Food for Thought: Step Forward into Growth

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” – Abraham Maslow

How often have you found yourself at that difficult crossroads?

A part of you urges you to step back, insisting you stay in your comfort zone where it’s familiar and safe. “Keep to your usual way of thinking. Continue your old patterns of behaviour. You know where you are then”, it says.

But, like a persistent child tugging at your sleeve, another part wants your attention.

Rather than stay safe, it compels you to move forward. “There’s more for you than this. You know there is”, it whispers, as it hints at an exciting future you’ve yet to discover.

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Food for Thought: Finding the Sanctuary Within You

“Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” – Hermann Hesse

If we’re so used to experiencing inner turmoil rather than inner peace, it’s hard to believe there might be a calm place within where we can find refuge.

A major reason for binge eating is to gain relief from the chaos inside.

We turn to food to quiet our fretting minds and soothe our jangled nerves. Eating offers us a time out from feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

But it’s only ever a temporary vacation from our troubles. And what follows – physical discomfort and self-loathing on an epic scale – ensures the holiday wasn’t enjoyable.

Food can never give us the peace we crave.

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Food for Thought: Water Your Dreams with Optimism

“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”  – Lao Tzu

So you’ve crystallised your dreams for the coming year and you’ve planted the seeds of your desires in the (hopefully) fertile soil of 2020.

Now take a moment to look inward and tell me – do you expect your dreams ultimately to grow and blossom, or wither and die?

Be honest.

Your answer makes all the difference.

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Food for Thought: The Rush to Forgiveness

“Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head-on.” – Alice Miller

“I forgive them”. This is what victims of crime sometimes say when they’re interviewed on the news days, or even hours, after some terrible violation has been committed against them. Perhaps they were brutally attacked. Perhaps someone they love was murdered.

“I forgive the people who did this to me”, they say.

I always feel a sense of concern when I hear this.

Their forgiveness seems so immediate.  It makes me wonder what happened to their feelings.

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Food for Thought: Waking Up to Our Boundaries

“Boundaries are the lines we draw that mark off our autonomy and that of other people, that protect our privacy and that of others. Boundaries allow for intimate connection without dissolving or losing one’s sense of self.”   

– Amy Bloom

I love this definition of boundaries by Amy Bloom – psychotherapist, author, screenwriter and probably my new shero.

Boundaries make it safe for us to engage with others, without compromising our independence.  They separate us from each other, while at the same time allowing us to be close. Rather than a barrier to relationship, boundaries give us the means to connect authentically.

But what if we don’t know where they are?

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Food for Thought: The Enjoyment of Less

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness” – Charles Spurgeon.

I’ve spent my month’s blogging break decluttering my house.

I mean seriously decluttering.

Decluttering in the past meant I’d throw out a few things, take some bits and pieces to the charity shop and really just fanny about with everything else. I might box some stuff up and put it in the loft or hide it in cupboards or drawers but, truthfully, it was always more like strategic resettlement rather than a coordinated clear-out.

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Food for Thought: Staying Connected to Hope

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me…Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” – Shel Silverstein

It’s that time of year again when I ask myself the searching question: “why didn’t I take two weeks off work so I could watch the TV?”.

Yes, it’s Wimbledon – the tennis tournament most beloved by players and fans alike.

One of the things I love about tennis is the way a match can turn around.

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