The first full day of my November retreat begins today. …

For those of you not able to join us this time, I’m going to share some of my reflections on the retreat process on this page over the next few days in the hope that you might discover how to begin treating yourself with exquisite kindness, just as my retreat students do.

On the first morning of my retreats, I tell my students that the great blessing of their lives is their relationship with food. I say that we are not going to fix their relationship with food; we are actually going to walk through the door of their eating problem and see what’s behind it. Instead of using food to avoid discomfort, we are going to learn how to tolerate what they believe is intolerable.

They stare. They scowl. They whisper to each other.

Most of my students can’t imagine a world in which they would stop dieting or trying to fix the size of their thighs. It is easier to imagine people coming back from the dead or Brad Pitt asking them to get married than to imagine themselves dropping the war with their bodies. They have whole friendships built on commiserating about the twenty pounds they have to lose and the jeans that are too tight and the latest greatest diets. They fit in by hating themselves. By trying hard and then harder to lose that last twenty, fifty, eighty pounds--and never being able to do it. They are like Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the top of the mountain and almost getting there but never actually arriving.

If this resonates with you, if you see yourself in this story, then know that you can stop pushing that boulder up the mountain – not years from now, but today.

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