When I was struggling with food, I would binge most Sunday afternoons. Maybe it was on a couple of extra bowls of ice cream, some chocolates from a past holiday, or leftover brownies I made for the kids. This binge pattern took away my loneliness or my anxiety about the upcoming week, or sometimes it was my last chance to indulge before I had to be “really good” and go back to my diet. I would wake up Monday morning, quietly despising myself and determined to stay on track with my eating. This pattern, even though deeply painful, was also oddly comfortable and well-known. It felt safe emotionally and mentally when, at a subconscious level, I knew the outcomes of my battles.
I’ve since transformed my relationship with food. Without my destructive patterns, I’ve created a clearing and an opening. I have time and energy to create something new. In the past few months, I’ve done a major clean out of my closet and have taken some pretty significant steps to expand my businesses. I keep asking myself and the Universe “How do I serve my communities with my highest and best self?”. My food struggle wasn’t just keeping me safe, it was also keeping me from living a bigger life. Now that my struggle is behind me, there is nothing in my way.
Even though that sounds incredibly exciting, it’s actually pretty freakin’ scary. I’ve known myself for so long as someone who struggles with food. Now I have gotten to know myself as someone who thrives, is mindful and compassionate around food and my body, and has created habits that serve me best. This new “me” doesn’t know what the future looks like because I’m finally not recreating my past, over and over again. I’ve been scared that this new “me” will disappear, that she is too good to be true, and that I don’t deserve to be her.
As I’ve navigated these new waters over the past year, I’ve come up with a few strategies that have helped me deal with my fears and embrace the newly created “me”. It’s our divine right to live a life full of passion, inspiration and love. If you too have cleared some space and are ready to start living a bigger life right now, try this:
- Name your fear. You may need to do some soul searching and deep inquiry here. What is it that you are truly afraid of? Write it down. Get it on paper.
- See that named fear as false. I love the acronym for FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real. Your fear isn’t real; it’s just something you created.
- Stay present. Our fear is a projection of the future. When we are truly in the moment, fear, anxiety and worry cannot exist. Keep yourself present by asking yourself, “What is actually happening right now?”.
- Commit to not letting your fear stop you. You are meant to live a life you love. Commit to forward momentum every day.
- Say a daily mantra to yourself. Make up your own or try one of these: "I breathe in love. I breathe out fear." "I am safe. I am supported. I am enough." "I am present and grounded in this moment." "I release my fears and stay open to the love and support all around me."
- Don’t wait. Even if you are still struggling with your relationship with food or some habitual pattern that is wearing you down, move forward toward the things you want in your life. The momentum may be small, but the impact of moving past your fear is significant.
- Practice living with fear. It’s not about removing our fears, it’s about living fully despite them. When we try to remove our fears, we are giving them more energy. Living with them means quietly acknowledging them as artificial and then moving forward.
If you are considering some big and exciting things in your life, that’s an awesome thing. You are ready. Leave the safety of the unknown and embrace what is possible. Simply take a big breath and SHINE bright.
With Love and Inspiration~