Archive of ‘All Newsletters’ category
It’s just so tempting.
If I buy that fasting kit I’ll be thinner in 10 days…If I sign up right now for that personal training service it’s going to be totally different from last time…If I just eat 1000 calories a day for the next 30 days I’ll lose……
You know what all these thoughts have in common? They have nothing to do with our current groove. They are 100 percent different from what we are doing now. And why not? We don’t like our current situation so why not try to completely change it? Here’s the problem: It never really works. When we commit to paths that have nothing to do with who we really are, and what we’re actually doing, we can never sustain them.
Instead we need to look at ourselves and ask what the great sage Ramana Maharshi asked everyone to ask themselves – Who am I? In other words, Am I an athlete? Am I a fasting junkie? Am I someone who wants peace? What is it that I could do to put myself on the path to health, healing, and happiness? The answer is – MY GROOVE.
We must be on our path if we want success – not other people’s ideas of what our path should be.
Peaceful Weight Loss is a process to find your groove. Your way of moving, your way of relaxing, your way of eating that feels authentic to you. It is a process with suggestions to help you find yourself. Then the whole changing the way our body looks and feels becomes a natural part of this.
May we all find our groove today.
With great respect and love,
Everyone wants to change – to transform – to have things different than they are. It’s human nature to desire life to be better. For many of us this includes losing weight. We often attach our happiness with health and physical beauty to this one change of weight loss. Of course this is a bit misguided. There are many things that we can shift to become and feel healthier, happier, and better looking. We can reduce our stress levels, get outside more, get a spa treatment or an updated haircut (not that I know much about this one!) to achieve much of what we are looking for.
Weight loss itself requires some focus because it’s a longish process. Longish as in more than a week. It certainly does not provide instant gratification. It is often a good idea to find at least some of the other things you desire first and not think that losing weight will make all these other things magically appear.
That said, I always ask my clients this one question: Is this your time? If it is – do it! If it is your time for weight loss, the thought of shifting your diet won’t be overwhelming. Most likely because you’ve found your groove in other ways and you have created the space to do the weight loss dance. If it’s not your time, that’s fine too. Knowing this will help you do other things that bring you happiness. Practice yoga, go outside, do whatever is right for you, and watch your life feel just a bit better each day, every week.
Is this your time? Food for thought.
May we open to transformation today.
“If I could just stick to my diet everything would work out.”
How many times have we said this to ourselves? Our diet always ends and things don’t work out. We then repeat the cycle of “If I could just” statements.
I teach yoga class a couple times a week. People come to class really regularly. I mean really really regularly. Way more regularly than most of us stick to diets.
Why is this the case? It takes a lot to get to yoga class in the morning twice a week. There are so many things can derail us. The reason is that it feels good. My students are committed to feeling good.
So maybe all of these diets aren’t doing that. Or maybe we simply don’t take a minute to notice how they’re making us feel. Is this diet’s way of eating working for me? Is the diet making me feel good? There really is no benefit to a diet if it isn’t serving you well.
There’s no way you will come to class week after week if you don’t feel better from it. There’s no way you will keep saying no to bread and butter and cappuccino cheesecake if there isn’t some real benefit, right? If you’re not feeling better, why do it?
So when we’re shifting our way of eating, it’s important that we ask ourselves, “Is this making me feel better?” I mean, a lot better. When the answer is a definitive yes, then we will have less problem staying with it.
And this way of eating may even become more and more peaceful.
May we all live in a way that fills us with light.
I thought I would write about beauty this month. Because we are all vein. I’m not judging. I believe it’s part of the human condition to want to look our best. Our weight is often part of this. We are driven to be an ideal weight as part of our desire to be as beautiful as possible. Sure, there are other reasons to lose weight. Most of which revolve around health. But it’s a rare person who doesn’t care what they look like.
Our perception of ourselves is often tied to the scale. The funny thing is, most people aren’t attracted to someone based on their weight alone. So many factors play into attractiveness. Posture, confidence, personality, etc. all matter. But what really seems to make a difference is energy. Or more specifically, the quality of our presence. So many people I’ve worked with have had this realization. They find that after “cleaning up their act” – which involves doing yoga and meditation – cleaning up their diet so it benefits them and no longer suppresses their energy – they feel more attractive. And other people find them more attractive. EVEN IF THEY HAVE LOST LITTLE OR NO WEIGHT!
I’m not arguing that you shouldn’t lose weight. I’m simply pointing out that if you want to be more beautiful, practice will help you. If your goals include being more healthy, losing weight, and being more beautiful they might all require the same actions of practice. Moving and breathing, developing presence, and eating in a way that builds energy. We can actually ditch the scale and allow ourselves to develop our natural beauty instead.
May we all experience our own limitless beauty.
Happy New Year friends! I’m going to make a suggestion this year. Let’s all make a collective new year’s resolution. Not to lose 20 pounds or to do yoga every day. Well not exactly anyway.
We already know all about these types of resolutions. We’ve made them before. What we really need to do is remember them! To clear space in our heads to allow ourselves to act in our true best interest. What does this mean? It will require us to slow down and set our intention each and every day. As we find focus and clarity, it is so much easier to take action that benefits us.
So here’s our new year’s resolution. Every morning let’s wake up, take a few breaths, and say to ourselves, “Today I intend to be peaceful, present, and useful.” This seemingly small practice is the gateway to all other practices. A simple intention to right ourselves at the start of the day to realize our goals.
And who knows? Maybe we will like it so much we’ll do it again during the day!
May we be peaceful, present, and useful today and send our heart’s intention into each moment as we move ahead on our path.
What do I do? An important question for this holiday-influenced, schedule-shifting, darkest-time-of-the-year month. Let’s ask ourselves what is possible. Not in our unrealistic-fantasy-driven mind. Not in our self-loathing-body-hating mind. Not in our uninspired-spirit-beaten-down mind. Not these – but instead in our open, positive, reality-centered parts of our self.
There are so many obstacles but if we find our breath – let go of our expectations – and ask ourselves this question, the answer is available. What can we do this holiday season to take care of ourselves? What will leave us most centered? What will allow us to feel calm and energized as we navigate the next few weeks? Ask yourself and receive the answer. It could be anything. Keeping your practice through the holidays. Taking a few moments for yourself while visiting with family. Allowing yourself to eat your holiday meals with gratitude and pleasure.
If we take a moment to ask – our answer will come
So this season do what you can do. Whether the answer is big or small – one thing or a handful of things – if you listen you will wake up on new years day with more clarity, energy, and a momentum that has already begun.
May we all listen to and move with our best selves.
Every year I recommend a charity. This year I’ve picked The Northampton Survival Center, an emergency food pantry and referral service for Hampshire County that strives to improve the quality of life for low-income individuals and families by providing food and other resources with dignity and respect.
Click survival center to make a donation.
OK. Here is the deal when you eat too much in one day.
It doesn’t really matter!
The event that causes the most pain among my clients is eating too much. There is so much guilt and recrimination. It’s horrible. But the truth is – in terms of body composition – it doesn’t matter that much. Of course if we overeat day after day we are not going to love the results. But in the short term, it is pretty insignificant.
Realizing this, in a nutshell, is how I personally found much of my peace. After years of overeating and then hating myself for it, I was free! This simple truth is really what I needed to get deep into my system. One binge – one overstep – even one “bad” vacation didn’t really matter. It’s what I did the next day, week, and month that mattered. I proved this to myself. I’m still proving it by occasionally eating in ways that aren’t a great idea and then finding my balance again.
I believe this is what we all desire. The ability to discriminate between a slip and a major fall down the stairs, so to speak. For many of us these two things can feel the same. But they don’t have to. If we continually practice so that our mind is calm and discriminating we can see reality and can accept our perceived faults more easily. We can change larger patterns that don’t serve us AND accept our normal human deviations.
I know this to be true because I have experienced it. I have also seen hundreds of others experience it as well.
So today – Practice and find yourself closer to this place of personal peace.
May we all realize our true potential,
Om Shanti ~ Om Peace
“Every morning you are born again – all that matters is what you do today.”
Each day we have the opportunity to be present and treat ourselves with the respect and love we deserve. The ways in which we feel we have failed ourselves in the past are not the issue. All we need to do is find ourselves in the present today. It is from here that healing begins.
Even though it seems overwhelming – our task today is simple: Find ourselves in the present. Feel our feet on the ground. Feel our breathe enter and leave our body. When we do this our choices are simpler and more obvious. What to eat becomes easier because it is in service of being more present. Additionally, it is rare that overeating or eating highly processed foods help us stay present.
Of course sometimes we want to leave the present and escape the here and now. But with a little practice we do this as a choice not a reaction. There is a huge difference between “checking out” for a couple of hours to watch a movie and standing in front of the open cabinet eating a box of cookies. As we practice finding our breath and body right now – our choices become more and more beneficial. I have experienced and seen this time and time again.
So let’s do an experiment. Ground yourself into the present 10 times today. Notice how it affects your ability to choose.
May we all find our breath today.
Getting to the Bottom of your emotions. Did the title get your attention? I thought it might. And the answer is: We can’t. Well, not when it comes to eating anyway
Sure, we all know that we tend to eat more poorly when we are experiencing strong emotional states. And it’s only logical to figure that if we can just understand these states then we will be able to do something about them. What follows is that we will be less volatile and voila!! No more binging or emotional eating.
The thing is – it doesn’t usually work that way. Food behaviors are deep. I mean really deeeeeeeeeeeeeep. Possibly starting in early childhood or even in utero. That’s why hundreds of clients have shared with me that they understand themselves but their behaviors aren’t changing.
Now I’m not saying that self awareness isn’t important as a piece of our healing puzzle. But it is only a piece. Usually we have to engage ourselves on many levels in order to change behaviors that are wired in this way. This is why yoga is so useful. There are different aspects of the mind and body that have to be engaged to rewire ourselves. When we simply try to use psychology to solve our problem(s) we are only working with a piece of the puzzle.
Most importantly – there is no “bottom” of our emotional states like there is a bottom of a pint of ice cream or popcorn bucket. We can generate endless amounts of emotional content. Once we realize this, we can be free to look at our total experience to balance ourselves.
So let go of the self loathing thoughts around why you can’t stop eating when you’re stressed. Instead, become aware at what is going on and use your energy to balance your entire system. This will always lead you to a better place. Peace is our birthright.
As always, please find me if you need any help starting or continuing this process.
May we all find peace today.
With great love and respect,
In herbalism it is often said that a poisonous plant and its antidote always grow near each other. Nature has a way of taking care of us in this way. If we let our awareness expand we can find the cure for what ails us.
It’s really the same for us on this weight loss path. The very thing that has contributed to all this weight gain is also the cure. We need to eat our way out. We need to eat regularly. We need to eat all of the time!
We may need to look around a bit and change what we are eating. Or maybe alter the way our food is prepared. But we shouldn’t stop eating. We need to believe that food is our salvation – our friend.
This may be asking a lot of ourselves. Changing our perspective is tricky for those of us who have an abysmal relationship with food. The very thought of eating can cause anxiety because we are so caught up in it being a problem. And it’s hard for us to let go of the fantasy that if we don’t eat we will arrive at our goal really fast. We are all generally impatient.
This is why we practice being present and focusing on the task at hand. Making sure we have food easily available all the time. And making sure that food is reasonably appealing and nourishing – whatever that means to us at this time.
Once we truly take in that eating is the way out we can move towards our real goal: To find the weight we need to be in a sustainable way. Which includes our body and mind finding more and more peace.
May you find all the nourishment you need today!
Om Shanti ~ Brandt