Monday, September 19, 2011

Why Me?

It is so difficult at times to access and then accept the answer to the question, "why is this happening to me....again?". Life so often seems to gift our teachings in packages that may not feel very good. It is so easy to get frustrated when "we" don’t "know" the outcome or "we want" the outcome to be different or our life just isn't going in the direction "we" think it should. But maybe that is precisely what this life journey is all about; finding a way to find peace in the presence of uncertainty. (I talk about this in more depth in an earlier blog post here if you are interested)

So often, life seems to make little sense... yet perspective changes everything. Ever look back at seemingly random events and notice how they were not random at all? Or maybe you experienced a crisis that required you take action, which in hindsight, gave you an indescribable gift. When you look back can you fit together events that required you to learn lessons necessary for the next phase of your life? It is true that the view of the path from the summit looks very different than the view of the path from the valley. And although we crave that summit perspective, we may have yet to climb the actual mountain. The climbing part is critically important to actually reaching the top.

With this in mind, I came across this passage the other day while reading Robert Ohotto's book Transforming Fate into Destiny . In my opinion, it gives a rather refreshing perspective on the "whys" of life. It  reminds us to remember that life is a journey and not a destination, that where we are is exactly where we need to be, that patterns are present to get us to pay attention to required lessons,  and real change happens when we are open and accountable for our part in the process.

Enjoy it! I sure did

And as always feel free to contact me if you are in one of those "why is this happening again to me moments", have questions, or perhaps seem to be stuck in a valley. Very often a new perspective is all that is required. My updated website Email is,

Feel free to send this to anyone that might be interested.

Dear God,
It's Mike here. I usually don't ask for much, but I'd really like my new Internet business selling children's toys to take off so I can quite my job. I hate my current boss. He's always criticizing me and never appreciates the hard work I do- he totally reminds me of my father!

The new book I'm reading says prayer and visualization are powerful, so I'm going to visualize making a million dollars by next year through this new Internet gig- could you give me a hand with that? It would be great if you could help me manifest that. Then I could quit my job, get some cool clothes, buy a house, lease a new BMW, and have money to travel to the Bahamas next fall. I could finally ask my girl friend Jane to marry me.

On that note, it would also be great if you could help Jane. I do love her but, sometimes she's so stubborn. I wish she'd change that about herself and quite fighting with me about having kid. I know she says that she doesn't want children, but I really want to start a family. If you help me make that million, then she won't have to work and might be persuaded to stay home and raise kids.

Oh, and if you grant me these things, I promise I'll give 10% of my income to charity and be sure to give some money to each homeless person I see.

Please let me know your answer by Friday - by giving me a unmistakable sign.

Thanks God,

God's answer

My Dear Mike,

In short, the answer to all of your requests is no. So when nothing remarkable happens this Friday take note that I have turned you down. Although you cannot remember it right now, before you came to Earth you made certain agreements that must be upheld, and answering your requests would violate many of those agreements.

Let me give you a glimpse of things from my perspective. First of all, before you were born, you made an agreement with your boss that he would come into you life at this time to help you heal your issues with your father and how his criticism wounded you. This means that your boss must treat you much like your dad did in order to trigger your old wounds so that they surface again and can be dealt with now that you are an adult. There is a deep lesson that you must learn. Your boss is your teacher, and until you learn what you need to and heal, you cannot move into the next phase of you life.

This is very important to accept, because where you are going next in life will require that you learn how to validate yourself in ways your father could not. You are going to be running a major company in the years to come and will need to be a true leader with authentic soul-esteem. Since that is not done yet you will need to stay at your current job.

Now about this financial request- you are not yet mature enough to handle a million dollars, and you certainly are not going to give 10% to Charity! That amount of cash would exploit current flaws in your character that you are not aware of and hinder your spiritual development. At this point, you are not able to manage the choices that come with that much money. Your current car works just fine, by the way. I will make sure it continues to since you do need it to get to work. I will also ensure that you have enough money to fulfill all your needs-- but not your wants. let's look at more of those: Although you do not know it yet, in two years you will be moving from Milwaukee to Chicago for an incredible job, so it is not wise to buy a house you will have to sell in two years. The market will be bad then. Oh, and there is going to be a major hurricane hitting the Bahamas next fall that would have taken your life, so it is a good thing that you will not have the money to go there.

As far as Jane goes, she is there to teach you to accept others as they are- and to never pray for them to change. She is not meant to have children in this lifetime and will soon discover that she is actually not able to. She is not the right person for you to commit to in marriage, and once you accept her as she is, you will know that. You have a contract to meet someone in three years who is going to want to have a family with you, so once again it's a good thing that you do not have enough money for a wedding.

Mike, I know you cannot see all of this through your egocentric point of view, but do not worry- I have your back.


You should already be giving the homeless a dollar and a prayer as a way of affirming your connection to Me. They are as much a part of ME as you are

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Next Food and Feelings e-Program starting Monday

Hi everyone!

Another 6 week Food Psychology e-course is starting next Monday September 12th. This program has been such a great success. I am excited to share it again. The results have been so inspiring and proof that this understanding is the missing link in body/weight/food freedom and true empowerment.  Included is a brief description as well as some comments from past participants. I love what people are saying and wanted to share. Feel free to contact me with any questions or if you'd like to sign up. Also check out my website for more info.

The 6 week E-program
I offer an empowering program of self discovery and transformation as it relates to how we see our physical selves, how we feel in our bodies, and how we manage food. Whatever the food issue; compulsive over or undereating, binge eating, anorexia, chronic dieting, body image issues, weight issues, bulimia or any combination we strive to ....

  • Get to the bottom of personal diet myths
  • Learn to become of aware of our eating patterns.
  • Learn to decipher the language of our food issues to discover what the soul is truly hungry for.
  • Learn how to begin to accept our bodies and learn to see the beauty we all radiate.
  • Learn how to find and remove the blocks to our innate hunger  so we can find our natural weight.
  • Learn sound nutritional concepts that rely on whole foods, healthy fats, and variety, as well as, the concept that how what we eat is as important as what we eat.
What people are saying....Here are just a few comments find more on my website...

"Aleka’'s Food and Feelings program was an amazing experience. I had been looking for a program just like it for awhile now. It is a deeply profound and thorough examination of all that is involved with weight and body image issues…I HIGHLY recommend it. Aleka also has a great understanding of the human experience and is a skillful coach. I have worked with many therapist, healers and coaches over the years and she is in my top 2!"
~Tracy Liebmann, MAT, CCTA
Personal Development Coach

"After struggling with an eating disorder for about twenty years, it remains very difficult for me to put into words exactly what I've learned from Aleka and the enormity of it.  I tried for years to "figure it out" and to "fix the problem" of my eating disorder.  I turned to psychology and looked at the connections between perfectionism, abuse, control, etc...and eating disorders.  I researched and read.  I worked with several therapists/counselors.  I participated in a couple intensive outpatient programs.  But, I continued to struggle;  I couldn't figure it out; I couldn't put the pieces of the puzzle together.  I couldn't solve my food problem.  I felt hopeless and helpless.
When I first began talking to Aleka and looking at the program she developed I recognized that there was something different about the program and about her.  I felt so excited (followed almost immediately by fear) because I thought 'This actually might work.  Recovery might actually be possible.'Therefore, the first thing Aleka helped me recover was hope.
The other crucial thing I've earned from Aleka (so far), and what I believe is the key to unraveling my eating disorder, is that I am never going to solve my food problem with my mind or intellect.  I am learning that something needs to change or shift, not only in my mind, but in my "soul," on a spiritual level, and that this is where the work needs to be done.  While this is difficult as I have been disconnected from this part of my self, my spirit, my body, etc... for so long, Aleka teaches practical exercises to help re-ignite this connection.  Aleka is an amazing guide through the recovery process.  She insightful and intuitive.  She presents unconditional acceptance, patience, compassion and the kind of understanding that can only developed by someone who's "walked in those shoes."  It has been so beneficial and important to me that Aleka is willing to share her own experience with her eating disorder and her process of recovery. "
Thank you Aleka!!
~ Jeannie

"What a wonderful program, Aleka! You are one of the only people I've ever met who truly has the ability to help women move beyond the troubled relationships with food, weight, and body image. "

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Enlightened Mom's Tele~Summit!

I just had to get the word out about an event that I am so excited about. My friend and colleague Tracy Liebmann has put together an amazing Tele~Summit that is sure to inspiring, informative, and healing on many levels. It's taking place from May 9th to the 13th, so it's coming up fast.

There will be many dynamic speakers sharing their wisdom on a range of topics including, soul to soul parenting, intuitive parenting, EFT, tapping into your intuition, conscious conception,and motherhood to the path of mastery. Furthermore, I have been graciously asked to give a talk on food, feelings, and body image freedom (more on that later in this post). Additionally, it is absolutely free! It is sure to be a great event. Just go to the website for more information and to sign up.

I'll be speaking Tuesday may 10th at 7:00 EDT about Food, Feelings, and Body image freedom. Here's a bit of a preview.

Einstein defined insanity as, “doing the same thing over again and expecting different results“. Nowhere is this description more accurate than when applied to our current  view of food, nutrition, weight, body image, and overall health. There no shortage of diets, experts, books, plans, or clinics to weigh in on this issue. What IS in short supply, however, are favorable results. With a failure rate of 95- 98% diets, quiet simply, are not effective. They are part of the problem. Collectively our current approach to nutritional health and wellness is not working, and in fact, is getting worse. On any given day it is estimated that at least 140 million Americans are on a diet. Obesity rates continue to climb as does the incidence of nutrition -linked metabolic disorders, overeating, body image dissatisfaction, and digestive ailments. If  it seems like there is a missing piece in the current health equation, there is. And it is both startling and empowering in its simplicity. WHAT one eats is only half of the weight, body image and health equation. HOW one eats is the long overlooked piece of the puzzle.

Some topics we'll cover...
  • A majority of people who overeat think they have a “willpower problem” – but they really don’t. If you can’t seem to control your appetite, willpower is NOT your issue. The problem is, we don’t really eat when we eat – we forget to notice, taste, and enjoy our food. The brain interprets this missed experience of eating as “hunger” – and it drives us to eat more.
  •  Approximately 98% of all people who lose weight on a weight loss diet gain it back within 1-2 years. When you question the 2% of people who keep that weight off long term, they have one fascinating thing in common – something powerful in their life story changed. This can mean a new career, letting go of an outdated relationship, embracing a new and positive one, moving to a new state, or changing their beliefs about who they are and how life works.
  • 40-60% of our metabolic power at any meal – meaning our ability to digest, assimilate and calorie burn  - comes from something called the Cephalic Phase Digestive Response – which is a scientific term for taste, pleasure, aroma, satisfaction, and our visuals of a meal. So, doing the math, if we don’t receive this very intimate and subjective experience of eating, we are metabolizing at only 40-60% efficiency – a stunning statistic.
  •  Pleasure is a nutritional requirement. All organisms on planet Earth are programmed at the most primitive level of nervous system physiology to “seek pleasure and avoid pain”. The problem is, when we aren’t receiving “Vitamin P” – pleasure from our food – perhaps because we’re following a punishing diet or not savoring our meals, the brain interprets this missed experience of pleasure as “hunger”, and we are driven to eat more.
  • Stress depletes nutrition. Simply put, anxiety, rushing, forcing, pushing, and negative self talk all put the body in the physiologic fight-or-flight response. In this stress state, vitamins and minerals are excreted, blood flow to the digestive organs dramatically decreases, calorie burning is slowed, and hormones that signal the body to gain weight are produced. Our mental/emotional state has powerfully influenced our nutritional metabolism, regardless of the good and healthy food we may have eaten.
  •  Relaxation is the optimum state of digestion and assimilation. Amazingly enough, the body is optimally designed by evolution to metabolize a meal and burn calories under “parasympathetic dominance”, also know as the physiologic “relaxation response”. So, the question is, are you a relaxed eater, or an anxious and hurried one
  • Negative self talk about food or the body – can actually generate a placebo response that causes the body to create the very thing we fear. So for example, if you are constantly living in fear of gaining weight, you will produce consistent elevated levels of the stress associated hormones cortisol and insulin, which both signal the body to store weight, store fat, and to refrain from building muscle. Our fears can literally create a metabolic reality.
  • There is no doubt our mind effects our physical body, but that is not the whole picture. There is a deeper layer asking for attention. The wisdom of the soul speaks through our body. Our symptoms and cravings are messages teaching us the wisdom we are here to learn. How we digest food is how we digest life.  Our relationship with food is a reflection of our relationship with ourselves. What are we “weighting” for? What are we “starving” for? What are we “full” of that is asking for release?  These are the questions of the soul. This understanding is so often the missing ingredient in transforming health, weight problems, compulsive eating, and body image distortions.
    Mind Body Nutrition and Dynamic Food Psychology works from the inside out, with the knowing that our bodies are a reflection of our inner health.  It bridges the gap between mind, body, and soul in a manner that shows there is no perfect way to eat for all, but there is a perfect way to eat for YOU. Einstein also said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it”. It is time for a new perspective.

    I look forward to speaking more about it and love to have you join me on Tuesday, May 10th at 7:00 EST. Of course, you can always find more information about the work I do at or email me at

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011


     As I have been watching the news stories about the devastation in Japan I have cycled though a myriad of reactions and emotions, worry, shame, anger, terror, frustration, relief, you name it. Tragedies bestow the gift of reminding us of the nature of impermanence, the edges of our existence, and our very vulnerability. Which got me thinking.....
    Embracing our vulnerability in our modern society is often not encouraged, taught, or accepted. Why is that? And what are the repercussions of this fact?

    I know I share in this collective virus of  perceived invulnerability with my own disguise of "I'm fine, don't worry about me. I got things under control." We all hide behind our chosen masks (intelligence, perfection, toughness, victim, competence -take your pick) hiding what we fear we lack in ourselves. Perhaps, hoping that if we can convince the world of our blemish free armor we might convince ourselves. Yet like a simmering pot of falsehood we feel the undercurrent of anxiety and we wonder what it is. We find ourselves looking for joy in the world of ten thousand things. We find ourselves thinking the worst at the precise moment we are filled with peace. We seek to numb ourselves from this feeling of not knowing, of fear, of insecurity. Maybe we lose ourselves in work, or food, or alcohol, or drugs (prescribed or otherwise), or shopping, or being taken care of, or gambling, or being busy, or being ill, as we try to bury our vulnerability deeper under our distractions. Yet we feel lost, confused, detached, frustrated, lethargic, maybe bored...because we are...

    The consequences of numbing are such that we cannot numb selectively. When we numb what we fear we also numb what we love and we forget that the extraordinary life moments are found in the vulnerability of the ordinary ones. 

    Today I want to share with you a informative and inspiring link that someone wise shared with me (thanks Tracy!) about these very ideas.

    "As earthly creatures continually subject to relative disappointment, pain, and loss, we cannot avoid feeling vulnerable.  Yet as an open channel through which great love enters this world, the human heart remains invincible.  Being wholly and genuinely human means standing firmly planted in both dimensions, celebrating that we are both vulnerable and indestructible at the same time.  Here at this crossroads where yes and no, limitless love and human limitation, intersect, we discover the essential human calling:  progressively unveiling the sun in our heart, that it may embrace the whole of ourselves and the whole of creation within the sphere of its radiant warmth."
    John Welwood

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    The cracked pot

    As you may have noticed I have taken a bit of a rest from my blog the last few weeks. One reason being that as the weather warms up I find my hands wanting to be in my garden planting seeds rather than touching my key board. Another, is I am in the process of writing another e-course, a daunting and inspiring task. More to come on this soon. Suffice to say I have had less time for writing here.

    So, for the time being as I am forever seeking more positive and enlightening books, teachings, and practices. I still plan to share with you what I find along the way when I feel inspired to. Some posts maybe long, some short, some my words, some borrowed. 

    Right now, I am enthralled in the emerging color of this time of year, the subtleties, hues, and brightness. I am reminded that it is the contrast between the very gray of winter that allows the brilliance of spring to explode the senses.  I am reminded that after the darkest night there is a radiance sunrise and after a wicked storm the deepest calm. Both sides create the balance of wholeness. Just as it takes a spectrum of color to create a beautiful garden, so goes the tapestry of our lives. We all have had good times and not so good times, light and shadow, despair and joy. We grow older and we learn more. Ever remembering, that in the garden such is this life, it is the whole of it that is what creates beauty, not the parts. Oftentimes, it is our very imperfections and flaws that make life meaningful, that take us to places we would never go on our own, that split us open to new ways of being. It is through our cracks that the light within has the ability to shine through and where the most brilliant of flowers can grow. Today a story as we celebrate the springtime of who we are.

    "The cracked pot"

    A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each
    end of a pole which he carried across his neck.

    One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was
    perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end
    of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the
    cracked pot arrived only half full.

    For a full 2 years this went on daily, with the bearer
    delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master's

    Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments,
    perfect to the end for which it was made.

    But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection,
    and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what
    it had been made to do.

    After 2 years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure,
    it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.

    "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."

    "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"

    "I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only
    half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak
    out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws,
    you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value
    from your efforts," the pot said.

    The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his
    compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want
    you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."

    Indeed as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice
    of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the
    path and this cheered it some. But at the end of tile trail, it
    still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so
    again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

    The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were
    flowers only on YOUR side of your path, but not on the other
    pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw,
    and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side
    of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream,
    you've watered them.

    For 2 years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers
    to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way
    you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."


    Monday, February 7, 2011


    What if we lived our lives as though we truly believed that everything that happened to us was required to bring us to the knowing we have of this exact moment?
    What if we were truly at peace with that?
    What if we trusted so deeply that we didn't fear what was to come because we knew it was required?

    That is faith.

    Personally, I find it difficult at times to have faith. To say I struggle with it is a blatant understatement. I don't necessarily revel in the unknowing quality of the universe. You see, I have a strong thinking mind. There is a certain comfort I feel when things make "logical"sense. Perhaps, I am comforted by the facade, as I reside in my little land of logic, where everything "makes sense". Which is hilarious really, because over and over again, I find that this is not the way life seems to work. I am repeatedly reminded that my mind is like a double edge sword, great for writing a blog, e-course, taking care of the many details of life and work, but for actually "living", not so much. In fact, when I am in my thinking mind I  have a history of being one of  those people that take risks after I am assured of the outcome. I don't much like climbing mountains, and I have no desire to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. When I am in my logical mind I am cut off to all the wonder, all the synchronisities, and the miraculous nature of a indistinct reality.

    Real life isn't "planned". That has been a huge lesson for me. Storms crop up, the ocean gets wild, fog rolls in. At these times, we realize no amount of "thinking" is going to help us out. We don't have the answers, and whatever is happening often makes no logical sense. I have realized that me- my thinking logical mind- is one of my biggest problems. Whether it's the many stories I convince myself are true, the suffering I feel when I am attached to an outcome or specific plan, or the fact that I think I can do it better than source power, it's just not helping.. Inspirational teacher Wayne Dyer recalls the fact that we spend nine months being created without logical agenda. We do not logically tell the ears to form, or heart to start beating. Yet, at some point after birth,  there is a thinking part that takes over, a need to Edge God Out (EGO), as we say "we'll take it from here".

    Life has both the capacity to bring us to our knees, and lift us to soar. Faith is the knowing that this is so.

    “Faith dares the soul to go farther than it can see” ~William Clark

    For a minute,  let us assume the position of distance, of perspective. See the world through the eyes of a bird soaring over the earth. From this lofty position we see the interconnectedness. We see the totality of the journey; its beginning and end. Perhaps, we see the jungle we must navigate, leading us to the desert, that leads us to a treacherous river crossing. Perhaps, we see the mountains in the distance we must climb. We see the beginning, we see the end, and the terrain between. From this perspective, we have a knowing that the mountains, the desert, and the jungle are all necessary steps on our journey. The obstacles are part of a bigger picture. We see how the skills we developed in the jungle prepared us for the desert, and the desert our preparation for the mountain. The journey makes total sense when we observe it in its entirety. Yet, when we lose our birds eye view, when we sink back into our earthly bound bodies, and find ourselves deep in that jungle, we often feel blinded by the trees, the vines, the fetid air itself. We cannot even locate the trail ahead. We even forget there is one. Perhaps, we tell ourselves a story about how very stifling hot and humid the jungle is. How scary the wild animals are, how very lost, confused, and alone we feel. Our logical minds tell us how we don't deserve a jungle again, and how it makes no sense. It's not fair. Our thinking minds tell us the jungle is NOT where we should be right now. Dammit!

    And yet THAT is exactly where we are. We so easily forget the bigger picture.

    But, as always, we have choices.

    Maybe we listen to our ego selves. Maybe we try to think our way out of the jungle. Maybe we resist what is, we fight, and fight the vines. We tell ourselves the story of how horrible the jungle is. We say we “should be doing other things“, and “we are better than this stinking  place.” We think about how we got there, who's at fault for leading us there, what we are going to do when we get out. We think about how much better life is outside of the jungle, how when we are out, then we'll be happy. We keep our story of suffering alive, resisting what is, maybe long after we get out.


    Maybe we don’t resist. Maybe we don't do anything at all but listen. We tap into that inner place beyond our thinking mind, the place that effortlessly created us in those nine months without our help, that place within that seeps truth, like a hidden spring. We get still and we listen and when we feel directed we take action. Maybe we just put one foot in front of the other and cut the vines, systematically clearing our path ahead, with a sense of determination and awareness. Maybe we even notice the beauty of the jungle at times. The birds, the flowers, awake to the subtleties of life. We allow rather than solve. Maybe we even get still enough to connect to a place within that knows what we need to do, so we walk, or we don't, paying attention to the lessons along the way. We know there is a reason we are in the jungle as we are open to what that is.

    This is faith.

    When you have come to the edge Of all light that you know And are about to drop off into the darkness Of the unknown, Faith is knowing One of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or You will be taught to fly”
    ~ Patrick Overton 
    Faith is the ability to remember the bird’s eye view. That there is a gift in our lessons. That they are steps along the journey. Faith is the trust that we have in our inner compass to allow the path to unfurl before us without fear, without anticipation, without judgment, without conviction. All we need do is the next right thing, and then the next, and then the next.  There is no doubt we have peaks and valley's in our life terrain, and when we are in a valley it certainly doesn't feel like a peak. At our lowest, faith might be fleeting, like grasping at starlight in a midnight sky. It maybe as ambiguous to us as the traces of smoke left by an exhausted candle. Yet, always it is there, ready to lead us onward. Faith is knowing that the journey unfolds just as it should when we get out of our own way.

    When I think back to those times when I was at my very lowest, when I thought I may not be able to take another step, what emerges is a  realization that what happened was indeed meaningful. There emanated a profound lesson that I needed to learn. The trials I walked through opened me up to a new understanding and compassion. It showed me I had the strength to heal, and to help others. I look back, and I see that life gave me exactly the circumstances I needed to be the person I am now. And it continues to, everyday bringing me to a new way of being. Your journey has the same gifts. There are absolutely no accidents.

    Having faith doesn’t mean trusting everyone to do the "right" thing all of the time. Faith doesn't mean we don’t have fear creep into our lives. It doesn't mean we don't lose it, get angry, sad, frustrated, or lonely. Developing faith is a practice. For me, it is a constant dance of control verses allowing, of intellect verses intuition, of literal verses figurative. It means we repeatedly remind ourselves to recognize and honor the odyssey of ourselves and others. We remind ourselves that faith is not logical. We, time and time again, remind ourselves that we may not know the why behind every thing, all the time, yet all is as it should be. Faith is when we know at some point (even if that time isn’t now), that we can accept situations as both lessons and opportunities for growth. Faith is trust.

    What if you knew without a doubt…

    "If you knew who walked beside you at all times, on the path that you have chosen, you could never experience fear or doubt again."
    — Wayne W. Dyer

    Faith asks us to believe it as if this were true because it is

    Today a story to reflect on as we ponder faith.
    One that has given me faith even in my darkest times.
     It reminds me that even in my darkest moment there is always a light.

    One day a small opening appeared on a cocoon, and a man sat and watched for the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no further.

    So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened!

    In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

    What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening was God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

    Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been. We could never fly.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    The Myth of Comfort Food

    We are half way through the first food and feelings e-course and it is going so well. I wanted to include the following excerpt from the program, because it is a subject people may not think about that often, the myth of comfort foods. I use food here but in reality one could substitute any other thing outside ourselves we long for, use, buy, in an attempt to make us happy. There is another  e- program starting February 14th. I am also in the works of putting together a physical weekly group. Please feel free to contact me for more info on either.

    We have to be very careful with the term "comfort food". Much like we have to be careful with the idea of a comfort drink, a comfort gambling session, or a comfort shopping trip. We get into dangerous territory anytime we start to look outside ourselves for comfort, for love, for feelings of peace.  The term implies it would be possible for food to give us comfort. That food has the ability to give us love. That it could brings us peace or happiness.The truth is we cannot find happiness in another person,  another job, another location, and certainly not in food.  If we think something “out there”  will fill us, we will always come up empty. And if it’s food we are using we will be continuously hungry,  because no amount of food is going to fill the emptiness we feel. We may temporarily suspend the emptiness for a moment but it will return. There is no possible way to fill an emotional need with food, or anything else in the world of form for that matter.

    So, in my opinion, the term "comfort food" is a total misnomer. In fact, I would suggest that most times those "comfort foods" are in fact the opposite of "comfort". They perhaps should be called  “discomfort” foods, because they are anything but loving to our bodies or our soul. Those foods that we are eating to “comfort” ourselves, do not love us back. They distract us from feelings we are being called to attend to. They also typically,  fill us with chemicals, unhealthy fats, artificial ingredients, and other non-loving things and usually in large quantities. How does your body feel when you eat them? Does it feel loved? More important question, do you feel lasting comfort, peace, and contentment? Nope. Because nothing actually happened to those feelings that caused you do eat in the first place.Those feelings that wanted comfort do not disappear with a few bowls of macaroni and cheese.

    We might even utter the phrase “I had a tough day (or a good day) so I deserve that …(fill in food here)”. Hmmm...ponder that statement for a minute. What we really deserve is food that reflects and respects our inner divinity, and food that supports our emerging authentic selves. What we deserve is to nourish ourselves, fully. That is real comfort food. Food that honors us on our path. We deserve food that supports us as we negotiate our inner landscape, not looking outside for fixes in the form of fast food, cake, skittles, or ice cream.

    Now, that is not to say we can't enjoy our food, have fun with our food, and eat "unhealthy foods" from time to time, just that we cannot depend on food to make us feel better. You see, everything we do in life is a reflection of what we believe about ourselves. Our relationship with food is no exception.When we feel joy, when we are in love with ourselves, our food choices reflect this. When we are honoring ourselves we honor our intuition, and we choose foods that honor us. If we find ourselves eating in a way that is not honoring ourselves- eating for "comfort", eating until we are overfull, not eating when we are hungry, depriving ourselves, or simply choosing lifeless foods, we need to take a look at our relationship with ourselves. Our intention behind all our choices matter. Last week we spoke about love and fear and how every choice we make comes from one of these two places. Even what we decide to put in our bodies. What we choose to eat comes from either an intent of love or fear. But contrary to popular belief, comfort food (In the typical way we think about it) is not love. Some of the qualities of love we spoke about last week boil down to truth, non harming, and compassion. When we believe food can soothe us in these ways, or make our hurts go away, we are believing a myth. This is not loving. This is fear, which is far from comfort.

    The truth is, our bodies yearn to be in alignment with our greatest selves. Our cells know what they need to function optimally. Have you noticed just how much our bodies when left alone do so much for themselves? We don’t need to tell our bodies how to breathe, or how to digest food, or how to see or hear. We just need to get out of the way. Yet, we so often override the system, ignoring the messages, by not trusting our innate hunger guidance system. We have hit the override button and decided we could not be trusted. We make loving choices when we honor our true selves.

    How would your food (or anything else) choices change if you only ate with the intention of love?

    “The choice to eat wisely is not important simply because it leads to an arguably more attractive you; it isn’t important because it offers the possibility of a smaller dress size; it isn’t even important simply because it’s healthier. It’s important because it’s an act of love. It’s a way that you feed who you want to be- the healthier you, the more beautiful you, the more comfortable you, the happier you. And what you feed you call forth. You are not treating yourself when you eat excessively; in fact you are withholding sustenance from yourself when you overeat, for in doing so you are withholding love. “ ~Marianne Williamson