This is a gentle yet effective of way of bringing your mind towards that which is going well in your world. This was a little exciting!
Here is her terrific article that featured in the May edition of the Sunday Times. Healthy Eating or Orthorexia Nervosa? Even when I became aware that my scrabbling in the dirt after raw vegetables and wild plants had become an obsession, I found it terribly difficult to free myself. As yet, it has not been classified as an official disorder, however Orthorexia Nervosa appears to give some people the label they have been looking for to explain troubling behaviour.
It is important to clarify, that the concept of Orthorexia Nervosa in no way criticizes ethical, spiritual or moral food choices. This is an exploration and a voice, for those people who find themselves trapped in making extreme dietary choices that cause psychological distress and ill health, whilst in the quest for ultimate dietary purity. So what is Orthorexia Nervosa?
Fundamentally, individuals with Orthorexia become so obsessed with being healthy, they make themselves sick. A person with Orthorexia obsesses about food purity, and seeks to attain ultimate health by eliminating foods and entire food groups that are believed to contaminate and compromise the body. A disproportionate amount of time is dedicated to researching, planning, preparing and acquiring food that fits the bill. Unlike Anorexia Nervosa, where individuals are preoccupied with weight loss, suffer a deep dislike for the appearance of their body, and fear gaining weight, people with Orthorexia are concerned with food purity.
Food groups are whittled away so severely, that in some instances leads to malnutrition and in rare cases death. Individuals may take on an almost righteous or spiritual relationship to their food choices, and it becomes a deep part of their personal identity, and a place where they can gain self-esteem and self-worth. There is now such an abundance of information available to us regarding our food. We consider the origins of our food, food quality and nutritional profile, whether it is grown, produced and manufactured within ethical and sustainable guidelines, and the potential healing properties of particular diets for a diverse list of health conditions.
All these domains are important and need our conscious awareness, as we craft and influence the wellbeing of the earth, animals and people with our food choices. However, with such an array of information, and a myriad of self-created authorities and experts that come with the terrain of the internet, it can be difficult to determine what is indeed healthy, and how far to commit to a particular food regime.
Food choice has for many become packaged with a healthy lifestyle that includes particular hobbies, exercise, clothing brands, and cafes and restaurants. Vital living is not only a healthy goal, but has become a new platform for social comparison, and has the potential to be the new hamster wheel for striving to attain happiness and acceptance. Most human behaviours serve a psychological function, even the ones labelled as unhelpful. If committing to a food lifestyle is causing significant psychological distress or physical ill health, it may be an invitation to contemplate the choices being made, and how they are serving you.
Are your food choices contributing to vibrant health, or are they detrimental to your wellbeing? Here are a few questions to consider although by no means absolute indicators of Orthorexia Nervosa if you are concerned that your commitment to healthy eating is becoming unhealthy: Are you isolating yourself from friends and family because their dietary habits and beliefs are uncomfortable for you?
Do you struggle to go out to social events, dinner parties and restaurants because the food available will not be appropriate for you? Have you had sudden or significant weight loss due to dietary changes? Are you eliminating multiple food groups from your diet such as dairy, grains, fruits and meat? Do you experience guilt, feelings of contamination or distress when having eaten something outside your dietary regime?
Is the quality of your life in areas outside of food becoming impoverished? Have your food choices created financial debt or burden? If you believe your food eating choices may be causing you stress or physical ill health, speak to your doctor, dietician, or naturopath about your concerns, and have your general health assessed. It may be necessary to connect with a therapist to support you in finding healthful ways of relating to food. Happy Tips for healthy Eating: Enjoy your vices. People who live in Blue Zones around the world known areas where people live the longest , enjoy their food and beverage vices.
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A piece of cake or a glass of wine can bring great pleasure in life, and may contribute to greater longevity and happiness. Unless your values, spiritual practice, or medical advice require it, avoid rigidly eliminating entire food groups. Eat meals communally when possible. Humans are social creatures and communal eating has great positive impact on human health. Reflect on how you relate to difficult emotions and uncertainty, perhaps there is scope for you to develop a meditation practice, find a creative outlet, or invest in a few sessions with a counsellor.
Monitor how you engage with social media. Are you comparing yourself to others? Reflect on what you have to be grateful for in your life, and in yourself.
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Eat mindfully. Slow down, and connect to your food with gratitude and enjoyment. Adolescence is a challenging and often confusing time for parents and adolescents alike. Thankfully, there have been psychiatrists and psychologists conducting research into the neurological and psychological developments that occur during adolescence, shedding light on the myths and truths about this stage of life. There are a number of neurological changes that occur in the growing teen brain, setting the stage for adulthood.
These developments in the brain create necessary changes in thinking, feeling, interacting and decision making in adolescence, and come with their own positive and negative possibilities: Novelty seeking in adolescents emerges from an increased drive for rewards in the circuits of the brain, designed to encourage the individual to try new things and engage in life more fully.
The challenge here is providing the possibility for healthy novelty seeking, whilst teaching the adolescent to make safe choices, and minimising risk. Social engagement becomes a primary concern for many adolescence, and is driven by the need for the development of supportive relationships outside the family home. Healthy social connection is one of the best indicators for happiness throughout the life span. The challenge here is to support the teen in maintaining healthy connections with adults, to provide adult wisdom and reasoning in risky or complex situations.
Increased emotional intensity fills life with vital energy and drive, and heightened emotion can bring great pleasure. However intense emotions can also take some time to master, leading to potentials for impulsivity, moodiness and reactivity. Adolescence needs some guidance in managing and mastering these intense emotions. Creative exploration is part of the adolescents broadening in conceptual thinking and abstract reasoning abilities. This expansion in thinking helps adolescence question the status quo and create new innovative ideas. The challenge here can be that the teen begins to question the meaning of life, their purpose and direction, and this can be overbearing.
These neurological changes bring challenges and risks, but also many wonderful opportunities for adolescents and the adults supporting them. Understanding what is happening for adolescents as a necessary part of their development, is an essential first step in opening connective and supportive dialogue with the young person. Natalia works with adolescents and the adults supporting them, to deepen the understanding of this critical growth period, with some scientifically validated practical tools to manage the challenges associated with this transition, in an empathetic and empowering approach.
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Finding the gold in Life —be the alchemist of your soul Hardship and challenge are quintessential parts of the human experience, yet suffering is more optional. The turbulent times in our lives are an invitation to lift our consciousness, make choices about our perceptions and be the alchemist of our life. Alchemy simply put, is the intention to transmute something of perceived lesser quality to a more noble and great quality — like turning stone to gold.
This kind of black and white thinking applied to the world, to people and ourselves contributes to feelings of anger, anxiety, blame, fear and self-loathing. In the company of uncomfortable and painful emotion, it is important to be aware of what thoughts, stories, judgements and assumptions we attribute to the feelings and emotions we are experiencing. If we believe the unhealthy or unhelpful thought processes, we can prolong our suffering by perceiving events, the future or even people as bad and unwanted.
Wellness – Taiji Boxer
We move into the head and away from the heart, turning our backs on possibility. Practice holding your thoughts and beliefs lightly, like you might hold a feather in your hand. After all, our thoughts are based on perceptions, and the goggles we wear in life are based on our belief systems, which have been inherited, accumulated and sometimes forced onto us through past experience. Falling into the trap of believing that unhelpful thoughts are true or wise, is like creating a dead end in your experience.
Use your breath as a support in navigating through challenging emotion, by expanding the breath deep into the lungs and abdomen, exhaling longer to release accumulated tension. The breath is your sacred anchor to the present moment, keeping you out of your mind and connected to infinite doors of possibility. But by being curious and looking for the blessings, you are learning to hold space for both the pain and the possibilities in your awareness.
This does not imply the hardship did not invite suffering into your life, it simply means you are also prepared to look for the gold in your life. There is a rolling movement in life.
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What once appeared to be a disaster, suddenly unfurls itself to carry blessing and gold. An eternal blossoming and expansion, moving from one shade of colour to the next, sometimes the darkest indigo, to lightest white. If in the wake of hardship, we are willing to unveil the gifts, opportunities and personal developments that may arise, the harder events in our lives can become more palpable, perhaps even sweet. Invite the gold into your life, by asking yourself, I wonder what miracle will come from this storm?
Nothing is absolute.
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Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away. Support yourself along this journey by treating yourself and others with compassion and acceptance. Life, if we are lucky, can give us a long road, so choose thoughts that are encouraging, loving and accepting, as you trundle along the path. Know that there is a whole planet of people, trundling alongside you with their own backpacks full of self-doubt and uncertainty. It is the very contrast between dark and light that brings beauty into the world.
Think of the first day you wake up feeling fresh after battling the flu, or the delight of the first sun filled sky after a winter of grey. There is a mighty magnificence, gifted only through the contrast of dark and light, challenge and ease. Each is needed, each is sacred. Without both we would miss out on the gold.
So how could one be better than the other? Rather it is the dance of challenge and ease in our lives that can create the bliss and blessings we long for. Are you sifting through the dust, letting it fall away to reveal the gold. Or have you got dust in your eyes? There is nothing simpler than doing what comes easy.
If you're lucky, what comes easy for you is healthy and functional. But for most of us on this planet, we have inherited some unfulfilling and life shrinking ways of being, thinking and interacting. You can easily see the habits of your days and weeks. The life that you find yourself in, is largely a print out of your belief system and the habits created by that system. The challenge is moving out of that system, and towards one that is healthful.
We have been 'doing' them for sometime, they are part of who we are, and are a part of who others think we are. Breaking patterns can feel like something is wrong, like it is dangerous and counter intuitive. People in our lives may confirm this message, finding our personal growth confronting and challenging. Upsetting the apple cart in these instances, is an indication you are on the right path! Historical relationship dynamics are shifting, because you are shifting. In these periods of growth and change, life can appear to be becoming a mess, confusing the person evolving and sometimes even halting their process.
Sometimes it looks like a demolition site, other times it looks more like taking the rubbish out.
And other times it happens in a way that seems effortless. Breaking through your chrysalis, like a caterpillar waiting to unfurl big beautiful wings, can be daunting and confusing. You are after all stepping into the unknown, the new evolved you. These times in our life welcome the support of trusted mentors or therapists to shine a light on the path, reassuring us to be brave and bold.
Find ways to reassure yourself, find ways to grow your courage, and enjoy the mysterious ride of life. Self Love is certainly not a new concept. You never miss the mark!! This being human can be exhausting. Whether you are in the throws of a relationship break up, or you have started a new job, or you might be cruising through a period of your life that is uneventful, as long as you are breathing you will face personal challenges. And then go do it.
You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. I like that. I like his language usage. For instance,. You are striving to feel very very deeply into yourself, into your vibrations, your essence. Essentially, Finer recommends practicing the three skills while in four physical postures: lying, sitting, standing, and moving.
This is a way to expand a sitting practice into more of your life. Cause and effect. Acceptance and responsibility. Death as an advisor. Barriers to progress. This book cuts through a lot of noise to get to the core practices for developing yourself. If you want to become a more centered, wise, and well person and live a more pleasant and fulfilled life, this is a good book to learn from. Like this: Like Loading