give back your heart, to itself

The time will come
When, with elation,
You will greet yourself arriving
At your own door, in your own mirror,
And each will smile at the other’s welcome.

And say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine.
Give bread.
Give back your heart
To itself, to the stranger who has loved you

All your life, whom you ignored
For another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

The photographs, the desperate notes,
Peel your image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
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Derek Walcott.

how to: love your curves

Learning curves. Like the sea lapping against the shoreline, what is constant in each of our live are the ups and downs. There are dreamy highs, during which we float in blessings that waft to us with ease. And then, there are dark and dreadful lows that come in storms, sometimes coming without warning and attacking with injustice, or sometimes because we’ve lost our footing.

We fall down sometimes. And it can be difficult to not abandon our paths, search for a way out, and view out low points as failures.

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What’s interesting to me is that, from these challenges we label as hideous failures, we often find our greatest victories. Yes, confronting our own painful experiences and struggles is distressing. But, we don’t remind ourselves that good can arise from pain solely to ease that discomfort. Good things truly come from overcoming hardships, and – we can and do overcome them.

We are quick to allow our missteps to linger in our minds and even become part of our own definitions of who we are. But, no one walks without stumbling now and then. The more we force ourselves into perfect moulds that never falter, we realize that we cannot always please everyone and ourselves simultaneously.

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For this reason, it is exceedingly important to embrace the person we truly are. This is much more difficult when we have lost touch with our identities, because we are also tasked with the intricate game of discovering what it means to be genuine.

Living authentically is an experiment of trial and error. So, it is essential to find strength in pain, to view stumbling blocks as learning opportunities.

We are, after all, unfinished masterpieces in progress.

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all we ever have is now

Mindfulness is like magic.

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In surrendering ourselves completely to the present moment, we give up all human notions and compulsions to try to improve ourselves, and simply realize where we already are.

We accept our invitation to the inescapable adventure of life as it happens, with each singular moment that passes. There is an incredible urgency in the present moment when we allow the past and future to drift away. Right now is all we have for certain.

Humans naturally resist and force against the present moment;
With each thought that arises, judging it right or wrong. Or, with each physical and emotional sensation, counting it as pleasant or unpleasant.

The magic of mindfulness lies in sacrificing the slipperiness of longing for change, wanting and evaluating. Accepting each moment that arises with its thoughts and feelings, because they are already occurring.

Lying in the grass.
Fighting only the air.
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patience, grasshopper

Time continues to pass and yet, still, here it is.

Day after day is spent working to remove its stain, I crawl into bed tired. And then, sometimes it haunts me there too. I wake up, a child on Christmas, and march to the bathroom mirror only to see, yes, it’s still there. A shadow lurking over my shoulder. Quieter now, but it’s presence speaks a thousand words.

Patience is essential in recovery and life in general. Progress is slow, especially the kind that matters. There is no one set protocol or calculated time frame. We march to the beat of our own drummer.

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I recall a time in which my mind was in a constant state of restless activity. Patience is the opposite of this. And I want anything and everything that is the opposite of that. Just as the seasons can’t be hurried, neither can recovery.

Can you be blamed for wanting to hurry away from torment and pain? No. But impatience simply won’t help. I want to notice my impatience when it arises. Allow for some selfless compassion, and then remind myself that things unfold according to their own nature. I want to be willing to be patient, even in the face of enormous suffering.
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learning & living – NEDIC conference

NEDIC Body Image and Self-Esteem Conference 2013

To learn and think; to think and live; to live and learn:

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This always,

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With new insight, new understanding, and new love.

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Alex