Self–Love – 4/19/11
What a glorious weekend! I’m spending it with my circle sisters near the ocean. Our backdrop music, if we listen, is our foghorn reminding us, in its rhythmic meter, to slow down and pay attention.
We’ve been meeting monthly now for four years. We come from different walks of life. These differences melt away each time our Tibetan Bowl is struck and we begin to share our lives.
This weekend marks the first time all eight of us have gathered for a weekend together.
I offered to lead my circle sisters through the process of SoulCollage® after brunch on our first day.
As the SoulCollage® time approached, Mary asked me, “Michelle, do you want to come down to the ocean and draw with me?”
She was offering me one of my dearest dreams on a platter! I’ve often said, “I want to be an artist when I grow up.”
I checked in with myself and I could feel the excitement in my chest. “Yes!” was my answer.
I asked the rest of my sisters if I could postpone the SoulCollage® until later. We revised our plan; I grabbed my pastels and easel, and marched down the path towards the ocean.
I found Mary standing next to her easel, eyes focused on the ocean then to her drawing, back and forth in a steady relaxed rhythm.
I noticed my excitement turn to unease as it quickly became clear that I was not prepared. I had given myself an hour to draw before going back to the house to prepare for my other love, SoulCollage®. I did not have the proper easel, or the amount of time I would require to work in the same nurturing energy I noticed in Mary.
This was my lesson for the day.
More is not necessarily better. SoulCollage®, drawing, dancing, painting, qigong, writing, spending time with dear friends, are all passions of mine. Just as I no longer fill my plate to the rim with food as I did in my compulsive eating days, I am learning not to cram all of my interests onto a salad plate. If I pay attention, my emotions tell me that I require more space in my days, longer slower breaths. Pauses in between activities allow me to hear the message of the foghorn, reminding me to slow down and pay attention.
I will give myself an open-ended day in nature with Mary to learn to draw.
The beautiful spirits of my circle sisters came into focus through the intimate, sometimes surprising messages of their images. These heretofore hidden parts of themselves came forth as poetry and entered into our circle.
My calm, grounded energy allowed me to be fully present with these special women.
Michelle Minero is a licensed marriage family therapist who specializes in eating disorder recovery. She created an intensive outpatient eating disorder program in 2000, brought ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc.) to Petaluma shortly after and founded EDRS (Eating Disorder Recovery Support, Inc.), a Marin and Sonoma County based 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2005. In 2011, Michelle co-founded the Love Warrior Community with her daughter, Emelina, an online community that helps people cultivate self-love, self-acceptance and body acceptance through creative expression. Michelle is finishing her book, Self-Love: The Only Diet That Works, and her dream is to see a world filled with people who love themselves and their bodies. Connect with Michelle on Facebook and Twitter and help spread the Self-Love Movement!