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Heart Thoughts: When Food is Love




Embrace Self-Love


What if you loved yourself a little more each day? What if you treated yourself the way you’d treat your best friend? What if you nourished and nurtured the love relationship with yourself? It’s never too late to become your own best friend. I believe that our relationship with ourselves is the most important relationship of all.


We can learn to fill our inner self-love reservoir by incorporating small daily acts of kindness, which are directed at ourselves. What would it feel like to let go of harsh (sometimes punitive) self-talk? The heart is not just an organ but a “love chamber.” We feel a warm sensation and tingling in our hearts when we see a baby or a a cute animal. You deserve to receive your own loving-kindness and care.

What Makes Your Heart Happy?


When do you feel most alive and in harmony with yourself? Follow that path. Your heart knows the way. Our job is simply to listen and not ignore its messages. Below is a beautiful self-love ritual for a daily 7-minute practice.

Make sure you are warm, comfortable and undisturbed. You may light a candle and put a shawl around your shoulder. Breathe gently in and out. Let your breath follow its natural rhythm. Allow yourself to go inward and shift from being in your headspace to your heart space. Label incoming thoughts “thinking” and come back to your breath as often as needed. Now, imagine opening your heart space wide so you can receive your own love and kindness and strong sense of protection. Fill your beautiful heart with the light of your soul ~ as your true essence is love.

Food as Soother, Comforter, Lover or Protector


I have found that many of my clients who are emotional eaters are on a journey of learning how to love and accept themselves more. In the past food may have taken on the role of soother, comforter, lover or protector. During our counseling sessions we honor the need for eating/snacking as way of coping. There is no need to judge. We explore with gentle curiosity which needs and desires trigger the emotional eating cycle. Over time a client learns to be still, practice a “mindful pause” and discover what the true underlying need is that deserves attention.

This kind of deeper work takes time. Healing is not linear. It’s a beautiful and important journey. What clients learns during the counseling process they cannot unlearn. So, it’s not really about meal planning and calorie counting. It is about discovering what "lives" underneath a craving and calls from within.

This Valentine’s Day give yourself the gift of self-love and self-compassion. Kindness starts with us. Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s a beautiful thing to honor our true needs and ask our heart what it is hungry for.

Announcements


I’ll be presenting on the topic of Mindful Nourishment and Emotional Self-Care on Monday, February 13 from 5:00 - 6:00 pm. This online event is free to the community. Register by emailing healthed@sansumclinic.org


 

I am grateful that The Santa Barbara Independent featured me and my work in their recent Self-Care issue. Click on this link to read: "Finding a Healthy Relationship with Food through Mindful Eating Institute"


I am here to support you.

Whether you are just starting to explore this mindful approach to emotional eating and weight management, or are an existing client - I am here to support you on your self-care journey! Reach out to me.


With compassion,

Petra


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