I remember one particular April Fool’s day more than others. I was newly married and had been trying for a couple of months to get pregnant. I thought it would be funny to trick my Mom and tell her I was expecting.
I called and told her I had some good news. “I’m pregnant!” She started crying because she was so happy. She went on and on about how happy she was for us, and what a good mother I would be.
I waited for the right moment in our conversation and then I said, “April Fools!!!” There was a moment of silence and then my mother said, “God damn you Michelle! That is the meanest thing you have ever done to me!” I got an ear-full, and rightfully so now that I look back on it.
This memory reminds me of how we can fall victim to our mind’s tricks if we are not careful. When we tell ourselves that our happiness depends on the size clothes we wear, or the number on the scale, or the college degree, and on and on, we are being just as mean to ourselves as I inadvertently was with my mother.
This fourth month of the year I’m offering a prompt for us to consider.
“How did you catch your mind in its trickster mode?”
For example, today I went into a restaurant called the Aqus Café to pick up my membership card for the Aqus Community. As I was walking out of the restaurant I made eye contact with two people sitting at a table having lunch. I recognized John, the owner, and Diane, the community administrator. My instant thought was, “I better keep on walking out the door because they’re having lunch and I don’t want to bother them.” As I continued to step towards the door, John stood up and said, “Michelle right? I haven’t seen you around for years!” I stopped and had a lovely conversation with both he and Diane. I told them about the book I’m writing, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works, and Diane suggested I present a talk at the Café some evening.
In this case I did not catch my mind playing a trick on me. It was John’s action of stopping me to talk that showed me the error of my thought.
Here’s a body oriented “April Fools” thought I had today. I put on a red sweater this morning that I hadn’t worn in a long time. It’s a body hugging sweater and when I sat down to write at my computer before leaving for work I noticed my stomach roll poof out. My immediate thought was, “I can’t wear this sweater. My stomach poofs out and that’s not attractive.”
Well, I’ve been in recovery long enough to not be fooled by my mind in such matters. I wore the sweater to work today and got a compliment from my very first client. “Red’s a great color on you Michelle.” “Thank you,” I said. ☺
Remember each month’s prompt is just that. They’re suggestions only. You may choose the 10 minute daily challenge that was January’s prompt or the prompt “What would love do?”offered in February. You may want to write about your passions, the suggested prompt in March. You may be inspired to find how your mind is trying to trick you or you may choose the broader topic of self-love.
We eagerly await your thoughts and shared feelings on your self-love journey.
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!