Please, please care about their feelings.
Every client I work with is a unique individual with his or her own unique story, struggles, and strengths. But I can’t help but notice trends that pop up, and one of those trends is seeing clients in my office who are going through transition periods in life – and also struggling with food and body image.
Both developmental and life transitions are sticky because we’re faced with both changes to our body, and external stressors that are out of our control. Think of aging. Hair grays, midsections soften and round, hormones shift. At the same time, society starts overlooking older people, especially women, whose value is often judged based on conventional beauty standards (thanks a lot, society 🙄 ). We don’t have much control over these changes, which is uncomfortable, especially for those whose sense of self relies heavily on how others view them. So it makes total sense that many would turn to food and trying to change their body to gain back that sense of control, especially when there is a multi-billion dollar diet industry telling them it’s possible.
As uncomfortable as it might be, change is both inevitable, and important. Here’s some common body image struggles at different transition periods of life:
Teenagers // Puberty is a period of rapid body change, and for both boys and girls, gaining weight before growing taller is common. But because it’s a time when hormones are raging, popularity is becoming a thing, the opposite (or same) sex no longer has cooties, AND because we live in a world where childhood “obesity” is feared, this normal, healthy weight gain can be quite traumatic. For young girls, this is often the first time they experience their body being objectified and sexualized. With teen magazines and social media, teenagers are being bombarded with images of beauty ideals.
Early 20s // Many women will find their body matures into their “adult” body in their twenties. On top of that, the life change/emotional stress of going from college to “the real world” can trigger weight gain or weight loss. I haven’t really studied it, but one theme that comes up with my clients at this age is the discomfort of having peers who are at all different stages of life – some still in college party mode, some getting married and having kids, some professionally successful, some still in school, some living at home. They’re just trying to figure out their place, and their future, while also trying to keep up with their peers. I don’t know about you, but personally, I’d rather go back to middle school than live through my early twenties again.
Becoming parents // For women who choose to have kids, pregnancy is a time of HUGE changes to their body in a relatively short (9 month) period of time. Like, you literally grow and pop out a tiny human. And afterwards, despite what celebrity magazines imply, your body does not go back to exactly how it was before. Plus, with young kids, there’s less time for self care, sleep, movement and cooking. From the new parents I work with, I hear a lot of anxiety about losing their pre-baby appearance, mixed with uncertainties and fears about being/becoming a mom. And while men don’t necessarily deal with biologically based body changes, they’re still coping with a major life transition.
50-60s // For women heading into menopause, it’s natural to gain weight, especially around the midsection. It’s actually healthy and protective against the side effects of menopause. That said, the body changes can be difficult to cope with, coming at a time when society tends to start ignoring women as they no longer fit in with conventional youthful beauty standards. At the same time, many men and women are first coming to grips with mortality,
By Kira Goldring
Living with purpose and meaning is a goal that many strive to achieve. However, the motivation for that goal differs. Some people are focused on their current existence, while others believe that positive actions in this world will buy them a ticket to the next one – heaven. This brings us to a question that everyone from religious authority to soul-searching Sally has asked: Does life continue after death?
Here are three reasons to consider that there may be life after death, and three reasons to believe that death is the end of the road.
A Permanent Sleep
What we know, we know
By definition, death is the cessation of life – so by all logic, there is no life after death. In this vein, physics professor Sean Carroll contends that life after death is impossible. While there are many things we don’t know about the world, he says, we do know about the particles that make up the human body – and those don’t go anywhere after the body dies. Because consciousness is part of the physical body, it dies along with the rest of a person. Unlike other uncertainties in life, this concept is relatively straightforward: With death, life ends.
While people may have the sensations of near-death experiences, a group of scientists believes that they aren’t afterlife-related. According to Australian-based neurologist Dr. Cameron Shaw, the tunnel vision some report experiencing after a close encounter with death is a result of the brain failing to receive oxygen, which distorts our perceptions. Other researchers have found elevated levels of CO2 in the bloodstreams of those who had out-of-body sensations – which has been linked to visual hallucinations. Similar to the effect of hallucinogenic drugs, these sensations may be created by the chemical changes happening in a body on the brink of death. Unfortunately, the “white light” some claim to see happens only in our minds: Death, sadly, is what’s at the end of the tunnel.
The side with proof
Proving that life after death is feasible has been faulty, at best. Aside from within our dreams and feelings, we don’t see or hear of anyone who has supposedly passed on to another world. We do, however, see exactly what happens to the human body after it stops working; the process of body decomposition may be a gruesome one, but it is also telling. Archaeologists and coroners will agree on this fact: It doesn’t look like there is life after death.
To a Better Place
A man – who was declared clinically dead for six minutes after drowning – reported on the Near Death Experience Research Foundation that he had a joyful, out-of-body experience in which he could see and hear everything from above while unconscious. In the memoir Dying to be Me, Anita Moorjani describes learning about the cause of her cancer while she was unconscious. Testimonies like these are not uncommon, as studies around the world estimate that these “near-death” experiences are reported by an estimated 200,000 Americans a year.
According to a recent study that lends credence to near-death experiences, even when the brain shows no sign of electrical activity, it’s quite possible that a person can remain conscious. Lead researcher Pim van Lommel of the Hospital Rijnstate in the Netherlands, says that scientists should look beyond molecules and cells when studying consciousness. He asserts in the study that people can be conscious of events taking place around them even if or when they are physically unconscious.
Life is more than just your physical presence; people live on through the imprint they have on others. Personal legacies keep people alive long after their physical bodies
Hello lovely people. Do you put on a mask sometimes, like everything in your life is going great, but in reality, your soul is crying because the darkness is closing in around you and you’re lonely? A lot of people are like this, and they refuse to admit it.
Most of the time we put on that brave, smiling face that we show the world and refuse to show our real feelings for fear of being hurt…that’s understandable. But what can we do when it gets too bad?
Here are a few tips:
- Take off that damn mask! You certainly don’t need to wear it 24/7. It’s not necessary to be everyone’s rock, everyone’s savior.
- You are allowed to be YOURSELF! It’s a bad idea to try and be someone that everyone wants you to be. Trust me, it may work for a while, but in the long run, you are the one who will come out the worst for wear in this situation.
- Try and make wherever you are living as cozy and comfy as possible. Now, this should go without saying, but a lot of people kind of forget that they can and should do this. They get so used to how their surroundings look and don’t realize that they can change things to make it more appealing to their liking. I’m not saying that you need to buy a lot of things to achieve this change, but I am saying that you can move your furniture around or perhaps paint a wall or two. Get a plant that you love or paint a few pictures (abstract painting works well if you don’t think you are a good painter), and hang them on the walls.
- Take up reading, if you haven’t already. When I lived in America, I used to love to go to the library, check out a pile of books that moved my soul, and read till my hearts’ content.
- Meet up with friends for something nice to eat or drink together.
- Cook a meal, using a new recipe.
- Take a hot shower (or a long hot bubble bath, if you’re lucky enough to have a bathtub). Afterward, take the time to spoil yourself by rubbing on some deliciously scented oil or lotion.
- Go for a walk….doesn’t matter where. Just get yourself out of the house and go for a walk to clear your mind. Trust me, you will feel better afterward.
- Meditate. It’s really not such a bad thing ya know. It will raise your vibration, which there, in turn, will make you feel better. Meditation isn’t always just sitting in the lotus position with nothing in your head. There are all different types of ways to meditate. Try some of them…you might figure out that you really like meditation. 🙂
- Make a list of all the things, people, and situations that you’re thankful for. Be sure to make it as detailed as possible. Really get into your mind and think about the little things that you have, or have happened to /for you and write them down. I find that it’s always a good thing to have some kind of a journal so you can do this every day…or as often as you possibly can.
Please note that YOU DO NOT NEED TO WEAR A MASK ALL THE TIME. It’s important to remember this because sometimes we forget.
You are human, and we all have feelings. Remember this and above all,
be true to yourself.
Find out if you’re really being manipulated.
Looking at online menus for a restaurant to take a visiting friend, I read “humane meat” and had to do a double-take. This bizarre concept, already seen on labels in upscale grocery stores, is invading eateries so that anyone who wishes to order the chicken can feel sort of OK or even really good about it. What are we thinking? That the animals were blown away in the middle of the night while dreaming sweet dreams after a life of comfy straw and the sun on their backs in lush green meadows, like in the fantasy cheese commercials that PETA sued to have removed from the airways, the ones that failed to show the real misery and muck in which California’s dairy cows languish until the truck comes to take them to you-know-where? Or maybe you don’t know where.
One hates to be absolute, but in my view, there is no such thing as humane meat. Perhaps if we were being asked to consider roadkill, which at least would not be cruelly raised or even killed by us (someone else’s non-commissioned vehicle doesn’t count) if we scraped it up off the tarmac and ate it, but that’s not what we are being asked to consider. Rather, it is being suggested that we actually find it acceptable to eat the flesh of animals who were very much alive, had friends and family — or, more likely, were deprived of them — and went through enormous trauma despite some small courtesies, such as perhaps 2 inches of additional space in their jam-packed prison cells. Yes, kicking the dog six times a week instead of seven is marginally better, but that doesn’t mean that we should go around suggesting that people kick the dog, just not as often, does it?
Calling this sad flesh “humane” is like calling Britney Spears an opera singer. Yes, “Baby One More Time” may be easier on the ear than fingers on a blackboard, but it’s hardly Wagner’s “Ring Cycle,” is it? I could go along with SLCBSU, or “slightly less cruel but still unacceptable,” meat, but it’s definitely still not humane by a long shot.
There’s nothing humane about the flesh of animals who have had one or two or even three improvements made in their singularly rotten lives on today’s factory farms. Perhaps they are allowed outside into a patch of mud if they can fight their way out through the 10,000 other hens competing to get through the hatchway. Perhaps they are allowed to share a box in which to lay their eggs. Perhaps they are not kept in iron maidens or sow stalls in which they can never turn around. But the rest of their lot in life and the manner in which they are otherwise treated outside these reductions in abysmal treatment are still an abomination.
By being asked to support meat from living beings who are marginally less cruelly treated, we are being encouraged to support animal breeders, the people who bring our fellow animals into this world for the sole purpose of putting them through the wringer — causing them stress, trauma and pain — and then, because we’ll pay for those body parts, pronouncing, “Off with their heads!” In asking us to endorse humane meat, we are also being asked to endorse artificial insemination (a hideously terrifying procedure carried out on what farmers themselves call “rape racks”) and to support mutilations such as castration, dewattling, decombing, and ear-punching — all without painkillers. Being asked to support humane meat means being asked to support the suffering of animals in transport, to approve of treatment that causes them palpable fear, their bodies shaking and their eyes wide as saucers, as they are slung by their legs into crates that are slammed onto the back of a truck. And we are being asked to find acceptable and humane their experience of barreling down the highway in the freezing cold and sweltering heat. How can we accept any of that if we are against cruelty to animals? It’s simple — we can’t.
By being asked to endorse this grossly misnamed “humane meat,” we are being asked to endorse the ways in which the animals are killed, the final moments that culminate in the fear and the stench of the slaughterhouse. For most meat is obtained from the slaughterhouse, a place of blood and offal and struggles and screams. If that is so humane, why don’t we take the kids and make a day of it? Because it isn’t humane, that’s why.
All of us in society are supposed to believe that cruelty to animals is wrong and that it is a good thing to prevent needless suffering. So if that is true, how can meat be acceptable under any but the most extraordinary circumstances, such as perhaps roasting the bird who died flying into a window? The pig or hen’s misery
Greetings everyone, be sure to check out your Angel/Oracle card advice for this week.
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