The Self-Love Diet offers you a life time of loving thoughts, emotions, actions and relationships. But how do you begin?
The 5-Step Process
Today I’m offering you tip #3 on this 3rd day of our writing challenge for January 2014.
The Five-Step Process is a powerful Self-Love Diet tool to put in your Self-Love Diet tool box. This process is pivotal to creating loving thoughts for yourself and others.
Here are the 5 steps:
#1 Catch your thought.
#2 Confront your thought by asking “Who says?”
#3 Replace the thought.
#4 Apologize to yourself.
#5 Commit to change.
I’ll go into depth on step one with you today.
Catching Your Thought: Developing Your Inner Observer
In order to catch your thought you need to develop the inner observer. This is the part of you that observes and notices your thoughts. Have you ever been in a situation where someone comes up to you with a smile, calls you by name and you can’t remember theirs? When this happens to me, I’m very aware of my inner critic telling me, “You don’t remember this person’s name! How embarrassing! Your memory is so bad! Are you going to let this person know you forgot their name or are you going to pretend you know it? Maybe she/he won’t know you’ve forgotten….”
The difference between the inner critic and the inner observer is this:
My inner critic activates my emotions and is generally remarking on my flaws and foibles.
My inner observer notices that my inner critic is harassing me. The difference is that the observer allows me to “just notice” my thoughts without getting caught up in the drama of my thoughts. When you are able to notice your thoughts you have much more ability to work with them rather than letting them control you and lead you into anxiety, depression or other uncomfortable emotions.
How Do You Cultivate Your Inner Observer?
How do you cultivate the inner observer? It’s easier than you may think. One way is to begin a practice of sitting quietly for perhaps 5 minutes. While you’re sitting quietly you will not be bringing your attention to your breath or listening to a guided meditation. You will simply sit and notice your thoughts.
Through this practice I have become familiar with my thought patterns. I’ve notice there are a few themes to my thoughts.
My main thought pattern deals with thoughts related to “what I need to do.” If this thought pattern begins at night when I’m falling asleep, I notice another thought pattern arise which is “You might forget to do this when you wake up. Try to remember!”
Another thought pattern I find myself thinking about is my clients. I notice myself developing treatment plans, thinking about who to call for extra resources, or going over a session in my mind if I felt it didn’t go as well as I had wished.
When my “to do list” thoughts come at night, it’s much easier for me to tell myself that this is my thought pattern, and then I am able to reassure myself that I will remember in the morning. Sometimes I take action and write the thoughts down so I won’t forget and then I am able to go to sleep.
Once you get familiar with your thoughts and where your thoughts go, it will be easier for your inner observer to notice your thoughts. Once you develop your inner observer by noticing your thoughts you will have completed the most important step out of the Five-Step process.
5 minutes a day or night of noticing where your mind wanders can actually be a very interesting experiment. I hope it becomes a Self-Love Diet practice that enables you to have the option of choosing the most loving thoughts you can offer yourself!
Blessings on your Self-Love Diet,
31-Day Self-Love Writing Challenge
January is Self-Love month, and it marks the 4th year that we’ve hosted the 31-Day Self-Love Writing Challenge. You can participate by submitting your self-love writing to be published on this blog. You can submit your writing here. You can also participate by writing your self-love posts on your own blog and linking back to the 31-Day Self-Love Writing Challenge, 2014 blog post and Facebook event. If you don’t start on January 1st, that’s fine! You can jump into the challenge whenever you want.
Win a Copy of Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works
Each blog post you write is one entry into our random drawing to win an autographed copy of my book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works. You’ll also be entered into our drawing to win our upcoming Self-Love e-products that we’ll be announcing soon.
If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your self-love writing, you can write in a journal or write yourself self-love emails. If writing isn’t for you, simply reading others’ self-love writing can be powerful and beneficial to you on your self-love journey.
Michelle Minero is a licensed marriage family therapist who specializes in eating disorder recovery. Michelle’s book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works, was published on January 23, 2013. You can purchase a copy through Amazon. Her dream is to see a world filled with people who love themselves and their bodies.
Michelle 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. Connect with Michelle on Facebook and Twitter.