Unleash yourself from your personal whipping post

In her Thanksgiving Facebook post author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love and others), wrote that she had “. . . lost the stamina for self-hatred. Dear Ones, my heart just isn’t in it any more. I just can’t commit to those deep, long, self-destructive shame spirals anymore — not like I used to. Even when I fail, and even when it’s all so painful, and even when I don’t rise to my best, I just can’t seem to tie myself to the whipping post anymore . . . “
I liked her message and these comments that followed:
Reader Question:
 “What and how did you get to the point of not whipping yourself? I am going through the worst whipping year of my life and I don’t want to do it anymore. I have tried serving others, breathing techniques, positive self talk and it isn’t working and is actually getting worse.
Gilbert’s Response:
Elizabeth Gilbert Pro tip: Pretend you are a lost dog that you adopted from a kill shelter. Treat yourself accordingly. And then treat everybody else the same way. 🙂
Another reader’s response:
Amateur tip: I have a small picture of myself when I was 4 on my kitchen table to remind me to be as nice to myself as I would be to her. She’s still in there and deserves to be loved. I still forget at times, but to try is enough right?
Give it a try this holiday season, let it be a gift you give yourself. Unleash yourself from your personal whipping post, and learn to treat yourself and others much more kindly and gently this holiday season and in the new year ahead. Experiment and find the method that works for you, and then work at it everyday, because you my darling are absolutely worth it!

“Eat, Pray, Love”

I am a Julia Roberts fan; I read and love the idea of the book “Eat, Pray Love(EPL), and tonight I will be in the theater watching the movie.

That said, the first time I read the book, I hated it.  Then I saw the trailers with Roberts, and the movie looked interesting to me. I quickly realized I had been reacting to the “voice” of the EPL messenger not the message, so I decided to reread the book. Surprise, surprise, I found lots of little gems from Elizabeth Gilbert  between the pages.

I think the best part of Gilbert’s story is it reminds us that creating the life we want is possible.

So as your self-appointed fairy godmother, I am waving my wand and you now have three wonderfully rich, delicious, life-enhancing, soul-infusing, EPL-type wishes.

To me WISHES are:

W – What 

I –  I

S – Seek

H – Hope

E – Enjoy

S – Savor

You are free to choose the moments, the people and the places that you hope for, seek and want to enjoy and savor.  Go ahead, you can do it . . . put your personal “Eat, Pray, Love” journey down on paper. Jot, doodle, draw, write, type, or paint your way to your dreams.

Doesn’t matter if you love or hate the book, the movie, Gilbert, or Roberts, don’t let that distract you.

This is about you, your wishes and your life.   

Where would you go and what would you eat?

One of my favorite personal EPL moments involved eating lots of calamari.  A big scoop of lightly breaded and fried calamari in a white wax paper cone for 2 euros as I strolled around small town markets in Italy. Day after day I treated myself to this inexpensive delight.  A year or so later,  I found myself focusing on a plate full of fresh, creamy-white calamari, dripping with olive oil and lemon juice on the Island of Corfu in Greece at Easter. Mmm, so good and the memories are so vivid. I look forward to my next calamari encounter.

What’s in your food future?

Where would you go to pray or for a retreat?

Another easy one for me, the small rural village of Dihovo in Macedonia where my heart swells as I walk the narrow, softly winding roads and my eyes feast on the old stone houses with their clay tile roofs weathered by wind and wars.  I spent many days and nights there during Peace Corps and will be back again this fall.  I am heading to Macedonia for two months this September and will be helping four American first-timers and one returnee enjoy “my” Macedonia, which will include time for me in Dihovo – eating, laughing, praying, relaxing and reveling in moments great and small. 

Where are you headed?

What type of love are you looking for?  Where will you go to find it? 

My house in Florida.  That’s where I read about and learned how to practice Yoga Nidra after years of failed meditation attempts.  Not all of our dreams need grand locales or even other people. Being good to ourselves is a form of love, and remember what Dorothy learned in the “Wizard of OZ” – “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”  The love we seek is often closer than we think and can be found in a child’s smile, a lover’s eyes, a friend’s words of support, a pet’s attention, a quiet moment, or by treating ourselves exceptionally well. (More about Yoga Nidra in future posts.) 

What does your “love” life look like?

No matter which side of the book or movie you have settled on – pro or con, I believe it is nice to have reminders that creating the life we want is possible and worth the effort.

Give it a try this weekend.  My wand is waiting, your wish is my command.


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