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Charlene's Journal

Charlene is a journey of mindful health and self-care

How Does Your “Little Voice” Speak to You?
Posted on 12/07/2013 @ 12:39 PM

Earlier this week my “little voice” was in a foul mood. I said things to myself that I certainly wouldn’t say to a friend.

Based on my work schedule, I arise at 4:30 am each weekday morning to allow myself time to practice a mindfulness meditation and exercise. This past Monday, I woke up with the feeling that someone had loaded my body with lead. I could definitely relate to the saying, “I dragged myself out of bed.” After my mindfulness exercise, it was time to exercise my body but I felt like I couldn’t move. That’s when the inner critic took over.

”Come on, get up!” she said. I could almost see her shaking her imaginary finger at me. I silently and meekly responded, “I don’t know if I can.” “Of course you can” she retorted, “it’s only a few minutes of exercise. You’re just being lazy. And this is why you’ve never reached your health goals; and you never will.”

At that moment, I realized what was happening. Remembering the concept of self-parenting with compassion in the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating program, I searched for a kinder example of how to talk to myself. It came as a memory from one of my dearest friends, Laura. Here’s the scenario which I found to be a splendid example of loving, nurturing parenting.

She told her daughter, who was around 3 years of age at the time, “It’s time to go inside.”
“No, Mommy, I don’t want to.”
“I know, we’ve had fun playing and now it’s getting dark.”
“No, Mommny, I want to play some more.”
Laura held her daughter’s hand, opened the door, and led her inside. “It is time for your bath, do you want bubbles?”
“How about your purple pajamas tonight?
“I want to wear my red ones.”
“What story shall we read?”

I practiced her technique for myself. Here’s how it played out…

“It’s time to exercise.”
“I don’t know if I can.”
“I know, some mornings it is hard, and now it is time to align your actions with your value for optimal health.”
“I would really rather just sit here.”
Standing up, “Would you prefer tai chi rather than aerobics this morning?”
“Put on your workout clothes now. What is the least amount of time you’ll commit to tai chi this morning.”
“I’ll commit to at least 10 minutes.”

As a result of practicing this more compassionate inner dialog, Monday evening I was able to congratulate myself for practicing tai chi for 20 minutes, taking the longer walking route between the parking garage and my office (and back again), and choosing to walk to the eating area further away from my office for lunch.

Maybe I didn’t climb any physical mountains, but I do see it as conquering a mental one.

Michelle May M.D.

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Charlene's Journal

My Perfect Weight

Emotional Stages of Saying Goodbye to Dieting

Entering a New and Wonderful Relationship

Perfectly Imperfect

Dieting Continued to Get Harder; Mindful Eating Continues to Become More Natural

100% Commitment, 100% Forgiveness

Stress, the Great Seducer

A Mindfully-Cooked Meal

How long does it take for mindful eating to become a habit?

I Love Taking My Power Back!

My Emotional Eating Experience

Creative Hopelessness

The Godfather Ate My Cake!

Our Relationship to Food is Not a Problem to Be Solved; It is a Process to be Lived

How Does Your “Little Voice” Speak to You?

Where Do I Want to Eat?

Sit. Feast on Your Life

What do you wish you’d known about dieting?

“The problem is that my behavior with food is irrational!"

The Gentle Politeness of Our Bodies

All Emotions Fit

Noticing the shift

Practicing Am I Hungry? Concepts in Other Areas of My Life

Coming to My Senses: My One-Year Anniversary with Am I Hungry?

A Note of Compassion to All Dieters, Including Myself

Follow Your Heart But Don’t Check Your Brain at the Door

Mindful Movement

Regret Over Guilt

Practicing Mindfulness

A Mindful Walk

Choosing Ease over Easy

Our 23rd Wedding Anniversary

Done with Dieting. Forever.

Fear of Hunger

Acceptance, compassion, and encouragement

Flying on autopilot

"Several “Hungry” Days Didn’t Stress Me Out!"

What Else Am I Bringing to the Table?

What do I want to eat?

Speed Bump with a Bonus

No Bad Foods, Really?

From Tunnel Vision to Total Vision

A Mindful Choice for Quality

From Redirection to Connection

Like Riding a Bike!

New Year's "Resolutions"

Merry Mindful Christmas

Curiosity is key

Fullness as an illusionary hug

Letting go of overeating and restrictive eating

Wait for it...

Thanksgiving for Thanksgiving

Hunger is the Best Seasoning

Old habits die hard

Happy Birthday to me!

Coming Home!

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