Beth Shoyer, PhD Clinical Director at McCallum Place Columbia

Eating disorders are a way of turning away from what is, from the stresses and distresses of life. But what we resist persists and this turning away can take us down a dark, dangerous, and lonely road.

Mindfulness neither pushes away nor grabs onto, but allows what is to be what is. In doing so, thoughts, feelings, and sensations (including the negative ones) can rise and fall and be no more than moment to moment happenings. We can begin to take a breath and feel it all the way in and all the way out, maybe for the first time ever. We can realize that we are not alone, that we can step out of the grind of comparing ourselves to others and falling short, of always needing things to be different than they are. This is what is so why not live life.

We can start simply, Notice the sun, the smell of the air, the bottoms of your feet on the floor. No need to push away what we don’t like because that’s not all there is. With each unpleasant there is pleasant that can be seen too. Allow it all to be seen and allow it all to flow away making room for something new.

I’m not saying it is easy. But maybe today when you feel your heart harden towards yourself for that “stupid” thing you did, you can make a tiny bit of space for some compassion towards this person, who like all people, is just trying to do the best that you can.