these past three days. There’s just nothing like sitting in a room with a group of people who want to dive into what’s keeping them from living their own version of a messy magnificent life. From owning their bodies, disengaging from the crazy aunt in the attic, being unbelievably kind to themselves. I am always wowed and awed at the humor and resilience and the utter devotion that comes through.The passion of the life force, the desire to take their lives back from food or whatever keeps them constrained.
A moment from the workshop: We were working with disengaging from that crazy aunt, and I asked people to write down 10 criticisms they’d made of themselves since they walked in the door. (A favorite exercise of mine. It’s so telling, so astonishing to see the way we talk to ourselves). Then I asked someone to read her criticisms aloud in exactly the voice in which she talks to herself. (Try this sometime. That voice drips with disgust, condemnation, shame). What’s staggering about talking to ourselves this way is that we would stop anyone from talking to our children or our best friends like this, but we tolerate it 24/7 from ourselves.
So, a brave woman stood up and began her list.
I shouldn’t have come here.
I’m the fattest one here.
I didn’t condition my hair.
I don’t have cute rings.
And of course, I had to laugh at the rings statement. Everyone did. (And let’s not even mention the hair conditioner. Seriously. Or the other, meaner statements). That crazy aunt will pick anything, ANYTHING, to shame you about.
The thing, of course, about this process, is that we don’t even know we are believing the crazy aunt until we say it out loud and have people witness the tone, the meanness. At that point, we can disengage. At that point, we can realize we’ve been under the thumb of cruelty—and we can stop. Blessed relief.