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2020 Year in Books and Body Acceptance

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Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done marvelous things!  Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field; for the open pastures are springing up, and the tree bears its fruit.  Joel 2:21-22 Fear not, even though Donald Trump is not yet out of office.  Fear not, though we are still in a pandemic.  Fear not, even though you are in pain and confusion.  Fear not and be glad, for change is still coming.  (myself) I must admit that for a long time I did not believe a full recovery from an eating disorder was possible.  I thought you could get better and even claim to be in remission but I could not imagine being completely satisfied with my body and not wanting to change it.  Fortunately, throughout the years I have been acting as if I believed it anyway.  I take selfies and tell myself good things.  I follow body positive and fat acceptance social media people. This Christmas I received the gift of more body acceptance.    Here is what I wrote in my nightly gratitude post:

Fourth of July Dialectics

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Cause my dry bones to live and breath life into my soul.  Awaken my senses; fill me with wonder, may I speak with Spirit.  Ezekiel 37:13 I've been thinking about dialectics a lot lately-the true sign of a DBT nerd! (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). Dialectics refers to the idea that two different things can be true at the same time.  For instance, we can experience two different feelings at the same time. You can recognize a dialectic when someone as a "both and," instead of "but."  I talked about dialectics yesterday in my peer support wellness group and how they help me. One of the themes we talked about was keeping on going, no matter what.  Dialectics can help when feeling discouraged.  An example: "I feel like giving up And I know I can keep on going."  Here is the slide I used to explain: Dialectics also help me process my Fourth of July feelings and thought they might help you too.  It's not that I did not know about racism before this

The Keys to Mental Strength

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Take a good look at me, God, my God, I want to look life in the eye, so no enemy can get the best of me or laugh when I fall on my face.  (The Message Bible) Last week I showed my wellness group the TED Talk by Amy Morin and we were all incredibly touched.  Her story is basically that just when life seemed perfect, tragedy struck, and over a few years her mother, then her husband, and then her new husband's father died.  One of the main ways she dealt with her grief was to create a list of things mentally strong people don't do and look at it and study it every day.  She figured she needed build up her mental strength to get her through as much as she could.  She then wrote the book, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do , and became a best-selling author.  As she talks in the video, even though she may be "mentally strong," you can still see her grief and it is touching.  The realness of her emotion transforms her rather trite collection of "don&#

DBT Week Four - Opposite Action

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What is the word of God for us underneath the words of Paul? It is that each of us, no matter how dark our shadows, or how condemned we are made to feel, are nonetheless the objects of the infinite and graceful love of God.  Each of us is called to live in the wholeness of that love as one who has ben embraced by the giver of infinite value.  Accepting that divine valuation, we are to find the courage to be the self God has created us to be, the self we are inside the graceful gift of the righteousness of Christ. (Spong, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism) When we're feeling an emotion we don't like and it does not fit the facts, then one of the best tools we can use is "o pposite action " to get us to the emotion that we do want.  For instance, if I am depressed and I want to feel better, I need to do the opposite of depression, which is to become engaged in community.  Opposite Action is one of the most popular DBT skills because it's fairly easy to unde

Week 2 of DBT Skills: Overcoming Exhaustion

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The smallness you feel comes from within you.  God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.  ~ The Message Bible  We started the DBT session with a mindfulness tapping exercise called EFT .  I had never tried "EFT tapping" before but after practicing the " overcoming exhaustion" exercise , I have actually found it to be pretty useful.  The practice is so easy, it seems like magic, but I know it's just another way of validating my emotions, the first step in healing.  Try it yourself.   We're still in the emotional regulation section of DBT.  Tomorrow is Easter and we talked about how we might ease our stress on this holiday.  The first is by honoring our traditions, for traditions often bring comfort.  I plan to make coffee cake this afternoon, wake up early tomorrow, get dressed up, eat coffee cake for breakfast, and attend church with the people I love. Yes, the church service will be on my computer and tech

What Serves You? Helpful DBT Questions During a Pandemic

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There is no room in love for fear.  Well-formed love banishes fear.  Since fear is crippling, a fearful life-fear of death, fear of judgment-is one not yet fully formed in love. ( Marcus Borg ) Thank God for DBT !  I was doing so well emotionally that I was able to stop therapy for a while. And then...the global pandemic happened!  I started getting paranoid and lonely and really worried, especially since my job is on hiatus during this time.  After having some old impulses resurface, I decided that it was time to re-enroll in a DBT class. Let me be clear:  There is no shame in returning to therapy or returning to a skills class-in fact, it is a good sign that you are self aware of what you need to stay well.    Immediately after the first class, I felt so much better.  It is soothing for me to see my therapist on a regular basis and it feels good to know I am doing something that tends to work for me. Right now, we are needing to self soothe ourselves even more than usual.

Review of Unbusy by Andy Dragt

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Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.  (The Message Bible) Unbusy: How to leverage the physics of flow to accomplish more of what truly matters and feel less busy at the same time by Andy Dragt This is a Speakeasy book , so I got this book for free because I promised to write a book review.  You can do this too! In this short book, Andy Dragt explains how if we structure our lives based on the laws of physics then we will get more accomplished but feel less. busy.  I was very interested in this book, as I am trying to structure my life and it is so hard for me!  Fortunately, Dragt understands how hard this is, as he is also a person who does not naturally come to structure but he has found it very useful in his life.  It certainly is true-I definitely get more accomplished when I structure my time.  I like that he has you build in time that is for being spontaneous.  That m