Eat, pray, love

Of course you’ve heard about the new movie starring Julia Roberts. I decided to wait until I had finished the book before I saw the film. The book of course has more substance – you just can’t put everything into 2 hours and 15 minutes. I loved the way she described her feelings, good and bad. I found it easy to relate to her even though I have not had the same experiences. Elizabeth Gilbert’s year-long trek to find God and herself took her around the world. For the rest of us, however, that opportunity may never come.

But, there are some simple steps that anyone can take to help them find a sense of peace and happiness. As a woman and a psychologist, I am quite familiar with the way that women base their self-worth on their looks and/weight. This propensity has caused us to become obsessed with diets in this country. You would think that with all the diet plans out there, we’d all be thin by now. But, no, the rates for overweight and obese people continue to rise.

My suggestion is that we focus on what we are really hungry for – good, clean, healthy food. This is not a shout out to pig out. If we feed our bodies properly, I’m sure we would be surprised at how good we would look and feel. Give up the fake, chemical-based substances we have accepted as the common American diet. Let’s eat like we are in Italy or France: fresh produce, small amounts of dark chocolate, meat without growth hormones.

Prayer is our communication with God. It’s really that simple. I’ve had many clients over the years who feel that they are missing this connection. They are usually surprised how simple it can be to develop that relationship. Some find it in church, others in nature. God is there, if we look.

I believe the love part comes easily after you have the first two steps. I am not talking about romantic love, but that could come afterwards. You have to learn to love yourself. That is so foreign to some women because they are focused on trying to twist themselves into what someone else wants instead of being who they are. By taking care of yourself, valuing who you are, and knowing that God loves you (despite knowing all about you), will help you to find peace in this crazy life. Love isn’t that hard but it does take effort. Often, practicing small, random acts of kindness towards others can bring love and happiness into your life. Those are my tips for eating, praying, and loving your way to a happier life.

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