At this time three years ago I was living as a volunteer in Nepal where I was exposed daily to the teachings of Buddhism.
The only "souvenir" I brought home was a Buddhist prayer bead bracelet, or wrist mala, from a monastery I visited. I've worn it every day since as a reminder to practice the Buddhist tenets of compassion and loving-kindness toward others and myself.
The Path to Lasting Change
In my coaching practice, I talk a lot about approaching our relationship with food, eating, body image and health with compassion, kindness and curiosity--not judgment, shame, guilt or contempt.
By cultivating more awareness, understanding and acceptance we can experience the unconditional happiness, self-love, peace and wholeness we're all seeking beyond our desire for a better body, diet or health.
Punishment, torture, deprivation, self-loathing, self-attack, body hatred, rigid rules, unenjoyable exercise, calorie counting, point tracking--none of these will lead to lasting change.
Sure, they may result in a slimmer waist, firmer thighs, smaller jeans and a powerful sense of control. But, unless you address the shape of your inner world--your thoughts, beliefs, stories, feelings--the shape of your outer world will be a constant struggle to maintain and the ease, serenity, joy and love you long for will remain elusive.
Simply put, your outer world is a direct reflection of your inner world.
Of course, this extends beyond your physical body. Reflect on how this may be true for you in all areas of your life.
My Prayer for You
Embracing compassion and loving-kindness has been life changing and healing for me in more ways than one. Sometimes I forget about my bracelet and catch myself slipping into old patterns, but with presence, patience and practice this happens less and less.
It's my prayer that you too can invite more compassion and loving-kindness into your life--starting right now.