Love Is Good for Your Health

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If you will release all concern about how others feel about you, and focus only upon how you feel about them, you will unearth your core understanding of who-you-really-are, and you will discover what true freedom really is.

Abraham-Hicks

May I share something deeply personal with you?

I’ve been processing a lot of intense emotions the past couple of days. My intention with sharing this part of my story is that it may benefit you on some level. Maybe it will let you know that you are not alone, or that moving through and gaining a different perspective on challenging life experiences is possible. May you find this beneficial in some way.

Last month, I wrote about my father, who died over Thanksgiving weekend.

I had not had any connection with him since I was 15. He was emotionally and physically abusive, and I doubt that many people had any idea of the pain being inflicted on me, my mother, and brothers behind closed doors. It took him almost killing my mother one night for us to find the courage to leave him.

Over the years, I had put a lot of intention around consciously forgiving him, and even came to feel strongly that there was nothing to forgive.

While it was the absolute best decision I could have made to protect myself from any future physical and emotional harm that might have come from having direct contact with him, not forgiving him only hurt me.

Looking back at his upbringing, I had come to understand how he had been broken as a child, and how that had led to his actions with us. I had come to value my childhood experiences as key to who I am today, and to celebrate the different choices and patterns I have been able to make in my life. Where he could not break the cycle of pain, my brothers and I had.

And I thought I had opened my heart to him. When I received news of his death, I felt peace. It felt like the last little bit of my with-holding love relaxed as I envisioned my father on the other side experiencing the pure positive love of All-That-Is.

It was interesting on Friday to have an exchange with someone present in his life with a very different experience of my father. While I felt I listened to and even celebrated their positive memories, I felt saddened about missing out on the father I could have had. While I gave the briefest description of the man we knew, I didn’t dwell on it. I thought we ended the conversation on good terms and I felt positive about having reached out.

On Saturday, I awoke to an email that I am sure the writer did not intend to impact me the way it did. What was written was that my experience challenged their memories and they did not want to have any dealings with them. I felt they dismissed my experiences by saying it had happened in the “short” time I knew him, and it felt like they challenged my integrity and those I am closest to. It brought up old feelings of abandonment, and beliefs about my father not ever loving me.

While I had come to understand that no man is all of one thing—there is “good” and “bad” in everyone—what came up for me was the need to “justify” my father’s horrid behavior. That old victim energy bubbled up. We were the wronged ones, damn it. How dare they say our pain was not real or justified? I felt the need to defend my victim status.

But did I really want to dig my heels in around these challenging experiences? Did I really want to grab hold of them and grip them tight as my “story?” Was this not an opportunity to clean up old energy that had been hiding out under the rug?

I let myself feel these intense emotions with the intention of shifting my perspective.

There was a lot of relief in allowing myself to grieve and rail and condemn. But I was also revisiting some very dark spaces. Part of me was afraid I might get stuck there in that painful place.

But I am no longer the same person I was. I have too much experience moving through my shadow spaces. Not shining the light on them and recognizing that there is dirt there that needs to be cleaned is what prolongs pain.

So I reached out for support to my husband, friends, and family. I leaned into the emotions that were coming up, and recognized that the pain I was feeling was guidance from my Higher Self letting me know I was not thinking about this situation correctly.

Source only sees with the eyes of love. The pain I was feeling was because I was shutting that love off pretty darn effectively.

I began to remind myself of what this situation and my father had looked like through the lens of love I had donned earlier. I tried to look through the lens of love that this other person had for him.

About 3 a.m. this morning, the dog woke me up, and these thoughts flooded back into my consciousness. I began to envision a magnificent room in my heart and someone coming in and pulling the curtains back so that sunlight streamed in. Part of me wanted to hide under the covers and wail and bemoan the nightmare I had experienced. But this loving and kind helper told me it was just that, a nightmare. It would stop as soon as I opened my eyes and got up.

And so I did. In my mind, I walked through these magnificent rooms that were dusty from disuse. I could see some piles of dirt in places. So I pulled out a rag that was soaked in a cleaning solution that was pure positive love. And I began to clean and polish.

As I worked, positive memories of my father returned. I had been putting so much attention on the negative haunts that I had forgotten that there had been any good or fun times. I began to remember again that no man is all dark or all light. We each have some of each within us. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God loves and adores the man that was my father.

I could feel my energy shift.

There may be more for me to clean up, but I no longer feel the need to defend the awful memories I have. I have loosened my grip on them. They are no longer part of my current reality. The only one bringing them forward as relevant is me. I can allow the memories of those who loved him to remain intact, and not feel that I am somehow belittled by doing so.

If God loves my father, than that’s what I want to do, too.

When I got up this morning, I felt lighter and restabilized. I felt reconnected to the love of All-That-Is. I remembered my own well-being, which will add to my ultimate wellness.

I did not find the love in my heart for my father. I choose love because it was me that was suffering. It was me who had the key to the prison I created. Aligning with the love of All-That-Is sets me free.

It will set you free, too.

Together we can do it!

banner4This is it! This is my last blog post here! Please follow my new blog at LoveYourWaySlim.com to keep reading. Thank you for all your support here at Goss Coaching. I so appreciate each of you fabulous readers. Much love and blessings to you!

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Feel Fabulous On the Way to Getting the Body You Want

HappyOften when we set the New Year’s resolution to lose weight, the underlying thought behind the goal is, “I will be happy when I am slim.”

But it’s backwards. You have to start feeling happy now.

As much as possible, feel the emotion that you think being slim will give you. Feeling that emotion right now will actually help turbocharge your efforts to get the body you want.

And it will make the process of releasing the weight fun. (Yes, it really is possible to enjoy getting the body you want!)

It was a huge change for me when I shifted my thinking from, “I will be happy when I lose weight,” to “I will be happy now and enjoy the process of releasing my weight.”

Huge not in that making this shift was difficult, but huge in the impact it had on my life.

One way to make this shift is to think about how being at your ideal weight would make you feel.

Will losing weight make you feel confident? Empowered? Sexy?

This emotion is key. It is this emotion that you are truly after. You just think that losing weight is the route to getting that emotion.

One reason tapping into that emotion is so powerful is because you harness all of your energy in the present instead of siphoning it off to some future time or event.

Shifting your energy from the future to now is like going from driving with bald tires in the snow to having snow tires, chains, and all-wheel drive. It gives you traction, power, and momentum to reach your goals. 

How awesome is it that you can feel the way being slim would make you feel right away (you don’t have to wait!), AND feeling that way will help you get the body you want?

So how do you do that?

Think about times when you do feel confident, empowered, or sexy. If you can’t bring anything to mind, just imagine what having the body you want would feel like. And if you catch yourself feeling confident, empowered, or sexy, make that feeling last as long as possible by reaching for thoughts that build on that emotion.

Now practice this feeling as much as possible every day. Even feeling it for as little as 1 minute will start to move you in the direction you want to go.

Not only do you get the bonus of feeling good right now, but the process of releasing the weight becomes fun and satisfying. Best of all, you keep the weight off for good.

This time next year you can feel physically fabulous and fully love your body.

Decide right now to reach for how being slim will make you feel. And practice that every day.

Together we can do it!

Wellness Tip of the Day

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Wellness Tip of the Day

Will losing weight make you feel confident? Empowered? Sexy? Feel that way right now and boost your weight loss efforts.

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My blog is moving! To keep following my posts after January 15, follow my new blog, at LoveYourWaySlim.com. I look forward to continuing the journey with you!

Wellness Tip of the Weekend

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Wellness Tip of the Weekend

Share the love flowing through you and uplift the hearts of others. Not only does it make them feel good, but it boosts your health!

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My blog is moving! To keep following my posts after January 15, you will need to follow my new blog, at LoveYourWaySlim.com. I look forward to continuing the journey with you!

Wellness Tip of the Day

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Wellness Tip of the Day

Every situation is an opportunity to learn, grow, and live life to the fullest. How good you feel is a choice—and is impacting your body.

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My blog is moving! To keep following my posts after January 15, you will need to follow my new blog, at LoveYourWaySlim.com. I look forward to continuing the journey with you!

Self-Soothing vs. Self-Medicating

I still self-medicate with food. 

When I’m writing and have deadline stress, all of a sudden I feel like I “need” popcorn. It is irrational and powerful and does not let up until I eat some popcorn. 

So often, overeating is about what’s happening on the inside. It’s reaching for food when you are really seeking love, acceptance, happiness, or comfort in the face of a difficult situation or relationship. 

My coach has helped me discover that my “pressure cooker” feelings of deadline stress are old limiting beliefs about what I’m capable of. It’s the tyrant inside me—who I have quieted in so many areas of my life—who is still bullying me to perform and be “perfect.” I’m coming up with ways to self-soothe rather than self-medicate with food.

I wanted to share this blog by Dr. Anne Nanmoum because I thought she did a fabulous job of describing the difference between self-soothing and self-medicating those painful emotions you may be avoiding by reaching for your favorite comfort food.

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After a particularly stressful day, a friend of mine noticed that she came home from the grocery store with several items she would not normally buy: a wine cooler, an apple pie, and a gallon of ice cream. “If I keep up with this, I will end up fat and miserable as well as stressed out!

She realized that she needed to come up with a better approach to handling her stress, including ways to “self-soothe” rather than “self-medicate.”

The ability to self-soothe rather than self-medicate in the face of stress, anxiety, boredom, or other uncomfortable emotions is an important skill for healthy living. When we don’t have good strategies for self-soothing, we may be inclined to overeat, abuse alcohol or drugs, bury ourselves in work, or spend hours watching TV or YouTube videos in order to “numb” ourselves.

What is the difference between self-soothing and self-medicating?

Self-medicating generally involves doing something that distracts from or avoids the uncomfortable feeling, at least temporarily. In addition to the more obvious forms of self-medicating with alcohol or drugs, self-medicating can also take the form of compulsive shopping, over-exercising, video games, orany activity that anesthetizes us from the discomfort without addressing the underlying problem. (Like when taking painkillers for a broken bone without setting the fracture, the pain will return when the medication wears off.)

While self-medicating involves numbing and avoiding, self-soothing involves acceptance of the discomfort, and the decision to do something that will make us feel better in the long term as well as the short term. Self-soothing does not involve activities that will ultimately hurt our health, relationships, or integrity.

Self-soothing could be the decision to go for a walk rather than eat that pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, or call a friend rather than drown our anxiety or exhaustion in a few glasses of wine. Writing in a journal, gardening, doing yoga, painting, or just taking a few deep breaths can also be self-soothing.

Sometimes an activity can go from self-soothing to self-medicating when done excessively or compulsively, even “healthy” activities such as exercise, work, or community service.

Try asking yourself these questions if you are trying to decide if you are self-medicating:

  1. Am I doing this in order to avoid an uncomfortable feeling or situation?
  2. When the pleasure of this activity wears off, will I feel better about myself and the situation, or worse?
  3. Is this activity likely to bring me closer to those people I want to be close to, or create more distance?

We all self-medicate to some extent, or as author and researcher Brené Brown describes it, we engage in an activity to “take the edge off” of the pain, anxiety, disappointment, shame, or other difficult emotions we are facing. Her research has shown that individuals who are able to feel the feelings, stay mindful about the numbing behaviors, and try to lean into the discomfort of unpleasant emotions are more likely to be healthy and happy.

AnneNamnoumBooksWhile virtually everyone numbs and takes the edge off to some extent, addictions develop when the numbing behaviors become compulsive and chronic.

For me, reading books can be self-soothing, but at other times it can be self-medicating if it keeps me from confronting a situation that is bothering me, or distances me from my family members. (My children would likely point to the piles and piles of self-help books in my office as evidence that this is something of an addiction for me.)

The first step in moving from self-medicating to self-soothing is to notice when we are “numbing,” and to get curious about what we are numbing from. Exploring different options for self-soothing, finding which appeal to us most, and practicing a few of these regularly can reduce our tendency to self-medicate when faced with unpleasant emotions.

AnneNamnoumPhotoAnne Nanmoum, M.D. is a Johns Hopkins trained OB/GYN and Reproductive Endocrinologist who wants women to thrive rather than just survive. She offers workshops and seminars in the Atlanta area on the science of happiness and well-being, and factors that influence your health such as stress, hormones, and nutrition. She believes that being well-informed gives you the ability to make healthier choices, but medical information is often contradictory, confusing, and ever-changing. She uses her background as a medical doctor to share information in a way that is evidence-based but easy to understand in order to help you take better care of yourself. Her goal is to give women the insight and confidence they need to become their own health experts and advocates.

To read her blog go to http://www.annenamnoum.com/self-soothing-vs-self-medicating/

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My blog is moving! To keep following my posts after January 15, you will need to follow my new blog, at LoveYourWaySlim.com. I look forward to continuing the journey with you!

Feel Holiday Abundance to Get the Body You Want

GiftsYou are incredibly abundant.

Even if you are lonely, have little or no money, are struggling with your body—you are abundant.

You have an abundance of air to breathe, the abundance of love in your heart, the abundance of being alive in this moment.

While money and gifts are certainly a part of abundance and should be appreciated, there is so much more of life with which to fill our trays. It’s all there waiting for us to look for and allow ourselves to see and receive.

Perhaps you have an abundance of family and friends, or an abundance of time in which to reflect, or an abundance of beauty to admire. You may have an abundance of laughter and excitement, or an abundance of peace and quiet. You may have an abundance of parties and commitments, or an abundance of freedom to live and do as you wish.

These are things that do not cost money and that nobody else can give you. They are there waiting for you to acknowledge—and thus receive.

No matter where you are or what’s going on in your life today, look for and acknowledge your abundance.

Feeling abundant is truly part of the magic of the holidays.

When you feel abundant, the more abundance you are allowing into your life. It is the Law of Attraction in action. This is the foundation principle that “Energy Attracts Like Energy.”

So when you acknowledge your abundance, focus on it, and feel it, the more abundance you are able to see and appreciate. The more abundant you feel.

And a significant bonus from feeling abundant is it’s good for your body!

Feeling abundant creates positive anabolic energy that releases endorphins, testosterone, and body supporting hormones that help your body heal, rebuild, and flow with physical energy.

And yes, makes it easier to release excess weight. 

Feeling abundant is literally good for you!

What abundance can you find in your life right now? No matter what it is, acknowledge it and let your heart overflow with appreciation. Then consciously tap into the feeling of abundance all year long.

Notice how feeling abundant makes it easier to get the body you want.

Together we can do it!

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My blog is moving! To keep following my posts after January 15, you will need to follow my new blog, at LoveYourWaySlim.com. I look forward to continuing the journey with you!