Learn More About the Angel Way, Annie and Karen

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Paying attention or, detoxing the Angel Way, part two

Have you paid attention to yourself today?  Paying attention to yourself is not quite the same thing as being nice to yourself or doing something nice for yourself.  Paying attention to yourself is about being true to yourself.  It's about acknowleging how you really feel and what you really want - if only to yourself - at any given point in time. For many people, especially those of us who are caregivers, paying attention to ourselves is something we very seldom really do.  When my children were small, for example, I frequently found that when I did take time "for myself" I was so exhausted I felt numb.  Paying attention to yourself, however, can happen at any time or place, in the middle of a hundred things. 

Paying attention to yourself can mean you stick to your guns in an argument, or you screw your courage to the sticking place (to borrow from one of my favorite writers) and ask for the schedule change at work you've been wishing you could have.   Paying attention to yourself might mean saying "no" politely,  as well as indulging in a treat.  Paying attention to yourself is about finding ways to validate your own emotions - both positive and negative - for yourself.  According to the Angels, an important aspect of detoxification doesn't mean getting rid of negative feelings or thoughts.  It's about acknowledging those emotions, and paying attention to them, rather than repressing or denying them.

The Angels urge us all to pay attention to ourselves every day, even if only for a minute or two.  The Angels urge us to recognize all states of our being without judgement.  The Angels understand that for many of us, food becomes the means by which we express some of our deepest and most critical beliefs about ourselves. 

For example, I had a friend who was so uncomfortable expressing her negative emotions - most especially anger - that the way she dealt with conflict was to simply shut whoever she had a conflict with out of her life.  What was extremely interesting about this woman was that she denied herself all red meat, dairy, wheat gluten, soy, caffiene and alchohol.  This was all without any medical or other alternative diagnosis of any kind of food allergies or any other condition that might indicate the need to embrace such an ascetic regimen.   She didn't have any particularly spiritual or political reason either - she was neither vegan nor vegetarian, since she would eat poultry, fish and eggs, and found many vegan or vegetarian dishes unacceptable because of the inclusion of wheat or soy.  The last I heard she was considering giving up eggs.  According to the Angels, her food choices (or in her case, food eliminations) reflected her emotional state of denial.  The way she treated food reflected how she treated people...and most importantly of all, how she treated HERSELF. 

Taking time therefore, every day, to acknowledge what it is we might want or feel or need at any given point in time is an important step in accepting every aspect of ourselves - even those we might prefer not to acknowledge.  The Angels see nothing negative about the emotions we often label negative - our emotions evolved to keep us alive.  Fear, grief and anger are part of our human experience. The Angels urge us to begin to embrace these aspects of ourselves by paying attention the next time we feel afraid, angry or sad, not repressing or denying them.  


Karen M. Rider said...

This is so very true, Annie. Having worked with people whose lives are ransacked by eating and body image issues, (and transformed my own life away from disordered eating), I understand how people turn to "elimination programs" to manage their emotions.

I just posted at Soul of a Writer (www.KarenMrider.com) about Dr. Judith Orloff's works on emotional transformation. Many of the transformations she teaches (e.g. having compassion is the transformation for anger) can be seen in individuals with dis-ordered approaches to eating, exercise, and, in general, taking care of bodymind and spirit.

While ETAW is not a treatment for such problems, what it teaches about taking care of bodymind goes hand in hand in how we take care of spirit, heart, soul. Now, didn't someone once say that the Seat of the Soul was Emotion?


Walk in the Woods said...

"According to the Angels, an important aspect of detoxification doesn't mean getting rid of negative feelings or thoughts. It's about acknowledging those emotions, and paying attention to them, rather than repressing or denying them."

I'm not fond of the word "detox" and often (always?) challenge folks who ask about it, for - to me - their motivation is usually misguided (from without) and disconnected (from within) and I find myself daring folks to at least acknowledge, and at best nurture a relationship with whatever *dirty*, *sinful*, *toxic* part of themselves is begging for attention.

To me, nurturing a positive, nourishing, HONEST relationship with our shadows is far more harmonic and balancing to our holistic wellness than *attempting* to flush, cleanse, clear, peal, *detox" and deny a vital (and dare I say - Beautiful) part of our whole and holy selves.

So - yeah - for me the angels view on this topic is very validating.

Thank you and the angels for sharing this!