Monthly Archives: August 2017

What Has Been the Most Important Lesson You’ve Learned on Your Healing Journey?

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I recently had a client ask me about the most important lesson I've learned on my journey to reclaiming body love and healing my eating disorder. This was a tough one that I had to give some thought. 

But what it came down to was this: my journey to developing an eating disorder started when I found out I had endometriosis and couldn't have children. Thus, my eating disorder was a form of self-punishment. I developed an eating disorder, in part, because I blamed myself for my infertility. Because I blamed myself, I didn't see myself as a loveable person so I wasn't taking care of myself or my body. In today's podcast, I walk you through the biggest lesson I've learned and the steps I took to start loving and taking care of me again. I hope it serves you.

 

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Sticky Note Challenge!

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Yellow  leaf of a reminder on a white background

In honor of September, my birthday month, I always like to do something for you to give back. This year, I'm doing 2 things:

  1. I am bringing back the sticky note challenge
  2. I am hosting The Well-Nourished Goddess Online Event

Why? Because the most frequent questions I get asked are: 1) how do you learn to love and accept yourself, and 2) how do you make time for yourself in your busy day so that you don't feel stressed/overwhelmed/exhausted/depleted and can actually show up for your loved ones from a place of love and gratitude rather than bitterness and resentment? The sticky note challenge should help with the former and the telesummit, the latter of those two.

One of the first things I started doing on my journey back to self-love and body love was the sticky note challenge. Will it solve all of your problems? No. But these simple little sticky notes will make a huge difference.

Have you ever heard of Operation Beautiful? The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous notes in public places for other people to find – notes that would brighten their day. Something like, “You are Beautiful.”

I want to use this idea to create sticky notes for ourselves. Why? Because brain science research indicates that negative messages are perceived as 5 times more powerful than positive ones by our brains. So we need to surround ourselves with positivity to survive day-to-day life!

For the next month, I challenge you to make a different sticky note each day. Ideally you would make several sticky notes that contain that phrase each day and put them places where you (and others) will see them. Places like your wallet, purse, office cubicle, stairwell, bathroom, a random aisle at Walmart, etc. As a psychologist, I know that the more we see certain messages, the more we start to believe them. So these notes will have a dual purpose: they’ll help you feel better about yourself and they will help others feel better about themselves as well.

Here are the rules:

  1. head over to my Facebook page or my Well-Nourished Goddess free Facebook group to find the sticky note of the day or just look on the blog under the Category Goddess Inspirations or the September 2016 archive (feel free to create your own inspirational messages if what I posted doesn't resonate with you)
  2. write out your own sticky note and put it where you can see it during the day 
  3. write out sticky notes for others and let them be surprised when they find them, and
  4. take a picture of your sticky notes and share them on social media with the hashtag #stickynotechallenge

I love sticky note month!

Explore Your Passion and Purpose and Reclaim Body Love

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Reclaiming Body Love can sometimes feel overwhelming. I get that. A listener recently asked me to share my top 3 tips/things I needed to do to reclaim body love. This was challenging, but I managed to narrow it down to three!

  1. I had to stop the comparison game – for me, this meant enacting a media ban and shying away from people and situations that I knew would trigger me for a while. I also had to replace my negative self-talk with positive self-talk.
  2. I had to focus on why I am here – big picture Life Purpose stuff – rather than on the things I didn't like about myself or my body.
  3. I had to learn to love and accept all of me for who I was.

 

In today's podcast, I walk you through all three of these steps. If you want help on #2, I invite you to join my 5-Day Explore Your Passion and Purpose challenge. You can join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheWellNourishedGoddess/ 

Stay tuned for more on #3 next week!

 

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Finding Your Passion and Purpose

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I recently surveyed my Facebook group and email list and asked them what they were struggling most with. The number one answer was finding their passion and purpose. It’s a big question; one that stumps many of us for a few reasons:

  1.  We are often told in childhood what other people think our purpose should be and we head off down a path that may not be our true purpose – for example, my father wanted me to be a judge, so I did a brief stint in law school while I was working on my PhD (I quickly decided law school was not for me). My mother, on the other hand, wanted me to be an artist. I ended up being a Psychologist, which surprised both of my parents!
  2. We often face societal expectations about what is or is not appropriate for us based on our gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or other labeling – For example, I learned that women should be pretty, know how to waltz, host a dinner party, and raise the kids. I also was told that, as a post-sexual revolution woman, I could do anything I set my mind to as long as I worked hard enough for it. I know a number of women who were raised with these dual expectations (you can be a great mother and a great President and do it all with a smile!). Unfortunately, I think these dual expectations led to a generation of women who felt “not enough” if they couldn’t manage to do it all (and who can really do it “all”, let alone do it all “perfectly” anyway?). In my 20s and 30s, I had the success at work part down, but often felt “not enough” when people learned that I didn’t have children and, in fact, couldn’t have them. It was though I felt I had to work harder to make up for my infertility (it makes no sense on the surface, but, subconsciously, that’s exactly what I did – pushed myself at work harder and harder until I dropped.)
  3. We think that once we find our true Purpose and live it, we’re done and everything will always work out as we want it to. – I firmly believe that we all have a Purpose, one thing that we were meant to do. However, I don’t believe that: 1) our destiny is set in stone, or 2) our Purpose won’t ever shift. We are not static be-ings, and life isn’t perfect. I think if we set up expectations on the notion that once we find our true Purpose, we will never have another problem, then we are setting ourselves up for failure. That might seem harsh, but hear me out. I see too many women (and men) who are searching for that one thing that is going to make them happy/ successful/ rich/ finally feel like they have “arrived.” They invest so much time and money into programs/ certifications/ advice from gurus hoping someone will tell them what to do and that this program/ certificate/ advice will be the one key that will unlock their door to happiness/ success/ wealth/ etc. I’m not saying that there aren’t some great programs out there and great coaches  (I, for one, love coaching my clients!). There absolutely are and maybe you do need help to get to where you want to go. But here’s the deal: it has to be where YOU want to go, not where someone else told you that you need to go to “make it.” If you follow in someone else’s footsteps and use their “formula for success/happiness/wealth/etc.”, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t work out the way you hoped it would for you. Why? Because it has to feel like you; it has to resonate with you; it has to be in alignment with your Purpose, not theirs. If it does, awesome. Go for it! But if it doesn’t, maybe you should spend some time checking in with you on what you really want (more on this in the last paragraph)…

I think Meagan Ruppert put it best when she said: 

Translation: I can’t tell you what your true purpose is, but you can. You asked for my help in finding your passion and purpose, in knowing what is truly in alignment with your Soul's calling, and I will help you. I invite you to join my Facebook group and take my 5-Day Explore Your Passion and Purpose challenge. This is 5 days of reflection prompts, Facebook lives, and support from your Sisters on your path. Will we solve the world’s problems in 5 days? Probably not. But, you will likely gain more clarity on what it is that you are meant to do right here and right now. You’ll have my support and the support of your Sisters in finding what it is you need to make your goals happen. Then, I encourage you to re-do this challenge at least once a year, if not once a quarter, because, life happens, circumstances change, and as you evolve and grow, your Passion and Purpose usually grow with you. You can do this. We are here to help. Join us for the 5-Day Explore Your Passion and Purpose Challenge here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheWellNourishedGoddess/

Don’t Mess with My Imperfection

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I was talking with a client the other day who was struggling with moving forward on a big project at work. Why? 1) She was afraid she'd somehow “mess it up,” and 2) she was afraid that people would then judge her for her “imperfect” product.

As my business coach likes to tell me, “Imperfect action is better than no action.” I think this advice can be applied to reclaiming body love as well. Sometimes our inner critic takes over and prevents us from moving forward.

In today's podcast, I talk about what to do when your inner perfectionist is getting in the way of you taking forward action. I hope it serves you!

 

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What Do You Really and Truly Want? (Reflection Questions Inside)

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I posted a question on a survey to my tribe recently that asked “What do you really and truly want?” A surprising number of women wrote back, “I wish I only knew…”

As I write this, we are in between two eclipses – a powerful lunar eclipse on August 7 and a powerful upcoming solar eclipse on August 21. I can't tell you the number of women who have shared their feelings of being unsettled, unnerved, feeling lost or stuck and not knowing what to do over the past few weeks. It seems as though we are having a collective crisis of faith – in our country, in our world, and in ourselves. That can be a very scary feeling. I know because I've been feeling it too. Even if you're not into astrology and have no idea what phase the moon is in or which planets are in retrograde, I know that some of this collective crisis of faith/ sense of struggle does have to do with the energies of the eclipses – I think we're all feeling it, even if were not consciously aware that these things are happening in our world right now. We are energy: thus, energy affects us, and eclipses, in particular, tend to highlight for us things that might have been in shadow before now.

Of course, the real question is: how do we navigate through this time of uncertainty? I have two things for you today: 1) a set of reflection questions to help you gain clarity on whatever you are struggling with, and 2) a video on how to move your energy level/vibration when you're having one of these feelings. I hope it serves you.

Reflection Questions:

1) What are you rebelling against or resisting? In other words, what's really irking you right now? Why? Dive deep here and keep writing until you can't write anymore on this one. The deeper you dive, the more clarity you will receive. So don't sell yourself short.

2) What is your big vision? What do you here to do? It's okay if you don't know (some of these feelings of being stuck or lost that my clients have been coming to me for over the past few weeks involve these very questions) – don't beat yourself up about it. Just pose the question and allow Universe to show you the answer in the coming weeks. Breathe and be open to receive.

3) If you do know your big vision, what have you been doing about it? Again, this is not an opportunity to beat yourself up if the answer is nothing. It's an opportunity for you to reevaluate and perhaps, in the moments in between, give yourself time to vision a little more or work on making it a reality. It's also an opportunity for you to ask the question: where I've been holding myself back or self-sabotaging? Again, there's no blame or shame here. It's more of a process of inquiry.

4) How have you been taking care of you lately? It's very difficult for us to gain clarity on anything if we are not taking care of ourselves. Again, use a lot of self-compassion for this one. If you feel like you haven't been putting you first or taking good care of you, now is the time to reevaluate how you can make yourself a priority in your own life. (If you're not sure where to start, and you haven't checked out my new free gift The Well-Nourished Goddess Starter Kit, you can claim yours here.)

5) What's your energy level or your vibration right now? Are you feeling good and positive about things – even in the areas in which you are struggling? Are you feeling negative and a sense of despair or gloom? In today's video, I talk about what to do if the answer is closer to the latter than the former. The bottom line is this: it's difficult for the Universe to give us what we want if we don't think it's possible.

6) If you're feeling like, “Well this is great Dr. Mary, but I don't have time to work on any of it,” then answer this question: What are you saying yes to that you really want to be saying no to? How can you set better boundaries around this particular issue to free up a little more time for you to work on what actually is important to you? (See last week’s blog if you need help.)

In sum, if you're struggling right now, know that you are not alone. A lot of us are feeling the same basic sense of uncertainty or feeling unsettled. And that's okay. Not everything is going to be solved today. Rather, I invite you to feel into these feelings with a sense of inquiry and use what you find there as motivation to take forward action that is in alignment with where your Soul is calling to you. It's time to step up and do the work so you can move forward in positive ways in your life.

 

Why Paying It Forward Can Be An Important Tool on Your Healing Journey

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Some days life is going great; and some days you feel like a fraud/feel like you've taken 20 giant steps back/wish you could crawl back in bed. I get it. I've been there.

One of the things I used to do (and still do today because I love doing it) when I was having one of those days/weeks/months was to pay it forward. Each day I would do one thing nice for another woman to help increase her Body Love. Some days I would give a compliment to every woman I saw. Some days I would leave sticky notes with Body Love messages on them in random places in my workplace. Some days I would just give a big smile to everyone. What I noticed was this: not only did I brighten other people’s days, but I felt really good about me. What a great way to reinforce your Body Love! It’s time to pay it forward!

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Setting Healthy Boundaries

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It was 7pm on a Sunday night. My phone vibrated. I was in the middle of a guided meditation I was listening to on my phone, and yes, I stopped meditating and looked at my phone because it startled me. I saw it was a text and finished my meditation before I read it (believe me when I tell you that there was a day not too long ago when I would have stopped my meditation and responded to that text immediately, so I have actually come a long way!). 

After meditating, I read the text. It was from a former student who wanted my feedback right then on a personal statement she was writing. At one point in my life, I would have dropped everything and spent an hour of my Sunday evening off reading and rewriting something for a student. But I stopped that behavior a few years ago. Why? Because that kind of behavior left me depleted and exhausted. Because that kind of behavior also left me feeling resentful toward whoever was asking me to work in my “off hours” and angry at myself for being a people pleaser and yes woman (more on that in today’s video). Because that kind of behavior ultimately made it difficult for me to show up and be of service at all.

I had a big aha moment around setting healthy boundaries seven or eight years ago. My then boss and I were madly emailing back and forth working on the logistics of a job offer we were going to make a candidate we didn't want to lose to another employer. The catch? It was Christmas Day. Yes, I spent hours on Christmas Day helping my boss write an email offer to a candidate. My then husband asked me why I was working so much on Christmas. I gave him the same excuse my boss kept telling me – that we didn't want to lose this candidate. He pointed out that it was unlikely she'd be checking her email on Christmas or that she'd get another job offer until after the holiday break anyway. I'd love to tell you that he was right… but that candidate was checking her email and accepted our offer… on Christmas Day. (As my boss said, she fit right in!)

The absurdity of the situation didn't really strike me until a couple of weeks later when my boss was bragging in a meeting at work about how we snagged our best candidate on Christmas Day. One of my colleagues commented that it was inappropriate to be emailing an offer on Christmas and interrupting our candidate's holiday with her family. My boss told her that it was okay as she didn't have children. I sat there and wondered why having children gave you a permission slip to actually take Christmas off when my plans with my family (although with no children) didn't qualify.

I would love to be able to tell to that you that things changed forever for me on that day and that I became an expert at setting healthy boundaries at work and with loved ones overnight. But, like much of life, learning to set healthy boundaries was a journey and is still a work in progress for me. In today's video, I share the key pieces involved in learning to set healthy boundaries. I hope they serve you and help you learn to set healthy boundaries for yourself. 

Planning For Those Moments When Life Takes You Off Track

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I wish I could tell you that once you've healed – whatever the struggle may be – that you'll never have problems again. That everything will always be rainbows and puppy dogs and butterflies. But, let's face it. Life happens. Your mother-in-law comes to town, your boss makes you work overtime to get a big project done, the holidays send you into a tailspin. 

I can't prevent life from happening any more than you can. But what I can help you do is make a plan for when life happens. I can help you figure out what your triggers are and what to do when you: 1) know they are about to occur, and/or 2) they've already happened. You can do this. I've got your back. In today's podcast, I walk you through this process. I hope it serves you. Much love!

 

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