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6 posts from March 2009

03/04/2009

A Personal Note from Liz


Liz Strong, MA, NCC

Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern

I don't know about you, but March has always been a kind of "blah" month for me. Growing up in New England, March was the "in-between" month, we weren't quite out of the gray winter weather, but Spring had yet to arrive. It always felt as though I was waiting for something, in some sort of holding pattern, which made it very hard to motivate myself to do anything new. I notice that this "blah" phenomenon isn't exclusive to states with seasons, as I have seen these attitudes in people here in Florida too. So how does one get a boost during such blah times? Sometimes it is the way we "frame" things that can make all the difference. I think these days are the perfect times to try something new, to push ourselves, to stir things up. What if instead of staying put, you looked to March as a time for renewal?

A personal note from Sandee Nebel


Sandee Nebel, MS, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

 

I couldn't agree more. December seems to be all about the holidays and eating (or NOT eating). January is the start of the new year and has a feeling of renewal, with February continuing that mood with a dollop of love thrown in for good measure.

 

March, on the other hand, is really about being still and not doing anything.

 

There's nothing wrong with stillness. In fact, I travel clear across town every week to indulge in 30 minutes of stillness. It's my meditation class, and one of the important self-care parts of my week. It takes almost longer to get there than to take the class; but in this multi-tasking, fast-paced world, I take that time to be still, more important than ever.

The many gifts of stillness


Where do you find your stillness?

We have so many beautiful places outside in central Florida to choose from...this photo is of Mead Gardens in Winter Park.

 

March is the perfect opportunity to explore stillness and all of the gifts it offers.

 

Understandably, there can be a lot of fear about getting quiet; it's the great mystery of the unknown. If you were to stop racing around, turn off all of the electronics, tune out the noise of the outside world and open up your mind, what would you find there?

 

When we're feeling troubled, being busy is like a band-aid we apply because we cannot or will not address the actual wound. Sometimes that busy-ness band-aid includes compulsive behaviors with food or other things. Getting still can feel like yanking off that protective cover, leaving us vulnerable to face a deeper truth.

 

Besides truth, stillness is also a place to find inspiration, clarity and new ideas. And if you have a problem you've been stewing over, a few moments of stillness can create a space for the perfect solution to form.

 

Stillness is where many people find a spiritual connection - connecting to their inner self and listening for intuitive guidance.

Stillness suggestions for March

To unwrap the gifts of stillness in your own life this March, try these suggestions:

 

1. Start small - Set a timer for one minute and try to be still. It might not seem worth it, but one minute can do a lot and it will start you on this vital practice. You can build up from there.

 

2. Tack it on to other activities - Many of our therapy groups here at the Center begin with a moment of stillness when people can get grounded and reflect on their feelings. Try one minute of stillness before you exercise or eat, or in between tasks when you're working at the computer.

 

3. Feel the support of a group - Join a therapy group, meditation class or an exercise class that incorporates relaxation, mediation or imagery. Or find a buddy and practice this new skill together.

 

4. Keep your eyes open - It may feel threatening to have your eyes closed, so feel free to keep them open. Find something attractive in your field of vision, like a flower or the view outside your window.

 

5. Use the expressive arts - Put together a collage, or do some writing or drawing. You don't have to be artistic at all; in fact, the people who aren't usually come up with most revealing and healing work.

 

6. Use a guide - Belleruth Naparstek has created a series of guided imagery CD's, and has recommendations for other resources on her website at http://belleruthnaparstek.com/.

 

A Cherokee saying reads, "Listen to the whispers, and you won't have to hear the screams."  We are constantly growing, healing and becoming more self-aware. And those messages are going to show up in our lives in one way or another. Why not use this in-between month of March to begin a practice of stillness, listening to these whispers?

Movie Review


Have you seen this movie yet?

 

People who have issues with food may also have issues with money - they're often related - as well as all of the "stuff" money can buy, otherwise known as clutter. I thought Confessions of a Shopaholic was a cute movie, very light and pleasant. But it's clear that it could potentially touch a nerve for people who have issues with shopping. Compulsive shopping is a serious problem and just as damaging as eating disorders. With the harsh taste of reality the current economy is delivering, a movie like this is a nice light approach that helps us laugh, even when we want to cry. The day after I saw it, I was in the mall, remembering a scene from the movie where store mannequins come to life and lure Rebecca into their stores. It reminded me of similar stories of pastry items dancing in display counters, and other ways that food tempts and taunts compulsive eaters.

Upcoming Events

Body Image vs. Self Image:  Wednesday, March 11th, Sandee is the guest speaker at a "Lunch and Learn" at local agency (details)

Free Workshop:  Recharge Your Mood and Get Inspired on Tuesday, March 13th

(click for flyer details)

Post Weight Loss Surgery Support Group on Monday, March 23rd (click for flyer) Join Anytime!

Four (4) Week  Eating Disorder Recovery Group Starts on Wednesday, March 25th (new flyer)

Already registering for the next Nourish Your Soul:  Gentle Eating Dining Experience on Wednesday, April 29th!  Dinner provided. (click for details)

Note:  Our other groups are currently full...but please let us know your interests as we have waiting lists and we will let you know of openings as they come up!