Who cares what people think? I do what I want!

March 3, 2009

Most of us do care what people think, whether conscious or unconscious. We have been taught to care what our families, friends and community think about our choices. It’s another way of controlling our behavior with guilt. You can see a lot of it manifested in the tabloids about celebrities. (Can you believe so and so did that??!!!) Tabloids are a stomping ground for judging humans we have projected our own self worth onto.

We all are subject to “feeling bad” about our choices if it does not benefit the greater good. Actually, it’s very important that we do what is right for us, and all will benefit, though it might not be apparent immediately.

Now is the time for us to find our right place in the world. One of my teachers always says, “In nature, you don’t see a tree trying to be a bush, or a fox trying to be a wolf. Each plant and animal is an essential part of the ecosystem.” The human ecosystem also benefits when each person is doing what they love. It may seem a long way before we will allow everyone to do what they love, but there has been a great shift in this direction.

Parenting has changed a lot to allow children to be themselves instead of fitting into the family “mold.” New ways of teaching are developing to allow individual expression and child-led learning, as with Wallingford and Montessori schools, as well as homeschooling.

Have you ever had the experience of telling family or friends about something you are going to do and felt a weight in your stomach that did not feel good, and shifted what you did so they felt better about it? This reaction is guilt in you, or blame coming from them. Ever experienced a guilt trip? The good news is that it is easy to release the guilt. Once the guilt is released, you can make your choice based on what is right for you. This is another way that Process Coaching can assist you. We can find what is bothering you and get to the heart of the matter. We use Judgment Release plus looking into what you really, really want with Exploring Core Desire. We do not need guilt to be loving humans, but to be loving to ourselves spreads out to all people that we touch.

(To be continued, next month, with How to Accept Our Loved Ones Choices.) For more information about Process Coaching, go to http://www.ProcessCoaching.com.

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Changing your way of eating…

January 24, 2009

The words I hear all the time when I suggest a change of diet are “It’s so hard!” When you think it is hard, it really is hard! I will come back to how we work with changing mind with PC. But even shifting perspectives or changing frames can help before the PC work begins.

I started with the title, “Changing your way of eating…” because I don’t really like to refer to it as a diet. When a diet is mentioned, it’s generally considered for weight loss. What I am talking about and encouraging is Optimal Health, so it’s more of a lifestyle change than a diet. But even a lifestyle change can be daunting to think of because it seems like your life could change in ways you’re not willing to change. For example, changing the way you eat can be quite tricky when eating out. I’m going to talk about a low fat raw vegan diet though it can apply for any change in diet. There are only two raw food restaurants currently open in the Seattle area, so as a raw foodist, if you want to eat out, you have to get creative! (The fact that low fat raw is harder to find on a raw food restaurant menu is another subject. I suggest the produce section!)

I learned from my favorite raw foodist experts, Roger Haeske, Dr. Douglas Graham and Frederic Patenaude, how to do this eloquently, so I’ll pass it on to you here. First, consider that eating out is more for the pleasure of company than the food. It is divine to be served and catered to when eating out. But really we eat out to enjoy the experience of eating out. It is the reason why so much effort and art are put into décor, ambience and presentation. So there are a couple things you can do to prepare for a dinner out.

Remember that it is your choice and you are the one that is making the decision to eat in a new way. The reasons can vary, even when life threatening in cases of cancer and disease, and even if recommended by your doctor, but it is ultimately your choice. So when people ask you if you “can” eat this or that, kindly let them know that you can eat whatever you want!  You are choosing to be more conscious of what you are putting into your body. 

Let them know that you can talk to them about the reasons you are changing your diet after the meal. It’s much more enjoyable to visit than talking about your diet for the __th time! Plus it can be received as a criticism of their own choices, especially if they are not happy with them.

Before you go out, prepare a favorite salad dressing and bring it in a small container that you can fit in your pocket or purse. You can let the server know that you are on a special diet and even ask them to put the dressing on the salad for you.

Eat a large amount of fruit before you get there. This can be as decadent as eating a fancy meal at a restaurant. When you satisfy your appetite before going out, your resistance against foods you no longer want to eat will be stronger.

Or bring your own fruit when eating out. Once again, let the server know that you are on a special diet and ask them to put the fruit on a plate for you. You can always call in advance and find out if it’s OK, in order to allay any fears or concerns that might come up. I have not been denied my requests yet. 

Prepare your own meal at home and invite guests to try your new fare.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve surprised and educated family and friends by eating the way I want to and inviting them to join me.

Another more expensive option is to order from a chef that delivers, although they also tend to be fatty (high in nuts, seeds, oils and avocado). There are all kinds of delivery services available, even raw meals.

These are just a few examples. I’m sure you can come up with more ideas! 

As far as the mind goes, you can either fight it or ask it to help.  There are a couple exercises in PC that we use to shift mind into helping gear: 

 

Judgment release helps a lot, as always. Is it really hard to change your diet? Try one thing at a time. You don’t have to do it all at once.

 

Asking the question, do you really, really really want what it is you are craving or feeling like you’re missing out on? Get to the Core Desire of what you want once you have that thing you think you want so much, before you eat it.

Talk to your Body! Direct Dialogue with Body is an excellent exercise. 


You have all the answers to your health questions. You might need a little practice to distinguish mind from body at first, but your body is talking to you all the time. Start listening. Eat one food at a time and see how your body responds. Remember that our bodies are generally severely out of balance. I am not talking about running after food cravings we know are not healthful! I’m talking about the stomachache after eating a meal!

 

Be patient. Body changes don’t happen overnight. Your current body form is the response and reflection of what you have been eating and how you have been exercising and loving your body. Be consistent with your new way of eating for at least 30 days, and even better, for 90 days to see your body remade.  

Be kind to yourself. When you slip up from eating in new ways, remember how long you’ve been eating in old ways!  Old patterns are only broken when they are finally broken!  You are the only one who can break your own old patterns, and they will pull you in until you do. Resist!  Every time you strengthen yourself in the direction of how you want to eat, you will find yourself even stronger to make other changes, and your Body will thank you. When the thought, “It’s too hard,” comes to mind, change your mind.

Self Love and Hurting the Ones We Love

December 29, 2008

It can seem very difficult to do what we want also because we are empathic beings. We have the awareness and often it is sentient (feeling) awareness that our loved ones feel pain by our choices.  Discovering what we want is the easy part when speaking directly to our core desire. The second part is to give our desire what she wants and follow through to help, and make it so. Then, we must allow others to have the feelings they have about our choices.

Sometimes just that you exist is enough to hurt another, but again it is not you who is causing the pain.  It seems like we are the cause because we are the triggers. But we are not the cause. The cause can be difficult to see when the feelings are in a state of denial from the past, so we blame the trigger.

Then we avoid doing what we want or hiding the facts that we have done what we want in the moment, even if it’s a mistake that we would like to rewrite if we could, rather than hurt another. So now we are truly hurting ourselves in shame, another facet of guilt and judgment. Because we are so enmeshed in our relationships with each other we find it difficult to differentiate between the trigger, the other person’s feelings and our own feelings.

In Process work we use Perceptual Positions to differentiate and follow feelings back to the source of self denial and pain, to get to the real matter at hand. We practice in retrospect until we can use the tools in the moment of a trigger.

The Perceptual Positions and Judgment Release make it easy to let go of bad “feelings” of guilt, shame and even blame. Compassion and love are able to come through and shine light on the situation.

The bigger picture is revealed and it can be seen that what is best for one person, allows each to find their right place without tip toeing around to please the other.

Selfish or Self-Love

November 10, 2008

Selfish or Self-love?

How many times have you been told that you are being selfish or told someone else that they are being selfish, as if it were a bad thing?

You might be thinking to yourself that is correct, but please stay with me.

What is selfish exactly? Is it that you are doing something wrong, or are you doing what’s right for you? “Selfish” is a judgment.  When you are selfish, you are doing something that another doesn’t want you to do. We are taught that we should serve others first, whether it is in a relationship, the family, or society. But what happens when we take care of others first? Is there anything left for ourselves to give? We get burned out. Who knows what you need or want most? Only you know and only you can fulfill yourself.  The funny thing is that, when you are fulfilled, you have so much more to give and more desire to give.  The urge to give when your cup is full is the expression of love, which is joy.  Gifts or service that come from this expression of love and joy are wonderful to accept and no one is depleted.  Gifts and service made out of guilt and self-judgment from a depleted source doesn’t feel good to anyone.

Self-love

It takes a little practice after being told for so long that you should do what’s right for the greater good. How do we differentiate between what we want and what we’ve been told for so long is right? Do you know what you want? Do you know what is right for you? One way is to ask the question, is it what I really, really want?

Or, if I have that, what do I want that is deeper and more meaningful? This is part of a tool of Process Coaching that we use to become clearer about what our desire is all the way down to what our True Core Desire is. Core Desires behind every need or want relate back to basic desire for Love, Acceptance, Freedom and Peace. Once we reach the Core Desire we ask Desire how we can help to make it possible and do what it takes.

Do What You Want to Do in the Moment

What would happen if everyone did what they really want?  It would be a very different reality here on Earth. How much more love would there be to give if we were full of it ourselves?  Would we stop to help a person in need out of love and compassion? Would we seek to assist a single mother or father to raise their children like a village would?  Would we treat others as wonderful reflections of ourselves?  Would we seek to harm another person, child or our self? Would we subject ourselves to working at jobs that compromise our beings?  It might be hard to imagine because we haven’t experienced it yet. But it’s a good time to make changes on Earth.  (More to come…)

How to Stop Cravings in 30 seconds

October 10, 2008

I read a great blog by Roger Haeske which is actually “How To Stop Cooked Food Cravings in 30 Seconds”, but as he mentions in the blog, this can be applied to any habitual thought pattern you want to change. I invite you to read this article and more from Roger. Roger Haeske’s Blog Here

Projection, Perception and Communication

September 21, 2008

Communication has been a tricky business because perception can be misunderstood as reality.

Now consider that there are as many realities as there are people. We have agreements to share larger realities such as the collective, global or cultural reality. We also have personal realities that overlap and can become quite confusing.

In Process Coaching we use the metaphor of the Movie to explain how this works.
http://processcoaching.com/movies.html

The story of the blind men and the elephant also illustrates this phenomenon quite well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant. There are a few versions of the story. What it comes down to is the fact that we often don’t see the whole picture, and our perception of reality is very personal, and often completely different from another’s.

Communication is the bridge and the challenge of relating to another’s reality. When we communicate we tend to forget that our version of the story is only part of the story (except to ourselves). As we navigate through our overlapping realities together, and we humans love to be around each other regardless of the complications, we get so caught up in our own version. We start to believe that our reality is all there is.

It is partly true.  For the individual it is true, but we live together and agree to reflect and play roles for each other so that we can experience more of who we are beyond our egos. To know ourselves completely, we hire people to mirror what we love and don’t love about ourselves. For what reason? To know ourselves completely and see what we cannot see. We continue to hire people until we realize who we are–that which we love and deny in ourselves which is reflected in others.

So communication is not only the means and the opportunity to bridge the different realities so that we can be with each other and know ourselves but also to share, relate and learn with each other. It can be trying at times, and at other times quite pleasurable. Even the most heated discussions or fights can be fun and enlightening if we remember that we each have our own version.

Communication is a skill that takes a lifetime of trial and error at different rates for all of us. Some people are more comfortable with the emotional and body aspect of communication. Others are more comfortable with the words and mind in communication. We have our habits and our patterns, our beliefs and our experiences to grapple with as well.

So how do we manage at all? The best we can. First, listen. Hear each other out, one at a time. Agree to disagree, but express what it feels like instead of blaming each other. No one is at fault, even in the worse cases. We really are doing the best we can with the tools we have. Find more tools and help if needed. If you walk away, give it time. And keep the bridges open for as long as possible to let in the possibility for love, the light of understanding and ultimately compassion, to come through.

Food and Emotions

August 1, 2008

Did you ever wonder why it has been difficult to change your diet? (If it hasn’t been difficult for you, consider yourself blessed!) No matter what we know to be the ideal way for us to eat, we still gravitate towards “comfort” foods and cravings.

It may seem the body is calling for these foods, especially with cravings, but our bodies are too out of balance to trust that cravings are right for us. Most of the time, it is the unconscious mind and unconscious body calling out for theses foods.

Most of us are emotional eaters and don’t realize it. We start to associate food with love at the first suckle as a baby. From there on out, especially in old parenting paradigms, with love comes food.

 

Food has been used for comfort and to pacify in many ways. For example, when the baby cries, we wonder first, is s/he hungry? What if we considered that the baby might just have something to say, with a very limited vocabulary? “I’m angry, I’m scared! Hold me!” Instead of letting them be and holding them we try to ….make…it…..stop!!!, as our own uncomfortable emotions are triggered.

 

The foods we call “comfort foods” and have cravings for relate back to early years when love = food. So what are your comfort foods and cravings? Trace them back…

 

Another aspect of food that creates warm fuzzy feelings is community. Of course we celebrate everything with food and drink! And celebration is a pretty common reason/excuse to “live it up!” and forget all attempts at conscious eating. So when you try to make changes, there is a lot to wrangle with. How can you create new comfort foods and new cravings?

My 12 year old daughter has not been a big fruit lover in her recent years, but loves the effect eating raw has had on me. So she says to me, “Mom, you eat raw and I’ll eat a little bit later, when I’m older.”

Now since there is a lot of fruit laying around and I’ve been weeding out other choices in my kitchen, she’s getting more of an appetite for fruit. The other day she asked me to make her a fruit plate, so I decided to appeal to her aesthetic eye. I made her a mandala of fruit, with chopsticks! She was so amazed at the beauty of the colors and design she happily ate it and asked for more.

So now I’m spending some time getting real creative to inspire her. She knows she’s got me because I’m so happy that she’s eating fruit. Even the fruit she doesn’t like, she appreciates for art’s sake (and saves them for me). Inside, I’m more than happy, I’m ecstatic because I know I’m creating some warm fuzzy fruit associations. Love and fruit!

I have a few fruit rituals, like cutting up 3-4 raw mangoes and eating them with pure delight and joy, eating a pile of bananas one after the other, eating stinky durian with my friend Nadja, eating a monster mixing bowl of salad with my daughter (the only way she wants it), and smuggling grapes into the movie theatre.

 

So while you’re shifting your ideas and beliefs about food that you can live without, create new rituals with the food that you consciously want on your plate. Before long you will have unconsciously replaced the old comfort foods and cravings with new ones, and eating what’s natural for your body will come naturally.

 

Excuse me while I lounge and have grapes fed to me, one…by…one…

 

(I’d love to hear about your fruity rituals!)

Unconditional Love for Body

June 17, 2008

 

“How do I love my body unconditionally when I don’t like the way it looks and feels?”

 

First of all, I want to mention that asking a question is the first step to healing, and to discovering that anything is possible.  All you have to do is ask how, why, what or when?

 

I begin by asking this particular question because it is a common question among clients of mine. It implies a couple things that are misunderstood again, in healing.

 

Your body is not a thing separate from your Self, it is the physical manifestation of who you are. You are much more vast than your body can hold at this time—but your body is a manifestation of the aspect of yourself that you are concerned with at this time and place. Take a moment and breathe into your feet, feel the seat beneath you, feel your eyes focus as you read the words on this page (yes you can feel your eyes focus, if you take notice).

 

The other misunderstanding is about unconditional love. Unconditional love it not forced love. There is nothing forceful about it. It is love allowed, it is acceptance. Unconditional love of your body is loving acceptance for your body, no matter what your body looks like or feels like.

 

So now the question is, how do we begin to love our bodies when we have been neglecting body for so long?

 

This is the same work we do to heal our lives and our emotions. Realize that your present body is a result of the love, care and attention you have given your body and your Self up to this moment. This includes the beliefs and judgments on body.

 

You can realize what those beliefs are very easily. We repeat the statements about our body quite often. “I am fat. I am out of shape. I haven’t exercised for months. I don’t have time to exercise. I don’t eat very healthy. Etc. I don’t like my body.” And we perpetuate these statements in the way we treat ourselves and the cycle continues. Now when I say “ourselves” I am including our bodies in that statement.

 

Accepting that the health and condition of your body is a result of what your beliefs and judgments are is easier to do knowing this.

 

But what about genetics? I’m ready for this question!  Genetics is about collective and ancestral beliefs. Have you noticed how easily we have accepted that we are going to have the same conditions of our ancestors? It is true that the chances have been higher—but what if we choose to follow in a different path than the path of our ancestors in this manner? Can we learn from their mistakes and do things different? Make new choices?

 

So the health and condition of our bodies is the result of beliefs and judgments of ourselves and of our ancestors beliefs and judgments.

 

What is important to consider here is this:  if my body is a result, what can I do to change the result? Start accepting that you have been doing the best you can. Start by treating your body knowing that you are creating your body anew. Change what you do with your new knowledge without beating yourself up for your past. As difficulties come up, because change can be difficult (harder than staying the same) and be compassionate to yourself. Watch, wait and see the changes. I love you Body, I love you, I love you, I love Me.

Pandora’s Box

June 15, 2008

When I have mentioned that I help people with emotional healing, I often see the reaction that it is Pandora’s Box that I am opening. It is a bit of a misunderstanding here, because of the misunderstanding of the work, and the emotions themselves.

 

It hasn’t been friendly to express the so-called “negative” emotions of fear, anger and grief. I have discussed these emotions in previous newsletters and how we create safety for these emotions, which are as much about human Being as the “positive” emotions of joy, passion and love.

 

One thing that helps the fear is recognizing the difference between trafficking in the future (which hasn’t happened yet) or excitement and guidance, true help for self in the moment.  Sometimes we fear that we are going to experience exactly what has happened in the past, which isn’t true. Just because something has happened in the past doesn’t mean it will happen again, unless we believe it will (or many people believe it will). This is when mind interferes with being in the moment.  Fear coming from intuitive guidance can be quite useful, and when listened to can keep us from taking a wrong turn or packing a raincoat (metaphorically and literally speaking).

It has also been the fear that we will have to re-live the traumas that have caused us to feel these emotions from our past. “Don’t look back!” Living in the past definitely does not help, but looking at the past to learn from it can also be quite useful.

 

The key point that I want to make here is that there is a big difference to re-living the past traumas and doing this work.  First we are bringing resources to parts of ourselves that did not have resources. Meaning, we the Healers are doing what it takes to help where there wasn’t ever before. We are further along in our healing and evolution than we ever have been. (The war, heartache and ails of humanity on Earth does not mean there is no hope for us—but that is a discussion for another newsletter.)

 

How can we help ourselves by visiting our past? When we realize that we are still reacting and responding to our past as if it were happening now, bringing the help to the child in us helps the cycle of reacting and re-traumatizing. In the body the past and the present are the same. It is only the mind that uses linear time to identify itself.

 

So it works. The child and adult self feel better and the patterns are changed—we are constantly learning.

 

The part of the story of Pandora’s Box that I like to remind you of is that Hope was not released to wreak havoc on humanity, but remained in the box (actually a jar), for there is always hope to heal.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandora%27s_Box

 

 

 

Intent

April 20, 2008

While preparing for my upcoming yoga and Process Coaching workshops I really felt at home in myself, knowing that right now, I am doing exactly what I want to be doing!  My mentor, John Pateros and my other fellow Process Coaches and Teachers were on a conference call talking about why this work is important to us as individuals and what do we want to learn or get out of teaching this work. This is how we decide which tools to focus on for each class in the series. Since I’m so passionate about this work I thought I would take this time to share this with you. Because this is the reason I have taken this work outside of myself to you.

 

In the beginning of my journey I sought to know myself. I wasn’t aware of this at the time. At the start of being aware of myself, it seemed as if there would be no end to the work to be done (and there isn’t—but wouldn’t that be boring if there was?). It seemed like a hopeless, uphill battle with myself and my world. I was coming out of being quite existentialist actually and felt much gloom and doom around me.

 

The first flicker of awareness in me was hope. That hope sparked in me a desire to seek out more than what had been presented to me in my life. So I ventured to ask questions and became a seeker. Since then I have been seeking, but for what? I did not know that it was for myself that I was seeking. But I had begun the quest. 

 

I love to read so books so I devoured many books from many religions and philosophies, science, fiction and biographies. As I sorted it out, I kept an open mind and began a sort of collection of what works resonated within me the most.

 

What I was seeking of myself, was the feminine in me.  Not as in female or woman, but the feminine in everything. Not to deny or undermine the masculine—but to find balance between the two. The feminine as in emotions and feelings, desire, passion, movement, sexuality and sensuality, honored as part of humanity—rather than a sort of bane of humanity.

 

I’ve wavered off the path I set out for myself time to time, been lost in the bushes or at a picnic, wavered on what seemed to be a cliff’s edge here and there, wandered over in wonder at a flower or followed the trail of a butterfly, fell in a couple of ditches, brushed myself off and returned to the path, countless times. Ultimately I return. It is my own path and it is my individual choices that I have made along the way, and with this work I’ve become more compassionate and loving to the choices I have made. I have become more compassionate and loving of others than I dreamed of being possible with my formerly existentialist outlook. I was afraid of what I would find—and found myself.

 

And now I get to share that with my friends, family and students, clients, or anyone willing to listen and learn, to explore themselves and their own paths to themselves—if they wish to do so. We grow individually and come back together, to be more true to ourselves and full of life.

 

Namaste, I honor you as I honor myself. Thank you for opening up to the possibility to explore new ways of being.


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