Intuition

Intuition., It’s a word you hear a lot on the podcast and read a lot here on the blog. It’s what so much of what I preach is all based on. Following the cues your body gives you to feed yourself and take care of yourself in a way thats truly nurturing.

Our Intuition is like a muscle. The more we use it the stronger it gets and the easier it is to tap into it. Years of ignoring my body and thinking I wasn’t worth of anything especially not worth listening to, had totally killed my relationship with my intuition. Once I began the process of intuitive eating, it really started to heal my intuition and I thought it was close to perfect.

I was wrong. I ignored my gut (for months) and I got hurt. Really really hurt. I have a hard time admitting this, but I am still in the aftermath of it all (probably will be for a while). It all kind of blew up in my face about a week and a half ago and I feel entirely broken. I debated posting something so deeply personal but I think that’s where my strength lies. I have had to remind myself every day since then that I am a truly genuine person that deserves love, and respect. What happened to me wasn’t okay and I am tired of dancing around the subject for fear of being called petty or immature. So I decided to write about it. Not only because its the main way I process things, but because I truly do value my readers and I think you all deserve my vulnerability. This person deserves to be exposed and called exactly what she is: a predator and a manipulative, and emotionally abusive narcissist. I hope reading my experience can pass on knowledge to those of you who may also be dealing with a manipulative and emotionally abusive narcissist. Perhaps someone can learn how to recognize the signs and save themselves so they don’t get abused ( I refuse to call what she did to me any less than abuse at this point). We shouldn’t enable the cycle of abuse to continue, we shouldn’t sit idly by while people who are in fact emotionally damaged continue to do that to others.

As someone who has suffered at the hands of sexual assault, this situation brought up very very similar feelings and honestly is probably why it has taken me so long to deal with it. Something was stolen from me without permission. I am writing this as a way for me not to lash out at this person but as a way for me to heal. I have come to terms with the fact that I will never ever get answers to why they did what they did to me. She doesn’t deserve the conversation or the space to possibly manipulate me again. So this post will be my final words and hopefully a nail in the coffin to fully recovering from this. I refuse to give you power over me anymore.

I was fooled, so greatly fooled into thinking they cared about me and my family. Not only by their words but by their actions (now I know these were all calculated moves and had absolutely no sincerity in them whatsoever). I was essentially groomed into thinking that this person was my friend, I actually had come to consider her one of my good friends. She watched my child, we spoke almost daily, and she reassured me she could be trusted (just typing this makes me want to bash my head into a wall). But the whole time she was isolating me from friends and coworkers, planting thoughts in their heads that I didn’t like them and that they didn’t like me. Isolating all of us (grooming and isolation are some of the first steps manipulative narcissists use to take control of your life). She constantly touted loyalty as one of her main values and that she would never tell anyone anything I said, that she wasn’t interested in gossip or drama. Yet at the same time constant gossip, complaints, and bad mouthing poured out of her mouth about others (another sign Erica- stupid stupid stupid). I thought she just trusted me, I was a good friend she could vent to right? This lie of loyalty continued for over a year, all while I continued to give her more of my time, energy, and parts of my self I have never given anyone. I told her things I would have taken to the grave but she really had me convinced that she cared about me and that I could trust her. She was the first person I shared my abuse with- even over my husband- because she claims to be an advocate and activist for sexual abuse survivors, but she turned out to not to be worthy of that part of me, not even at all. Are you sick to your stomach yet?

Maybe some of you will think I am being dramatic..

It wasn’t until e v e r y t h i n g came to light that I realized I wasn’t being dramatic at all. That she was doing this to everyone around her. We have since all talked and shared anecdotes (lies she told us) and basically had to take turns picking each other’s jaws up off the floor. She made us all feel crazy, and question everything as if we were the ones in the wrong; even after more and more of her disgusting lies came to light. She fed on our insecurities and pitted us against one another.

So for over a year I let this person fool me into thinking she was close to me, yet the whole time she was complaining about all of the things she offered to do for me, and sharing all my deeply personal secrets with people. Maybe this could just be forgotten about but she also knew that someone else had done this very same thing to me just a couple years before ( also one of the things I confided in her about). So to let my self be fooled by it once again pissed me off. I have been a mixture of sadness, anger, and frustration for the past week or so. I have since given myself compassion for being fooled by her because I had no reason to believe otherwise. The self talk has sounded a little like this:

How could you do this? Why would you do this? Why wouldn’t you just tell me you didn’t care to be my friend and move on? Why would you hurt Zelda, what did she do to deserve to be used as a tool to hurt me? Why, why, why????

It is clear that this person is so deeply damaged inside and for that I do have compassion, but to constantly use your trauma as a scapegoat to get out of harming others is not okay. I hope they get help, for the sake of their children and their family and the ones close to them. Until then she will continue to destroy herself and the ones around her.

I gave this person part of my soul and she spit on it, walked all over it, and threw it against the wall both behind my back and in front of my face. 

I can’t stop beating myself up for not running the other direction at the first gut feeling. For the past couple months I had so many red flags practically waving in my face but I kept giving her the benefit of the doubt. After seeing her or talking to her I would feel worse than I did going into it. I would feel drained, and empty. Just seeing her in the morning wiped the smile off my face. I felt like I should be her friend because she had “been so good to me and so deeply cared for me” (typing this too makes me want to vomit). All of these feelings (more often than not they were physical symptoms as well) were my intuition telling me to save myself and run the other way. I walked around like an idiot treating her with kindness while she spit ugliness about me out of her mouth, the second I walked out of the room.

I will probably get shit for this post but I don’t really care.  Like I said I am leaving this as my final thoughts and I will probably seek therapy because I feel extremely broken. This person fucked me up and she deserves to get called out. I hope other women have the courage to call out their abusers (of any kind). They don’t deserve our discretion. 

I mostly shared this with all of you to remind you to listen to your gut. Build your intuition up every day and for god fucking sake listen to it.

To the narciccist:

I hope you get help. I truly truly do. I hope you go to your retreat and you actually try and you show up, for yourself, and for your family. They deserve better than how you are right now. I hope you stop hurting people. I hope you can learn your way through your manipulative and harmful ways. I hope you get the chance to let that little girl inside of you go, and become the woman you are supposed to be. I hope one day you can actually own up to what you did and stop blaming other’s for it. As if I deserved what you did to me because I was a bad friend? (Not that I actually was even a bad friend to you and you know it) but even if I was as if that means I deserve to be treated the way you treat me? I know you probably won’t change but I truly hope you do. I hope the cycle of abuse ends with me. If out of all this -you change, for your children’s sake, then my suffering will not be in vain.

To others suffering at the hands of a manipulative and emotionally abusive narcissist:

I hope through my post (and with the link I attached) you can recognize this person for exactly as they are and get out. Don’t just leave, run the other way as fast as you can. Don’t waste your breath trying to reason with them, or getting them to recognize what they are. They physically lack empathy and human reasoning and will not be able to rationalize with you. Opening up a conversation with them opens yourself up to be emotionally abused or manipulated once again. Also know that you are not the crazy one here, because they will make you feel that way. You are deserving of respect and you are worthy of love. Take care of yourself right now, and if this is someone you can’t cut out of your life.. lay hard hard hard boundaries. You do not need to enable their behavior.

My heart goes out to anyone who can relate to this situation And if you are dealing with a similar situation and like me you were trying to tell yourself it is not that big of a deal or worth being upset by; it is and you are deserving of processing this however you need to. As always, my inbox is open.

I will get through this, and I will never ever ever ignore my gut again.

 

Get political

In light of this past weekend’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia I felt like I couldn’t keep to myself. I was taking this week off the podcast to bring you all fresh material next weekend and to start releasing episodes every two weeks for the duration of the school year but I decided it was important to put at least something out there this weekend.

To be silent at a time like this is to take the side of the oppressor, and that I just cannot do . I know its uncomfortable to have conversations like these where we must confront our privilege and use it for the benefit of others, rather than to aid in our discomfort while we remain silent. I have never walked through the streets of my town only to be seen as a nuisance or to be told I don’t deserve to exist, and my children will never know that life either. Unfortunately that is not true for the majority of our population and so because of that; I speak. I will not apologize for getting political or for making others uncomfortable.

The tie between body positivity, fat acceptance, feminism — all of these key interests of mine— and politics, is immense. In fact you actually can’t separate these issues at all.  If you leave all of these intermingling topics out of the equation, that is not intersectionality and that is not my feminism. So how can I get on my platform and take up space preaching acceptance for women and people of all sizes, ethnicities, genders, abilities, orientation, identity, and  you guessed it- race if I decide to stay silent about racial issues? The answer is I can’t. I call myself an ally on these fronts so I have to do the work.

It’s so easy to turn off your tv, tune out of the world, keep your opinions to yourself and of course God forbid we ever “get political,” but where the fuck does that get us? That gets us no where. That’s why its 2017 and we still have nazis running through the streets and spreading hate and violence. The truth is there are people that don’t have the damn luxury of tuning out of the racial issues because they’re the targets of it. As long as that is happening I can’t and won’t keep my goddamn mouth shut.

This is me being pissed, and spitting my truth out. I will no longer apologize for getting political, I will no longer apologize if I offend, or make people uncomfortable. For a while now I have been talking about truly political issues but was careful not to “get too political” because that’s “annoying.” Well fuck that. I am too damn mad to keep this to myself, and you should be too.

I was going to write a post today about empowerment, but I can’t even think about talking about anything else at a time like this. My heart goes out to all of those who were harmed by this disgusting act of domestic terrorism, and to anyone who is a victim of it on the daily. I am here as little or as much as you need me to be. I will use my voice when I can, and I will hand the mic to you when my voice does no good. I am your ally and you will never catch me being silent again.

Unplugged

So I decided to take a four week break (at least) from social media. My life feels really fucking fogged up by other people’s shit. I realized how entrenched I was in my damn screen and how easy it was for me to check out of my own life. I have too much self improvement to tackle to worry about everyone else’s mundane shit.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for social media and I definitely think it has its place but I guess I just wasn’t doing it right.

I suffer immensely with not being able to live in the moment.

We could be sitting in a room together having a great conversation and chances are that I am stricken with anxiety sitting across from you making a to-do list for as soon as I walk in the door; or fretting over how bed time is going to go. I live paralyzed by the future and the very certain uncertainty of life. And you know what exacerbates this? Social fucking media. Because I can tune out and numb myself to cope with the suffocation of perfectionism and the need to always be doing something. I realized it was a problem when I would be sitting with my daughter and closing and scrolling the same three apps for a considerable chunk of time. It’s like watching an episode of Black Mirror.

Something I am struggling with right now is slowing down and being present. This life is too good for me to not be able to live it without my smart phone clenched in my fist.

And as always I grapple with my worth. Am I only doing/showing/posting something to get validation? To feed my ego and to inflate my sense of self worth? My worth is inherent. My worth as a human fucking being lives and flows through me regardless of what I post on the IG. Logically I know this but this shit is super insidious because I catch it creeping up often.

I also want to free up time. All that time I spent scrolling the same three apps could be used to finally write my book, read more books, do yoga, go on a walk, or play on the floor with my kids.

So you can find me here, and you can find the show on iTunes still (struggling with finding motivation with that as well but stay tuned) and perhaps I will post new episodes on Instagram over the next few weeks, just because let’s be honest that’s the only way to get shit out there on the internet.

I hope I find a little peace, and maybe some direction. I hope I strengthen the relationship with myself. I hope to not lose any of you along the way. Maybe you could all use a little unplugging as well?

As the little girl at the pool said the other day right after she mowed me down; sorry not sorry, for this grammatically incorrect, and profanity ridden post.

You can’t snap-chat filter life

I am making a conscious effort to reject the idea of perfection. Okay okay I know what you’re thinking.. I have said this before. You’re right.. I have, and that just goes to show how insidious this shit is (at least for me). I am a very type A personality, with very natural tendencies to control and strive for “perfection” all while being a massive people pleaser. Here is where that thinking is problematic.. Not only is perfection an imaginary and arbitrary goal; it is not doing myself or anyone else any favors or adding any value to this world to be anything other than my real self. Which more often than not, is not going to look perfect.

We’ve all been in that moment where we are sitting on the couch scrolling through our Instagram feeds; subconsciously trying to numb out, when a perfectly posed, perfectly edited, beautiful photo catches our eye. Then all of a sudden.. “compare and despair mode, activate!” We are stuck conversing with this voice, “Oh she’s so much prettier than me,” “She is more successful than me” “She is happier than me” read: She is doing this right and I am doing this wrong. What level of that you want to admit to is yours but, we’ve all been there. No one can blame us, it’s this culture and world that we live in now. We are a culture of hyper-imagery. Everything is in our face and everything is beautiful. 

Reality is not always beautiful. 

So what do we do? What do I do? This is where I am at now..

I am taking a conscious vow to reject the pursuit of perfection. This is a hard fucking vow for me. Not in the sense of resisting the urge to re-do something that didn’t get done right the first time(let’s be honest I might never be able to let that go) but bigger than that. I am rejecting the idea that shit has to look, be, or turn out a certain way for me to be okay. I am disconnecting my self worth from how I show up or present in this world. I am giving myself permission to show up as messy as I need to and my voice is still worth being heard, and I still am worthy of taking up space.

It took me a while, but I did let go of perfection when it came to my appearance. But it was kind of like when an alcoholic goes to rehab and takes up chain smoking and Jesus as their new addiction. My problem transferred to other areas of my life. Was my work good enough? Was I successful enough? Was I a good enough mom? I had so much more time and mental space freed up from not worrying about my body that I got hit with a big ole’ “oh crap” about everything else.

Recently I have been taking note of some emotions (inferiority, general less than-ness) that come up for me, admittedly and embarrassingly enough.. on Instagram. Scrolling through my feed and seeing someones “perfect life” anywhere from friends to even peers doing similar work as me. My competitive side kicks in, and before I know it I am like googling the pair of shoes her kids are wearing. It’s pathetic. I did this before too, I had the whole mindset of, “if/then.” “If I get that skinny, THEN I will be that happy/successful/worthy of love.” I am so aware of it yet why is it still grabbing hold of me?

Here is where my new vow comes in. Not only am I making an effort to reject other people’s images as perfection and compare them to my own.. I am making an effort to show up just as I am. Because on the other side of this coin lies the possibility that in my effort to appear as beautiful, well lit, and well edited as some home girl I follow, I might have snuck into someone else’s head and preyed on their insecurities. (Of course none of this is intentional on any of our parts) So I am making an effort to intentionally show the wide range of moments in my life, if I am going to choose to share them.

This might look like me posting to my Instagram story because my kids are driving me insane and keeping me up all night and I have to share it so I don’t feel alone. Or going on a rant about something I feel passionate about regardless of the fact my hair looks like shit, there is laundry in the background, and I am not wearing makeup or a snap chat filter on my face.

Or it might look like me showing up to something new with out a clue as how to do it, taking a big risk with the very real possibility that it might all blow up in my face, or saying something that aligns with my values even if it goes against the grain. All while rejecting the pursuit of perfection.

It looks like unapologetically being ME and whatever that might look like at the time.

Here I am, totally imperfect. Take it or leave it because I don’t have a choice so I might as well embrace it.

Crack the hunger code

12.png

Guys I am so excited to be able to team up with Dr. Anita Johnston- author and recent podcast guest- to bring to you her FREE soul hunger video series. This is an amazing resource for anyone interested about their relationship with food.

In this society it is all too common to see people struggling with eating difficulties, or body image issues. I am here to tell you, you don’t have to live like that any longer.

In this multi part video series you learn the skills necessary to make peace with food and your body. You don’t have to have an eating disorder, or be in recovery to benefit from this. Obsessive thoughts about food and our bodies are so pervasive and validated in this culture, we can all benefit from a little bit more freedom.

Click HERE to get the FREE Soul Hunger Video Series!