Good morning!! In this month's intenSati series, I teach the affirmation, "I focus on my attitude, my strength and my gratitude." When it comes to STRENGTH, that quality I sandwiched in between attitude and gratitude, I can't begin to say how much strength I've discovered I have based on the adversity I faced and survived. That's why they say challenging and stressful circumstances become our greatest teachers.
I had overeating tendencies my whole life but severe eating disordered behavior started when I transitioned from high school to college. That period of change and subsequent stress I experienced when I was a freshman at Cornell was unlike anything I had felt before. I was studying premed, playing varsity soccer, and living in a co-ed dorm with zero privacy and a crazy roommate. I had settled for a college that was not my preference (after being rejected by my first choice) and when I started feeling stressed out and upset all the time, my performance suffered in all areas.
I was going through a host of overwhelming angry, hurt, scared, and anxious feelings, including this sense of grief and spacious loss at what I felt I left behind, which was to say a very successful and accomplished childhood (my "identity"), security, popularity and comfort. I had NO idea how to sit with emptiness and not try to fill it nor did I know how to sit with not being "the best" without trying to obliterate myself.
Food filled that emptiness, albeit temporarily and to very negative effect, and as anybody who's ever overeaten or undereaten knows, the same items that can be used for nutrition or celebration can also be a weapon of self destruction. I grew up thinking of myself as a strong person but after I developed an eating disorder, I no longer thought of myself as strong. I very quickly began to think of myself as weak and eventually as sick and it's those two labels for myself -- "I am weak" and "I am sick" reinforced over and over again -- which contributed to a terrible and unnecessary downward spiral.
intenSati and its application of powerful, positive affirmations with challenging exercise routines was revelatory to me when I discovered it because the new, false identity I had formed in college was now being challenged. There's nothing like a good, kick-butt workout performed while shouting "I am strong!! I believe I will succeed!" to wake you up from a self defeating and self destructive slumber. I was taught to stop collecting evidence that I am weak and sick. I was encouraged to collect evidence that I was healthy and strong. I suggest the same for you today.
Can you think of the ways you demonstrate strength and healthy living? I'm sure you have some that you can be mindful of today. Focus on them, celebrate them and if you can't think of any please ask someone who knows you well because I am sure they can tell you a few ways they see you as a very strong person!!!
Your strength and resiliency hinges upon your ability to recognize yourself as strong and resilient. This might sound really obvious. It wasn't to me. I like to be really big and strong in intenSati class because my negativity certainly goes over-the-top and it's effective when I match it in intensity. In meditation, I go to the quiet place where I build strength in a very quiet, gentle, soft and loving way. A different energy entirely and both are working really well for me. I am grateful. :)
Closing thought: I am a strong and healthy person, YES! I recognize that reinforcing my strength makes it grow and I am no longer afraid of standing in my full power.
With xo and gratitude,
MY CLASSES at EQUINOX
7AM on Monday mornings at Park/33rd
12:45PM on Saturday afternoons at Lex/63rd
Guest passes available!
MY FREE COMMUNITY CLASS
10AM on Saturday mornings in Central Park
Message me for info!