Our self-harm often stems from our deeply rooted belief that we are not enough just as nature intended us to be. The biggest lie of modern culture is that if we change who we are and what we have on the outside we will find peace and contentment within. We think that If we shrink our bodies we will feel enough or if we get that job we will be enough. In actual fact, in our rush and fight for worthiness, we deprive ourselves, not only of the beauty of life unfolding around us but of the things that really matter. That birthday party when all we could focus on was trying to control our food intake, or that weekend away where we were plagued with anxiety because our food was being cooked by someone else. Before we realise it, we have years and years of clouded memories and numbness around us because we have focussed on trying to be enough so much our quality of life has suffered.
Our feelings of unworthiness is through no fault of our own. Growing up, we may have told that we are not 'good enough, or an aunt or teacher with old-fashioned views or struggles of their own have commented on our weight or appearance in a way that made us feel as if we are not acceptable. We are so much more than our bodies and it can be difficult to see this if we have placed so much value and attention on that for so long. We are a soul, a spirit, a light, and there is no limit to how much we can thrive when we start to nurture ourselves from believing that we are already enough and that we were born enough.
When we shift our mindset to one of abundance, we begin to realise that we are whole and that in our fight to feel and be enough, we have done the opposite and chipped away at our wholeness. We have stolen time, energy, experience, and authenticity from ourselves and recovery is about developing an awareness of when we are stealing from ourselves and finding freedom from the actions that do the stealing.
In yoga, we refer to this as the practice of Asteya (non-stealing)
How does your relationship with food and your body keep you from enjoying the things you have?
What has your relationship with food and your body stolen from you?
As soon as we learn to talk, we are taught how to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. We are taught that it is ‘good manners’ and nothing more. And yet, being thankful or grateful is one of the most powerful tools in healing your life and asking for something you need or asking for help is equally as powerful. It wasn’t until much later in my life that I discovered the true importance of gratitude and asking for what I need.
When we do not consciously practice gratitude we lose touch with the sacredness of life.
If you are new to gratitude practices, you might feel like a fraud. I certainly did at the beginning. I would write my gratitude list without feeling genuine gratitude for the things I would write. Like any of our other spiritual practices, it is a work-in-progress. There is an authenticity to uncover the more we do the work. As you explore your capacity for gratitude further, you will notice a colour and a lightness naturally starting to appear where there was once a darkness.
This week we will let gratitude work pour out of us, regardless of whether we feel genuinely grateful or not-
Identify something that you do every morning: making a cup of tea, having breakfast, making the bed, brushing your teeth. Let this be your reminder to write your gratitude list.
Start by looking around you and identifying things that you are grateful for- your soft clothes, your mug of coffee, your home, your pet, your candles. Write everything down and take a moment to wonder what life would be like without each one of those things.
Now close your eyes and begin to explore your inner world. What things are you grateful for about yourself? What parts of your character and your soul are you grateful for? Your courage? Your strength? Your intelligence? If you are choosing things about your body, make sure the gratitude comes from a place deeper than your physical appearance for example- my strong legs help me to play netball with my friends. You might even note down some things that you wish you were grateful for and imagine what life would be like if you felt truly grateful for those things.
Find a quiet space for meditation. Make sure that the space you are in is uninterrupted and comfortable. You will begin this meditation by bringing awareness to your breath-