Early Morning Pages

The last few days (weeks?) I’ve been in my head a lot. So many doubts about the changes I’m making. I’ve been emotional and just haven’t felt myself. I stepped back to see what I could do and remembered how much I loved doing Early Morning Pages while living in China and then my first year back in the states. Somewhere along the way I stopped or didn’t think I needed it.

Has anyone ever heard of or done Early Morning Pages? Julia Cameron came up with the idea and I learned about it heath coaching school 5 years ago. The idea is to wake up and start writing — before checking your phone or having coffee.

Yesterday I did my first EMPs in a long time. My day, maybe a coincidence, was much more positive than it’s been in a little bit. When I was taking off my mascara at night I even felt like my eyes were a brighter blue.

Again, maybe it’s a coincidence, but maybe I’m finding myself again and taking care of it as it needs to be taken care of. No more than 20 minutes in the morning has changed my entire day, & now I’m ready for some coffee.

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Dear 18-Year-Old Me,

Hey girl, it's you, 10 years from now. Just felt like reflecting a bit and thought I might fill you in on what's headed your way. You went to school for exactly what you'd planned, teaching, but are not currently using that degree anymore. But it's okay! Business was always a passion that you didn't think you would pursue but I know you're probably babysitting as you're reading this since you're always hustling and trying to fill your time making money. Turns out, you'll continue down the business path after stumbling for a bit. It's what fills you.

In your next 10 years you'll live in Europe and Asia, travel the world and come back wanting to travel more. Don't pass up any trips because you're a picky eater, I promise you'll get over that and go on to help others with the same issue. Yes, I know how crazy this sounds.

You've found yourself a great guy -- actually, you already know him and have known him your whole life, but I won't spoil the surprise. (Any guesses?) You share entrepreneurial spirits and aspirations to work from anywhere. Excited to see what the next 10 years holds. The heartbreaks along the way will seem impossible to get through, but be open to the support that's offered to you and later on don't forget who was there when you really needed it.

Know that no matter how it feels in the moment, you will ALWAYS figure out a way to get through. No matter if it's a job, a fight with a friend, scrambling to pay rent, or getting stuck in a broken-down car. Everything is fixable.

I know you'll roll your eyes at this one, but family is everything. We are so lucky to have the parents we have and the 2 brothers, who currently at 18 absolutely fucking piss you off, but it gets better. Everyone gets closer with distance and college will make you homesick more than you expect. Mom, Dad, Danny and Peter will be your rocks. And your cousins, aunts and uncles will always have your back.

The girls on either side of you right now will live further away in 10 years but nothing will change. You'll get to celebrate all the amazing things they accomplish. Lean on them, call them when you're sad. Hug them when you're lucky enough to be with them. Most aren't lucky enough to have friends that last decades.

Get up and look in the mirror. You are not fat and the stretch marks on your hips from your growth spurt in 6th grade are a part of you and something to be proud of. You'll never have a thigh gap but you'll find some brands that fit your curviness. Hint, The Loft. You'll have to replace your favorite jeans when they rip in the thighs from rubbing together. Toss them and treat yo self.

Do you very best to collect memories rather than things. Keep a journal. Take photos. Write letters. SING. Don't give weak handshakes or hugs. Smile often, and remember that hair grows back. Do the thing that seems scary, you won't regret it. You'll have very few regrets in the next 10 years, and they're only the things you were too chicken to go for.

When you're down, read this. Or write. Or call Mom.

You have so much to look forward to.

xo

 

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Writing Away...

I am so excited to share that I have been working hard on one of my bucket-listers -- to write a children's book! Of course it will be about picky eating -- the do's and don'ts -- all wrapped into a fun little story for children. It mirrors my childhood memories of what didn't work for me (bribery, pressure, attention) and then what finally did work for me (having my own space to try new foods on my own). One of the biggest takeaways I hope parents get from it is that children just want to fit in when it comes to food. Even if they're just eating a roll for spaghetti and meatball night, at least they're eating something that everyone else is also eating. 

Stay tuned! Here are some initial sketches by Eduardo Martinez, the illustrator I am working with. 

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Tricky Picky Halloween

When you child comes home and dumps their candy bags out on the floor, I could imagine it would be hard not to worry about all the sugar right at their fingertips. Your first thoughts might be to donate some, lock some up, or make rules for how much they can eat. I want to remind you that the more forbidden a food is, the brighter its halo shines. It will only make them want it more. 

I have to say, Halloween was in my top 5 favorite nights of the year growing up. I loved counting and sorting my candy and trading it with my brothers. The moment it was hidden in a high cabinet was the moment I was sneaking it when I shouldn't have been.

Children have the proper instincts to know when enough is enough. Their bodies will tell them when it's full and if given the room to make this decision, they will stop when they should. As the parent, it's your job to let them find that limit. Now... this doesn't mean letting them have it anytime they want. Boundaries are always important around food. But it does mean to still give them their choices of which ones and make it clear when they can have it. Soon the candy will be gone, but what won't be forgotten is the feeling of trust in eating, or lack there of. This is a great time to step back, let them enjoy, and keep the boundaries clear.

You've Got This.

According to Ellyn Satter, a great role model of mine who just *gets it* when it comes to feeding, the parent is responsible for what, when and where the meals are being served and the child is responsible for deciding how much, if any, they want to eat. So, with this all being said, the parent's’ job is done when they plan a meal, buy the food, prep it and serve it. Done! [Insert sigh of relief here.] But sometimes when a parent is following this method, when their job is done, there’s no sense of relief. Because the rest is out of their control. Parents are expected to step back and let go and let their children take over. As a former picky eater myself, YES! That’s exactly what they need to do! But as an adult who understands judgment from other adults, of course I can see how that would be difficult. Other parents who are unfamiliar with Satter’s philosophy might question why the parent isn’t making their child eat or not punishing them for not eating. Maybe they make comments of their own or compare their children’s eating habits. All of these things make it difficult to “step back and let go.” But you know what? The fact that you’ve done the research, found the method that has the highest success rate and stuck to it shows that you will find success of your own. Whatever that may mean, and however long that may take for you and yours. [Now insert that sigh of relief.] You’ve got this.