Your weekly meditation: You Owe it to Yourself to Embrace All of You

You owe it to yourself to embrace all of you.

While we may not necessarily enjoy the moments when we are feeling grief, anger, irritation, unforgiveness, or other so-called “negative” emotions, the truth is that every single human being on the planet feels these things too, and often on a regular basis. So we are in good company all the time, no matter what we are feeling! Furthermore, these experiences, like everything life offers us, will be what we make of them – but only if we learn to embrace them first, and then act on them. We owe it to ourselves to hear ourselves out, no matter what the message is. We owe it to ourselves to embrace all of who we are now on the road to becoming all of who we dream of being.

This week I resolve to: Embrace all of my thoughts, feelings, and emotions as love letters from me to me – messages giving me valuable information I can use to make the most of the chance I have right now to live the life I dream of living.

Your Weekly Meditation: Connection is Critical

Connection is critical.

When we think of connection, what often comes to mind is a busy career or social schedule, engaging in hobbies or volunteer work with others, finding a romantic partner, starting a family, and other types of social-focused activities or experiences. But the connection we are truly seeking in life can happen anytime, whether we are in the crowd or all alone. When we remember that we are all in this life together, when we remind ourselves that we all experience joy, sorrow, pain, loneliness, and hope, we connect to the shared experience of being human, and we can no longer justify hiding in isolation, or believing that nobody around us could understand what we are going through.

NOTE: Interestingly, when we do this regularly, we also often find that our self-esteem and satisfaction with our life just as it is improves as well!

This week I resolve to: Spend a few moments each morning connecting within myself to the shared experience of being human that is going on within and all around me, and reminding myself of that unbreakable connection.

Your Weekly Meditation: Being a Work-in-Progress is Underrated

Being a work-in-progress is underrated.

Mother Teresa struggled with depression for most of her life and ministry, often wondering whether God even existed. Princess Diana struggled with an eating disorder even as she visited families suffering from AIDS. There are many more stories where those came from – of imperfectly great human beings reaching beyond their own insecurities, inadequacies, and limitations to stay connected and offer what they could to participate in the world we all share. You are the same. We are all the same. In little and small ways, as we live our work-in-progress lives, hurt is healed, anxiety eased, hope rekindled, and progress made.

This week I resolve to: appreciate myself for the work-in-progress that I am.

Your Weekly Meditation: There is Always a Moment of Pure Innocence

There is always a moment of pure innocence.

Sometimes we do things or say things that we regret. Sometimes we don’t say things or do things that we wish we had said or done. We are not going to live perfectly – nor will anyone else around us live perfectly. But we can always find that moment of our own innocence. We can know that we are doing the very best that we can do in that moment as we live. We can learn from less-than-perfect experiences and carry that wisdom forward with us. We learn to forgive. We learn to embrace the present moment. We learn to love. We truly learn to live through our moments of imperfect innocence.

This week I resolve to: find my moment of innocence when anxiety, pain, fear, anger, regret, or loneliness lets me know I am judging myself for any action or decision I can no longer change.

Your Weekly Meditation: We Are All Mothers

We are all mothers.

As Mother’s Day approaches this Sunday, we can contemplate our relationship with our own mothers, but also all of the important connections we maintain, and the critical role our relationships play in easing not only our own loneliness and uncertainty, but that of others as well. In this way, we are all mothers. Seldom do we give our presence in this world the credit and appreciation it deserves. We matter. Our simple presence can heal hearts, inspire hope, and uplift others….and ourselves.

This week I resolve to: send some appreciation my way. Buy myself flowers. And chocolates. Go out in nature or watch a favorite film. Call someone I love just to tell them I love them….then do the same for myself.

Weekly Meditation: Emotions Are Always a Sign That I Need My Own Attention

Emotions are always a sign that I need my own attention.

We may think we want more attention from our spouse, more recognition at work, more visibility in our community, or more attention from our families. But what we always and ultimately are craving as we project these desires outward is our own attention. When we get too far away from ourselves, our own emotions let us know when and how to find our way back. Like a flesh wound that signals a need for care, emotions like sadness, fear, rage, joy, and peace, beg us to return home to share the experience, learn, and grow with ourselves.

This week I resolve to: notice my emotions and return home to myself to experience them with myself, learn, and grow.

Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Fat Talk Free®Week – A Message of Hope for All of Us!

Many women I speak with each week about disordered eating, body image, and eating disorders are mothers. Or daughters. Or sisters. Or best friends. Or all of the above.

Each woman is grappling with her own perceptions of the obstacles that stand between her and feeling at home in her own skin. I notice that most are also concerned with how their inability to do so may be affecting those whom they love most – their mothers, their sisters, their daughters, their best friends.

While any lasting, worthwhile change usually cannot occur overnight, and may take weeks, months, or even years to fully bear fruit, there are efforts going on right now to ensure that the legacy we leave for each other and for future generations treads more kindly on our perception of our body’s unique and worthwhile beauty, just as it is.

That is not to say that we can’t all do our part to learn how to take the very best care we can of our physical body, one step at a time, and many women who come to Southlake Counseling come because they want to do just that. But this movement takes us beyond our individual efforts and into a societal shift that will make this process easier – and more fun – for all of us.

Take “Strong is the New Thin,” for instance. This is a Facebook-based movement that repositions physical health and strength as an admirable, desirable goal.

Or the emerging “real women” and “authentic women” monikers, meant to denote a woman who is beautiful in her outside-the-thin-box skin.

One of my personal favorites is “Fat Talk Free® Week,” an annual week-long event spearheaded by a partnership between the team that wrote the Reflections: Body Image Curriculum and Tri-Delta Sorority.

The event began a few years ago as a way to promote the curriculum’s scientifically-measurable ability to boost body esteem among sorority women. Now it has caught on at a national level, moving its social media and promotion headquarters to Facebook and digging in its heels to reach out to women of all ages, shapes, and sizes with a message that it is not okay to say no to your own unique beauty.

Fat Talk Free® Week is coming up again this year October 18-22, 2010, and I want to encourage all of you to be a part. You don’t need to wear anything special, buy anything special, or do anything special – other than cutting out all “fat talk” from your life for one short week, and encouraging others you care about to do the same.

Part of saying YES to life is saying NO to the things – and the words – that keep your spirit, mind, and heart feeling small, stuck, and discouraged. “Fat talk,” as I often mention privately to individuals who come to me for counseling support, is a short, straight road to low body- and self-esteem, which then leads to depression, discouragement, and repetition of the same disordered eating thoughts and behaviors we are working so hard to overcome.

So for one week, let us practice saying YES to life together by cutting out “fat talk” from our vocabularies. We can start by finding other ways to compliment our female (and male!) friends and family members. Instead of complimenting them in body-based ways, we can spend an extra moment to think of something else nice to say.

In this way, we can make a commitment to moderate the thoughts in our heads before they emerge from our tongues as words, asking ourselves, “is it kind to me? is it kind to others?” before we speak.

We can also make it a practice to journal out a few short notes at the end of each day of Fat Talk Free® Week, asking ourselves how we are feeling about our bodies and ourselves after abstaining from esteem-damaging fat talk over the past several hours. Do we feel more hopeful? More secure? More self-loving? More inclusive and accepting of others?

And if we like what a week of conversation with no references to “I really shouldn’t eat that” or “Thanks for the compliment but I think this blouse makes me look lumpy,” then we can choose to keep it going!

So as we embark upon this week-long adventure together, I would love to hear your experiences of Fat Talk Free® Week – and please feel welcome to share them day by day by posting your comments here!

Remember, saying YES to life starts by saying NO to those things that would keep us from the fullness of recovery, health, and wellness that we dream of. If we can dream it, we can do it – now all that is left is to say YES to it and begin. If you need extra support to be able to say YES out loud and “go for it” to build the healthy, wonderful life you are dreaming of, contact us at www.southlakecounseling.com today. We look forward to helping you reach for and achieve all of your recovery, health, and wellness dreams!

Be Well,

Kimberly

Wednesday’s Weekly Inspiration: Nourishing Friendship is Closer to Home Than I Might Think!

We expend so much time and energy worrying about our friendships with others. As women, we are especially programmed to fine-tune our emotional radar to pick up on others’ frequencies – are they happy ? Do they like us? Do we show them enough that we care?

But how much time each day do you spend asking yourself the same questions about your relationship with yourself? Do you make sure you have your own back during challenging times? Have you cultivated the ability to work a room, endure conflict, enjoy a hug, or host a dinner party standing by your own side like the good and supportive friend that you are?

If not, then today is a great day to start!

Today’s affirmation: Today, I value and cultivate my own friendship.

© Kimberly Krueger- Meditations for Recovery

Wednesday’s Weekly Inspiration: A Promise Is As A Promise Does

We probably wouldn’t dream of breaking even the tiniest promise we make to our child, our spouse, or our best friend. We know how much it would hurt them – the pain it would cause when our words say one thing about how much they matter to us, but then our actions show them another.

Yet we often think nothing of breaking promises to ourselves – the little promises like “I will take more me-time when I need it” and the big promises like “I will take better care of my body so I can grow old with my loved ones.”  We honor those we love by keeping our promises to them.

Isn’t it about time we show ourselves the same honor and respect?

Today’s affirmation

Today, I will honor and respect myself by keeping the promises I make to myself.

© Kimberly Krueger- Meditations for Recovery

Wednesday’s Weekly Inspiration: Defining and Experiencing “Beauty” is Up to Me

We have all heard the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

But how many of us have spent any time trying to figure out what image of beauty is in the beholder’s eye?

If we look at ourselves and attempt to fit the unique portrait of beauty that we present into a cookie-cutter image in our mind’s eye, we miss perceiving the truly unique beauty we actually possess!

So before we can behold beauty, we have to ask ourselves some simple questions, “What does beauty mean to ME?” “Do I think I/she/he/it is beautiful?”

It is very self-respectful to allow ourselves to choose whether to see beauty in a person, object, or experience.

And our own answer just might pleasantly surprise us!

Today’s affirmation: I get to choose my own definition and experience of beauty!