Monday, September 20, 2010

Understanding Spirituality

Nurturing our spirit is essential to Taming our Chew. Many of us have a hard time defining spirituality for ourselves. In December of 1995, a conference called Spirituality and Healing was co-sponsored by Harvard Medical School and The Mind/Body Institute of the Deaconess Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Spirituality was defined at this assembly as “the belief that we all have meaning and purpose in life and that on a profound level we are all connected.” This may ring true for many of us. However, each of us is unique and thus our perceptions of spirit are as varied as we are. Let me take a moment here to clarify that when I speak of spirituality, I am not referring to religion. Most of us were raised within an organized religion. Many of us chose to stop attending to that religion when we became adults. I am not suggesting a return to religious practice, although for some that may be helpful. I am suggesting that you develop the ability to turn inward and listen to your own voice – that voice which is heard (faintly at first) deep within your core self. To hear this voice, however, you must be still and listen to yourself.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Self love, not emotional eating, is the answer

People who come to see me frequently report a sense of being alone in their struggle. As I have said before, we all have a strong need for connection – to feel loved, accepted, and cared about. Without the presence of these feelings, at least some of the time, life’s battles quickly become overwhelming and the task of treating ourselves with compassion, respect and nurturance seems impossible. It is then that we turn to sugar, salt and fat and try to soothe ourselves through emotional eating. We cannot count on others or on food to give us these good feelings. We must learn to give them to ourselves by finding the love, connection and energy we have deep inside. Our work is to learn to love ourselves.