Gretel Hallet, is a Trained Chocolate Fairy and is running the Getting Started half day workshop in Norwich - perfect for beginners to experience the core principles of Beyond Chocolate and equally great as a refresher for any Beyond Chocolater. If you live in East Anglia and want to know more about Beyond Chocolate or her workshops, get in touch with Gretel.
As I mentioned in a previous blog post – I recently spent a week in a women's retreat centre learning about meditation (amongst other things). And, as the week progressed, I was struck several times by the way that these meditation practices fitted in so well with my Beyond Chocolate practice.
So this time I'd like to talk about Awareness versus Judgement.
Beyond Chocolate encourages and helps us to become more aware of our own bodies. So many of us acknowledge that we have a body, but that we'd rather not be too aware of it. Somehow we reason that if we become totally aware of our bodies we will be disgusted by them and thrown straight back into the self-torment of dieting and body loathing. It's easier, in fact, to just ignore the fact that we have a body beyond cleaning, clothing and feeding it.
With Beyond Chocolate we are gently encouraged to make contact with our bodies and to acknowledge that they are there and that we do need them. Acceptance of our bodies as they are may take longer for some than others, but it's the first necessary step on the road to change – we can't change what we don't own or acknowledge. And, we don't have to like or love our bodies at this stage, but we do need to acknowledge them.
The meditation practice I was learning said the same but in a different context. Be aware of your body and your thoughts and emotions, but don't pass any judgement on them. They are what you have right now, they are what you are working with. Accept and move on.
If you're anything like me, you have a lot of mental chatter too. A lot of emotions, thoughts, feelings that come and go and some that come and seem to stick around for ages. Beyond Chocolate encourages us to notice these and not to judge them. To notice them and then let them gently go or notice them and sit with them, allowing the feelings rather than squashing them down with food.
In both cases, noticing the emotion, acknowledging the thought, working with what we have right now (instead of waiting for a mythical future in which we will be slim and ‘perfect’) is a great place to start from.