Day 31 + Beyond: Body Love Yoga Challenge {Surrender}

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Surrender to Your Grace

I’ve found myself lately in a place of immense gratitude.  Gratitude for this life I live.  Gratitude for this body I am able to explore it in.  Gratitude for the amazing family, friends and healers that continue to come into my life when I least expect it.

I know.  It’s been nearly three {THREE!?!} months since I last wrote.  Nearly three months since my self-induced Body Love Yoga Challenged concluded.

Where does the time go, we always ask?

When I committed to the yoga challenge I had no idea what I was really signing up for.

But then again, do we ever??

Practicing yoga daily truly broke me open and, one of the gifts it shared with me was in the amazing art of surrendering.

 

Surrendering to what I thought was; surrendering to how I thought it – life, my body, me – should be.

The yoga challenge reminded me that Life doesn’t always go as planned.  Yes, the Challenge ended on my 31st birthday {as planned}, yet what I hadn’t planned for was, well, Life.  I had visions of hosting a fun group yoga session on my big day with beautiful friends in Seattle, all of us glistening from 31 days of straight yoga, perfectly toned and totally grounded in our beautiful bodies.

Life sure is funny sometimes.

You know, for so long I have had people telling me, “Just let go Jamie.  Allow life to happen.  Surrender.”

Have you ever heard these words?  I wonder if they sound as elusive to you as it did to me.  I remember listening to Wayne Dyer a few years ago and he said something that has forever remained in my head.  To paraphrase, in my words, “So many people believe life is about doing.  Doing this, doing that.  But life is in fact about being done.  Letting go and allowing life to take the reins.”

Wait, what?  How could this be?

I mean if we just allow life to happen, isn’t that nearly impossible?  Doesn’t some sort of action on our end need to be involved?

This one idea gave me so much resistance {and anxiety!}!  The me who was always on the go, always making plans, scheduling dates, doing, going, living, creating, accepting, starting, postponing, completing, quitting.  

That girl?  Well she didn’t like this idea of surrendering so much or giving anyone or anything else the steering wheel to her life.

And yet, slowly over the past few months I started to get it.

I realized letting go and allowing life to do me {put so eloquently} wasn’t about sitting on my couch and being lazy {although I am learning that sometimes in fact that is just what life is}.  No.  In fact it is about recognizing and realizing that we have a path and the universe wants to support us on this path, of least resistance.

Think about it.

Have you ever tried so hard for something to only just keep coming up against roadblocks, with it just seeming so difficult?  I have come to believe that yes, there are difficult times and lessons to be had in life.  Yet also I know that life isn’t meant to be hard.  That relationship you’re in, that job you’re in, that life you are living?  It’s not meant to be painful, it’s not meant to feel like you’re living on pins + needles.  I have come to believe that, when in fact life feels like you are meandering thru molasses, well then life is trying to tell you something.

It’s time to let go.

And yes letting go may in fact mean making a change and taking action – like leaving a relationship or changing a job, but first it’s about letting go and listening.

So, no, my 31st birthday was the furthest thing from smiles, svelte bodies and the yogi glow I had expected.

As some of you may know from my last post, in January of 2013 I embarked on a journey that – at the time – I was completely unaware of.  It was a journey to reclaiming the light I had once ago, lost sight of.    What followed for me was 14 months of breaking down, giving in, letting go and recognizing the difference between doing and being.

The truth is – this journey has been trip, a real eye-opening trip.  It’s been challenging and at times, heartbreaking and yet, an amazing ride-going inward, looking in the mirror, getting honest with myself and beginning to find faith in the realization that we are not alone on our path. I prayed.  A lot.  And I began to give in.  I gave up.  I let go. And I surrendered.  Before I even knew it, something {someone} was shifting and I’ve started to come out the other side a drastically different person and yet, the person I’ve always been.  That may not make much sense to most, but to a select few it may need no explanation.

See, we all come into this world with a gift – a light, a fire that burns deep within – not just some of us, BUT ALL OF US.

To me, depression, addiction and unhappiness are the symptoms of trying to extinguish this fire within – or perhaps an ignorance or unwillingness to look at our gift{s} at face value, without judgment or ambivalence.

I know for me, this was precisely the case.

After two years of not having a period, whatsoever, and producing practically no estrogen, my body gave me a gift.  The most precious, magical and soul-shaking gift imaginable – my period.  I GOT MY PERIOD.  I love this.  I love that I am announcing to the world that me, a 31-year-old woman, got my period.  But if you read my last blog you’ll know why I want to shout this from the rooftops.  Two years and 63 days later and I got my period.  What an AMAZING gift this was to me.   This thing that us women so often take for granted and more likely consider a pain in our little behinds was such a blessing to me.  I was {am} ecstatic.  My body wanted to heal.  It reminded me that I am whole.  All of our bodies want to heal.  We are meant to be whole and healthy and complete just the way we are.  For the first time in the longest time ever I began to fall in love with my body.

It’s not always easy.  But more of my days have been freed up from incessant thoughts surrounding my body and what food and exercise I need/should/can’t have to control it.  I’m sharing all of this because as I begin to build my business, The Blissful Kitchen, I realize how integral the piece surrounding body love + acceptance is to the puzzle. And so as I begin to explore and unravel this it’s taken me nearly 3 months to write this post because I wasn’t quite sure what or how much to share.  For so long I wanted to speak much more about my journey the past year and yet, I never seemed to be able to put into words the truth and pure perfection of it.

And then I received an E-mail from this amazing gal sharing her latest blog.  Yes, her name is also Jamie and yes, she also dealt with Hypothalamic Amenorrhea {the short of what is: when a the hypothalamus stops telling your body to produce the necessary reproductive hormones to get a period.  Your period can stop for several months, or in my case, several years.  Often thought to be stress-induced from over-exercise, undereating, mental or emotional stressors, etc.}.

Sometimes we are blessed to meet people with similar stories and similar paths that provide us a sense of truth and comfort in knowing we’re not alone in our journey.

I first met Jamie about a year ago at an amazing healing place in Seattle, The Tummy Temple.  I had no idea at the time that we shared the same heartache, confusion and sense of loss over not getting our period.  I didn’t know the string that strung us together until I went into Tummy Temple a few months later and she was running around glowing about the fact that she had just gotten her period.  Of course my ears instantly perked up – this clearly was not your usual case of getting our menses.  I mean this girl was glowing.  So of course I asked and soon learned that she, too, had been working to recover from disordered eating and regain a period that had seemed to elude her.

I felt a sense renewed hope and also instant longing for what she had and I did not.  Little did I know then that my time was coming, I just had a few more lessons along the way.

I wanted to share Jamie’s blog because it says so much that I could never have vocalized. In it, she shares not only her journey with HA, but also gives incredible insight into her thoughts, feelings and experience with losing her period, disordered eating and how self-love {or the lack thereof it} pl body and the divine feminine.

Nearly every word speaks resounding truth for me and for this, I am so grateful to her and so wanted to share her journey.

For any woman who has ever struggled with infertility or hypothalamic amenorrhea or early menopause – this is for you.    And actually this is for any woman, period, who has struggled at times with body love and self-acceptance too.

 

 

RESOURCES:

Direct link to Jamie Lashbrook, with Wellbelly: 
http://www.wellbellyhealing.com/blog/2014/04/the-dark-side-of-the-moon-beating-hypothalmic-amenorrhea

For more on my journey with HA, read this and for more information on what exactly HA is, check out this

And since HA is considered stress-induced {what isn’t!?} , I wanted to share with you what has worked best for me.

My Top 3 Essentials for Learning to Let Go + Surrender:

1.  Daily meditation or prayer routine.  This can start at simply 5 minutes, but give yourself  space to just be. Listen to a meditation podcast, inspirational talk or your favorite tune.  Find a quiet place in your home where you can be in stillness and go explore the faith + peace that abounds within you!

2.  Journal and reflect on what it is you are holding on to.  Writing for me has been a true healer.  When we sit long enough and really allow ourselves the space, the truth will come forward and give us the answers.  You know, I know, we all know, what troubles us and what will make us happy.  We just need to sit still long enough to allow our inner wisdom to come thru.

3.  Become a witness rather than a persecutor.  How often are you judging yourself? Judging others?  What if you could change that critiquing little voice in your head to one that supported you and inspired you?  Amazing right?!  Start by picking a positive affirmation that resonates with you and one that you can easily remember.  A few easy options:

I am enough.

I am loved.

Or simply, I am.

Then next time the negative chatter begins to creep in, simply just start repeating your mantra over and over, in your head – out loud if it feels right {and you’re not in a crowded space or your office J}.  For an even faster response you can write your mantra down 7 times.

Love + light to each and everyone of you!!!!

Days 18-30 of 31: Body Love Yoga Challenge {Failure + Body Positive}

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Failure

 

Yup.  Twelve whole days has passed since my last post.  From all accounts it would appear as though I ‘failed’.  I had, afterall, promised to blog daily throughout my 31 day yoga challenge.  I said I would do something and…I didn’t do it.

Yet, this Body Love Yoga Challenge had other plans for me and the truth is, by Day 18, I was spent.   My mind and body were completely exhausted.  Not so much from the physical yoga, but from the mental and emotional walls my yoga practice was apparently bull-dozing around me.

When I embarked on the Challenge I seriously had no idea what was in store. If I had, I might not have signed on, but oh how grateful I am that I did. The past 30 days have taught me not only to let go, but also how much I need to repair the messy relationship I’ve had with my body the past 15+ years.

 

See I thought I was the perfect picture of health———

Vegan, only consuming organic foods, never allowing processed food to cross my lips.

Any dessert had to be made of the highest quality ingredients.

Daily workouts.

Setting rules {no animal products, no gluten, no sugar, then no grains, ok maybe some animal protein is ok, wait no animal! -the list went on} and abiding by those rules.

And then something happened.  My body turned against me.  My precious, one-and-only body decided to stop working.  Two years ago on January 6, 2012 I got my last period.  For a year I waited, unwilling or totally unaware of the responsibility I had over this.  In January 2013 I was given the ‘diagnosis’ of early menopause {just shy of my 30th birthday I need to note}.  After a second Doctor’s opinion I gladly accepted her diagnosis of Hypothalamic Amenorrhea and tried to shrug off the early menopause thing.

I hate diagnosis.

I hate labels.

And yet isn’t that how we so often find the ability to identify ourselves?  I am this. I am that.  I am vegan.  I am blonde. I have Hypothalamic Amenorrhea.  Well darnit {I had typed a not-so elementary word and then my conscious got the best of me so darnit it is} I am so stinking sick and tired of pulling on another mask to try and define me.

I am not any of this.

I am simply me.  A girl turned woman who happens to have dimples and a smile from ear to ear when she doesn’t allow her worries and mind to get the best of her.  A spirit that is reminiscent of a curious cat – an intriguing interrogator that absolutely loves to ask a million question and know exactly why it is you do what you do, a soul that still loves to spend hours working on {and finishing puzzles}, who loves to meet new people, visit new places and try incredible love-infused high-vibrational delciously-tasty foods.

Ahhhhh yes that is me.

I am not the labels or the boxes I have made for myself to shrink to fit into.

And yet I am also a woman who is desperately trying to find who she really is.  A woman who so fiercely wants to love herself and feel peace in her body and a woman who desires, with every core of her being, the gift of her period again and the incredible blessing of a child – oh how I want to be a momma!  And oh what a struggle this is for me right now.  As I type this I have five dear friends on the brink of motherhood and yet I struggle with knowing whether I’ll ever be able to share in that experience.  The thought breaks my heart and moves me to tears.  I am not married and no, am not trying for a little babycakes right now and so, in some way, I believe these feelings are not validated.

Yet I know they are.

I’d love to talk more about this, but the truth is I’m still discovering it myself.  What I do know is: I am finally willing to accept the power my food and body obsessions have had over me and my life.  And, more importantly, I am ready and wanting to let go of the control this has held over my body and of the incessant negative self-talk.

When I first heard the words Hypothalamic Amenorrhea and its relationship with eating disorders; I thought – me? Nope.  Definitely not me.  I’m not too skinny.  I don’t starve myself or make myself throw up.  In fact I love food too much.  But the reality is food has consumed me – not just physically but mentally and emotionally too.  I am currently reading Intuitive Eating and found this paragraph to sum up my relationship with food perfectly:

“The Careful Eater can spend most of her waking hours planning out the next meal or snack, often worrying about what to eat {insert in when to eat, what not to eat, how much to eat etc etc}.  While the Careful Eater is not officially on a diet, her mind is chastising every ‘unhealthy’ fatty or sugary food eaten {heck grains, almonds, cauliflower, sesame and beets aren’t even allowed in my book!}.  The Careful Eater can run the fine line between being genuinely interested in health, and eating carefully for the sake of body image.”

That last part  -for the sake of body image – really stung.  That is the ONLY reason why I’ve been eating the way I have.

My dear friend Lily, who has helped me tremendously over the last year to navigate my relationship with food + body, is hosting a Body Positive workshop in May that will focus on body image, food, exercise, and self-love.  It is going to be held on May 3rd and is being hosted by the non-profit, The Body Positive.  Originally started as an eating disorder support group, The Body Positive has now evolved into working with people that have varying relationships with food and their bodies.   According to Lily, “Even if you have a beautiful relationship with food and your body, this will still be beneficial to learn techniques in how to help others create a more positive way to love their body and how to nourish it more intuitively. At the workshop we will start with an introspective approach and explore our own body relationships and then move into techniques around intuitive eating and reframing what a healthy relationship with food and our weight can look like.”

I already purchased my seat for the workshop and have attached a flyer with more information.  Feel free to email Lily with questions at lily.stokely@bastyr.edu. Also feel free to pass this on to anyone you know who may be interested. Space is limited to only 25 people so be sure to sign up quickly if you wish to attend. http://thebodypositive.org/tbp/workshops-and-groups/

BeBodyPositiveWorkshopFlyer_Seattle2014-page-001

 

Day 17 of 31: Body Love Yoga Challenge {self-talk}

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think you can

What is the tape recorder in your head saying right now?

Does she/he praise you?  Lift you up?  Give you motivation to keep going?

Or does he/she put you down?  Tell you it’s never enough?

The idea that our thoughts create our lives is nothing new – since the making of The Secret seven or so years ago this idea has become mainstream with people talking about the power thoughts, words, beliefs, affirmations, etc. have on our lives.  I believe this – WHOLEHEARTEDLY – and yet how do we actually change the neg-neg self-talk to the more positive pep talks within?

I know I am so quick to tell someone else how great, beautiful, special and talented they are and yet, the woman in the mirror?

Oh how awful I am to her.

It breaks my heart to know what I say to her, day in and day out – a broken record I have become for sure.   I have noticed that with my yoga practice this negative self-talk has been screaming her wild voice more than normal.  Perhaps because she knows she is on the verge of getting the boot.  Well today I really did take a step to kicking this negative nancy to the curb and, I must say, it feels really good.  I woke up this morning and as I got ready for yoga she started her usual verbal assault, but this time I stopped it {almost immediately} and simply said:

‘Enough.  You are beautiful and you are perfect just the way you are.’

Yup I did. and I am proud to say I don’t feel the slightest bit of embarrassment over my cheese-ball, self-loving, positive-affirming self.

I read an article last night in Spirituality Health Magazine and I love what Dr. Joan Borysenko said in response to this question:

What impact does negative self-talk, such as criticizing our bodies and ability, so common with women, have on our health?

In general, we are conditioned in this culture to judgement and comparison, always comparing ourselves to other people.  That’s what gives rise to such negative self-talk.  We have this great wound of unworthiness, the wound of self-hatred, the feeling that, somehow or other, we have to beat the competition and we have to prove ourselves in some thing to be worthy. That’s a big, big problem.  No matter what our spiritual roots are, If we can start to practice kindness toward ourselves, it would go a very long way.

I loved this.  It hit me to my core.  I am so tired – fed up! – with my lack of self-love, my constant judgment of not only others, but even more so of myself.  What a dis-service my inner voice has been to the incredible and amazing me. I want to, need to, must, change the dialogue that goes on between closed doors in the space between my ears.

I find this topic fascinating and would love to know below what you think and how you work to keep the voice in your head loving and kind?

To see how one woman is spearheading positive self-love, check out her website: http://www.operationbeautiful.com/

For affirmations to say to yourself visit Louise Hay or, for tips on creating a more loving relationship with the {wo}man in your head, check out this link.

And lastly if you still need proof at all that your thoughts and words actually do affect your life, just watch this AMAZING video. xxoo, Jamie :)

Day 16 of 31: Body Love Yoga Challenge {show up}

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show up
not because you should
not because you must
but because of the magnitude of love
because of the magnetic force of compassion

show up
because you can
because life has come knocking
and you are there to answer now
not when or then
but in the immediate potency of the call

show up
not because it is time or timely
not because it is easy
or tough
smooth or rough
not because it is reasonable or not
but because this is what matters now
no matter
what next

show up
because it feels right and real
because it makes your heart sing
or sob
because it might ache
or break
if you did not
because joy lives in the present
in your presence
just show up

~Minx Boren

I so didn’t feel like showing up today.  And yet I did. I drove the 45 minutes this morning to meet my sister for yoga. I simply showed up.  And boy was I happy that I did.  It’s amazing what can happen when we just show up.  Show up to all the experiences, all the emotions – just show up to everything whether it feels good or not-so-good.  I have learned that to be present in the darkness is just as important as showing up for the lightness.  Sometimes the dark is scary and we want to turn on the lights as quickly as possible, but it is often in the moments between dark and light that we learn the most and grow the most.

So as we move in to the last two weeks of our Body Love Yoga Challenge I commit to just showing up.

After all isn’t that half the battle?

How are you each feeling?  Have you been able to show up the past two weeks?  Has something held you back from showing up completely?

How can I support you in showing up these last two weeks of our Body Love Yoga Challenge so you can feel empowered and inspired in your beautiful amazing body??

Let me know in the comments below – so much love to you all!!

xxoo, Jamie

Days 14+15: Body Love Yoga Challenge {coming home}

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ImageSo you may {or may not} notice that today is another 2 for 1 blog special.  See I had every intention of blogging yesterday, but the truth is I made an unexpected trip home this week to Chicago and spent much of the day with my family. Home was calling and I answered.

And with that I think I took one of the best yoga classes of my life today at a studio near my parents in Barrington, Illinois – Nirvana Yoga Studio.

It was one of those classes where literally I felt like it was tailored to me and my life. Everything our amazing teacher, Jean, said; I heard.  And everything she said I felt was spoken specifically for me.  Like the multiple mentions of ‘coming home’ to find a sense of well-being and ease within.

Of course the reality was, what she said was meant for everyone in the room and I wasn’t anything special.  I just had to show up and be present.  That’s what I think yoga is all about.  Showing up and being present - Coming Home.

Coming home to the quiet place – whether it be within, on the mat or literally home in the physical sense – to find that sense of peace and serenity.

Actually, isn’t that what life is really about?  Finding a stillness, a sense of peace in what is the present moment.  Perhaps coming home is a time of surrendering? Surrendering to all that is, whether it is a moment of joy or a time of suffering – we can come home to find the stillness and peace that is within each of us.    To me Coming Home is a time of rest, of rejuvenation, a time to simply just be.

I felt so present to my practice today, to my thoughts, feelings and emotions that I left undoubtedly with a bit more pep in my step {oh yes I did} and sparkle in my eye.

I so needed to come home.  To come home to my family, to come home to me and yes, to come home to my yoga mat.

I took a picture of this quote in the bathroom at the studio – do you believe this?  I can honestly say, hands down, I have faith that every instance of my life is just as it’s supposed to be.  The good, the great, the bad and the oh-so ugly moments are all blessings and lessons for me to practice gratitude and this idea of finding peace within for what is, exactly the way it is.

In line with this idea of coming home and being mindful is this quote I saw on a friend’s facebook page today from Ram Dass.  When you are feeling overwhelm for the future or turmoil about the past try asking yourself these two questions and see if it brings you back to the present.

Ask yourself: Where am I?
Answer: Here.
Ask yourself: What time is it?
Answer: Now.
Say it until you can hear it.

Here is my schedule for the remainder of my time in Chicago:

Sunday:  Lulu Yoga with my sis downtown

Monday: Beginner’s Yoga with my parents at Nirvana Yoga {oh yes, first time class with the pods – cannot wait!!!  I know they are just as excited ;-)}

Tuesday: Yoga with my oldest friend ever – well not really oldest as in age, just oldest as in we’ve been friends for over 25 years…I know, wild!!!

Wednesday: At home yoga courtesy of http://www.yogaglo.com  {have any of you ever tried this site??  My yoga teacher today said it is AWESOME – can’t wait to try!}

I’ll be back to Seattle Thursday so stay posted for my class schedule later in the week; I would so love to have any of you join me in the home stretch of our 31 day Body Love Yoga Challenge!!!

So much love, light and peace as you journey to find your own way home.

xxoo, Jamie

Day 13 of 31: Body Love Yoga Challenge {my first love + chocolate cake}

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Hating BodyToday I was so grateful.

So grateful for my body.

For my family.

For this journey called life.

I started my morning with my little body love note and I realized how thankful I am for all my body’s cravings as of late.  The betrayal I so felt by my body for all its sugar, flour and sweet cravings the past few months have in fact been a total gift.

For the past three months I have hated my body, so very much despised it, for being uncontrollable and for my apparent lack of willpower with succumbing to eating {devouring} more sweets than I probably have in the last five years.

Then today I realized what a blessing these cravings have been.  All the brownies, cookies {dough}, cake, chocolate, etc. have reminded that I need {and want} sweetness in my life.  And for me, that undoubtedly includes food.

I am so grateful for my body and her intense cravings.  She needed to get my attention and realized it required drastic measures.  My body has reminded me of my innate LOVE of food, of sharing food and especially for creating one-of-a-kind desserts {all made from nature} that are so full of wholesome goodness, rich sweetness and natural deliciousness!

And oh how I have rejected this for so much of my life.  I have always been so stinking terrified of food – that which I truly love and brings so much joy to me I have completely shunned. I have done everything and anything at times to keep myself out of the kitchen for fear of what?  Fear of not trusting my body or the food choices me {she} would make.

So in light {an in honor of my first love} I wanted to share this DECADENT raw, vegan, gluten-free, you-name-it-free Chocolate Cake with you.  I first made it working as the pastry chef at Chakra 4 Vegetarian Cafe in Phoenix and last made it exactly a year ago for three amazing and beautiful friends’ birthday – It is so perfect for Valentine’s Day.  So perfect in fact that I saw nearly the same recipe in this morning’s paper and so, I wanted to share with you.

What gift did your body give you today?

So much love + light to you and your sweet physical self.

xxoo Jamie

Raw Raspberry Ganache Layered Cake

INGREDIENTS

Cake
3 cups dry walnuts
2⁄3 cup unsweetened cacao powder or
carob powder
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pitted Medjool dates, soaked for 15-30 minutes

Frosting
1⁄3 cup soaked pitted Medjool dates
1⁄4 cup coconut nectar (can substitute with agave, maple syrup or honey)
1⁄2 cup ripe avocado
1⁄3 cup cacao powder

Filling
1⁄2 cup raspberries

DIRECTIONS

To make the cake, combine the walnuts, cacao powder and salt in food processor
and pulse until coarsely mixed. Avoid overprocessing. Remove the dates from the soak water (retaining for later use) and add to the mixture along with the vanilla.  Pulse until well-combined. Add date soak water as needed.  Mixture should hold together when you press it together between your fingers. Shape into two stackable cakes of desired shape and set aside.

To make the frosting, combine the dates and sweetener in a high-speed blender
and process until combined. Then add the avocado until smooth.  Add in the
cacao powder and process until well-combined.

To serve, frost the top of one of the cakes with half the frosting and top with
the raspberries. Stack the second cake on top and frost the top and sides of the double layer cake.  Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator for a couple hours to firm up.

The cake on its own will keep in the fridge for two weeks. The frosting will keep separately in the fridge for 1 week. The assembled cake with raspberries will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Days 11 + 12: Body Love Yoga Challenge {Body Thanks}

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ImageLast night I made a commitment.

A commitment to give gratitude to my body every day.

You would think that since this yoga challenge is prefaced with ‘Body Love’ that I would have been focusing a bit more on that little {big} piece.

The truth is I’m terrified about it.

As much as I want to say I love my body, honor my body, totally embrace and trust it.

Well.  Then I’d be lying.

The real truth is I have been at war in my body my entire life.

Since I can remember I wanted it to look different, I wanted to be different.  And so I spent the last 15+ years trying to will it to change and undoubtedly using food to try and control it.

I have come to believe that eating disorders, disordered eating and body hatred are not about the food or about the body.  Instead I really believe it is simply a symptom for some that our souls are out of alignment with our higher purpose.

Imagine the times in your life when you felt totally in vibration with the world around you, when everything just seemed to flow.  Did thoughts really arise around food, your body and your eating habits?  Or did your eating habits just become second nature and take a backseat to more important things at task – like living your most authentic life?

Yeah me too.

And you know what?  Those times in my life where I did feel completely in vibration with my surroundings, my situation, my experiences – I ate whatever I wanted.  I ate scones – oh did I eat scones! – I ate grains and I ate sugar and I believe I even ate bacon.  Yup at one point, lots of crispy bacon.  And guess what?  I didn’t gain an ounce.  In fact I didn’t even think twice about my food choices.  I just ate when I ate because I was either a) hungry or b) really wanted a bite of what was in front of me.

See I really don’t think it’s our weight or our bodies that dictate our emotions.  I really believe it is the disconnect felt somewhere else in our life circumstances that cause the disordered eating and body hatred. Perhaps it is not accepting a piece of ourself or not fulfilling the gift we’ve been given to serve.

I know I have been given a blessing in the form of my body and health struggles this past year {of which I do plan to share more of in another post once my current vulnerability hangover subsides}.  For now, in the words of my Aunt Sue:

‘I embrace the joy of having a physical body

and so each day I am going to take a minute or two and write a little love note to my body telling her what I am thankful for that day.  I am curious if you have a little love note you’d like to share below on What you can thank your body for today?

So much love, light + sweet gratitude to each of you…

xxoo, Jamie