What do you need most right now?
A writing prompt to help you tap into your inner wisdom. Plus, here’s what happened when I tried out guided breathwork.
Anyone feel like they need a reset heading into Thanksgiving week? I know I’ve been tired, stressed, overwhelmed and over-committed—and much of it my own making.
This week, I stumbled upon an invitation to do guided breathwork with fellow Austinite, Substack writer and therapistand I felt this immediate pull toward it, though I had another meeting booked at the same time.
I don’t know what sold me in Eliza’s post, whether it was the reference to the jogger she encounters regularly at the dog park who’s oblivious to the agony he’s putting his body through (I recognize a previous version of myself in him) or the invitation to listen with all of your senses.
Eliza referenced the seven ways of knowing we are living from our authentic self from Internal Family Systems. They are when we are:
“The more we can connect with any of these 7 “C’s” of the authentic Self, the more we are living in and on purpose. But again, it requires us to sit back and listen to ourselves, rather than distract and create defenses against our true experience. Listening is hard, especially in a world that values the person being listened to over the person doing the listening.” —Eliza B.
As I go further into intuitive eating, I’m called to deepen my connection to my body. I want to listen to it. I want to honor it. I am also deeply curious.
Though I had never done breathwork, nor did I understand its benefits, heading into Thanksgiving week, it just felt like the right reset. So that’s what I did.
I assumed it would be a lot like meditation, but in fact there is a higher intensity to it. You’re exercising through the breath, concentrating on making your inhalations and exhalations part of a continuous circle. It’s challenging, requiring you to be engaged while you’re doing it.
Breathwork, I later discovered, serves the purpose of engaging the parasympathetic nervous system, signaling to the brain that all is well, and over time, fostering a deeper connection with one's inner self.
Eliza said that concentrated breathing is sort of like stirring mud in the bottom of a pot. Through the movement, you’re stirring up and releasing negative energy.
I didn’t see any colors or visions during the 75-minute session, as she suggested might happen, but I deepened my connection to my body. While lying on the floor of my office, I granted my body the freedom to move as it desired. Allowing my legs to butterfly and my shoulders and arms to relax, I experienced a release of muscles in ways previously unexplored in stretching or yoga. My muscles and mind were engaged—I left the session feeling reenergized!
We can lose our way, especially this time of year. This is a reminder to tap into that inner wisdom and heed the call to take that reset when you need it! Here is a writing prompt to help you do that.
Tapping into your inner wisdom—What do you need most right now?
As we head into the most hectic time of year and the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S. this week, I’m asking that you reflect on what you need most right now. Is it to feel supported? Is it more time for yourself? Is it to set boundaries with family members? The purpose of this exercise is to determine what you need most right now and what steps you can take to get them.
Find a quiet place where you can focus on your thoughts without distractions.
Take a few deep breaths to center yourself. Close your eyes and bring your awareness to the present moment.
Get out a notebook, piece of paper, phone or laptop.
Part 1: Reflecting on the Present
Think about your current circumstances and state of mind. Consider your emotions, energy levels, and any challenges or joys you are experiencing.
Part 2: Asking the Question
Write down the question: "What do I need most right now?" Take a few minutes to let the question settle in your mind.
Part 3: Free Writing
Start writing without editing or overthinking—just let your thoughts flow! Explore what comes up when you consider your current needs. Write about your feelings, desires and any intuitive insights that arise. Set aside at least 15 minutes for this.
Part 4: Digging Deeper
Now it’s time to review what you’ve written and challenge yourself to go deeper. Ask follow-up questions like:
"Why are these needs important to me?"
What would meeting them look and feel like?"
"Are there any obstacles I need to overcome to fulfill these needs?"
Part 5: Prioritizing and Summarizing
Review what you've written and identify any recurring themes or priorities. Summarize the key insights and needs that stand out to you. Consider ranking them in order of importance, and pick the top 1-2 to take action on.
Part 6: Creating Your Action Steps
For each identified need, brainstorm practical and achievable action steps you can take to address or fulfill them. These steps should be realistic and within your control.
Remember: We can’t control other people or their actions, but we can take healthy actions to support ourselves.
Let me know how it goes! I would love to hear more about what comes up for you, what you’re most in need of now and how you plan to get it.
Join me for No Diet Talk December
Last week, I introduced my first-ever monthly accountability challenge for all of us here in the Almost Sated community and for anyone who would benefit from it.
As we navigate to the end of the year, I’m humbly inviting you to abstain from engaging in "diet talk"—conversations centered around diets, food, and appearance. These kinds of discussions are highly destructive to individuals with eating disorders, but they are harmful to everyone.
Opting out of diet-related conversations can be challenging during this season of reconnecting with friends and family, where small talk often inadvertently comes at the cost of our own well-being.
In my kickoff post, I shared details about how to join me in No Diet Talk December PLUS the benefits of not partaking in diet talk, how to recognize diet talk (many of us aren’t even aware when we’re doing it), and suggestions for what to say when someone around you engages in diet talk.
I’ll be sharing even more resources to help you navigate negative body talk or feelings in the coming weeks:
Thursday, Nov. 23 - We’ll open up the chat thread for those of you who might need some extra encouragement on Thanksgiving.
Thursday, Nov. 30, 12 p.m. CST (10 a.m. PT) - A workshop to officially kick off No Diet Talk December with special guest, non-diet nutritionist. You’ll find tips for dealing with diet talk and maybe even find an accountability partner!
Monday, Dec. 11 - Another writing prompt to support you.
Thursdays, Dec. 7 and 14 - New chat thread topics, open discussion and calls for questions.
Even for those of you who are not ready to quit diets, opting out of diet talk can measurably improve how you feel about yourself.
Please join me and the others who have signed on!
One last announcement!
I’m co-hosting the first official AustinMeetup with fellow writers and on Nov. 28 in downtown Austin.
We’d be so grateful if you’d share this with other Substack folks so we can reach as many people as possible.
Here are the details:
👉 When: Tuesday, November 28, 2023 - 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
👉 Where: Mort Subite Belgian Beer Bar, 308 Congress Avenue Austin, TX 78701
👉 Why: For Substackers to get together and make new friends!
👉 How do I sign up? With this Eventbrite invitation Austin Substack Meetup.
👉 Can I bring a friend? Heck yeah! Please do – and we’d love it if you’d pass the Eventbrite invite around
Thank you, my friends!
I’ll be back Thursday, Thanksgiving Day for all of us in the U.S., with my first chat thread for those who need a little extra support or just want to say hello!