The pain of feeling stuck in food
When you rely on food for mothering - to self soothe, care for stress, and self nurture - it can be both soothing and helpful. Ah, temporarily you feel better as you lean in and lean onto food - feeling held by food's warm embrace.
But then you may feel caught in anxiety, or fear:
“Why do I have such a hard time self soothing without food? Why can't I stop eating when it causes me pain?
Ugh - if people only knew my struggles, they wouldn't think so highly of me."
If you're heart centered, highly sensitive, and compassionate, this can be especially hard, triggering feelings of shame or imposter syndrome.
This may be especially true if you're a healer or a spiritual seeker, a therapist, a yoga or meditation teacher, or if you work in the health care field.
If you're someone who places a high value on self awareness, spiritual growth and self compassion, you may feel frustrated that you can have such high self awareness and sincerity - and yet feel so stuck in food.
The shame of feeling stuck in food can also be hard if you're a parent or partner who longs to care for your loved ones with secure attachment, security, and connectedness. Yet you feel like your food struggles are keeping you from connecting in the ways you'd like.
This disparity between what your heart cares so deeply about – what you know to be true – and your own food struggles can be so tender. This gulf can feel like a painful separation, festering feelings of guilt, self attack, and frustration.
The pain of holding back and the pain of doubting your goodness
In the wake of these feelings, you may question yourself. You may feel stuck, frozen, like a fraud, overwhelmed by self doubt - afraid of stepping forward and sharing your gifts.
“How can I be so knowledgeable and caring and yet struggle so much?”
You may pull back from your relationships, even ones you dearly treasure. You may notice that you isolate and hide out, and feel less connected to your own loving heart.
When you're caught in overeating, you may notice that you disconnect from your friends and family, hiding this part of yourself from your closest loved ones.
The need for safety + the need for freedom
You long to share your love and your heart in a deeper manner. You long to connect, to feel less isolated. You long to trust yourself, and your being. And you long to trust and share your gifts.
It's these two opposing needs - the longing to feel free to express your whole self in the world - and your need for safety, to find rest in food - that makes overeating so 'sticky,' painful and challenging. These two needs can feel like they've locked horns, where you can only choose one.
But when we gently separate the need for connection, holding, and stress relief from the need for food, then our needs for freedom and safety can both be met.
There are good reasons why you overeat
It's easy to look at overeating or any kind of overdoing with food as proof of 'badness,' a moral failure. It might seem like a lack of character or strength.
But as you'll learn in When Food is Your Mother, there are good reasons why you overeat! When we feel overwhelmed, stressed, and caught in painful emotions, everything in our neurobiology is wired to connect.
In the absence of true connection, we can turn to other places of safety and holding - like food.
So the motivation behind overeating is to offer yourself care - to self nurture.
When this really sinks in, you might hear it this way:
"Oh - I'm not a terrible person for overeating. I'm just overwhelmed and trying to care for myself in the only way I know how."
Understanding these unconscious needs brings such relief!
I understand why this feels hard
My name is Karly Randolph Pitman, and I understand the drive to overeat. This topic is close to my heart as I had 20 years of multiple eating disorders and chronic depression and anxiety. I've also had the honor to bear witness to others' stories of challenge, growth and rebirth. Our students awe me with their courage. (More about me here.)
I started writing about these topics in 2006, published a book in 2007, and started teaching classes in 2008.
What I learned
In 2014 I created
When Food Is Your Mother. I had learned something profound about healing from my mentor in attachment and developmental psychology: that relationship is the womb of growth.
This shifted my approach to focus more on creating the safety that allows us to unfold.
Creating a womb of connection is what enables you to gently change a pattern of turning to food for self nurturing. Trying to force change, control and manage behavior, or ‘cut out’ the overeating are much, much harder because they're going against your wiring - and they often don't work. (More explanation can be found below.)
You deepen and strengthen your roots, and then you support the ways you want to fly. That, in a nutshell, is the insight that underlies the teachings in this course.
An opportunity to join the group class
If this speaks to you, you can sign up below for the waiting list for the 2020 class.
Many, many have been touched and moved by When Food Is Your Mother over the years I've taught it. I've updated the materials for this new class to go beyond insight into hands on exercises you can practice, feel and see in your life.
As a teacher, I wish these things for you:
Be filled with ease rather than stress
I want you to feel empowered and whole: to feel empathy and understanding for the places where you've gotten stuck in food, knowing you did the best you could – while also feeling empowered to change.
Habits do not define your self worth
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 rest in your being, to know imperfection is not just okay, but holy.
Your hardships are not who you are
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.
Be filled with courage
I want you to feel courage when facing difficult emotions or situations, resting in strength, knowing you can handle it, and knowing that you're not alone.
And I want you to experience joy and levity and the freedom that arises from making choices – especially when those choices are hard.
Why this work matters
While I'm a teacher, I'm also a student. As I see it, we're all in this together!
I know that healing your relationship with food is important to you - especially when it impacts your relationship with yourself, your relationship with others, and your relationship with Source, with Love itself.
That's why this work matters.
As you nourish your internal refuge - the connection you feel with all your inner parts, and the connection you feel with Love - this refuge, rather than food, becomes more and more of your true belonging, your true home.
The fruits of connection
When we feel connected to ourselves, several things happen.
Your identity is no longer tied to how 'good' or 'bad' you are with food. You're able to relax and rest in your imperfection and bring more ease into the healing process. Mistakes and the messy path of learning are not just okay, but invited, for it's how we learn.
You feel ok being where you are - even if this means being a beginner or needing lots of support. Being a beginner isn't something to be ashamed of, but a really tender place, full of grace, support and holding. We're okay saying, "I don't know how to do that" without pride or shame.
Shame and anxiety softens. You feel more comfortable bringing your whole self, in all its wonder and width and breadth, to your relationships, and to your world.
This creates ease and space where you can genuinely connect with others, softening the pain of isolation and welcoming in greater connection and intimacy.
These are the deeper reasons for this course, and how it aims to serve and support you.
How this course can help you find relief
When we feel stressed, we can seek out food as a mothering, nurturing presence - a place to self soothe, self regulate, and offer ourselves warmth and care.
This course is designed to help you soften this habit of using food for mothering.
When Food is Your Mother is grounded in an understanding of attachment and how your developmental needs, emotional brain, and the impact of separation drive your relationship with food.
This perspective can be very helpful in cultivating self forgiveness and nourishing growth.
It can also help you heal the internalized feelings of 'badness,' shame and self judgment that you carry for relying on food.
Healing the pain of separation
One of the most powerful effects of learning this course material is how it heals separation – the self judgment, shame and guilt we can feel about our compulsive behaviors.
Once you understand the primary needs that drive your bond with food, and as your heart opens to this deeper truth, this separation begins to heal and dissolve.
The shame of “I should've known better” softens, the inner critic relaxes, and you feel connected to a
greater sense of wholeness, forgiveness and self compassion.
It's a powerful homecoming.
Becoming the loving 'mama bear' to your heart
With this integration, you move into a position of being the loving guide, the caring protector, and compassionate mother for the parts of you that act out with food. Like a loving mama bear, this supports you in buiding the impulse control and tempered thinking that enables you to feel the pull of craving and say no.
You also come to see the other side – that your struggles with food don't have to be a source of isolation or shame. In fact, your vulnerability can deepen your belonging, your connection with others.
What a relief: to honor your experience without pride or shame.
As feelings of isolation soften, and as you feel held in safety, you can open your heart to relationship, to being in connection. You may feel like you can share the caring and love that resides within you, what felt 'veiled' underneath the food.
Why being in a group class can be so helpful
There's something powerful about coming together in a group class.
We often find common places where we've struggled, or common themes that arise. It's such a relief to know we're not alone, and to face these places together.
Here are some examples of what past students have found in my classes:
- feeling enough - healing a sense of needing to push ourselves hard or needing to rush
- resting - not needing to work so hard on 'fixing' ourselves
- softening the feelings of "There's something wrong with me"
- softening criticism and the fear of mistakes
I can relate to all these themes, as they're things I've wrestled with, too. It's so beautiful to see these places of separation soften and dissolve!
The power of co-regulation
In a group course, one of the things you're doing is replacing a reliance on food with other forms of connection. And you're doing this together, with others!
Like breathing together in a yoga class or working out with a group, the power of the group lifts you up and makes doing hard things - like sitting with uncomfortable emotions - easier.
Neuroscience calls this co-regulation - where we regulate our nervous systems together, in relationship.
Fed through relationships
Like a midwife holding your hand and rubbing your back as you breathe through labor contractions, we are so much stronger when we have someone at our side, when we feel this felt presence of co-regulation, this felt presence of another.
It's this connection and strengthening that I see happening over and over in group classes.
When we share our experience and vulnerability with others, and our experience is met with safety, warmth and acceptance – connection, attunement, understanding, and compassion – our brains are 'fed' by these relational experiences.
As one woman in a class said to me,
"I felt so safe and cared for that I felt like I could begin to soften the grip I had on food."
It's the feeding - the safety and connection - that's making the difference, the positive after effect of co-regulation.
In When Food is Your Mother we have regular Q&A webinars where we come together to practice things like:
- being with the tension of cravings
- feeling emotions
- softening shame
- and caring for vulnerability together
Why group support feels so good
Like the glow that lingers after being with loved ones, or the elevated mood that lasts even after the workout is done, there's a positive effect that lingers from these webinars where the desire to overeat and anxiety is diminished for a time.
People talk about how much calmer they feel afterwards. These experiences can build throughout the course, creating spaces of calm, safety, and connectedness.
This doesn't mean you won't ever overeat again. But even though you may have times when you eat to self soothe, you're also experiencing these 'holding spaces' where the group container is helping you co-regulate.
These new experiences seed and support your growth, your sense that change is possible.
It's really powerful!
Feedback from students
Over the past 10 years of teaching classes, I've tried to listen carefully to the feedback from students.
Here are examples of this feedback. These are short excerpts, and the rest of their words can be found below. This may help you understand if this class is the right fit for you.
"Best money I've ever spent. Seriously. Nothing about my food issues has ever made sense before - - until now..." Cindy
I haven't come across a program like this and I will continually refer my clients to you as they need this foundation work (set the roots) before they can blossom..." Rochelle Ludovisi
"Through this course I came to a place where I could look behind with gratitude and understanding while looking ahead with optimism and excitement and chose to step OFF the shame train and wave goodbye... I am no longer obsessed with finding the right diet, lifestyle, etc because I have found the right model..." Jenn Urso
Thank you for having an approach that is TRULY unique, and EXACTLY what I'm needing now. I've tried EVERY approach out there, EVERY diet, EVERY form of therapy, EVERYTHING. But there is something about your "heart over binge" approach that is just what was missing from my life..." Julie
"Not only am I noticing small, slow steps with my eating, I am seeing how your developmental approach is helping with my spending and relationship issues--- they are all so interwoven!!!" Candace
"I've found for both me and my clients, it's challenging to get past this addiction unless you look at the root cause. It was such an honor to be a part of When Food Is Your Mother..." RL
"I'm learning to step down from the surface , the ego, and go deeper into my heart. I am learning to articulate and thus seek the things that really drive me and move me..." Susan
How to participate:
The next class begins Monday, September 14th, 2020 and ends Thursday, November 12th.
(There's a 1 week
half way through the course, the week of October 12th. This week is
for rest, integration, and catch up. There are no course materials or Q&A classes this week.
Lessons to frame your understanding
The course is comprised of six main lessons to help you understand why you bond with food and a map for the healing process.
This big picture orientation puts the 'left brain' to 'rest' -- its best position to support the healing journey.
Playful, experiential exercises
Then you'll play with the themes in the course! I invite you to bring the material into your life offline. I'll offer weekly prompts that you can use to create a book of connection - healing collages that give you the opportunity to play with the themes of the course in a creative, expressive and symbolic way.
You'll gather photos, images, poems, quotes, and more to fill this book to create a space of connection - a reminder of your wholeness, goodness, and connection.
You'll also receive short, guided audio meditations to nourish and deepen your healing. These reflections will support you in healing separation, softening self judgment, and building the womb of growth.
You can play these on your phone when you're feeling anxious. Or replay them before bedtime or in the afternoons, when we tend to get tired and feel disconnected.
Group connection + support
There will also be a private group space where you can connect with the group. You can share what you're discovering about yourself, get encouragement and perspective from others along a similar path, ask questions, and share your response to the course materials.
My classes tend to attract a soulful group of people, HSPs and heart centered people who yearn to support each other. Past students have said how much having the group support has helped them. People even meet new friends! We work hard to create a safe, nurturing group space as we know this class can touch on vulnerable topics.
Q&A live class sessions
It's important to make room to ask what's on your heart or mind. Where do you feel stuck? What's not making sense yet?
So we also have Q&A classes (we host these on zoom) where you can ask questions and share your experience.
During these classes we also practice healing exercises together, what you could call applied mindfulness. This is one of the most powerful parts of the course - and often, people's favorite!
For example, in past classes we've practiced:
- being with the tension of craving
- softening painful feelings and judgment about mistakes
- feeling a sense of 'being enough'
- soothing the part of us that feels scared to change
- and connecting with your strongest self, the part of you that doesn't want or need to overeat
When you join us live, it'll be an online webinar format. Or you can watch recorded video replays, or download audio recordings for later listening.
Q&A classes are on Thursdays at 1 p.m. Central Daylight Time (Chicago / Dallas, USA).
These are the dates to save in your calendar: Thursday, 9/17, 9/24, 10/1, 10/8, 10/22, 10/29, 11/5 and 11/12.
Course curriculum 2020
Module 1: Understanding why you bond with food
You'll learn how and why you bond with food as a mothering presence when you're feeling overwhelmed, caught in painful emotions, or overwhelmed by stress.
You'll also learn how to use self compassion to nurture a new pathway, a new way of relating to your needs.
- why you get stuck in food for self soothing
- the bond that trumps your good intentions to eat more mindfully
- the two primary developmental needs you meet with food
- the two forms of self compassion that nourish growth
- how to meet and care for those young parts that are asking for soothing
- how to build the safety that helps you take risks
- how to separate your cravings for food from your need for nurturing
This will be taught in two sessions spanning two weeks
Module 2: Building the attachment village, the womb of growth
You'll build the womb of growth, the attachment village. This is what creates the safety and connectedness to foster healing, change and new life.
While every attachment village also includes relationship with others, in this module we're focusing primarily on building your internal village – internalizing a village of supportive, loving helpers and building an oasis of safety inside yourself.
- how you internalize both positive and negative experiences and connections with your world around you
- how to amplify warm, positive connections in your inner world so you feel held, safe and cared for
- how to build your inner protector, the shield from self criticism and self blame
- how to soften criticism, self attack, and harshness
- how to create a healthy and nourishing attachment with yourself
- how the voice of separation appears in your life, and how to soften it
- the subtle difference between trying to change your vulnerabilities and caring for them
This will be taught in two sessions spanning two weeks
Module 3: Softening your emotional bond with food
Now that you've learned why you bond with food, and now that we've spent time building safety and nurturing the inner village, in this session you'll learn how to soften this bond and take the 'exquisite risk' towards growth. You'll learn how to support yourself in relaxing your bond with food, finding other sources of refuge.
- the developmental process that allows the emotional brain to 'unhook' and let go of painful patterns
- how to build resilience through letting go
- how to set loving limits with food
- how to soften the fear of making mistakes and food perfectionism
- how to soften the feelings of “I should've known better”
- how to build the impulse control that helps you sit with cravings
- how to connect with your strongest self, the part of you that doesn't crave food
- and how to soften self criticism, guilt, and powerlessness with food
This will be taught in two weeks
Module 4: Resting in wholeness: deepening connection, softening separation, and softening over-responsibility
In this session you celebrate the village of homecoming! We bring it all together to deepen your felt sense of being cared for, connected, and in community internally, within your being, and externally, with others and Source. Connectedness softens overresponsibility, deepens joy, belonging, and purpose, and helps us co-regulate.
- how to use your food struggles to deepen connection with others rather than create isolation
- how to deepen compassion and kindness towards your food challenges
- how to open to forgiveness and Love where you feel like you've 'failed'
- how to temper over-responsibility
- how to open to receiving connection, support, and help
- how to build a village of external support
- how to soften feelings of isolation, an overfocus on self-regulation, and 'needing to do it alone'
- how to create a support system for when you get stuck
- and how to bond with positive experiences – play, joy, gratitude, and purpose
This will be taught in two weeks
About Karly, the course creator
Hello! I'm so glad you're here. I’m Karly, your guide through the course. I help highly sensitive people who struggle with shame, sugar, overdoing and perfectionism and who yearn to create a kinder, more compassionate relationship with themselves.
There's a deeper story that lives underneath the surface story of your struggle, and this story is both more true and more merciful. It's this story that I help midwife into being. There is so much beauty - and so much tenderness - that lives in and underneath your struggles.
Growing human(kind)ness, the name of my website, means to soften self criticism and shame, and to claim the wholeness that is our birthright. This work arose from two things - from my own experience with 20 years of multiple eating disorders, chronic depression and anxiety, and from bearing witness to others' stories of challenge, growth and rebirth.
I teach classes, write books and courses, and speak to groups.
I offer this teaching in service to all who feel the shame of human stumbling and who yearn for wholeness, and a desire for a more compassionate and connected world. Underneath all my work you'll find a love for the human heart.
I live in Austin, Texas with my husband Patrick and our family, two dogs, a very frisky cat, lots of dust bunnies, and beautiful oak trees. I love good stories, good music, good food, good words, lifting heavy things, and long walks.
Best money I've ever spent. Seriously. Nothing about my food issues has ever made sense before - - until now.
My thinking is changing a little every day, and your teachings are a balm to my soul. I often find myself weeping because you "get me." And you are right; the material is so deep and life-changing that I desire to go over it again and again.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Karly.
- Cindy, USA
An approach that trusts your process
In this course, you'll experience a combination of left brain insight paired with right brain creative integration, reinforced with guided meditations and group connection.
But there's something else that's integral to the class: a womb of safety. There's no pressure on you to 'fix' anything, to meet a certain expectation, to achieve a certain result, or to force healing.
Of course - this doesn't mean you can't try and effect change or support your healing process. Merely, that I trust your process, and won't force it.
This 'womb of safety' is one of the things that people have most enjoyed about my courses: the wonderful feeling of being held and accepted in whatever place they're at, with no pressure to be different or to transform.
It's a beautiful irony that this acceptance and lack of forcing is often what nourishes our growth!
Healing is a beautiful Mystery, and one this course can help you surrender into, softening the sense of pressure that it's all on your shoulders or the urgency to 'fix' yourself.
So you'll prepare good soil. You may put up some fences. We'll water your seeds of growth. And as Martin Prechtel said, "the holy in your seeds will direct."
Frequently Asked Questions
"It was such an honor to be apart of When Food is Your Mother. I am reminded of your kind words, honest nature and your wisdom on a daily basis.
"I've found for both me and my clients, it's challenging to get past this addiction unless you look at the root cause. I haven't come across a program like this and I will continually refer my clients to you as they need this foundation work (set the roots) before they can blossom into the beautiful flower that is in all of us. Thank you,"
- Rochelle Ludovisi, Los Angeles, California, USA
"Coming to the end of this course is bittersweet. I can't thank you enough. This course blew me away, reaching depths that I longed to touch but didn't know how to.
"For so long I have struggled with living in two different worlds- one that genuinely likes, values and practices health and well-being and one that is secretly plagued by emotional and binge eating.
"As I know many in this course have done, I feverishly searched for answers trying to find understanding, relief and change. And I found bits and pieces here and there, but it lacked the depth and comprehensiveness that I was yearning for.
"Today that has changed and therefore I have changed. This course facilitated so many aha and breakthrough moments.
"I was finally able to see and tap into the shame train that I was on since a traumatic incidence in my childhood. That incident connected me to shame which grew deeper and wider through the years and over many life experiences. I also saw with clarity that I gripped to shame because, while it was destructive, it also protected and served me, giving me a reliable entity to lean on.
"Through this course I came to a place where I could look behind with gratitude and understanding while looking ahead with optimism and excitement and chose to step OFF the shame train and wave goodbye. With this massive shift, I was also able to begin practicing self-worth which I think was previously tied to perfectionism but I loosened that grip.
"I am no longer obsessed with finding the right diet, model, lifestyle, etc because I have found the right model ...staying connected to my power, my light, my true self, my worth though compassion and a fierce yet tender love.
"I am not eating perfectly nor am I my ideal weight but I am no longer wrapped tightly around trying to force that. I have confidence, courage and compassion in a new way. And I believe that this is the platform for all other change that needs to take place.
"THANK YOU for bringing so much wisdom, so much intelligence, care and love to this program. It's truly helped me to break free."
- Jenn Urso, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
"I've learned so much from When Food is Your Mother. I am so grateful that your website and have the opportunity to participate in the webinars and listen to your soft and caring answers.
"If I need to use a caring voice in my self-talk, I will use yours.
"Like so many others, I have tried every diet/eating plan imaginable - all with little, no or short-term success. Now I know why none of those plans worked!
"Not only am I noticing small, slow steps with my eating, I am seeing how your developmental approach is helping with my spending and relationship issues--- they are all so interwoven!!!
"I'm so grateful to have been led to you and your wonderful teaching"
- Candace Snow
"I want to send you my deepest gratitude for your work, for you insights, for your kindness and compassion. But more importantly, I need to thank you for having an approach that is TRULY unique, and EXACTLY what I'm needing now.
"I've tried EVERY approach out there, EVERY diet, EVERY form of therapy, EVERYTHING. And I've worked with really great people.
"But there is something about your "heart over binge" approach that is just what was missing from my life.
"I'm so happy to know you, to have found your materials, and to be part of your classes.
"I'm experiencing a form of healing I never dreamed possible, at just about the lowest point in my life (my husband died in September of Thymic Carcinoma, a very rare and aggressive cancer, and we have a 9 1/2 year old). Just as I felt I couldn't sink any lower, I started hearing your voice, your message, and it all started to shift for me.
"I feel like I've been given a new lease on life. Thank you."
- Julie, Brooklyn, New York, USA
"I just finished listening to Module 2 yesterday and I thought 'Holy Cow!' Karly really hits the nail on the head. I had to stop it after a while just to think it over.
"I'm a nurse, providing in-home patient care.
"I have sent so many articles to my friends on this topic. I'm also in OA, and struggling with it. It feels mean sometimes. Whereas Karly's approach is so much about self-love and caring for yourself.
"I wanted to let you know that my experience with this course has been fantastic!! Really amazing shifts as I listen and allow your words to sink into me that articulate my experience.
"Thank you so much for being so articulate about things that reach me on a pre-verbal level. Just wanted you to know that your work is powerful and helpful."
- Char B., USA
"I'm so grateful to have found your work, I think it's one of life's "here you go, you need this" moments.
"I'm mostly grateful that there are people who are helping others live a real, full, healthy life, internally. This is what the world needs. Thank you so much"
"Your work is helping me acknowledge and connect with how I am feeling, see how I use sugar as an emotional crutch and soothing technique, find my core values, and develop alternate ways to soothe and honour myself.
"It is also helping me move toward a more meaningful and compassionate mindset around food, fitness/sports, and my health. I'm learning to step down from the surface , the ego, and go deeper into my heart.
"I am learning to articulate and thus seek the things that really drive me and move me. The things that matter. I could write on, but I won't!! Mostly I just want to thank you for your authenticity, compassion, and deep and important work.
- Susan, United Kingdom
Background Primer: Why stress can lead to overeating
When we experience something that feels too much to bear, we can feel overwhelmed, disconnected, anxious, and afraid.
We become locked in a sense of separation where we feel cut off, isolated and alone - cut off from others, from Love itself and even from our own wholeness - from our own wisdom, our strength and capacity.
We often feel very small, very stuck, and very young.
You're wired to seek connection
When this happens, everything in our neurobiology is wired to connect.
We seek out refuge, and look for connection - places of safety, 'holding' and containment where we feel cared for - and a part of the whole again.
For many, many of us this refuge is food.
Why change can feel so hard
This is one of the primary reasons why it can feel so hard to stick to your good intentions to eat more consciously, to stop overeating, or to set limits with sugar.
It’s not because you don’t care, are being ‘negative,’ or aren’t trying hard enough. Rather, this need for connection - to feel safe, cared for and seen - is overriding your good intentions.
How you can use this in your relationship with food
One of the most healing steps you can take in your relationship with food is to open to this understanding and change how you see overeating. When you move from seeing it as a character flaw and really get the needs that drive it, you've taken the first step to healing the separation within yourself.
This understanding also lays the foundation for growth. It's what helps you take the risk and discover new ways of nurturing yourself beyond food - attuning to what you really need, building an internal refuge, and reaching out to others in connection.
Taking the shame and judgment out of overeating opens us for healing, connection, and growth.
It's something bigger than you personally
I could write for pages about the cultural forces that make connection so hard - the busyness, the distraction, the inhuman pace of life that makes true connection so difficult, cultures that are achievement focused and individualistic, and more.
That's one of the reasons why I feel so passionate about this topic: for it's something that matters individually - how you feel connected - and collectively - how we nourish these bonds and connections in our communities and world.
All of you belongs
It's easy to frame your struggles with food 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 overeating is not a detour from your goodness. It's a deeper embrace of it: where all of you is welcome and included.
The longing to grow
If you've struggled with food 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.
Moving into your deeper story
Your relationship with food is an opportunity for healing, how these capacities grow and arise in you. Like the mud that cradles the lotus blossom, your 'struggle' is the very place where you emerge in your fullness. It's where your story of being 'shameful' or 'bad' can fall away and you begin to wonder: what is my deeper story?
So while this journey may feel scary, new or uncertain, it's a great place to be!
Whether or not you choose to take this particular course or whether you find help elsewhere, 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.
Thank you for honoring your deeper story.
May your dreams and truth be supported with kindness, care, and support, and may you find ease. Blessings and blessings to you.
"I wish that every single person on our beautiful planet could feel as good as I do now.
"If you're thinking about doing this programme, then I urge you to stop thinking. Just thinking has never helped me much.
"Doing seems to be the answer, and doing it with kindness, respect and gentleness is winning the day for me. May it win your day too."