn destroys the planet and unleashes unfathomable loss of the greater part of the human race. Recognizing something extraordinary about this hot blonde, Gaius puts himself under her spell.  Caprica 6 capitalizes on Gauis’ vulnerability by ruthlessly turning his every weakness to her advantage. Deep down he yearned to capture his true nature but was too scared to face himself and all of his lies, including responsibility for destroying Caprica.


Well, isn’t there a bit of Gaius in all of us? Or do you have more of Caprica 6 in you? Curiously,  these Cylons possess superior intelligence  + the handy resurrection program whereby they are reborn immediately after death + psychic ability to perceive “angelic” realms. The Cylons had 7 main models that were replicated plus an extra 5 that weren’t revealed until the end of the series. The main 7 models also had many human characteristics: the ones that really mattered and couldn’t be easily detected by the regular humans such as the sweet, vulnerable, committed woman; the dangerous, jealous, gullible, martyr; the righteous, manipulative, leader Some Cylons were even programmed to be unaware that they were Cylon until they were “turned on” at the appropriate time.

Both human and Cylon alike covered a gamut of characteristics that we all either love or hate. All in all….perfect. If we could only love instead of loathe those qualities that we believe are bad. If only we can accept our humanity and love ourselves into healing and forgiving in order to transcend and make new choices. That’s what I call a superior life strategy. In the final season Gaius preached acceptance of the perfection that we are, but because of his past deceits few trusted him.

 

In the end, the Cylons and humans found peace together through letting go of being right. Abandoning the pattern of lies and  accepting each other through truth and open hearts, the survivors lived happily ever after until…..that which has come before is destined to repeat itself, unless we can merge our human and Cylon selves.

 

HCG Fat Burner: Fraud or Panacea? Part 1

Preparing for HCG

Have you jumped on the HCG bandwagon yet? Well if you’ve been frustrated with years of dieting only to find yourself dreading pulling your favorite jeans over your thighs or hips, HCG is the latest fad in shedding that nasty stored fat.

In the 50’s Dr. Simeon, a brilliant Endocrinologist, discovered an underlying cause of obesity was due to a compromised function of the Diencephalon located in the brain’s hypothalmus. He found that in order to truly release the deep structural fat, it is necessary to reset and reboot the metabolic system that burns fat. This process occurred naturally through the use of HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) and diet.

More recently Kevin Trudeau spiked up the HCG craze by trumpeting Simeon’s protocol a very strict 500-calorie diet and other rules required for 23-40 days during Phase 1 and 2 and another 23-40 days for Phase 3, maintenance. I have also added Phase 4….life!
The big question is… how successful is HCG? If you don’t change old eating habits and self-sabotage patterns, you might lose 10 -30 pounds in 40 days. But in the long run you’ll probably gain it all back. And you’ll denounce HCG as a fraudulent product.

The Final Fat Burner is a program I created to heal the habitual patterns of unhealthy excessive eating. The answer to your weight loss will not be found in a proverbial sacred bottle. Yes, the Simeon protocol works provided you use high quality HCG & you don’t cheat! But you can put all the weight back on if you are unwilling to address deeper issues of why you did put the fat there in the first place.

2 decades into serving clients I‘ve discovered that we humans are not too different. For women and men alike, on the top of the hit list…fat is a form of self-protection, a way to “cushion” the blows of life.  Stored fat typically accumulates when people eat to numb the pain of their emotional wounds. Then there is sheer boredom, loneliness and obligatory social engagements that we just can’t say “no” to out of guilt.

Of course there will be times when everybody indulges in family or community celebrations. But the choices we make during our normal day-to-day living is where we either mature into taking full ownership by making food choices that truly nourish the body or succumb to unhealthy habits.

Bottomline: Dr. Simeon’s HCG can reset your body’s metabolism and give you back the tummy, thighs and hips you had 20 years ago. But the key is to upgrade choices you make about what you put in your mouth. Not for just 40 days. But for a lifetime. From my observations the protocol works best with supervision. Because when you get emotionally unhinged, what’s gonna stop you from binging on pizza, M & M’s or B&J’s Chunky Monkey?

In Part 2 of “HCG Fat Burner: Fraud or Panacea”  I will elaborate on how HCG works and the quality of HCG that is used.

Grace can be reached at graceventura1@gmail.com or visitwww.northshorebostonmassagetherapy.com for more information on Wellness programs and services.

 

Consistency: Boring or Inspiring?

When I hear this word, I simultaneously get feelings of peace, overwhelm and boredom.  How the heck am I going to be consistent with all that going on plus my crazy life? And why would I want a life of consistency? How boring! I like to create, try new things, adventures.

First of all, why do we even need consistency? And what does that mean? Do I have to give up my creative energy? Heck no! On the contrary I can create plus maintain a level of energy so I don’t fizzle out.

On the heart level, consistency of spiritual practice opens up emotional energy to enrich intimate relationships and work. Consistency also cultivates patience, faith and a balanced life. How often do you give up on a practice or project out of impatience or lost faith? There is a fine line between letting go of something that truly isn’t working vs. being patient enough to allow complete fruition. This doesn’t mean suffer yourself to the point of growing resentful but rather to cultivate an attitude of respect, compassion and detachment with no expectations. Then you can move freely into a decision or course of action from your heart rather than the impatient impulses of your head.

Do you have a regular spiritually sustaining fitness program? For example: yoga, tai chi or meditation? Do you consistently give yourself time to go inward and sink into your heart and body? How important is inner peace and happiness to you? If you’ve felt stymied by attempts to practice regularly, try this: Start being consistent from the inside out.

The following is an excerpt from my book The Four Alignments of Self Care. “Life seeks to evolve in a rhythmic environment. The rising and setting sun, seasonal variations in day length, temperature and rainfall are all factors influencing our physiology and behavior. The most obvious manifestation of human rhythmicity is the cycle of sleeping and waking. While the sleep-wake rhythm is obvious, virtually all the rest of our functions flow within their own, albeit less evident, yet equally important rhythms.

Recognizing and building upon our natural Liferhythms is a key way to bring harmony into the artificial schedules that are so familiar. Is there a time in your workday when you routinely experience a lull in energy? Say 2PM? Instead of guzzling that cola or coffee, why not stop and listen to your body? Give it what it really wants. Perhaps a 5-minute power nap. Or, try yogic breathing for 3 minutes, or a quick walk in fresh air. When the lifestyles we live override natural Liferhythms in order to achieve external results, our bodies suffer the consequences.

It is possible to create daily schedules geared toward fulfilling such responsibilities while at the same time nurturing the body, mind and spirit connection between ourselves and the larger mosaic of life. Finding this balance requires discipline as well as the capacity to communicate so we create supportive rather than limiting interactions with the world around to discover and maintain our natural Liferhythms.”

How can you do it? With the multitude of projects and tasks at home, work, family, etc. How can we do anything consistently? Get enough sleep, have a regular fitness program, keep romance alive, sparkle at work, clean the house and nurture the kids, let alone yourself. Ever feel as if you’d be thrilled to have a regular bowel movement without interruptions?

To develop a practice of inner consistency, first answer the following questions:

 

1.    What gives you inner peace?

2.   What fills you with energy, aside from that cup of coffee?

3.   Do you have an “inner fitness” program?

4.   How often do you practice any of the above?

Being consistent with what feeds your energy and inner peace grounds and centers so we can maintain consistently.

Next, let’s tap into your natural Liferhythms:

1. What time is best for you to arise in the morning?
2. What time is best for you to go to bed?
3. What hours do you work most effectively?
4. When do you eat breakfast, lunch, dinner?
5. Do you snack? At what time?
6. Do you feel a lull in energy during the day? When?
It’s important to remember that all cycles change due to both natural and other influences including seasons, planetary influences, hormones, illness, moving to a new location, time changes, diet, pregnancy, etc.
Once you discover what your natural rhythms are, you can plan your day accordingly to use your energy appropriately. For example if you know you have tons of energy in the morning, it’s be best to schedule activities requiring extra mental & physical energy early in the day. During the time when you have a lull in energy, respect the time with a catnap or fresh air, a walk, etc. You will feel revitalized and more relaxed. If you go for the cup of coffee or the sugar-load to push yourself, your body will end up with more stress.

Practice being consistent first with your natural Liferhythms. And over time consistency will become a springboard into the sort of creative life that all of us dream of living.  In addition, consistency cultivates patience and faith in oneself and attitudes toward others. So let’s flex our muscles of consistency to increase peace and balance in our lives.

For support in your Self-Care needs and to purchase The Four Alignments of Self Care, visit my website http://www.embodydream.com

 

Shopping To Eat or Eating to Shop?

Diamonds or Sushi? How do you use your energy?

Now that I have perused my relationship with food…onto the next topic, Money. Are they really different? They both are about energy. We need one to get the other. And visa versa. We will fill ourselves emotionally by consuming food or material goods. As I wrote before the blog entitled Overconsumption vs. Self Appreciation, I shared my experience of using food as a means of reward.

At the time I was in the Final Fat Burner Program losing lots of weight and feeling really good. My jeans were falling off. I decided it was time to shop. Well one pair of jeans lead to another and then of course a few new tops, and wow, that dress looks hot. My overconsumption began and I didn’t stop. There are so many hooks in the shopping world of great new clothing to add to my collection. Skinny clothing. I was on a roll. And closing in quickly on my budget. I can feel the energy of addiction. I recognized the feeling and said, “Woo horsey. Stop and take a gander at what you are doing.” I asked myself, “How do I feel? Why am I doing this?”

I closed my eyes, sat quietly and took several deep breaths. I can feel lots of energy moving about like after  running a few miles. As I settled down with my breath I asked the question of my body, “What are you needing and what do you really want?”  My first response was, a good stretch because I felt all the tension in my muscles from the go, go,go. Next, I felt my sexuality. And it felt good. I saw that instead of expressing this feeling through dancing or connecting with my beloved, I ignored it and got on the bandwagon of shopping.

Shopping is really a way to dress myself up, look good, expend energy (namely money), be noticed by another, but it lacks the direct expression of how I really feel. It is a cover, a kind of avoidance rather than going to the direct source of my feeling body. So whether I am unhappy or feel fantastic, the shopping can not possibly address my full internal expression. It can be fun but it is only skin deep.

This is not to say to stop consuming. Be aware why I’m choosing to shop and decide if it’s truly what will satisfy my inner needs. Next, when I do shop, find  a balance between consuming and sharing. When I share the wealth, give a gift or express how I feel, I’m so deeply satisfied. Sure there is a satisfaction with shopping, especially for that thing that I really, really love. And appreciate long after the initial purchase. Like my new convertible Turbo Saab. Even after a few weeks, I still love my car. Which I have never felt about a car. It truly gives me pleasure to feel the fresh air blowing so freely through my long locks! And I love sharing the experience with my family, friends and beloved. I feel happy.

How do you use money as a way to fill a void? You know the same way you might use food. What if you took some time to go inside and ask your body what it really wants. How do you feel? What do you want to express?

For support with dropping the pounds or creating a healthy, balance life contact Grace at www.embodydream.com

Food Obsession & Over Eating: 11 Steps to Food Freedom

 

Yes, I know the topic of overeating or under eating has been an obsession for decades. And it is still a major issue. Like any other issue, until the problem is embraced with compassion, understanding and forgiveness, we will be stuck in the infinite, abusive cycle.

Just last week I was out for dinner and observed my little mind at work. As I was sitting across from my beloved, enjoying a sumptuous piled high organic salad filled with arame,sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary walnuts, falafel balls made from nuts, seeds and spices; I found myself consuming quite fast. I took a gander at my feeling sense. I was anxious. Why? My mind was telling me that if I put my fork down for even a moment, my beloved would scarf down my food. So I better keep eating whether I am satisfied or not.  I don’t have time to decide if I am full or not. The anxious feeling was reminiscent of the days of yore while growing up with 2 older brothers. “He who eats fastest, wins” was the motto. So today, even though there is no truth to my mind’s greatest fear of my food being taken from me, the voice still exists.

We all have our personal rendition of the fearful voice around food consumption be it not having enough, eating too much, emotional emptiness, our mental distortions of health, our desire to feel nurtured, a need for energy, boredom or for social reasons. The list goes on. Whatever the reason how can we get healthy and balanced? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Prior to eating anything, have a glass of water. Most of the time we are dehydrated. Once you have water your taste buds will be clear.

2. Ask yourself the question, “Am I hungry?” no matter if the clock says you should be hungry or not. If yes, tune in to your body’s true needs and consume delicious mineral-rich, organically-grown fresh fruits and vegetables, protein & good fats.Begin to tune into your natural biorhythm’s by eating when you are hungry. Avoid snacking unless you are hungry. Drink water instead. If you are still hungry, only eat to fill your stomach ½ way. 25% should be water, 25% air, 50% food. If no, breathe deep and notice how you are feeling. The other day I was watching a movie and I began to want something to eat. I wasn’t hungry. As I breathed and felt sensations, I noticed I was anxious. I discovered my desire to eat was for the purpose of sedating my energy. I laid down, breathed and relaxed. I no longer had the desire to eat.

3. Ask yourself: “How is this food going to make me feel in a few minutes, and in a few hours, and tomorrow?” Think about how you want to feel and make the healthful choice, knowing that as you do, you are raising your level of well-being.

4. We walk away from our meals dissatisfied, which is often why we overeat . The food may taste good but our nutritional needs have not been met. We may not even be aware of what those needs are. Raw & whole food nutrition is infinitely superior to your old diet of cooked foods–there is far more nutritional, health-promoting value in one apple than in a seven course meal of cooked food.

5. When we are tired, our primary need is for rest, not food, and food cannot digest well when we are tired. Eating when we are tired will only lead to a worsening of fatigue, lethargy and digestive issues.

6. Eat slowly and practice being aware/mindful/conscious and present in your body while you eat.

7. If you are feeling strong emotions, choose to accept, feel and be with the emotion. Allow it to dissipate, or expand, to flow through your body. Take time to explore & inquire within with compassion. Make the choice to stop covering up your emotions and to release emotional contractions and you will begin to feel nurtured by the love that is always present within yourself. The need for food as a tool to nurture will no longer be necessary to fill up the emptiness or push away the anger, fear, sorrow or loneliness.

8.Develop enjoyable, purposeful and healthful activities away from the food or kitchen. What inspires you and makes you happy or at peace?

9. Choose to act healthfully and be in your power–choose to take the best possible care of your self at all times. Are you eating something because you think you should vs. because you don’t want to offend someone? Who are you really offending when you put less than nutritious, quality food into your body? Ask yourself if it is really worth it. Would someone really want you to be hurting yourself?

10. Accept and love yourself as you are, and understand that by living and eating well, your body is receiving the  love and respect your body deserves. You came into this world as a pure being of love and light and continue to be. It is only the mind that has taken on the lie that you are not.

11. Exercise to get & stay physically fit. A strong spine and fit body translates into a strong nervous system, self-esteem, will-power, and keener physical awareness so that you can discern your true needs for nourishment.

For support in your finding food freedom contact me at www.embodydream.com or graceventura1@gmail.com