Tag Archives: mantras

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

I just saw the film The Help and the line “You is kind. You is smart. You is important” resonated deeply. If you haven’t seen it or read the book, you should. If you have already, I wonder if you were moved as deeply as I was. Here’s the scene: Aibileen Clark is the hired help for a white Mississippi family in the 1960s. After watching the child she’s been caring for (Mae) being consistently mistreated by her mother, Aibileen begins a ritual with Mae. Each morning when Mae awakens, Aibileen sits with her on her lap, tenderly peers into her eyes and says both with and to Mae, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” It is clear, by the film’s end, that May internalized this message and was able to hold onto the strength left behind by Aibileen. She knew that someone believed in her.

Watching this scene play itself out several times during the length of the film brought a warmth to my heart and tears to my eyes. I thought about how much each and every one of us, children and adults, would benefit from hearing this daily and from solidly believing this about ourselves. Words matter. Moments matter.

How many focused moments to you spend with your self, your children, your loved ones, sharing your appreciation of and adoration for them. Don’t take this for granted. Your words and those moments matter!

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hello! i am enough.

I stepped into my friend’s car and this name tag was on his dashboard. “Wow,” I said. My next thought was that we should all keep these types of notes stored internally so that we can be grounded in “I am enough,” “I am just right,” etc. v the tyranny of the negative internal self that is ever-so-present in those struggling with eating disorders (and too many others).

What are your internal notes? Which do you want to keep? Which no longer serve you? Which are destructive? Today, make a conscious note. What is your note?


words that move me

For years I’ve had conversations with patients, colleagues, friends, family, students and acquaintances about what inspires them. What makes them stand up straighter, prouder and take up the space that they are entitled to in the world. There have been many answers ranging from music to admirable people to mantras to tokens, but always, people offered me a quote that they hold close to their heart. In the world of Facebook, I have seen lots of status updates in the form of a favorite inspirational quote. Below are some of the offerings, as well as some of my own personal favorites – I, too, find inspiration in the words of others. What’s your inspiration?

“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” – Woody Allen

“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” – Thomas Alva Edison

“Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.” – Albert Einstein

“Within a singular plane of reality, picture the sense of completely open possibility. Nothing is determined; anything is possible.” – Daniel Siegel

“If you wanna fly, you gotta give up the sh*t that weighs you down.” – Toni Morrison

“Nothing’s gonna change my world.” – Beatles, Across The Universe

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi

“Silence is so accurate.” – Mark Rothko

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the tradewinds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

“We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ” – T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

“We only live once, but once is enough if we do it right.” – Gary Ryan Blair

“I exist as I am, that is enough.” – Walt Whitman

“Just as the caterpillar thought it was about to die, it turned into a butterfly.” – Proverb

“When someone shows you who they really are, believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou

“Beneath the ups and downs of everyday life there is a profound state of balance.” – Pandit Rajmani Tigunait

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” – Mark Twain

“First we have to believe, and then we believe.” – Martha Graham

“Be curious, not judgmental.” – Walt Whitman

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” – Robert Frost

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

“We never touch someone so lightly that we do not leave a trace.” – Ruth Gossen

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.” – Joseph Campbell

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“Life looks best with a little patina.” – Jodi Rubin 🙂


honor your body – part 2

Then I asked the same people to send me what they say, think about, do and believe that is honoring of their authentic selves and their bodies. Here is what they said…

I just think about all the amazing things it does that other people’s bodies struggle to do (everything from heart/lungs working to having limbs that work to being able to grow a baby). When I’m feeling crappy when I look in the mirror, listing these things off make me appreciate what I’ve got!

I like to think of the movie real women have curves, esp when the mom is giving her a hard time about eating flan and she takes a defiant bite in her face. Makes me think of saying FU to all the diet crap/ED voices out there!!

Mantra– my body is my templeActions — certain yoga poses; e.g. goddess, the warriors, dancer, standing squat

I stopped focusing on how much I wanted to lose weight and changed my thinking to ‘I want to be healthy and strong’…..PRESTO! success! I used to say I have such fat thighs…now I say I have strong thighs that carry me through this world! I don’t focus on weight when working with my clients. Healthy eating, safe smart workouts and positive mind and spirit is what gets results. Oh and consistency!

A smile is the best face-lift” – said a 67-year-old in response to an acquaintance who had told her “you should keep out of the sun – you look so much older than when I saw you last”

Not keeping “skinny clothes” and buying clothes that fit my body the way that it is today.

my daily belief: enjoy each and every day because no one else will do it for you!

eating ice cream cones, looking people in the eyes and greeting them with “how are you” versus “you look good,” using my butt to shimmy up mountains hiking, sharing chocolate cake with pistachio ice cream with my daughter, singing in the car, allowing myself to feel big, live big, never ever being small again (in relationships, to myself, to my beliefs), and giving every woman I meet the regard that we all deserve.  Being in healing big wonderful relationships, not starving ones.  This is how I honor my soul, my body then follows suit.

When I am doing something strenuous I often think “thank  you God for making my body work so well.  I can’t believe that at 50 years old, I can make my body move the way I want it to and to have so much fun.  I am so grateful for having a strong, healthy body to go through life with. I honor my body and I take care of it because it does so much for me.”

When I was in 10th grade I read my mother’s book by Leo Buscaglia “Living, Loving, Learning” at one point he says, “If you have fat thighs, celebrate those fat thighs and you’ll find a fat thigh lover.” I applied that mantra to the parts of my teenage body that were unacceptable to me. I am 45 now and those words I have remembered after all these years.

I used to have nice legs. That’s one thing that happens as we age, even the good stuff withers. After 4 children I now have varicose veins and it would really bum me out. My stepfather had his leg amputated from diabetes and it really made me think. He bought a prosthetic with flames running up the side and would laugh loudly as the kids stood in awe of it. I figured I was lucky to have 2 legs and if this man could still be joyful after his loss then the least I could do was accept mine.

I honor my body by…..dancing Zumba!…getting good sleep…swimming, a therapeutic and relaxing workout…eating organic fruit & salad…knowing when to stop drinking (alcoholic beverages)…stretching after workouts…being conscious of my posture esp. when I’m sitting at the computer for a while…taking power naps

Every time I put eye cream on and see a wrinkle, I tell myself…gosh, I’m glad I have so much laughter in my life
 .

With time, women gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we aren’t heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy. Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, Good grief, look how smart I am! Must be where ‘Smart Ass’ came from! -from a forwarded email

I have an limited sense of color… so each day, I make it a point to notice how other women appreciate their body in color and I reach out to at least one. I smile and say something nice about the color, pattern or flow of what they are wearing. It’s so nice to see the ladies react and smile. It always lifts my day, how I feel about my own body, and how I can also dress myself. It’s especially nice when I am with my son and he adds his two cents and say something nice to the lady too.  

When my daughter was born, it changed how I thought about my body. I realized that what my body is capable of is powerful and profound — so much more than the superficial components we usually focus on. My body literally nurtured and grew her heart, brain, lungs, limbs and being into maturity. When I pushed her into the world, I was so proud of my body’s power and endurance. It is simply amazing!

In almost 73 years I am more awake now to appreciating the wisdom of the body. It informs me how I feel, how thoughts develop and where my soul has a home. I am learning that the universe is in me. Guiding others to their body wisdom through awareness of their true sensations while knowing and having compassion for those perceptions and beliefs formed by past conditioning heals me as well.

I thought my body betrayed me when I learned I had osteoporosis, but learned my body was doing the best it could and was asking for my attention and care. That is my daily intention. And so the story goes that I and my body are moving along more together than ever before listening to each other. We are all listening to each other. 

Today I challenge YOU to think about the messages you take in, the mantras you march to and the judgments you wield. I challenge you to consciously discard them and replace them with conscious loving kindness, self-acceptance and self-honoring. Encourage your friends, your family, your children, anyone and everyone in your life to do the same. Be intentional.