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The Depths of Self Love, By Angela Thurston

 

In a world where we are inundated with images of woman with seemingly perfect bodies, how do we make peace with ours? I have struggled with body image, bulimia and issues of self worth, and as much as I have tried supplements, diets; and even the perfect work out routine in addition to – these solutions have not offered me any long term results.

The power of positive thinking and the power of the mind are some key phrases that were offered up to me as means of support, guidance and comfort during those times of challenge. So with the strength of willpower, I muscled my way through bulimia, had a few relapses, and emerged on the other side. What I discovered on the other side was that I was still swimming in the waters of lack – lack of self love, self worth and self care. These areas of disconnect supported my emotional eating, affected my relationships and kept me circulating in the mire of my stories.

Even though the mind is a very powerful thing, it was not enough.

I began my immersion in the field of healing, I was comprehending the concepts, I was being the client, I was being the student, I was being the facilitator, and still I couldn’t wait to get out of class so I could stuff six chocolate bars, a dozen donuts and a pack of twizzlers down my throat. The energy, and body work was effective for what it offered, the modalities opened up my channels, balanced my energies and carried me to the land of bliss connecting me with spirit, still, it was not enough.

I was not getting it, I thought I had a solid understanding of the body/mind/spirit connection; I had faith in spirituality, I accepted that we are more than our physical bodies, I meditated, I affirmed, I believed.

What I now get, that I didn’t get then, is that I was continually seeking the answers from outside of myself, I was suppressing my emotions, disassociating from my body, I had little sense of interoception or proprioception, and embodied self-awareness was not even in my radar.

Alan Fogel, in his book, The Psychophysiology of Self-Awareness, offers the following descriptions:

Suppression: A lack of embodied self-awareness that occurs whenever there is a sense of threat that prevents us from finding resources, slowing down, and/or coregulating with an empathic other.

Pathological Disassociation: A disconnection between self and body having two basic forms: detachment and compartmentalization.

Interoception: The ability to feel one’s own internal body states such as heat/cold, pain, respiration and emotions.

Proprioception: The felt sense of the location and relative position of different parts of the body in relation to objects and to other individuals.

Embodied Self-Awareness: the ability to pay attention to ourselves, to feel our sensations, emotions, and movements on-line, in the present moment, without the mediating influence of judgmental thoughts.

When I began to trust, sense, and feel – when I brought body awareness into the equation of my inquiry – I could then move into the layers of myself that exist beyond the patterns of my own brain. I learnt how to drop below my defense strategies, inspiring new movements in my body, relationships and life. I continue to journey with this spiral of exploration, with my body being the guide. I welcome the self-referencing, the self-regulating, and the self-responsibility that increases my ability to embrace, love and honour myself.

Loving the way one looks is really an externalization of what one is experiencing inside – this is what our reflections are truly showing us. How we perceive ourselves is dependent upon what emotions are alive and thriving, what patterns of belief are being held, and what vulnerabilities have been inherited. It is our willingness to move into our bodies, feel our emotions, and transform our stories, that provide us with the divine waters in which we can dive into the depths of self love.

~Angela began her exploration of alternative healing practices in her twenties, leading her to become certified in Reflexology, Touch For Health and Reiki. Seeking a more body-centered practice and inspired by her love of dance and movement, she turned to the study and teachings of World Dance. It was her journey into the body that showed her how we hold our biographies in our tissues. Her curiosity for healing these stories led her to become an authorized teacher of Continuum Movement. She continues to study with Continuum founder, Emilie Conrad. Angela is weaving the tools of Vividly Woman’s Embodiment Coach Training to her present practice. She currently teaches in Victoria, the Gulf Islands and the Dominican Republic.

For more information visit www.Angelathurston.com

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Jealous? Who me?

 

Good Girls don’t get jealous? HA!


Your stomach drops and with it goes your confidence. Sounds are garbled behind the deafening thud of your heart and the defensive mind chatter. Inside the locked jaw and grinding teeth subsists your dry sponge of a tongue, saliva like civility, M.I.A.


In the rainbow of ways to be feeling, this one doesn’t seem clean green to me, more like a sludge color.

On the list of taboo emotions, jealousy vies for first place. 


Other times it’s just a mild undertow, a soft growl of envy, like a low grade fever. Whatever the degree of jealousy you’re experiencing, most will agree, it’s not a favorite!


There was a time early in my life, one relationship in particular where I was gutted with it, routinely devastated.  I lashed out at him. I wrote chapters in my journal about the injustice. I lost weight, sleep, and rationale.


At the detonation of that relationship, I realized how inappropriate this jealousy thing was. In a blind backlash, I built a lifestyle around ensuring I was above and beyond such pettiness. Ridding myself of material possessions and refusing to be trapped by monogamy I declared myself impervious to that green eyed monster.


The experiment albeit short, was not without merit. It stretched me and my perspectives in ways this Taurus (Scorpio rising, I know yikes!) never thought possible.


There’s a bullet point here: Although jealousy isn’t pleasant, it’s the resistance, suppression, denial, and guilt of it that causes the agony!


Like all emotions, it is in fact vital information. It is pointing you to a clue. There is a reason for it, if you look a little closer.


“I already have my binge planned for tonight.” 

This week a coaching client of mine opened our session with that confession. 


At the heart of her preplanned binge was an emotion fighting for air. This suppressed emotion was living at the top of her belly. She learned long ago that this emotion was taboo, that “Good Girls Don’t Feel Jealousy!” This myth had been active and driving her behavior for most of her life.


She admitted to feeling jealous and also revealed her humiliation at succumbing to this bad girl wretchedness! 


Eventually she gave herself permission to feel her jealousy for the first time. No acting on it, just being with it. The very act of allowing it to be there was revolutionary for her. The tears flowed taking with them decades of shame.


What followed was a discovery on her path of Self care. It went a little something like this:


I’m jealous of my sisters.

I’m jealous of their material possessions. 

I’m jealous of how they’re supported financially by their spouses.

Do you feel supported in your relationship?

hmmm… Yes, I guess. We chose our arrangement, and actually this isn’t even about finances.

Where are you feeling unsupported? In your relationship?

I want to support around my health, going for walks. (laughter) OMG this is hilarious! All this was really just about asking for more support?!


Staying curious, letting go of old stories, assumptions and judgement can reveal simple life changing truths. 


 1)    Be tender with yourself. Notice when you’re feeling jealous and that there’s an insecure part of you. Acknowledge that part. Where does it live in your body? Make contact. (Remember it’s about you, not them!)

2)    Jealousy is information. There is a craving you haven’t been aware of, or you’ve been denying. Become curious. What is that I desire?

3)    How can I be supported in this? How I can I support myself in this?

4) Wow the fact that it is there before me, is proof that it is possible. What I desire is being modeled for me. I can create this in my own life, or my own version of whatever it is that I am craving.


Emotions rule us when left unchecked. They subvert our highest intentions, causing us to act out in passive and sometimes aggressive ways. There no bad emotions, only unpleasant ones, and even these offer us valuable information.

What/who are you jealous of? What is the next clue on your journey?

Join us this Thursday 6pm PST as we explore  the Emotional Power Center, “Freedom to Feel!” through a FREE group coaching call!

http://www.leelafrancis.com/MC/3monthsfree.htm

 










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