The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

-Wendell Berry

The Way it Is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

-William Stafford

You are good

You are good

You have always been good

Right from the beginning

I’m sorry that anyone told you otherwise

This breath

This head,

These hands

This love

Those feet

That smile

Your ears

This heart

This breath

This breath

This breath

Good, all good. So, so, so good.

You are loved

You are so loved

You are lovable

You have been working so hard

I don’t have to know how, to know that it’s true

You are precious

You are not a mistake, you are so on purpose

You are not broken

You never were

I’m sorry that you might have thought that

I’m sorry anyone might have made you think that

You are enough

You are so so enough

You do not have to earn your enough-ness

You do not have to grovel for value, for love, for goodness

You already have it

You already are it

You are loved 

You are loved

You are love

You are love

You are love

— Hillary McBride

Finding attunement key in the midst of Isolation

From The NY Times article

“The pandemic spreads an existential feeling of unsafety, which registers in the neurons around your heart, lungs and viscera. It alters your nervous system, changing the way you see and perceive threat.

It’s very hard to grasp what’s going on so deep inside. “All trauma is preverbal,” Dr. Bessel van der Kolk writes in his book “The Body Keeps the Score.” “Rational brain is basically impotent to talk the emotional brain out of its own reality.”

The best way to combat this visceral sense of fear and disassociation is by having what Bonnie Badenoch, the author of “The Heart of Trauma,” calls “disconfirming experiences.” These are experiences of deep reciprocal attunement with others that make you feel viscerally safe.These moments of attunement and co-regulation register in the same autonomic nervous system and overcome the fear and helplessness.
Creating these experiences takes effort. “Being together is not the same as being connected,” Columbia professor Martha Welch told me. She recommends that people engage in deep intentional and vulnerable conversations, in which they pause — for as long as 90 seconds — after something important has been said, just to let it sink in. “You have to have the feelings conversation,” she says.

She and the other experts I spoke with endorse anything rhythmic. Anything that will create an experience of attunement: singing, dancing, yoga, deep eye contact, daily rituals and games.”

Middle Aged Women Suffering From ED’s Often Overlooked

Research suggests the hormonal changes of perimenopause may open a “window of vulnerability” to developing eating disorders. Couple that with the do-it-all, have-it-all mind-set of modern women, and that’s a potent mix. “Who can take a break and think about ‘What do I need to do for myself today?’ let alone ‘What do I need to do to stop dieting and have a better relationship with my body?’ ” Maine said. “Instead of thinking about ‘What am I doing?’ they’re just going on to the next diet or aerobics class. The body becomes the answer”

Barriers to POC and Marginalized Populations in Eating Disorder Treatment

The other day while hearing a podcast on the prominence of eating disorder populations, I heard a clinician mention that eating disorders were not as prevalent in person of color (POC) populations. Not only was this an untrue statement, but it also reinforced the misconception that eating disorders are stereotyped to certain populations, namely to white, affluent, young women.

Not only does the stereotype leave out the entire landscape of other eating disorders/behaviors (bulimia, binge eating, avoidant restrictive eating, orthorexia and otherwise unspecified disorders). It also leaves out that the way disorders in POC, non-binary, male, older, younger, abled or less abled persons may manifest in entirely different ways than they would for the stereotypical white thin woman. Or they may manifest in similar ways to the stereotype but no one paid enough attention to notice.

The misconception continues to survive because eating disorder behaviors of POC are often mischaracterized, ignored, or minimized, and there is little research or advocacy around POC being given equitable and fair treatment for their eating disorders.

Not to mention the discriminations placed on weight, body size, and body shape. I have said as an ED therapist that if you know one person with an eating disorder, you’ve known one eating disorder. All eating disorders are different, and all people who have them are unique and deserve respect and individually tailored intervention in their recovery.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, no matter your body size, race, gender, sexuality, or socioeconomic status, I believe you! and you are welcome here. Please contact me if I can serve you and support you to move forward in your recovery.

Thanks to #NEDA for creating this infographic highlighting POC’s and marginalized population barriers to treatment. We as clinicians owe it to our clients and ourselves to continue seeking out opportunities for education, inclusion, and equity, to become aware of our own implicit bias and to offer reprieve for those marginalized.

It is already enough to be facing this illness, it is quite another thing to desire help and feel excluded.

Health at Every Size (HAES)

If you’ve never heard of the term “Health at Every Size” or you have and want to know what all the buzz about, Carolyn Viggh a registered dietitian and HAES informed provider, does a great job of addressing what HAES is, and some of the common myths surrounding the perspective. Take a look! I am a therapist who practices the HAES approach, if you think this may be something you’d benefit from, comment below or send me a personal message.