A New Year, A New Way

Posted by on Feb 5, 2013

Yosemite

 

“I’ll do anything. Just whip me into shape – please!!!”

 

This is a common reaction I get when people find out what I do. Usually it is spoken by someone who has tried every diet plan they have heard of and still has not experienced lasting success or peace. They are fed up and frustrated and are ready for anything. It doesn’t matter how hard or demanding the road may be – they are ready for it.

 

What they don’t realize, however, is that if I were I to whip them into shape, it would only be more of the same. Most people are already being quite demanding and harsh – with themself. (“Why can’t you stick to anything?” “You ate that again?” “What is with you? You are hopeless.”) My whipping would only add to their own constant internal lashings, and reinforce their beliefs that they are not okay, worthy and wonderful just as they are.

 

The truth is even if you would benefit from making a positive shift – you are still okay, worthy and wonderful in this moment. You are already divine. Nothing can change that.

 

If lashings were effective, surely they would have worked by now. But they aren’t. Needless to say, I don’t whip. The best thing I can do to help is to shine a light on an entirely different way. A way with Love. As my wise teacher and mentor Marc David reminds us, we cannot arrive to a place of loving ourself on a road that is filled with self-hatred. It just doesn’t work that way.

 

Last fall I was featured on the Martha Stewart Living Sirius XM Radio show Life Coaching with Sophie. The show was about loving communication, and one segment featured my tips on Loving Nutrition. You can listen to the clip here and read the abridged version below.

 

Tips for Loving Nutrition

 1. Tune into your internal dialogue about food and your body.

Would you speak to a friend or a loved on the way you speak to yourself? If not, how can you begin to shift into a kinder voice?

 

2. Breathe!!!!!

We know the negative effects of stress, yet it has become an acceptable new normal. (No time to relax? Who does anymore?!) A few deep breaths can shift us from a state of stress into a state of relaxation, positively impacting our body as well as our mind and spirit.

 

3. Focus on gratitude.

We can’t instantly stop negative thinking. But we can begin to  crowd out our negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Begin by keeping a daily gratitude journal, writing 5 things you are grateful for. Challenge yourself not to have any repeats!

 

4. Develop body awareness.

Stop looking outside for what will work for you, and turn inward. Become curious about how different foods affect you physically and mentally. Remember: nutrition is the only science where opposing theories can be proven! There are as many ideal eating approaches as there are people on the planet so the only real question is What works best for you?

 

The New Year brings with it feelings of fresh starts and new beginnings. Whether you have made resolutions or not this year I encourge you to be kind to yourself. Be like the oak tree, standing tall in all that you are, as you are.

 

Wishing you a beautiful year full of peace and joy.

 

Love,

Pamela

4 Comments

  1. I love it Pamela! Always a breath of fresh air to listen to your perspective. Makes me think of the passage from The Prophet–especially toward the end of the passage:

    On Work
    Kahlil Gibran
    You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
    For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons,
    and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.

    When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
    Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?

    Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.
    But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
    And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
    And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.

    But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.

    You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.
    And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
    And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,
    And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
    And all work is empty save when there is love;
    And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.

    And what is it to work with love?
    It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart,
    even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
    It is to build a house with affection,
    even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
    It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy,
    even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
    It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,
    And to know that all the blessed dead
    are standing about you and watching.

    Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, “He who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil.
    And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet.”
    But I say, not in sleep but in the overwakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;
    And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.

    Work is love made visible.
    And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
    For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.
    And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.
    And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.

    • Love it. Thank you Jake! This is a poem worth reading regularly. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Wonderful! Love these words of wisdom 🙂
    And- Love “The Prophet” prose. One of my favorite pieces.

    • Thanks, Sophie! And thank you so much for having me on your show!

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