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Monday Memoirs :: The First Three Days

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A blog excerpt from October 8th 2012. 

I tried to keep him dry by covering the opening of the stroller with a blanket, but he wanted to see, so he scooted himself around in front of it, his face thrust defiantly toward new adventures. I didn’t notice until he was so rain-soaked that water was dripping from his ears, and the Cheerios in his tray became a soggy pile of mush.

He started to wail. I gave him his pacifier and sang him a sweet-although-off-key serenade. Entranced by my overtures, he threw his pacifier overboard not once, but three different times. Each time he’d wait a few dozen steps before filing a complaint, and I’d have to backtrack 50 feet in the rain, scouring the ground. I’d vow not to give it to him again, but then I’d think of his soggy Cheerios and rain-soaked ear lobes and give in.

We were on our way to his second day of full-time childcare. I have big plans of world domination by way of freelance writing, and it just wasn’t happening with him at home. We have a car, but on Tuesday my husband needed to go in to work early. The childcare center is in our neighborhood, so I decided to walk Brooklyn to school. On a whim, I set off along the scenic route, figuring I’d sneak in some exercise along the way. Yeah. It turned into a two-hour round-trip with a layover in Dallas. And it rained off and on the whole way.

As we walked I fought an internal battle. I wanted so badly to give up, to admit we couldn’t do it. He needed me. I was abandoning him.

But last week, I was so sure. It’s what I’ve wanted for months. To find good childcare so he could make some baby friends. To build a career for myself and use my gifts to change the world, and bring in a second income for our family.

Pushing that stroller in the rain, I was crippled with the guilt that often comes with following our dreams. I walked home dejected, feeling like I’d failed.

And then I remembered Jermaine’s salty wisdom. I’d shared with him all my doubts and uncertainty: “What if I can’t make it as a freelance writer? What if childcare completely screws up our son?”

Jermaine laughed, “I think you should just schedule overwhelm into the first three days of any big scheme you undertake.”

So, that’s what I did. I put on dry clothes and poured hot coffee. I spent my Tuesday doing dishes and listening to inspiring podcasts from people changing the world. I read Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly. On Wednesday, I penciled in one more day of overwhelm—overwhelm overtime. I talked to my best friend, worked out, and savored more good coffee. And when I felt the gremlins creeping in to whisper that I was a lazy mom for putting Brooklyn in childcare before I had a “real job”, I took a deep breath and recognized them as overwhelm, self-doubt, and fear.

Thursday morning, I woke up ready. I’ve so got this. I can become a well-paid freelancer writer, speaker, and life coach. I can create a free online magazine that inspires people to break good. And I can find gigs as a housekeeper to bring in the cash we need to stay afloat in this transition period. And that’s just what I did.

Yes. This is it.

 

merawHi! I’m Brandy. I run this joint, and I’m so glad you’re here! I write here every weekday to share resources, love, and challenges for dreamers and creative healers. I’m aiming to hit that sweet spot between doing work you love, making the world a better place, and taking care of yourself in the process!

Every Monday, I share an excerpt from my memoir. Working diligently behind the scenes to put it all together by the end of this year. My prayer is that it sets up like some kind of gorgeous word soufflé.

And if you really dig my style and my message, then you might want to consider signing up for my newsletter, Voice Lessons. Every Sunday, I write a love letter to all the people on that list, sharing stuff I don’t share with the world. I’ve even been known to give away entire eCourses for free.

All the love, friend. Thank you for stopping by! If you’d like to know more about me, you can read all my gory details here. I hope this post filled your day with a little extra awesome. Take good care.

When You Have a Superpower and it Sucks Sometimes

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“You’re Professor X,” He marveled, “You feel people’s emotions and you help them fulfill their destiny.”

And sometimes I do feel superhuman. Except for the days I’m legitimately concerned I might be insane.

Growing up, the terms “overly-sensitive” and “emotional” were constantly smooshed onto my forehead. When I was in 5th grade, I started a new school. I didn’t test well, so they put me in the remedial class. One day, the kids were all acting particularly unruly. Mrs. Harris tried to calm us down in all the rational and appropriate ways. But finally, after a couple of hours of failing miserably, she lost her shit and just started screaming at us.

Her rage felt like radio waves, pulsating off her and onto me. I started sobbing. Poor Mrs. Harris. That was not the effect she had hoped to have. I wasn’t one of the kids she was yelling at. I barely ever raised my hand, let alone my voice.

Later, at a teacher-parent conference, she laughed as she relayed the story to my parents, “I can tell you never yell at her at home!” They laughed in agreement and said something about spoiling me. But it wasn’t exactly true. I did get yelled at. And when I did, whenever I felt someone else’s anger bearing down on me, it scared the crap out of me and I often ended up crying.

I first heard the word “Empath” last fall. I was talking to another life coach and in the conversation, she called her daughter one.

“She describes events by the emotions she feels. She experience other people’s emotions as if they are her own.”

I’d never heard the term but I was pretty sure it meant something to me. I Googled it, like you do. I took a few tests online. They all came up 90-100%. Whatever it was, I had it.

Discovering you’re an empath is a bit like finding out that you are not actually crazy.

I have this visceral memory from a couple of New Years’ Eves ago. We brought in that year at my in-laws old church. We sang songs until the ball dropped and then the kids tried to see if they could stay up until morning. My husband, the keyboardist, had just finished playing and began chatting with his cousin, on bass, and his sister, the drummer. We’d been married for less than a year. I sat in a pew by myself and suddenly I felt like I was going to fall apart. Before I knew it, I was sobbing. And I had no idea why. Jermaine’s family isn’t extremely expressive emotionally. By this point, they were kind of used to me breaking down for no apparent reason, but it was still painfully embarrassing. I tried to collect myself but I could not pull it together.

That’s one of many of those kind of stories. It happens a lot at churches. Last Sunday, I started blubbering in the middle of the morning announcements. I tried to make eye contact with the speaker so he wouldn’t think it had anything to do with the upcoming Christmas play he was telling us about.

There are people who I feel connected to on an almost physical level even if we’re 1000s of miles apart. When something goes wrong with them, I feel it immediately.

“The greatest gift we have is to bear their pain without breaking and it comes from your most human part, hope.” +Charles Xavier

There are different kinds of empaths. Many, in fact, but I really like Spiritual Mechanics video on five main types—emotional, physical, animal, global, and earth.

I realize this is a little bit out there. One of the things I’m aiming to do with this blog is to make this kind of stuff less scary for people who aren’t total hippies. I’ve spent a lot of time praying and discerning for myself whether I think it’s real. Honestly, there’s no way to be totally sure. But, for me, it rings true.

I do believe that I am an emotional empath.

It makes sense of many parts of my life. It makes sense why I was and am inclined to numb myself when things become too overwhelming. It explains how I just *know* stuff that there’s no rational way I should know. And learning about this has really helped me better relate to other people. First because if I’m put off by another person, I have the tools to check in with myself and make sure it’s not their stuff that’s upsetting me. And second because I literally feel for them, I’m better able to love and help them.

I know that it’s this part of my personality that has made me such an effective life coach. I can almost immediately cut right to the place I know they need to go and approach it in a way that resonates with them so that they’re open in ways they may not have been before that moment.

I’ve talked about being an empath to close friends and family but I’ve never written about it before today. I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts file for weeks. It’s one of the hard things for me. But I’m hoping it helps you. If you have felt unexplainably crazy and sort of controlled by your emotions—or the emotions of others—you might be an empath.

It looks different for everyone. Lots of empaths can’t go to thrift shops because they feel the energy of the past too strongly. Other empaths could never live for long in the city. For me, I love all the people. Most of the time, I feel like I have a high tolerance for the strong emotions of others, even if I react strongly myself.

Going to the Navy hospital, though, is a special kind of torture for me, though. I feel the pain that these soldiers felt and it kills me. We had to go twice this week and it sucked a lot life out of me.  In response, I slept more than usual, drank more coffee and had a couple extra beers. Yesterday, I coped by blowing off my to-do list and cleaning my entire apartment from top to bottom. It was a welcome kind of self-care. I was basically clearing out all the painful energy.

People use different language. If you have all these things, but “empath” is too woo-woo, that’s okay. You can call it whatever fits you best. And if you’ve never experienced this stuff, I hope this post helps you to understand those of us who’ve baffled you with #allthefeelings.

If you’re feeling worn down emotionally right now, I feel you. For serious. And I’m grateful for you. We need your superpowers.

merawHi! I’m Brandy. I run this joint, and I’m so glad you’re here! I write here every weekday to share resources, love, and challenges for dreamers and creative healers. I’m aiming to hit that sweet spot between doing work you love, making the world a better place, and taking care of yourself in the process!

And if you really dig my style and my message, then you might want to consider signing up for my newsletter, Voice Lessons. Every Sunday, I write a love letter to all the people on that list, sharing stuff I don’t share with the world. I’ve even been known to give away entire eCourses for free.

Ohh, also! I’m doing this crazy operation that’s tailor-made for creative healers and very specifically the early adaptors. It’s called The Shalom Experiment and if it sounds like something you’d be into, I hope you’ll check it out.

All the love, friend. Thank you for stopping by. If you’d like to know more about me, you can read all my gory details here. I hope this post filled your day with a little extra awesome. Take good care.

Week Six :: Don’t Go Upstairs

Brandy Blogs the Bible

 

The Paraphrase (Exodus 16-28)

Chapter 16—The people are hungry and they grumble a second time. God rains down bread from the sky. They call it “What is it?” (“Manna”) God gives detailed instructions about when to pick it up and how long to keep it—never overnight, except the day before Sabbath because they were not to do any work on the Sabbath]. Some people disregard these instructions. Moses saves some in a jar, for future generations.

Chapter 17—The people grumble for the third time (about water again). Once again, God provides. Next they battle with the Amalekites. During the battle, Moses holds up his staff, and while he does this they are winning. If he lets it down, they start to lose. When he gets tired, Aaron and Hur give him a stone to sit on and hold his hands up for him. They win and the Amalekites are supposedly wiped from the earth’s memory.

Chapter 18—Moses father-in-law comes to visit. Jethro gives Moses some advice on leading the people: He cannot be the judge of everyone. He needs to delegate!

Chapter 19—Moses goes to meet God on Mount Sinai. The people are instructed to consecrate themselves and not set a foot on the Mountain—or they’ll die.

Chapter 20—The 10 Commandments! And a message from God. First, warning against having idols and second, what to do and not do in regards to God’s altar.

Chapter 21—Laws and instructions about slaves and personal injuries. Chapter 22—Laws about the protection of property and social responsibility.

Chapter 23—Laws about honesty and justice, and about Sabbath and the three festivals. After that God makes some promises, good things that will come if the people of Israel listen to the Lord. Alternatively, God also doles out warnings—what will happen if they don’t listen.

Chapter 24—Moses tells the people what God said and they reply, “We will do everything that the Lord has commanded. He then sprinkles blood on them to confirm the covenant. Joshua is mentioned as Moses’s assistant. Moses stays on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights.

Chapters 25-28—God gives detailed instructions on how to build the tabernacle—the holy place where God will dwell in the midst of his people.

The Part Where I Try Not to Eff It Up

From the very beginning, we get a sense that these people are going to fail. First of all, they’re constantly complaining. Even though God has provided for their every whim. Second, they don’t listen. Moses gives them instructions regarding the Manna and they do what they want. And Moses is getting fed up, but he fears they may stone him! They can’t see the bigger picture beyond the rumbling in their tummies. And yet . . . God loves them so much. God has this amazing plan to save them (sometimes, from themselves).

It’s intense and chilling, especially when you read that after Moses gives them the laws, they declare, “We will do everything that the Lord has commanded.” And you know it’s a lie. Even if you haven’t passed Exodus, you’re caught up thinking, ” Really? How are you guys going to do that?”

And they’ve just witnessed these horrible plagues! Oh, man. It’s heartbreaking. Like in the movies when you know more than the characters do, and you’re screaming at the television, “For crying out loud, don’t go upstairs!”

The Apologetics Study Bible has an article titled “Is the Old Testament Ethical?” by Christopher Wright. Here’s what he had to say about the ugly warfare of the OT. It answers a lot of the questions I had in week five.

1. It was a limited event. One particular period in Israel’s long history.

2. We must allow for exaggeration because like other ancient Near East nations, Israel had a “rhetoric of war that often exceeded reality.” (pg. 116)

3. It was not ethnic cleansing or genocide. It was, according to Wright, ” . . . an act of God’s justice and punishment on a morally degraded society.” (pg. 116)

4. God threatened to do the same to Israel if they did not obey. And God did (spoiler alert).

5. An eye for an eye is incredibly humane for that time period. We tend to get caught up in the myth of redemptive violence, going back and forth, one upping one another with horrible things. This was almost an act of compassion. You take my eye, so I will take yours, and it’s over. Hugely progressive on the humanitarian front compared to other contemporary ancient societies. In The Blue Parakeet, Scot McKnight wrote a lot about how God works within each person’s culture. This is a remarkable differentiating factor that separates the Hebrew God from other ancient gods.

A word about slaves.

As an abolitionist, I have wrestled with these texts. I’ve tried to wrap my mind around a culture and environment where slavery is acceptable. As you know, it’s not ancient, ancient history for us as humans, we pretty much okayed slavery up until these last two centuries. Experts like to point out that slavery of ancient times wasn’t like what we think of when we picture a cotton farm in Georgia 150 short years ago or a present day sex slave in India. Slavery was apparently essential to the economy. I don’t think they thought of it as evil or even bad. It was simply a part of life.

And so, here we have God giving them laws to protect slaves. That’s huge. And those laws include freedom! Which is pretty freaking awesome.

Another article in the ASB called “The Uniqueness of Israel’s Religion” by E. Ray Clendenen. I think it helps sort out the context of where the OT is coming from. The Hebrew faith is unique in 5 distinct ways:

1. It’s monotheistic.

2. God is transcendent and self-sufficient. And still, God is not secretive about God’s character and the plans God has for us.

3. God has a special relationship with his people.

4. God was not a fan of ritual for ritual’s sake and is more interested in what’s in your heart.

5. The story about the battle with the Amalekites is important because it’s ultimately a story about two friends helping out another for the benefit of a whole mess of other people.

That’s a lot to chew on. I’m still mulling it over. The ASB isn’t my main Bible anymore and I’m not sure I agree with everything the authors I referenced above had to say. But still, I appreciate the points they made. Even five years later, they are still pretty good ones!

Have a great evening. Thank you for reading this. It means a lot to me.

merawHi! I’m Brandy. I run this joint, and I’m so glad you’re here! I write here every weekday to share resources, love, and challenges for dreamers and creative healers. I’m aiming to hit that sweet spot between doing work you love, making the world a better place, and taking care of yourself in the process!

Every Thursday, I blog through the Bible—trying to get through the whole thing in the next two years. If you found this post interesting and helpful and you’d like to continue to follow along as I go through, you can read the intro to this project, along with week one, the detour we took into original sin, week two, week threeweek four, and week five. We’ll read Exodus 29-40 next week—and finish Exodus!

And if you really dig my style and my message, then you might want to consider signing up for my newsletter, Voice Lessons. Every Sunday, I write a love letter to all the people on that list, sharing stuff I don’t share with the world. I’ve even been known to give away entire eCourses for free.

All the love, friend. Thank you for stopping by! If you’d like to know more about me, you can read all my gory details here. I hope this post filled your day with a little extra awesome. Take good care.

I’m Sorry

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I’ve lied. I’ve cheated. I’ve slept around. Believe me, I’ve inhaled. I’ve overslept because I didn’t care enough to make it to work. I’ve hurt a lot of people. Like, a lot a lot. As you can imagine, I’ve always felt a spiritual kinship with the prodigal son. I, too, was stunned when my loved ones welcomed me back with arms flung open.

In my very first blog, way back in 2007, I wrote what I called “confessional narrative”—raw admittance of past misdeeds. I prayed it might help someone who had been hurt and offer hope to the folks who had stories of their own.

Confession is a strange, sweet gift of mine. Some people can foretell the future, throw a mean curve ball, or keep track of their expenditures. I’m really good at recounting the night I spent in jail.

That’s why I found Brian McLaren’s book, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World so compelling. It’s powerful (subliminal message: read it, read it, read it). He covers a lot of topics, oh but this!

“In seeking to strike a healthy and honest balance in telling our history (a never-ending task, by the way), I’m convinced that Christians—Western Christians in particular—must acknowledge the degree to which our faith has become a syncretized faith, a compromised faith, we might even say a corrupted faith. From Constantine to Columbus to the other Conquistadors to the Colonizers to the present, we have mixed authentically Christian elements of love, joy, peace, and reconciliation with strictly imperial elements of superiority, conquest, domination, and hostility . . . In other words, what we call Christianity today has a history, and this history reveals it as a Roman imperial version of Christianity.”

We got all tangled up in the Empire. In conquering and winning and booty (we’re all about that bass). All in the name of Jesus.

And Jesus is like, “Whoa, whoa, WHOA!”

So deeply entrenched, we teach our children in history classes that we’re The Ones Who Got It Right™, unlike those poor Communist kids. But then our children grow up and go to college, or read books. And alas, our whole charade is laid bare. And it’s not our most flattering side.

I am one of those children. Thankful for but uncomfortable with the privileges that being on the right side of Empire affords us, we don’t know what to do. Should we give it all up and go rogue, live off of the grid in igloos? Should we speak out, or sit in? Or should we put the book down and try to forget what our ancestors did? Should we sweep it under the rug and ignore the tag that reads “Made In China”? After all, Thanksgiving dinner is not going to make itself, and we have a lot of brutal massacres for which to be thankful.

The wounds are deep. Blood has been spilt—IVs are involved. Mr. McLaren offers a solution:

“If this imperial hostility is such a deeply embedded element of our Christian identity, we must do the hard work of recounting our whole history in light of it. Doing so will be humbling. It will have the character of confession. It will force us to stop seeing ourselves as the good guys and others as the bad guys. It will require us to acknowledge . . . that our religion, like every other religion, is in some sense a failed religion.”

And so I’d like to say . . . I’m sorry. To the people we’ve bulldozed. To the ones we’ve passed over. To the others we’ve villianized. I sincerely apologize. I know it doesn’t take it all away, but I hope it’s a start. For what it’s worth, I see new and beautiful movement within the religion I call my own. We are aching for reconciliation, justice, and mercy. In that ache, may we find the common thread that holds all of humanity together. Who knows? We just might be able to love our way out of this mess.

Also? This song was so bloody appropriate, I couldn’t not share it again. Oh, Andy Gullahorn, I haven’t either either.

merawHi! I’m Brandy. I run this joint, and I’m so glad you’re here! I write here every weekday to share resources, love, and challenges for dreamers and creative healers. I’m aiming to hit that sweet spot between doing work you love, making the world a better place, and taking care of yourself in the process!

And if you really dig my style and my message, then you might want to consider signing up for my newsletter, Voice Lessons. Every Sunday, I write a love letter to all the people on that list, sharing stuff I don’t share with the world. I’ve even been known to give away entire eCourses for free.

Ohh, also! I’m doing this crazy operation that’s tailor-made for creative healers and very specifically the early adaptors. It’s called The Shalom Experiment and if it sounds like something you’d be into, I hope you’ll check it out.

All the love, friend. Thank you for stopping by. If you’d like to know more about me, you can read all my gory details here. I hope this post filled your day with a little extra awesome. Take good care.

What to Do When You Realize You’ve Gained Weight (Part Two)

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If you’d like, you can read part one here.

It’s harder to be broken when you’re married. All the wounds you’ve managed to cover over with your various coping mechanisms aren’t as easy to hide anymore.

Our first Thanksgiving together, I planned a trip back home to my parents for a week and I forgot to invite my husband! The worst part was, that wasn’t the last time. I was so used to being the only adult in the family, to completely running the show, that I never stopped to think about him.

I bought some clothes while we were engaged and I remember thinking, I need to get these now, while this is still *my* money. I hate accountability. I hate asking for permission. In some ways, I am still the spoiled child I was growing up. If given the opportunity, I will always be that girl.

And then, there are the wounds I didn’t inflict on myself.

I am a surviver of abuse. An ex-boyfriend who was so broken himself, it’s hard to hate him for it. I’ve had to care for people I love in the aftermath of their own abusive situations and it wrecked me. We all have scars and we all cope in different ways. For me, it was food.

It wasn’t just food. It was drugs for a long time. And then cigarettes. And then aspartame. But after all the socially unacceptable substances were out of my life, there was always cheesecake.

I didn’t put it like that. I didn’t realize what it was. And, honestly, it wasn’t really a problem until I got married. Because I couldn’t hide anymore.

I’ve never snuck food. For all my vices, that wasn’t my thing. I’ve never really felt that overweight. I like my body. I wouldn’t mind if there was a little less of it, but for the most part, I am comfortable in my skin.

I’m not, however, comfortable with anyone else touching my skin. In September 2004, I woke up in a strange bed and I decided then and there, that was it. I was not having sex again until I got married.

And so I didn’t. The problem was, there I was suddenly four years later, post-wedding, and sex was supposed to be this wonderful thing. And it really doesn’t work like that all the time.

About two months after we got married, I thought I might be pregnant. I really wanted to be. And I became deeply depressed when I wasn’t. It wasn’t so much about the baby. I see that now. I wanted a do over. I wanted to experience pregnancy and childbirth without women stopping me in restrooms telling me I was far to young to be having a child. When it didn’t happen—for two and a half years—I felt like I was being punished for all the horrible things I’d done to and with my body.

Around that same time, I think the extreme metabolic resilience of my youth finally caught up to me. When I was 18, I could literally drink nine Diet Cokes a day and remain a normal-bodied person. At 28, it felt like if I ate an extra bowl of cereal, I gained five pounds. And I wasn’t just eating extra cereal.

The worst part of marriage is that you have to deal with all the other person’s crap. The best of marriage is that you do it together. Jermaine, in his own gentle but challenging way, has helped me grow and heal a lot. We’ve navigated unemployment, bouts of depression, boot camp, deployment, homebirth, and a bunch of crazy dreams. But it’s still difficult for me to trust anyone with my body. And that sucks for him! But he handles it all the grace he has. And he still entrusts me with his broken stuff.

What does all this have to do with gaining weight?

I believe it’s our broken pieces—the torn and shattered bits—that are the excess baggage we’re really carrying. It’s never just about the food.

It might not even be a little about the food. I believe that if we can heal deep hurts inside ourselves, we will be much less inclined to eat more than the food our bodies actually need and want.

With that, Steps 4-6 of What to Do When You Realize You’ve Gained Weight

4. Consider that you may be addicted. And again, it’s not your fault.

I’m an addict. So this one was quite comforting. Again, I’d recommend watching Fed Up for details on why because I don’t have the expertise to speak strongly in this area. But food addiction is a thing. And it wasn’t always this way. The super highly addictive foods that we can’t seem to get away from (why the fuck is high fructose corn syrup in my whole wheat bread?) didn’t exist fifty years ago.

The tricky part of this is that unlike some other addictions, you can’t give up food forever. You have to eat. Your survival depends on it.

But in my own life, I’ve actually had great results in overcoming addictions and not giving up the substance for good (coffee is a great example). And I don’t think all addictions need to be addressed thisverymoment. I’ve experimented with a lot of ways of detoxing from different things. And I’ve learned that there are ways that work for some things that don’t work for others.

There are two kinds of addictions. There’s a chemical addiction and then there’s the mental/emotional attachment. Often the chemical addiction leaves our body within a few days or weeks after we drop the substance(s). It’s the mental part that keeps us strung, but if we can keep in mind that eventually it is just a mental thing, that may help. In my experience, dealing with that part either before or during your detox will largely set you up for success.

5. Practice radical self-compassion.

Have you ever been in a situation where your three-year-old decides to throw full-blown tantrum in a crowded waiting room at the doctor’s office? You try to calm her down in various ways. Being stern, being gentle, yelling yourself, but nothing works, she just keeps on screaming and you can feel all the eyes of the other patients burning into you. No one offers to help. Not even a kind smile. They just sit there, silently judging your faulty parenting.

I have. Earlier today, actually. Except my three-year-old is a little boy. Finally, in desperation, I hauled his screaming ass out to the stairwell and half-ordered, half-pleaded with him to calm down. But I could see that he was too worked up. He’s very sensitive the emotions in public spaces and, as everyone in there was waiting (for up to an hour) to receive a flu shot or worse, I’m positive he sensed it. I asked him if he wanted me to hold him and he did. We walked back in to the waiting room and he curled up silently on my lap for the next 30 minutes.

Finally, they called our names and we single-filed in for our shots. Brooklyn completely lost it when he realized this is what we’d all been waiting for. Sadie held down his hands, I held down his feet, and he screamed relentlessly as the nurse pricked his leg with the needle.

After it was all over, we made a beeline for convenience store. Candy and an oatmeal cream pie. I’ve been working hard to detox from sugar because I know I’m addicted, so it wasn’t my finest moment.

What I wish I would have done? I wish I would have held myself like I held him and told myself in my head that this was hard and it made sense that I felt overwhelmed. I wish I would have hugged myself close and repeated over and over again that I am a good parent and I am doing the very best I can. If I had done that, it might have been easier to forgo the cookie pie. And, even if I had eaten it, it wouldn’t have felt so much like “medicine”.

Practice radical self-compassion when you’re stressed out. Practice radical self-compassion after you’ve eaten a little too much. Practice radical self-compassion when you blow a deadline. Talk to yourself the way you would if someone else came to you in a similar pickle. Love yourself the way you love and care for other people. As we do that, we might just find ourselves a little less likely to seek out comfort in a bowl.

6. Focus on what you can do.

Journal it out. Work through all the tangled feelings you have with food and exercise and body image. A great prompt to get you started: What would a really healthy relationship would food actually look like?

Do your own research, seeking out experts that appeal to you. Pay attention when you hear something that doesn’t resonate with your inner wisdom. Pay attention when you hear something that contradicts something someone else just said. Pay attention when you hear different people sharing the same advice more than two or three times.

Go for a walk. Or take a Zumba class. Or anything else that sounds fun. With absolutely no expectations. Notice how your body responds. Be as present as you can be, thinking of what’s happening at that very moment, and not about the benefits you might reap from this good work.

Try something new. Learn about chakras. Explore yoga or tapping. Read about how habits work or how visualization can help. Whatever it is you feel compelled to try, but have stayed away because it sounds a little weird. Weird isn’t all that bad.

My midwife used to say, “When we know better, we do better.” It means can do what we can and trust that it’s enough. It means that we don’t have to beat ourselves up for the mistakes we made in the past. It means that whatever you’ve done today, it’s enough.

I hope this post blessed you. Look for the final piece in this series next Tuesday. Also? I just have to say . . . you are beautiful.

merawHi! I’m Brandy. I run this joint, and I’m so glad you’re here! I write here every weekday to share resources, love, and challenges for dreamers and creative healers. I’m aiming to hit that sweet spot between doing work you love, making the world a better place, and taking care of yourself in the process!

And if you really dig my style and my message, then you might want to consider signing up for my newsletter, Voice Lessons. Every Sunday, I write a love letter to all the people on that list, sharing stuff I don’t share with the world. I’ve even been known to give away entire eCourses for free.

Ohh, also! I’m doing this crazy operation that’s tailor-made for creative healers and very specifically the early adaptors. It’s called The Shalom Experiment and if it sounds like something you’d be into, I hope you’ll check it out.

All the love, friend. Thank you for stopping by! If you’d like to know more about me, you can read all my gory details here. I hope this post filled your day with a little extra awesome. Take good care.

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