Denise shares how she has learned to relinquish control and embrace uncertainty, thanks to her adverse childhood experiences

As Denise says, we are all familiar with the term; ‘Fear of the unknown’… but what does it actually mean in the grand practice of life?

Sitting with uncertainty forces us to face all of the reasons as to why we might need to feel in control of anything in the first place; and that can be extremely painful. It may mean delving into times we have buried when we felt so vulnerable and out-of-control in childhood.

But as Denise shares here, if we are able to sit with, and not fill, the painful ‘void’, then we can embrace the joy and anticipation that presents itself…

Joy In The Unknown

“The door to God is the insecurity of not knowing anything. Bear the grace of that uncertainty and all wisdom will be yours.” Adyashanti 

I am sure many of us have heard the term “fear of the unknown,” and/or have experienced it in our lives. Over the years, whilst reading various spiritual texts and being on this self-transformation journey away from fear and towards love, resting more securely deep within the core of me, I have come across the idea that there is nothing to fear in the unknown – with NOTHING being the operative word.

It has taken me a minute to appreciate that the unknown is basically unknown, and as such basically unoccupied. All the fear we associate with the unknown comes from all the fear we project, and/or, dump into it – a bit like what gets done under the label of ‘racism.’ The unknown is an empty space; an empty space of Pure Potential, of Unconditioned Consciousness.

Recently whilst re-reading Deepak Chopra’s ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws to Success,’ what he had to say on the unknown and uncertainty resonated within me more, especially at this present time. For the past year and a half specifically, I have been thrown into the unknown and am being called to have a more trusting and surrendered relationship with it; releasing the need for control.

In my childhood, and right through to now, I have made getting to know more about life, and all subjects relevant to life, my absolute business. During my formative years, having grown up in an atmosphere of the unexpected and the unknown, where I was left mostly alone and to my own devices, I had to figure life out myself and find ways to best be and live within it. Therefore, extricating some kind of control over my life, became the order of the days for me.

In whatever unobtrusive way I was able to gain some elementary illusion of control, and to create some kind of a plan, I took it. This gave me some hope, as well as helped me cope with extremely testing situations I faced back then. During that time, to not have had this control-seeking coping mechanism, would have meant me totally losing touch and track with reality and falling completely into mental illness. Therefore seeking control saved me, psychologically and spiritually.

In school, during adolescence, English, English literature and Sociology were the subjects I truly enjoyed because of my love as a child of reading and writing, and the much-needed escape it afforded me. My love of Sociology came about from this need to KNOW, as much as possible about life, not just for knowings sake, but for the sake of life not so easily coming up behind me and biting me in the butt. I am very much the kind of person who would rather know something, however awful, than be kept in the dark. For me ignorance is far from bliss! So the acquisition of knowledge gave me an understanding on various topics, and in so doing afforded me a sense of further control.

This early need to know, and the fear experienced, (and traumatically lived), of not-knowing, made the unknown – whether a new and exciting situation or a challenging and unexpected one, a very scary concept. Over the years I have come to carefully, and oftentimes painstakingly, dismantle fear after fear, giving up certain behaviours that used to help me manage my fears. For example, an eating disorder, not speaking up for myself, kissing frogs and trying to “make them” love me in the ways that I needed, giving at the expense of myself, to multitudes of vampires waiting in line to happily suck me dry!

Having lived with so much fear in my formative years, no doubt releasing the need for fear will continue to be life’s work for me. For the likes of me – and others who too have lived through Adverse Childhood Experiences I don’t think there will ever be a point on this life journey when I am totally free of fear; I am now very cool with that. I am a Survivor and I honour, give voice to, and make beautiful those battle scars, especially through the transformative medium of creative writing and living my best life possible. Like an Eagle flying high, I over-came, and will continue to over-come as I journey on. I’m my own Shero! And today I can safely say, that fear no longer drives me: Hope, Faith and Love occupy my driver’s seat.

The great lessons I am experientially learning- and I say experientially because reading a book about a thing is much different than living that situation and gaining the wisdom embedded deep within it; the main lesson for me is to resist the temptation of filling the unknown with a whole bag load of fearful thoughts and imaginings, as in the world I/we have been very well conditioned to do so. Instead, I am cultivating, and holding to, the metaphysical fact of the following;

“All of creation, everything that exists in the physical world, is the result of the un-manifest transforming itself into the manifest. Everything that we behold comes from the unknown. Our physical bodies, the physical universe – anything and everything that we can perceive through our senses – is the transformation of the un-manifest, unknown, and invisible into the manifest, known, and visible” Deepak Chopra

I believe, and can feel, that the empty land of The Unknown is indeed rich and life-giving soil/soul, and when we find ourselves in The Unknown, we must be careful not to fill that deep, dark, vibrant space with seeds of fear and doubt. And if , though more precisely when, fearful thoughts rise up again, don’t allow those divisive thoughts to have the last word. Instead root them out, and cover them over with life-giving affirmations. One of my favourite affirmations that I use quite regularly is:

“I trust in The Process Of Life. I am safe.”

I also keep a number of quotes that resonate with me close to me, acting as reminders constantly, for example;

“When you bring consciousness to the moments in which you feel afraid or challenged, you will see that you can choose love and kindness over reactive emotional patterns.”

So the true and more productive attitude, and personal relationship, we ought to have in regards to uncertainty and the unknown, is one of excitement and joyful anticipation; is one of expectancy, like an excited expectant mother feels toward the bundle of joy that she is carrying, and will soon have to hold;

The Whole World, In Her Hands.

Peace & Love, Light..

Denise

Denise is a mother of 2 sons and overjoyed grandmother of 4. She currently works as a Counsellor counselling women who have experienced Domestic and Sexual violence, and has a small Private Practice. She has a huge belief in the transformative power of creativity and learning and growing through the sharing of experiences, of which her life bares testimony.

Read Denise’s blog and find out about her upcoming autobiography, here:

https://fromtheheartsoul.wordpress.com

Email: andstillirise9@outlook.com

We are now collecting stories for our final 2 books in the KindaProud Pocket Books of Hope series;

#Emerging Proud through Suicide and #Emerging Proud through Trauma and Abuse

If you feel either of these titles resonates with your personal journey, then please CONTACT US! and find out how you can inspire HOPE for others who may be struggling.

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Our 2nd KindaProud Pocket Book of Hope is on it’s way into the birth canal!

Eeeek! The power of the collective is evident with our KindaProud book series…

Thanks to our Rep Amy, Mandy who has worked so hard to do all of our editing, and of course all of the wonderful 16 story contributors, we’re already on track with our 2nd Pocket Book of Hope and Transformation, due for release on 12th July. Watch this space for the latest news on how to get hold of your copy!

If you’re in the UK, why not come along to our celebratory launch event? The ‘Thank You Body’ festival, hosted by our friends SoulShine, is set to go off with a bang celebrating everyone exactly as they are; at the Forum in Norwich from 10am on 12th July…

SoulShine say;

We will be hosting a gathering of people to celebrate body diversity, inspire self-acceptance and build community.

The aim of the day is to create a safe space to honour and empower our relationships with ourselves, our bodies and our food. We will provide opportunities to explore beliefs about body image, the relationships we have with food and also our connection to our well being.

With guest speakers, Storytelling, embodied movement and well being workshops, with wholesome nourishing food, a Wild Woman Photo shoot Exhibition and a few little extra surprises thrown into the mix, it’s going to be a nourishing and uplifting day of connection!!

Come and join in the fun and celebrate with us.

This is a free event, we do however welcome donations and are so incredibly grateful for any support you can give!

Want to donate? Contact Amy at: info@soul-shine.org.uk

See you there! ❤

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It took Stella needing to ‘crack’ with a health crisis to value her body as her temple

The wound is where the light enters Rumi

Sometimes it’s the wisdom of our body that speaks to us the loudest.  Like Stella , sometimes we are made to stop physically so we can learn the lessons we need to hear – Stella found happiness in the very thing she had been running from for so many years; now viewing  her body as her temple in which she finds sanctuary and joy, she has the courage not only to heal herself, but to also inspire others…

Stella for Amy

As far back as I can recall I felt out of place, different and uncomfortable in my skin. I had always had an unhealthy relationship with food and my body as a child. I would often over-eat, and I remember skiving off school because I was horrified that the only trousers I had to wear made me look fat. I was seven at the time. I hid those trousers like my feelings and no one found them. When I was eleven an older girl showed me how to make myself sick. I can only imagine that it was a kind of bonding exercise but what she was actually sharing was a weapon. Bulimia was a young girl’s weapon against the uncontrollable and confusing chaos of an adult world. By the time I was fifteen I was making myself sick regularly. Through binging I was letting myself lose control, it was always from a place of deep anxiety. Following this would come the purge, motivated by the shame of losing control and the need to regain it urgently. Not only for controls sake but also to adhere to an acceptable shape by society’s standards. As a young woman so much of my worth was placed on my body and that body was dictated to me by males and beauty images. The compulsion to eat I am sure was, and still is, about love, acceptance and comfort. It was born from confusion about what and who I was meant to be.

Over time my mental health improved and I would slip into bulimia less and less. In my early twenties I was well enough to have left it behind, and although I would still feel the compulsion, I would refuse to hurt my body. For me this was a radical concept, since I had never loved myself enough to lay that boundary of self-care. It was a start but there was a long way to go. At this stage I was still in denial that I had a problem. It was as if it was happening to someone else, I was detached from it. In not dealing with the issue of bulimia, let alone all the underlying causes, this familiar beast would soon grow a new head.

At twenty-five, during a time of upheaval and grief, I began dramatically changing my eating habits and focusing on vegetables, juicing and being healthy. I lost a lot of weight around this time and people commented on how thin I was with either concern or envy and it felt good.  Over time this would develop into an unhealthy obsession with clean eating to the point where I would create strict rules on what I allowed myself to consume. I was skipping meals, restricting food groups and developing extreme beliefs around food. On a good day I was a healthy eater. On a bad day I was fixated by the idea that tumorous cells were multiplying inside me and the only way to prevent this was through cleansing my body with clean eating. Healthy eating is wonderfully healing but the extent to which I was obsessing was clearly not healthy. I would come to understand this obsession as orthorexia, a form of disordered eating that is becoming more recognised. I believe that the range of confusing and contradictory messages on health out there today is contributing to this growing condition.

Just over a year ago, after months of chronic fatigue, I was diagnosed with M.E and everything began to change. I had the opportunity to reassess my life, my priorities, and to make space for self-care. This health crisis cracked me open and sparked the realisation that I was and had been for some time in spiritual crisis. I started to explore mind-body connections and tried every holistic therapy I could find. I am delighted to say I am doing well and although I will always have to manage my M.E symptoms, I am happier than I have ever been. I know this to be down to re-learning how to connect with myself, my mind-body, my soul. Through these therapies and developing my own daily spiritual self-care practice I have begun to heal old wounds that previously consumed me and change my un-checked negative thought patterns. A turning point was the realisation that if I kept telling my body it was ugly I would make it true. If I told my body that it was beautiful it would be beautiful, the power of thought really is transformative. I found my voice and unlearnt all that poor self-care that was really centred on fear and a lack of inner knowing. Only once I had rebuilt my foundation and learnt to really love myself, was I able to confront my relationship with food out in the open.  It will always be complicated and it will never go away. Some days are harder than others, but most days are pretty good. How I feel about myself today has little to do with the way I look and everything to do with self-love, acceptance and authenticity. In the past I was unkind to myself and taught others to follow my lead. Today I respect myself deeply and show others how I deserve to be treated with the hope that I can inspire self-care in those who need it most.

My body is my soul’s companion, it walks with me in this life and takes burdens and knocks along the way. It is not my prison, it is like a school in which I learn. It helps me reach new places. It is my temple in which I have sanctuary, comfort and joy. Give me courage to listen to my own story, to begin to know myself so that I can listen and be useful to others.

Thank you Stella, for baring your embodied wisdom in order to inspire hope to others – we are KindaProud of you! ❤

We are no longer taking submissions for Amy’s pocket book, but stories for our next 2 titles are welcome; do they resonate with your journey?

#EmergingProud through Suicide

#EmergingProud through Trauma and Abuse

If you’d like to take part in our KindaProud pocket books of Hope and Transformation series, CONTACT US! 

 

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Once a ‘victim’ to her scars, inspirational Sylvia is now a proud campaigner for body acceptance

As Sylvia says; You can’t change what happens to you in life, but you can change the way you walk forwards on your path. After years of depression and not feeling good enough due to an horrendous accident when she was a child, one day Sylvia decided to ‘#EmergeProud’ from behind her cloak of protection, and shine like the star that she was meant to be!

Sylvia for Amy

At the age of 3, I was hospitalized from an accident at home falling into boiling water.

After surviving life support, I went on to have numerous surgical procedures and operations. Every aspect of growing up in a society with a so called ‘perfect body image’ left me screaming inside.  No matter how much support I received from family members, I could never love or appreciate my body and all the pain it was going through.  When I hit my teens, one thing that stood out to me was body image and looking beautiful. My schoolfriends spent most of their time grooming themselves in front of the mirror and then there was the glossy magazines with flawless images.  I recall hearing my mother’s friends say ‘thank God its not on her face’, but I converted those words to ‘the scars on her body are ugly and she is too’.

The hospital consultants continually told my mother that I should stay covered up from the sun and as most burn victim or survivors know that this is all year round.  Those words certainly had an effect on the rest of my life.  Then there were all the hospital visits where my scarring was examined by student doctors.  The only problem for me was that uncovering in front of a bunch of strangers really took its toll on my mental health.

As I went into adulthood, I found myself feeling more and more anxious, often suffering panic attacks believing that everyone knew I was burned.  As a burn victim I found myself attracting undesirables who would take my insecurities for granted so I allowed myself to be abused both physically, sexually and mentally.  I finally hit rock bottom, drinking copious amounts of alcohol daily and then I met someone who fell in love with me and didn’t worry about my scars.  We went on to have children together but no amount of love was going to undo years of self-hate.  I began drinking heavily and often turning up at my children’s school intoxicated.  Each day was different for me where I would either be happy and attacking everyone, then the next day thinking of how I could end it all.

I found myself trapped in a bubble of self-conscious thoughts and low self-esteem, lacking confidence in everything from school, work, relationships and society.  In 2016 my grandson was born, but I was still locking myself in my bedroom and crying every day. My GP asked that I try counselling but unfortunately it didn’t work for me.  I began to research severe disfigurement on the body but each time I was presented with ‘facial disfigurement.’  I couldn’t understand why, when I almost lost my life twice and suffered 3rd/4th degree burns to my body, it wasn’t being acknowledged.  I understood how difficult it was for a person with facial difference to deal with this every day, but I also knew that I was suffering too. My mental health was severely affected as well as dealing with lifelong physical pain.

In summer 2016, I was on holiday with my mother and noticed someone filming me.  I dropped my sarong off my shoulders and my scarring was on display.  We left the pool for the beach where my mother asked questions about my scars and I realised that she could have suffered PTSD, Guilt and so much more.  I took this moment to help change her life by strutting to the waters edge and uncovering my scars.

This was the beginning of my Love Disfigure journey to body acceptance and helping support others online come to terms with their visible or hidden differences.  I shared an online video reveal and spoke about what I endured throughout my life.  I set up a Facebook group to encourage people who look different both facially and/or BODILY to embrace the way they look.  I didn’t want anyone to go through years of depression and suicidal thoughts as I did.

It wasn’t long until I received worldwide messages, and I was quickly changing other people’s lives through my campaigning.  I was even more surprised to hear from people who had all types of struggles including bipolar, depression and even stretchmarks who wanted to become involved.

Now is the time for us all to become more diverse and inclusive in this body obsessed society that we live in through educating and campaigning.   It might have taken a lifetime to get here but its all been worth it helping others to accept the way they look.  I now campaign for more diversity within the fashion industry, tv & film industry and above all society.  We are all survivors and should be proud of our bodies and how amazing they are regardless of how they look. The more we talk about how we feel through our own real life stories, the more awareness is raised so that our children can grow up in a world of body acceptance and true diversity.

Always accept a compliment 

You won’t be able to change your path in life but you can change the way you walk it 

Sylvia 🙂

https://www.lovedisfigure.com/

Follow Sylvia’s inspiring work on these social media platforms:

Instagram – love_disfigure

Twitter – LoveDisfigure

FB Group – LOVE DISFIGURE

IMG_6790

 

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Mel is KindaProud of how she travelled beyond her negative self-image to set herself free

Mel discovered that the answer to her healing took a brave leap of faith to do something outside of her comfort zone, only then did she discover that she was capable of everything she’d previously told herself she couldn’t do. We think she’s a ‘f**king soldier‘ for overcoming her limiting beliefs too!

mel for Amy

When I was a kid I loved Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan. Neighbours was one of my favourite TV shows and I really, really wanted to go to Australia. I thought it sounded like the coolest place in the world, but my family told me it was very far away and very expensive to get to. We mostly went on holiday to Butlins which, if you’ve never had the pleasure of going to, involves hyperactive kids and incredibly drunk parents. I knew there wasn’t much hope of ever getting to Australia.

Nobody I knew in my hometown in the Midlands ever went travelling. Gap years were for rich kids. Backpacking was for sporty types who wanted to go trekking and kayaking. I hated sport. I got laughed at for coming last in cross-country at school. I hated PE lessons because we had to wear gym shorts and I hated my thighs. On holiday, I was even embarrassed to wear a swimming costume in front of my family – I wore a big baggy t-shirt over it whenever possible.

When I was in my early twenties, a friend from my home town announced, quite suddenly, that he was going to travel around the world. This friend was like me, working in a minimum wage job in hospitality, and he referred to our town as the “black hole of dreams.” I’d already tried to go to university and dropped out. My confidence was low and my anxiety was at an all-time high.

My friend travelled around the world for about ten months. He sent me emails telling me about all the people he’d met and all the awesome stuff he was doing. His family weren’t rich – he’d saved up all that money himself. I’d told myself for so long that I was too poor, too fat and not sporty enough to do anything like that, but my excuses were proving weak. But, there was the whole swimsuit problem…

My first swimming lesson at primary school did not go well. We each had to get in the pool so the teacher could see our swimming ability. I was so scared that I couldn’t get my arms and legs to work. I felt myself sinking, literally and metaphorically, as the entire class laughed. I was bullied a lot at primary school for being the weird, fat, poor kid with divorced parents, but I was also teased by adults outside of school too. It’s taken a lot of therapy to work through the pain of constantly feeling ashamed of myself.

My friend came back from his travels. He kept telling me “if I can do it, you can.” A female friend at work was planning to go to Australia. Seeing another woman plan a trip alone was the final push I needed. It took years of saving up money, but eventually I bought a working holiday visa for Australia. I lost myself in the logistics, until the day I booked flights. That’s when sh*t got real.

How was I going to survive so far away from my family? What the hell was I going to wear on the beach? I looked at those frilly dress-style swimming costumes that bigger women are expected to wear. Why should we have to wear horrible frumpy things, or be expected to cover up, just to make other people feel more comfortable? So I bought a tankini – a halter top and bottoms. It felt nicer than a swimming costume, but it wasn’t as scary as a bikini. I still wasn’t sure I’d be able to wear it in public. In the few weeks before my flight, with help from friends and my parents, I continually countered my inner critical voice. I didn’t refer to it as that back then – I thought it was normal to have those kind of negative thoughts. My inner critic told me I was going to fail. That I’d run home to my parents again and get laughed at.

Just before I left, my friend gave me a pep talk. He said if I ever doubted myself I should look in the mirror and say “I’m a f**king soldier.” I told him that was f**king stupid. He kept saying, “mate, you’ve just gotta do it – tell yourself, I’m a f**king soldier.”

So I was in the toilets at Heathrow airport, my stomach in knots, sitting on the loo, saying over and over in my head, I’m a f**king soldier. I didn’t care if it was stupid at that point, I had to try it.

I thought I’d probably just spend a few months in Australia and then miss home and come back. I ended up travelling for over five years.

Going travelling is often seen as a form of escapism, and that’s okay. Sometimes you need to get out of the town you grew up in so you can start to heal. I met people from all over the world and my confidence grew. I continually proved myself wrong and did things that I never thought short fat girls from the Midlands were allowed to do. I wore my tankini on the beach every bloody day, because getting on that plane was the scariest thing I ever did and I was damned if I was going to let swimwear defeat me.

Aus 2

On reflection, maybe it wasn’t about swimwear after all. I channelled all my anxieties into my body in the hope that I could change it. If I just lost weight it would solve everything. When really, it was a childhood of being told I was never good enough and constantly being asked to change myself. Through all my different travels, living a life of swimming in the sea every day and eating all different kind of foods, I never lost weight. I spent four months in India and got very sick. I barely ate for weeks, and I still wasn’t thin. It was at that point I made the promise to myself that I would never try to force my body into a different size or shape. All that matters is my health and that I have a healthy relationship with food with no rules, no dieting, no restrictions. It doesn’t matter what size I am – it’s my mental and physical health that matters. I will never be thin, and that’s fine. I am no longer afraid of being fat. There are so many worse things to be than fat.

Learning to be more comfortable in swimwear was just the side effect. What I learnt was a wider perspective, whilst un-learning all the rules I grew up with. It’s a long journey of self-love, but I’m pleased to be learning about the world and myself, and I hope to now be able to help others who’ve been through similar things. I work for an eating disorder charity and I’m training to be a counsellor. Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves irrelevant of where they come from or what they look like. But it starts with doing something scary – pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. It’s worth the leap of faith, I promise.

Mel Ciavucco

Keep up with Mel’s inspiring blogs via these social media platforms:

Twitter: @MCiavucco

IG: @MelCiavucco

FB page: The Compassionate Feminist

www.melciavucco.weebly.com

We are no longer taking submissions for Amy’s book; #EmergingProud through Disordered Eating, Body Image and Low Self-Esteem, however, if you have a story of overcoming personal adversity you’d like to share, please CONTACT US HERE to find out how to get involved – together we could help to save lives ❤

 

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Denise is KindaProud that she was brave enough to look at the roots of her compulsive eating, and love herself enough to heal

As Denise so eloquently writes, what often begin as our coping mechanisms as a response to some kind of trauma, can develop into unhealthy compulsions which we need to look beneath to discover the roots of the pain. Turning the pain into our ‘friend rather than foe’ can be the turning point on the road to transformation. It’s often a long and challenging process, but as Denise says, she has done it, and so can you …

Denise J with logo

Well Springs Within

I am currently re-reading ‘The Gift of Our Compulsions’ by Mary O’Malley. In a nutshell the book encourages us to see our compulsions as Gifts; gifts because if we can stay still enough to understand them, we would find that at the heart of compulsion is a deep Wellspring waiting to fulfil and nourish our every need as no external thing ever truly can. No compulsion can give us the relief that we deep down need; or even the relief we initially experienced when we first engaged in the compulsive behaviour. It is this very inability that makes the behaviour compulsive as it can never reach the underlying legitimate need.

Finding relief in compulsions is a bit like expecting eating a banana to quench your thirst when it is a drink that the body needs. Indeed, the only thing the banana can do is temporarily distract us from how thirsty we are. You can’t fool the body, though we can spend our whole lifetime trying. The body knows what it needs and will come back to get it. The body is well equipped at doing its job and is as equally committed to it. And its job? Keeping us well and strong, across the board. We give the body very little credit for this. Both we and the world very easily turn the body into ‘enemy’ then go on to treat it pretty badly, like it’s a robot without feeling and need.

In Mary O’Malley’s book we are also encouraged to not only change the way we view compulsions, but also to change the way we relate to them, bringing the light of much needed understanding and compassion to them, seen as they initially came into being to help us deal with and manage some great big difficult something. So, there’s a way in which compulsions could be more readily resolved simply by seeing compulsions as more friend than foe, and in so doing, paradoxically take the sting out of them.

Compulsions come to go, being set up to serve us at one time, not for all our lifetime. The process of allowing them to pass is not an easy one considering the condition of compulsion’s ferocious appetite: not easy, though possible.

It is a testimony to how far I have come in my general healing journey, as well as in my recovery from disordered eating, that I have not fallen back into bulimia’s misguided and crippling embrace, because currently and ongoing for a good few years, I have a couple of life events that are truly testing me. In the past these situations/triggers would have been good enough reason for me to fall back into my struggles with food; but I simply refuse to. Recovery wise, I have come too far to fall at this hurdle, and I am still 100% committed to living my best life possible, especially after a childhood marred by abuse.

The good news is, which I ought to remember and feel more proud of myself about, in the old eating disorder days (12 – 22 years old) I would have binged and purged for much less!

The only thing about my eating that can concern me a little at times is, on occasion, I can still tend toward emotional eating. But overall, like I said, I have a very good handle on my eating, and that is the way I want to keep it, least of all because I’ve put a great deal of energy and effort into my recovery and healing from Bulimia.

Being well on the recovery road, I can tolerate and contain my, at times, internal angst and delay- and/or not engage, those inner compulsive drives, in a way I never could at the beginning of giving up bulimia and happening on the recovery road. I know that these difficult and painful feeling states can and do pass and I am now more familiar with the felt experience of their transmutation. So, I no longer stand in process’ way because the reward and relief gained from this level of self-acceptance feeds and sustains me better than compulsively acting out ever did, or ever could.

I am currently re-reading this book because, like I said, I am feeling challenged on a number of fronts and I want to ensure that compulsion don’t try to sneak in through internal, unconscious, back doors. I want to keep that bolt on, as my suffering does not need, or deserve, more suffering added on!

In regard to self-care, I do all those mind, body and spiritual things to keep me well, like exercise, meditation, healthier eating, living more in the moment, and having greater self-appreciation and presence in my day-to-day everyday life. I have also taken to, these past 6 weeks, gifting myself with a ‘PJ- stay in bed all day- Saturday.‘ Even this is an achievement in and off itself as another one of my compulsions has been ‘overdoing’ and ‘keeping busy.’ Initially I had found taking this particular ‘fear of being still’ monkey off my back; taking it off my back and simply being, relaxing and doing no-thing in particular…

Being still and allowing myself relaxation at first felt incredibly painstakingly angst-filled, as well as mind-numbingly boring. Now that painful ‘Insperience has too been mostly transformed from restless haunting into something that fills me more with Peace and Joy. Just being in the moment and enjoying it for all it’s worth, has been worth all the difficult feelings that initially accompanied doing no-thing. Sometimes it still takes me a minute or two to “come down” after being way too busy and up in my head for too long, but I now know the rewards of Mr & Mrs Peace and Joy.

All is a process and takes time. It’s taken me 33 years to be where I am today. It has also taken time to more fully realise that The Soul Food and The Joy is in the journey, not the destination. So, try not to worry yourself too much, because as such, we already have all the time in the world that we need, and we don’t have to wait ‘until’ some future date to truly In Joy our lives and Be Our True Selves. To quote the author,

“I am not offering you a cure; that is the old style of thinking in which your healing happens sometime in the future. This process is about inviting you into relationship with what is right now, (difficult or otherwise), for that is where true healing lies.”

Like a child reaching to be picked up by her mummy and be given her mother’s time-which probably was the kind of thing that was missing and/or lacking when compulsion first came knocking – we need to learn to reach down, pick ourselves up, and respond to our needs in more loving, appropriate and self-soothing ways. Why? Because we are worth it! And if you don’t know, I know it for you!!

Peace & Love, Light,

Denise

Would you like to share your journey of overcoming a life crisis in order to inspire others with hope that things can get better?

Our next pocket books in the KindaProud series are;

#EmergingProud through Suicide and #EmergingProud through Trauma and Abuse 

If either of these titles resonate with your transformation journey, please CONTACT US – we’d love to hear from you!

Bringing you messages of hope from the community, The Kinda Proud Team ❤

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Together we did it! 74 FREE #EmergingProud through NOTEs books will be distributed to spread HOPE to those in need with your donations

A HUGE thank YOU! to all of you who attended and donated to our #EmergingProud through NOTEs book launch event on Sunday 12th May…

Together we raised enough to purchase 74 copies of these little beauties for FREE distribution around mental health facilities / GP surgeries and therapy centres in the hope that they reach those who may need to read the inspirational stories the most…

If you missed out, you can watch the recording back HERE to find out what we got up to, and why we’re so passionate about this cause.

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If you’d like to support our project and message, we can no longer take donations via Crowdcast, but for just 2 purchases of these books via Amazon we can donate 1 for FREE;

CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR PURCHASE

From Nicole, Mandy, myself and the KindaProud team – we are so very grateful for your kindness ❤

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