Posts Tagged ‘compassion’

How to Thrive Eating Differently Than the People Around You and in the Fast Food Culture We Live In (Part One)

July 22, 2009
You’ll notice when you change your diet, one of the challenges that comes up very quickly is the social aspect of eating. We are social creatures and most of our social gatherings revolve around food. Of course, we have to eat wherever we go!
I’ve been a vegetarian for 19 years now, so I’ve been experimenting with this a lot. However, this article is not going to be about eating vegetarian. It’s going to be about eating differently than the people in your life, wherever you go, regardless of what you are choosing to eat. Most of my examples however, will be vegan or low fat raw vegan.
Choice
We often forget this:what we put into our bodies is absolutely, as adults, our individual choice. I am often asked, “Is it OK for you to eat (fill in the blank)?” My response to this question is, “I can eat whatever I want!” Whatever I eat or do not eat is based on what diets or lifestyles (I consider yoga, vegetarian, raw foodist, etc., lifestyles rather than diets) I’m exploring. So here is another reminder for you: Different diets are not dogmas! Anytime you create a dogma for yourself, your whole being will resist and/or feel deprived.  Use the diet as a guideline, and feel what your body feels when you make changes. I find it useful to track the changes in writing so I can look back. When you start feeling good, you forget how you felt when you were eating the foods you don’t eat anymore.
I’ve definitely kept my family on their toes with all my dietary changes and experimenting over the years. But I do not feel deprived because I’m choosing foods that are healthy for my body. What is loving to remember, is that they also have a choice. So I don’t get up on my soap box and preach about what I eat. I’ve had to teach my daughter to be compassionate about others’ choices about eating meat. She hasn’t eaten meat her whole life, so to her it was a shock when people would “eat her friends.” To her, meat is not food! Most of our loved ones do eat meat, and we often eat together, so I had to quickly teach her not to exclaim, “Disgusting!” Rather, we explain why we don’t eat meat.
Defense
You don’t have to defend your choice to anyone, but it does help them to be compassionate with you. But first you have to be comfortable with it and compassionate with yourself.  Why are you eating the way you are?  Are you eating that way because someone told you to? Or is it because of something you learned? Educating yourself is the best defense if you want to have that conversation. But you don’t even have to have that conversation. Most of the questions I get are based on old food education (Basic 4 food groups or the food pyramid) or the media. The most common question I get is, “Where do you get your protein?”
Generally, if someone is asking questions, they are more open to discussing new ways, so this can be an invitation for learning. However, if someone is eating unconsciously, you might trigger some guilt they have about what they are eating.  Dr. Douglas Graham suggests a couple things you can say when you are asked about your way of eating during a meal: 1) Let the person know that you would love to talk to them after the meal. 2) Tell them a doctor prescribed the diet for you.  I generally will answer questions because it’s a subject that I love to discuss. But sometimes I would rather discuss other things!  It can be quite fascinating to people when you only eat raw fruits and vegetables, so it’s a hot topic!
Judgment
If you are having a hard time, or finding yourself defensive or upset, the easiest way to work with it is, as always, with yourself. This can go both ways. You can become angry that you are being judged or attacked (which could mean that you believe what they are saying to you on some level), or you may feel angry or upset about the way they are eating (which could mean you are angry or upset about the way you are treating yourself, generally speaking.) To break from this pattern, when you start to feel these feelings, allow them to be just as they are.  To do that, pause and reflect before you react. If you need to step away from the situation triggering you, do that. Imagine a small child is feeling the feelings and be receptive and loving to the part of you that is upset and angry.  If it is an emergency, you can imagine you’re holding the child and say, “I love you” over and over. If you have more time, ask “What is the judgment?” and follow these steps. Judgment Release Practice.
Next month: Part 2: Practical Food Ideas for Social Situations

You’ll notice when you change your diet, one of the challenges that comes up very quickly is the social aspect of eating. We are social creatures and most of our social gatherings revolve around food. Of course, we have to eat wherever we go!

I’ve been a vegetarian for 19 years now, so I’ve been experimenting with this a lot. However, this article is not going to be about eating vegetarian. It’s going to be about eating differently than the people in your life, wherever you go, regardless of what you are choosing to eat. Most of my examples however, will be vegan or low fat raw vegan, which is how I eat presently.

Choice

We often forget this: what we put into our bodies is absolutely, as adults, our individual choice. I am often asked, “Is it OK for you to eat (fill in the blank)?” My response to this question is, “I can eat whatever I want!” Whatever I eat or do not eat is based on what diets or lifestyles (I consider yoga, vegetarian, raw foodist, etc., lifestyles rather than diets) I’m exploring. So here is another reminder for you: Different diets are not dogmas! Anytime you create a dogma for yourself, your whole being will resist and/or feel deprived.  Use the diet as a guideline, and feel what your body feels when you make changes. I find it useful to track the changes in writing so I can look back. When you start feeling good, you forget how you felt when you were eating the foods you don’t eat anymore.

I’ve definitely kept my family on their toes with all my dietary changes and experimenting over the years. But I do not feel deprived because I’m choosing foods that are healthy for my body. What is loving to remember, is that they also have a choice. So I don’t get up on my soap box and preach about what I eat. I’ve had to teach my daughter to be compassionate about others’ choices about eating meat. She hasn’t eaten meat her whole life, so to her it was a shock when people would “eat her friends.” To her, meat is not food! Most of our loved ones do eat meat, and we often eat together, so I had to quickly teach her not to exclaim, “Disgusting!” Rather, we explain why we don’t eat meat.

Defense

You don’t have to defend your choice to anyone, but it does help them to be compassionate with you. But first you have to be comfortable with it and compassionate with yourself.  Why are you eating the way you are?  Are you eating that way because someone told you to? Or is it because of something you learned? Educating yourself is the best defense if you want to have that conversation. But you don’t even have to have that conversation. Most of the questions I get are based on old food education (Basic 4 food groups or the food pyramid) or the media. The most common question I get is, “Where do you get your protein?”

Generally, if someone is asking questions, they are more open to discussing new ways, so this can be an invitation for learning. However, if someone is eating unconsciously, you might trigger some guilt they have about what they are eating.  Dr. Douglas Graham suggests a couple things you can say when you are asked about your way of eating during a meal: 1) Let the person know that you would love to talk to them after the meal. 2) Tell them a doctor prescribed the diet for you.  I generally will answer questions because it’s a subject that I love to discuss. But sometimes I would rather discuss other things!  It can be quite fascinating to people when you only eat raw fruits and vegetables, so it’s a hot topic!

Judgment

If you are having a hard time, or finding yourself defensive or upset, the easiest way to work with it is, as always, with yourself. This can go both ways. You can become angry that you are being judged or attacked (which could mean that you believe what they are saying to you on some level), or you may feel angry or upset about the way they are eating (which could mean you are angry or upset about the way you are treating yourself, generally speaking.) To break from this pattern, when you start to feel these feelings, allow them to be just as they are.  To do that, pause and reflect before you react. If you need to step away from the situation triggering you, do that. Imagine a small child is feeling the feelings and be receptive and loving to the part of you that is upset and angry.  If it is an emergency, you can imagine you’re holding the child and say, “I love you” over and over. If you have more time, feel the feeling,  ask “What is the judgment?” and follow these steps. Judgment Release Practice.

Next month: Part 2: Practical Food Ideas for Social Situations

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How to Accept Our Loved One’s Choices

March 31, 2009

Often times we are going about fine, OK or we think “I shouldn’t complain, should I?” But when we look at others’ lives we really get set off.  We get angry or hurt and just plain “can’t understand” why they do what they do. Why do they hurt me? What did I do to deserve this?

Of course we often cannot understand absolutely what another’s choices are. But we can have compassion for them and listen to their reasoning or understanding  and begin to understand their choices by looking from their perspective.  But even with all the tools of compassion and understanding, what is most important is not why or what anyone has done, but how we feel about it.

We cannot change anyone. We often cannot get our loved ones to do what we want, but we are not meant to do that. All we can do is work with how we feel about it. It is a learning process for some to know what they are truly feeling in the moment. Often we are triggered into an earlier experience that is unresolved or there are beliefs and judgments confusing what we really feel. Unraveling or Releasing the Judgments takes the discomfort off of the emotions. The past trauma causing triggered emotions to resurface in the present isn’t even as important as the feeling that is coming up. The feeling needs to be loved and accepted just the way it is.

So another’s choice bothering us is actually an opportunity to bring support to feelings and parts of ourselves that we have never been able to accept or support until now. Learning to accept and support the feeling is loving the feeling and loving ourselves.

When we follow the feeling to find what is needed to support it and bring love to it, we can allow our loved ones to make the choices right for them and they will learn to do the same for us.
www.cathybreshears.com
www.processcoaching.com/cathy

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…)


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