My Story of Healing from Eating Disorders (Podcast)

This will be part 1 of my story because there has been healing in so many areas of my life that each would require a separate talk. So I’m sure there will be more parts that I share on this topic in the future. But for now, I wanted to post the story I shared at church here in Berlin recently and my hope, as always, is that something I said might give hope and encouragement to someone listening.

There were moments of technical difficulty during my sharing…and a bit of nervousness…and a bit of crying. Our stories can be messy, so it’s no surprise that the telling of them can be too.

Click here to hear it.

It tells a bit about how I went from this:

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To this:

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I hope that if you, or someone you know, struggles with an eating disorder, or any kind of self-destructive behavior, that hearing my story will help you to not give up and to keep praying, keep hoping and keep knowing that God loves you no matter what’s going on and that healing and good things are possible.

Your life matters and you are needed here on this planet.

Blessings & peace,

Monique

p.s. If you need coaching and/or spiritual guidance, please click here to schedule an appointment for an introductory call with me.

 

 

Do You Have an Addictive Personality? There’s Hope for You.

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Hi everyone…

Elephant journal just posted an article I wrote. When I originally posted it here on my site, it was longer and I had turned it into 2 parts. I had to bring it under 800 words for the article. So if you have less time to read, this version might be quicker. I hope it helps you or someone you know. Please feel free to share the link.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/05/do-you-have-an-addictive-personality-theres-hope-for-you/

Blessings,

Monique

10 EMPOWERING TIPS FOR ADDICTIVE PERSONALITIES

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Some weeks ago, I posted a piece called Hope for Addictive Personalities here: https://artoflifeandwellness.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/hope-for-addictive-personalities/

Following are some tips to help you get started if you struggle with any type of addiction—from serious ones to ones that are not necessarily life threatening. Whether it’s an eating disorder, a drug addiction, a worry addiction or a nagging addiction, these apply…

1. Admission. Acknowledge and admit that you can’t go on like you have. The first step of surrendering and putting your hands up to say, “I can’t do it on my own” can bring a flood of relief. Especially combined with turning to a power greater than yourself, whether that is the God you believe in, or a supportive community, or both. (I realize not everyone believes in God. A loving, supportive community is God with skin on though.) It’s not about trying harder. It’s about laying down arms and admitting you’re powerless over this thing. It’s humbling to admit we don’t have something under control, but it’s a lot less exhausting than trying repeatedly to overcome something that we’re obviously not overcoming.

2. Change your thinking by replacing disempowering thoughts with empowering thoughts. It all starts in our minds. Once we get that sorted out, our actions begin to fall into place much more easily. Where you focus your mind, your energy follows. Instead of allowing your mind to automatically fall into old ways of thinking (which can lead into old ways of behaving), find ways of thinking that fill you up with energy, hope and confidence. This doesn’t happen overnight usually. It takes some discipline, but be encouraged! Your brain wants to help you. As you form new patterns of thinking and acting, your brain creates new neuropathways that will eventually make the new thoughts and actions the norm for you. Identify disempowering thoughts and intentionally replace them with thoughts that edify you, rather than bring you down. This step alone can lead to amazing results.

3. Become aware of the words that are coming out of your mouth. Know that, as it says in Proverbs, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Or as the poet Hafiz said, “The words you speak become the house you live in.” Think of each word you speak as being the brick and mortar of the life you want to be living. Which leads us to the next two…

4. Stop saying mean things to yourself. Life is hard enough without chanting about all that you don’t like about yourself and all you’ve done wrong. If you mess up, admit it, and press on. If you’re working on improving, then give yourself some credit for your willingness and tenacity.

5. Start saying kind things to yourself. Talk to yourself as you would to a good friend or someone you really care about, someone you want to encourage. It’s not egotistical to care about yourself. You could say it’s egotistical not to because when we care for ourselves and treat ourselves with love and respect, it’s easier to treat others the same way. Also known as “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Speak kindly both to yourself and to others.

6. Be intentional about your actions. This will flow more easily if you’re already thinking differently. Decide what you want to change, and take small steps towards changing it. At first it may be difficult, but difficult isn’t the same as impossible.

7. Tell someone. Talk to someone you know won’t judge you or try to rush your process, someone you know will come alongside and cheer you on as you take on the brave challenge of change. Not only will it give you accountability, it will give you momentum and courage.

8. Notice. Start noticing how, little by little, what once seemed impossible to change is becoming easier. You’ll see how you and your brain are working together to form new habits to replace the old ones.

9. Be gentle with yourself. If you have a day when you fall down, get back up. If no one else is around to do so, remind yourself that just starting on this new road is a huge hurdle you’ve overcome. Brush yourself off and try again.

10. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. Any great work takes time and effort and a lot of faith to keep going. Remind yourself how far you’ve come. Remind yourself that your life is a great work. Think of all the possibilities that may lie ahead for you if you simply keep going. Michelangelo didn’t paint the Sistine Chapel in one day, or in one go. Abraham Lincoln had a nervous breakdown and many setbacks before he became president.

You may not be running for any elections or looking to paint famous ceilings in Rome, but whatever it is you are trying to overcome, you can if you simply do not give up.

And I hope one day these hurdles that you face will only have paved the way on your personal road to greatness.

If you need help working through some of (or all) of these steps and you’d like to schedule a free 30-minute exploratory coaching call with me, please click here and book yourself an appointment. I’d be happy to talk with you!

p.s. Here is the version that was published on Elephant Journal:

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/05/do-you-have-an-addictive-personality-theres-hope-for-you/

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HOPE FOR ADDICTIVE PERSONALITIES

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The other night while doing some research, I came across a man I had never heard of named Rich Roll (http://www.richroll.com/bio/). I was fascinated by his story of personal transformation. He went from being an overweight alcoholic to being one of the fittest, healthiest men in the world—all due to a change not only in his way of eating, but his way of being in the world.

It’s likely we all have addictive personalities to some degree. It’s just that not every addiction is visible. Just because our addiction is obsessive worrying, or nagging, or pornography, or complaining, or approval, or being right, or being the smartest person in the room, doesn’t make it any less an addiction. The sad thing for many with obvious addictions is that their shame is usually laid bare, out in the open, for all to see. If someone has an addiction to food and is overweight, then every time they go to the snack machine in the office and come back to their desk with a candy bar, that voice of shame has to be silenced long enough to eat the candy. Thing is, someone else might have the same addiction but be fortunate enough to be born with high metabolism so no one ever knows. The drug addict passed out in the alley can’t hide their addiction either. In Rich’s case, the shame of his addiction was compounded by the fact that, for a long time, no one knew about it because he managed to maintain his job while trying to hide his alcoholism.

But many hide their allegedly lesser addictions by the simple fact that they’re not obvious. Other “lesser” addictions are accepted by society and because they’re so accepted, no one sees them as addictions and, worse yet, glorifies them. Addiction to success and money, to beauty, to security, to perfection, to feeling superior over others via religion, political views, or knowledge, to name a few. And as long as they remain hidden and unacknowledged, they are also damaging to us and to those around us.

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The other, more uplifting, conclusion that can be drawn from Rich Roll’s story is that addiction is actually misdirected passion. All the energy, time, and focus that once went into alcohol and escapism were redirected in this man’s life so that now he is living out the opposite of what he once was. He’s using all the same tools he already had. He’s just redirecting them into something that feeds his soul and his life rather than sucks life out.

Let this be encouragement to you that whatever your struggle—whether visible to others or invisible, whether hidden or revealed—if you take the same energy and focus it instead towards creating what you do want rather than avoiding what you don’t want, you will likely see miraculous results.

Think about a glass of water that has a bunch of dirt in it. If you were to try and pick every piece of dirt out grain by grain, you might quickly grow frustrated and give up. But if you simply put the glass under a faucet of water, the clean water will eventually flush out the dirt and you will have a clean glass of water.

You can start today. One action at a time in the direction of what you do want. You may not be transformed overnight. But you will certainly be one step closer. You get to take part in recreating the story you are living by telling yourself a different story. Instead of focusing on getting rid of the negative things you don’t like about your life or that you want to be rid of, if each day you add positive things, positive thoughts, positive behaviors, you will be planting seeds to a better, more purposeful, fulfilling life. And you, like Rich Roll, might go on to be a world influencer and someone that others look to for inspiration on overcoming seeming impossibilities.

If you’d like help getting started, let’s talk.

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