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3 posts from July 2010


Personal Note from Sandee Nebel

In June we were invited to participate in the filming of a wonderful new program from HOPE Inc. Sandee (Helping Other People Eat). Here is an excerpt from their press release:
"Get R.E.A.L. – Realistic Expectations and Attitudes for Life - is an innovative video outreach and prevention program that will be distributed to over 4,000 schools in Florida as well as hospitals, legislative offices, Florida Department of Health offices and many community health organizations. The program is focused on enhancing self-esteem, promoting positive body image, self-acceptance, and preventing eating disorders."
photo by deb knoske
On the left is a photo of Sandee with HOPE Founder and Executive Director (and Miss Florida 2006) Allison Kreiger Walsh.
Today's article is about the wonderful freedom we experience as soon as we let go of trying to control everything. It's also a reminder of the power of writing, and how useful it is when you can't stop thinking about something.
This is the daily journaling tool I designed and use myself, and I've gotten so much out of it I've made it available to you as well:  Click Here

Feature Article: Are You Tired of Holding On? Let Go!

Do you ever find yourself living in the "what if's," or the "if only..."? That's where we try to predict and   control the outcome of everything that happens around us. This is really a losing battle, if you think  E1278299374 about it, since most everything is completely OUT of our control.
This gets particularly messy when you try to control what someone else does or says, or even what they think. Yet this is the very area that causes so much pain and frustration. Before a meeting or interaction, it's "What if he thinks or says ---?" "What if she wants to ---?"
"What if they ---?"
After an event or conversation, it's "Why didn't she ---"? "If only I had said ---?" "How could he have ---?"
What these lines of thinking have in common is that when you're focused on "what if" or "if only," you're either in the future or in the past, you're not in the present moment. And it's in the present moment where you get to grow by noticing your thoughts and actions and choosing ones that are the most healing.
The top 5 signs you are holding onto things you could let go of are:
1. You are constantly resentful or disappointed because things didn't turn out like you hoped.

2. You find yourself consumed by the obsession of getting a particular outcome—it occupies all your thoughts as you constantly mull over different scenarios, distracting you during the day and even keeping you awake at night.

3. You feel depressed or anxious about the situation.

4. You keep repeating the same actions, hoping to see a different result (Einstein's definition of insanity).

5. You reach for an addictive substance or a harmful behavior to cope when an outcome is different than you wanted.
It can be really scary to let of the outcome; to step back and accept that we can't control it. But I can also tell you that the most magical and amazing things start to happen when you do. Regardless of the actual result, just imagine going through a day with the extra energy you'll get when you stop hanging on so tight.
The extra bonus is that even when something doesn't go particularly well, you're in much better shape to handle it, and you'll have a much easier time staying in a positive mindset and avoiding relapse or other harmful behaviors.
Writing is one useful tool that can help you let go. If there is a situation you're obsessing about—whether it's something that already happened or something that hasn't happened yet (and may never happen), writing about it can release it from your mind so you can focus on the present moment again.
You can let go even further by physically releasing the situation that you wrote about. You can destroy the piece of paper by tearing it up or burning it, or you can set it free inside a balloon or into a body of water. Here at the White Picket Fence Counseling Center, we have a "Let Go" box where clients can drop their papers and leave their troubles behind.
Letting go is a leap of faith, but what have you got to lose? To borrow from a phrase used in the 12 step rooms, we will gladly refund your misery if it doesn't work.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Next Book Discussion Group - Read about our next selection!
Open to our clients and the community

At our next book group on August 10 we will be discussing Life Without Ed, by Jenni Schaefer (for more
information about the book, see our previous newsletter article about transitions from April 2009). Another approach to letting go, this book takes the reader through the process of separating the eatingE1278299678 disorder (Ed) from the person. This is a great read for individuals who struggle with any type of disordered eating, family members and friends.
Other ongoing groups include for those with anorexia or bulimia, monthly relapse prevention groups, emotional overeating therapy groups, food addiction recovery group and various workshops for family members and friends. We have several other groups in the works-- let us know if you have a special interest or do not see your group listed here.
Feel free to email our therapists if you would like to learn more about joining one of our groups or coming in for individual or family sessions:  Sandee Nebel, Liz Strong, or Tara Harvill. We also welcome your feedback about our newsletter on anything else you would like to share with us!