Before my first child was born I studied birth – a lot. I wanted to become a mother on my own terms and part of my study included the emotional map of Labor. It’s a simple 4-step path.
2) Focused Determination
3) Self Doubt
I liked all of it – except 3. Can’t I do this with out the discomfort of Self Doubt, if I have enough information? If I do enough work? If I anticipate and prepare, can I avoid step 3? I had successful birth experiences – things went amazingly well. However after birthing 3 babies in a bathtub, after birthing a new family structure, after birthing a business, birthing a new marriage, and watching my boys birth life passages of their own. I have learned that you may not ever skip a step and my dreaded Self Doubt is a crucial part of the process. It taught me humility and was an indicator that I fully recognized the importance of my role in connection with the Birth. This new person/place/space is going to change me, help me evolve and now after birthing over and over again – when I get to self doubt, I’m a little bit relieved because the Birth of my dream is my very next step.
This Mother’s Day celebrate all the meaningful aspects of birthing a life that aligns with your soul. Fill Your Cup! Always.
Did you see the plus size model on the cover of Women’s Running? The message was runners come in all sizes. But glamorizing obesity is absurd – as absurd as glamorizing anorexia but, that is a different post.
Let’s be clear, obesity is an unhealthy choice just like smoking cigarettes and drinking vats of alcohol. It is well documented that longevity and obesity do not go together. Obesity limits the human life span. Fatness kills you.
Eating too much, is an addictive habit that is difficult. Just like smoking and drug use, yet we aren’t putting chain smokers or crack addicts on the covers of fitness magazines.
I get it. Overcoming addiction in any form is hard. It’s painful. It takes personal patience grit and tenacity in their highest forms. I think we form addictions out of a deep need for emotional distraction. Then addictions become habits and habits become unhealthy lifestyles. A jog in some new sneakers isn’t going to change all that distraction > habit > lifestyle we’ve practiced and practiced.
Maybe that’s too deep… Here’s the message: chubby morbidity challenged ladies have just as much right to buy brand new stretchy size 18 clothes as the anorexic, equally morbidity challenged (?), ladies have the right to buy brand new size 0 stretchy clothes.
Cool, that may leave a size 6 or 8 on sale for us.
Take care of yourself. It is a big job. It’s the most important thing you can do for your children, your partner, your sanity, and your life. No one can do it for you. Even if they love you so much they want to. no one can put you to bed on time, feed you the right amount, get you to exercise, breathe, meditate, or work in the right balance for you.
To walk around comfortable you have to put on your slippers! Oh yes, Fill Your Cup.
I’ve been on Vacation in Maui. I’ve lived in a sleepy part of the island in a condo with my favorite person and for the past 2 days we’ve spent time swimming with the turtles. All the while my life has some chaos back home but luckily my head and heart are grounded, by what I’ve seen under the sea.
What I learned from the Turtles is when the waves crash hard into the reef and waters get turbulent the turtles take a deep breath and dive down deep. I wonder if we can in daily life find a habit that lets us hear the silence of the deep water? What does quiet feel like for a few moments under a reef? Distracting yourself with food or libations isn’t going to keep you safe from the turbulence anyway. Take a big breath and dive.
In my pilates class I like to give people some warm ups that let them sense and acknowledge their inner space, breath, postural alignment often inner unit muscles like pelvic floor even before we start gross motor exercise.
To get out of the mind (and blackberry or i-phone) and come into your body takes a little re-directing for most people. But the difference in their practice is profound. Movement is clean and well supported and so students are safer in pushing themselves to stronger adaptations. For example, I have a 75 year old, Jean who is strong beautiful, agile and when she’s feeling confident in her core will do an arm balance. It’s really just an advanced and stabilized version of rolling like a ball or round back on the short box, and in those postures she is already advanced!
In life, when we start the day with breath and meditation we empty any residual stress and set up for a more clear and peaceful day. In our deeper spaces we can tap into our ideal picture and notice our fears more visibly. If we allow ourselves time and processing to let fear float away and replace it with courage and clarity when we get to the gross motor life movements of our to-do, business plan or activity life we have a better base to start from. When something really pushes our edges, (akin to being flipped upside down in an arm balance) an argument or unpleasant surprise we hold better alignment and stay true to ourselves.
Don’t move from the outside until your connected on the inside.
I came up to Whistler B.C. for the last few days of the Olympics. It offered time for wonderful conversations with my children about national pride, sportsmanship, working hard for a goal and of course, winning and losing. We discussed the levels of winning, being great among your piers, being the best in your country, then among the best in the world. We recognized that there are lots of wins before the GOLD.
I feel that it is really important to celebrate all the wins. Otherwise our challenges (especially the worthwhile ones that cannot be mastered in an afternoon) can feel draining and lengthy. We judge our miss-steps harshly in an effort to improve. Do we celebrate our successive gains with as much vigor?
Do you spend more energy celebrating your wins or lamenting your losses? Do you give more thought to criticism or to praise? Hmm let’s bring it closer to your cup and getting (or staying) slim. Do you carry more feelings about how great your clothes fit now or how thick your thighs still are?
Did you drink 8 glasses of water today? (Could you still?) – YEA!!
Did you keep the cup at breakfast and lunch, eating only the modest portion of food that fits in the cup of your hands? – Hurray, you are rockin this!!
Did you do a 5 min core work out today? – Awesome!!
Did you eat ONLY what you truly felt nourished your body today? – SUCCESS!!!
Whatever your wins are – will you celebrate them? (The celebration might fill your mid-afternoon craving/cup?)
Celebrate what you did well, expand those wins tomorrow and one day you will bring home the GOLD!
Fill Your Cup
In the Fill Your Cup lifestyle, I recommend eating only 3 cups of food per day. I do suggest a 4th cup if you are in athletic training for something intense and out of your regular routine. These “cups” are the size of both of your hands together in the shape of a bowl or if you prefer, 6 cups of one individual hand. For most people this is less food than they are eating now, and will help them feel lighter and lose weight. The fourth cup is the wild card. You consume only three cups on regular days and that fourth cup if you really work hard begin and intensive training routine and NEED the extra calories.
The obvious question that follows is; when do you know you NEED that fourth cup? I go back to hunger, let your body get hungry before you eat. I said hungry, not anxious, not bored, not frustrated, not tired, but HUNGRY belly empty and rumbling and really KNOW you haven’t digested as many calories as you have probably burned and then treat yourself thoughtfully to your next cup. Mother Theresa of Calcutta said, “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” Most people must practice a lot to know which one is which. Hunger is an authentic emptiness; your stomach may feel almost contracted. If your hunger is up in your head instead of down in your belly – then that is probably not real hunger and you are just eating for entertainment or avoidance or something else. Embody your hunger and then add the fourth cup on days that you really burn up a lot of calories.
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” Mother Theresa also said. Feed yourself all the love, nurturing AND nutrition you truly need. Fill Your Cup with a wonderful weekend!
(P.S. These recommendations are for grown adults who don’t have variations in metabolic requirements for growth spurts to consider. My sons eat 10 cups some days and 3 cups other days… adolescent growing is a totally different experience.)