Archive for February 2015

Worried About How You Look?   Leave a comment

applying makeupShed unnecessary thoughts about your body.  Spirituality is the beauty secret.

Summer invitations that end with “just wear shorts” or “bring your swimming suit” can be distressing for people who prefer the cover of long sleeves and the layered look. Preoccupation with one’s body image or worry about how one looks, however, isn’t just related to hiding those few extra pounds. It creeps into one’s perception of beauty, athletic prowess, health, fitness, even age.

Body image isn’t actually how someone looks. It is how an individual thinks he or she looks. … There is a way out of the self-absorption or fear that keeps thought focused on the body. It is a non-competitive way of viewing ourselves and others. It involves having a spiritual standard, where beauty is not based on physical features.

Mary Baker Eddy explains in Science and Health: “We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives. Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love—the kingdom of heaven—reign within us, and sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear” (p248). …

 

Follow this link to read the full text of this article, Worried About How You Look? by Candice Du Mars which was originally published in the Christian Science Sentinel.

Is there a daily diet that curbs perfectionism, eating disorders?   Leave a comment

 

shutterstock_125748860Four ‘trick or treaters’ knocked on our door on Halloween evening. Somewhat unprepared and surprised to experience this novelty in Australia I managed to locate a few sweet treats for each of them, and they left happily bubbling with excitement.

Was I frightened of their costumes or weird masks? Of course not. And I’m sure they didn’t believe for a moment that they’d suddenly morphed into ugly, wicked or ghoulish creatures, either.

Sometimes, though, people do put on an emotionally draining mask as they strive to feel accepted and loved. Over time they may come to accept the charade as part of themselves.

For instance, they may act out the role where they have to be the best … at everything. They can’t abide mistakes and feel it’s a badge of honour to say they’re a perfectionist. Ever in fear of failing, they may be chronic procrastinators. They don’t like themselves very much either, because they rarely live up to their own expectations.

They may be caught up in a warped view of the world that is commonly known as perfectionism.

Like many psychologists, Thomas Greenspon believes that perfectionism is more than pushing yourself to do your best to achieve a goal; it’s a reflection of an inner self mired in anxiety, where you constantly feel like an imposter. “Perfectionist people typically believe that they can never be good enough, that mistakes are signs of personal flaws, and that the only route to acceptability as a person is to be perfect,” he said.

Whatever the reason may be for that belief, at the heart of the often life-long anxiety to appear perfect is our adoption of the general belief that the human mind is full of good and bad emotions and beliefs, some of which are detrimental to mental and physical health.

However, what’s gaining wider acceptance in health research today is the degree to which the body is the servant of the mind.

Sometimes a simple shift in thought enables us to take off the imposter’s mask we may have been wearing and lift the mental weight.

Accepting a less human mind for a diviner nature that is more attuned to understanding, compassion and humility, brings with it greater confidence, better relationships and a selfless desire to contribute to the greater good.

It’s the daily diet of serene, spiritual thoughts that transforms our experience, gives us grace for each day and best feeds our famished affections, Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, explains in a very practical elucidation of the Lord’s Prayer.

It’s interesting that current treatments for perfectionism are also moving to thought-based approaches such as acceptance and commitment therapy, meditation and mindfulness, even in the treatment of serious eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa that develop alongside the obsessive quest for the perfect body.

Reports estimate that 15% of Australian women between 12 and 30 years of age suffer from eating disorders at some stage in their lives. These young women (and men) who are crying out for love, acceptance and a better view of themselves, often cause untold anguish for themselves and their families, and sometimes even end their lives in the quest for the perfect body.

Julie Bell reached the point where hospitalisation for malnutrition seemed the only answer when the application of a distinctive thought-based, prayer-based approach, founded on recognition of her flawless, spiritual nature, proved “a glorious turning point”.

She experienced a shift in thought. She realised that she could take control of her own thinking, that her body was the servant and that “food did not have power to govern (her) life or (her) sense of a physical body”.

Not only healed of the eating disorder, she found that other obsessive habits that she hadn’t realised were abnormal completely fell away, as did her fear of going forward in the world.

If you’re tiring of the relentless obsessive or perfectionistic thinking about your body or successes, you may also be more than ready to focus less attention on what you eat or on your limited achievements and more on thinking outside the sensory box. Instead, pondering ideas that tenderly reassure you of your intrinsic value.

The mask of a limited, biophysical viewpoint can be frightening, but its removal will enable you to replace a daily diet of fear and anxiety with a moment-by-moment health-giving intake of love and respect for your perfect, beautiful, spiritual self. The difference will be remarkable.

This post was written by Kay Stroud who is a freelance writer focussing on the undeniable connection between our thinking and our health.  She writes for metropolitan and regional news media throughout Australia and beyond, and is a regular contributor to Australia’s national forum, Online Opinion

A Diet You Can Stick To   1 comment

$ dreamstime_7231262Listen to this recording of a live audio chat with  Evan Mehlenbacher a Christian Science healer and teacher.

In this wide-ranging chat, Evan answers questions on a variety of issues related to food and body image. Some of these issues include how to eat a sensible and balanced diet; turning to specifically outlined diets and exercise for one’s health and fitness; dealing with diabetes, food allergies, self-destructive overeating, and bariatric or weight-loss surgery; vegetarianism; food’s influence on athletic performance; and how the media can negatively influence one’s body image and eating habits.

“So many people have concerns, worries, and anxieties about what they eat,” Evan says. “We’re basically living on a diet of fear, and this is not healthy. There’s got to be a better way. I think the better way is a more spiritually minded approach to realize we’re really not what we eat. What we are is what God has made us to be in the first place, which is a whole, perfect, complete, fit, beautiful, under-control being.”

Click this link to hear more about how this spiritual approach can make all the difference on these issues and bring healing.

Be Kind to Yourself (A Balanced View of Body Image)   Leave a comment

Playing Guitar

 

The idea spoke to me, suddenly, and carried with it profound meaning. Don’t be so hard on yourself: Be kind and gentle. It had never occurred to me that I didn’t love myself, but I discovered that I didn’t. But then as I set about to understand this statement, wonderful things began to happen. I started to learn what beauty is really about.

… One day, I thought about all of this self-scrutiny. If worth were dependent on looking like magazine models, there would be no hope for some people. But doesn’t everyone have worth, …

The full-text of this article, Be Kind to Yourself (A Balanced View of Body Image) by Melissa Konetchy with contributing ideas from bloggers can be read by following this link to JHS-online.

Prayer Beyond Words   2 comments

shutterstock_124147789Sentinel Radio Broadcast:  An interview with guests: Barbara Vining, Ginger Mack, Michael Pabst

Is prayer just the repetition of certain words? Or is there more to it? The Psalmist said, “I will hear what God the Lord will speak.” This indicates the importance of listening for God’s direction in our prayers. The Bible also points to a number of other vital elements, including a heartfelt reverence for God, a yielding to His will, and an acknowledgment of His power.

Click on this link to listen to this 30 minute discussion about the nature of effective prayer.

 

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