Why Emerge was created for you
Welcome to Emerge! I wanted to take a few moments to introduce you to the course, and to share a bit about why she was created.
For 14 years now, I've had the honor to sit alongside many sensitive, caring, intentional souls and listen to them speak their sugar stories aloud.
I've heard how sugar is "a mother," a refuge, a close friend, a source of comfort and security. One woman said sugar was her "nice girl's addiction." Another said that sugar was like "a bad boyfriend she can't let go."
This course - what I originally called The 30 Day Lift, and then renamed as Emerge - was birthed from these stories, and from the sacred longing underneath. If I had to describe that longing, I would describe it as 'wholeness.' A desire to feel enough, okay, worthy, to be beheld with soft eyes.
A longing to see the goodness and beauty and strength in the deep feeling nature and tenderness that can send us into sugar in the first place.
Why sugar creates shame
There's something about sugar that not only has us grasping for refuge in her arms but also creates shame about our needs and neediness, the ways we hurt and long for comfort and holding.
In modern cultures like ours that prize individualism and achievement, vulnerability - especially the vulnerability of wanting or needing something for comfort - is often frowned upon. Being sensitive, we feel this implicit judgment.
We do our best to hide or minimize our neediness and vulnerability. But when our needs are suppressed, neediness naturally arises. It comes out anyways, sideways, in sugar.
Our sugar habit becomes our secret shame, a place of loathing, guilt, or frustration.
So it's a double bind: we long for the comfort of sugar, and at the same time, we despise ourselves for needing it in the first place.
We may internalize our society's discomfort with vulnerability and blame ourselves.
How shame becomes internalized, as 'feeling broken'
This tenderness - the shame of needing, the shame of feeling, the shame of hurting - can drive us hard, where we become merciless towards ourselves, striving to 'get rid of' our 'sugar problem.'
This striving can lead to frustration, self criticism and self attack.
Over time, we may even feel broken or damaged, like there's something wrong with us.
We may sense that the ways we use sugar to care for our needs isn't healthy. We may long to scale back so that sugar is one form of self care, but not our primary way of self nurturing.
But we may feel really stuck. Yes, but how?
Healing your relationship with sugar is the key
Often, this frustration and shame is the most painful part of the struggle. It often feeds the sugar cycle and keeps it going.
We can't meet our own expectations with sugar, which feeds the sugar, which feeds the frustration, which feeds the shame, which only makes us try harder, which exhausts us further, which leads to the despair of "I'll never change"...And so around and around we go, our hearts aching.
In Emerge, we're going to help you step out of that cycle. It may seem a bit counter intuitive, as we're not going to focus so much on behavior.
You won't be focusing on what to do but how to relate.
And it starts by recognizing: you aren't broken. You may have needs that are asking for attention and care. There may be skills for you to develop or strengthen. But this is not the same thing as brokenness.
Healing your relationship with sugar or any painful habit is the first step to new behaviors with sugar. As one of my mentors says, its your relationship with your struggle that births the changes you desire.
Trying to create what we lack doesn't work
We often do it backwards: we focus on the end, on behavior, on trying to create the results we want. We think, "If I only lost this much weight, or ate this way, or changed this or that about myself then I'd feel better. I wouldn't feel broken. I'd feel less anxious. I'd feel like a grown up."
If we sit quietly with these statements, we'd see that we're trying to create what we think we lack - the safety, the sense of okayness, feeling whole and good and worthy and loveable. When we try to create what we think is missing, we're doing so from a place of perceived deficiency and separation.
It's like we're trying to get back somewhere 'whole.'
But in Emerge, and all our courses, we focus on helping you access the space of wholeness now. This is where practices like looking again, forgiveness, self compassion, mindfulness, healing shame and self blame come in.
From this place of wholeness, from this place of love, from this place of safety, we start to relate to our struggles differently. As we relate differently, new ideas and insights come! We can express new habits, capacities, responses, and ways of being.
How your healing with sugar expands into widening circles
As your relationship with sugar and your relationship with yourself changes, you experience less shame, less self blame, and more openness.
This, then impacts how you relate to yourself, to others and the world. Rather than feeling pressured to produce your 'best self,' you're able to relax and rest in your imperfection, sharing your whole self, in all its wonder and width and breadth.
This creates ease and a space where you can genuinely connect with others, softening the pain of isolation that often accompanies bad habits, and welcoming in greater connection and intimacy.
I remember how many days I spent in isolation, recovering from a sugar hangover. I'd hide out in my basement, at home, waiting for the upset stomach to pass, waiting to ride out the wave of shame. I kept myself in hiding for many, many years.
It's this additional pain that we yearn to heal.
These are the deeper reasons why Emerge was created, and how it aims to serve both you and our greater world.
My wish for you
So as you journey through Emerge, my yearning is for you to feel whole – that you may feel empathy and understanding for the places where you've gotten stuck, knowing you did the best you could, while also feeling empowered to change.
I want you to know in your bones that your self worth is not tied to your habits, and to feel relief from needing 'to get it right all the time.' I want you to feel your courage and your strength when facing difficult emotions or situations, knowing you can handle it, and knowing that you're not alone.
I want you to live from your wholeness, to know that your hardships and challenges are not who you are - and that you can care for them without being them.
And I want you to experience joy and levity and the freedom that arises from making choices – even if those choices are hard – especially when those choices are hard.
Do you wonder, "Is transformation possible?"
It's easy to frame bad habits as something 'outside' of your wholeness, something that doesn't or shouldn't belong – as if your health includes everything BUT this painful part.
But any kind of overdoing – sugar, work, food, perfectionism – is not a detour from your goodness. It's a deeper embrace of it: where all of you is welcome and included, where you sink into your deeper story.
It's a paradox, but this compassionate embrace is what helps you shed habits that hurt.
If you've struggled with a compulsive sugar habit, and you feel a nudge or desire to change – even if you don't feel like you know how to do so – then you're at a turning point in your journey.
Some part of you is longing to grow.
We all carry capacities inside that can feel dormant or undeveloped – capacities like telling ourselves no, feeling uncomfortable feelings, and standing in our strength.
There are other qualities inside us that also long to express themselves, to emerge and grow – qualities like trust, compassion, understanding, forgiveness, and patience.
We may not trust these capacities or ourselves – we may think they don't exist or are impossible. But they're there.
These qualities long to express themselves through you, to be born into the world.
But like all that is 'low and lowly,' they aren't born through victories or successes, but through the things in you that feel small and shameful: through the least of these, through the very thing you're struggling with.
Perfectionism, overdoing, or a 'bad habit' are opportunities for healing, how these capacities grow and arise in you. Like the mud that cradles the lotus blossom, your 'bad habit' is the very place where you emerge in your fullness, and where your story of being 'shameful' or 'bad' can fall away.
So while this journey may feel scary, new or uncertain, it's a great place to be!
I want to thank you for embarking on this journey. Thank you for your courage, desire and yearning, for opening both to the vulnerability and the new life that longs to emerge in you.
May your dreams be supported with kindness, care, and support, and may you find ease. Blessings and blessings to you.