The Golden Rule, treat others as you would like to be treated.
It would be a wonderful thing if we lived in a world where everyone treats each other with love, compassion, and respect. Which leads to the first part of the of the Golden Rule of Self Care.
The foundation of the rule starts with how you treat yourself – you must treat yourself well first. It’s an exchange of goodwill, respect, and kindness that starts within your heart.
If you start with love and respect for yourself, it’s very difficult to shut down feeling empathy for others or to treat others disrespectfully and full of hate. The opposite is also true.
When you start from a place of self-loathing, it is easy to view the world as a hostile and threatening place to be.
No matter how you slice it, it all starts with you and the relationship you have with yourself.
Quieting the criticisms that rumble around in your head is challenging in the beginning. Shifting into a mindset of the growth requires you to make conscious choices. With practice, it gets easier and becomes your natural way of doing things. Your skill level will increase and you’ll feel so much better, making choices that are in your own best interest.
There are three important areas to help you focus and get really clear on how you can use the Golden Rule of Self Care in your life. There are three areas to focus on:
- Hear no evil – limiting what you pay attention to and what you allow into your world.
- See no evil – mindset shifts from deficit to seeing the fullness of life.
- Speak no evil – the way you use language both with yourself in your internal running monolog as well as with others.
Hear No Evil
Each person has the ability to sift through the millions of pieces of data coming at them at any given time.
One of the “easiest” ways to do this is to limit the amount of negative information you’re exposed to every day.
Sometimes this can’t be helped.
There are unhappy co-workers who vent, a perfectionist boss always wanting more, angry-obnoxious neighbors, a family member who drinks too much, a teacher who doesn’t want to teach, etc. The list is endless and I haven’t even mentioned the evening news, wars, politics of hate, etc. or the social media digs and meanness which are all too easy to find.
Since it’s impossible for anyone to escape or ignore, as enticing as that may sound, it is possible to filter out the negativity You can increase your awareness to be more conscious and choosier about what you allow into your internal world.
If you struggle with emotional eating, this is vital. Often the soothing you crave from food helps you shift your thoughts relieving you of the negative thoughts that keep rolling over and over in your mind. There is a way to stop this process and develop the skills to keep it in check.
Here are 3 things you can do right now to stop listening:
- Make a commitment to not participate in negative conversations. Sometimes, what’s not spoken or commented on speaks for you. Remaining neutral is often a good place to be. You don’t always have to take a position or choose a side.
- The ongoing conversation with yourself is usually the toughest for most people. The challenge here is to practice patience with yourself. When a difficult thought comes, it’s your challenge to acknowledge it and practice letting it flow right through you without getting stuck. If it gets stuck, give it a gentle nudge and again with neutrality in mind, shift your focus to peace.
- Change the subject if you’re talking with someone else. It’s easy to get on the critical bandwagon and start beating a drum too. It’s often much nicer to walk beside the wagon, listen, let the other person vent and know that the feelings they’re expressing are theirs to manage. You don’t have to take on their struggle. You may need to gently change the subject or at times you may need to directly state that you don’t want to talk about it, it’s not your place or concern, etc. Both are okay. Being kind to the other person as well as yourself means not engaging in unproductive conversations that keep you stuck.
See No Evil
Getting stuck in the rut of doubt, fear and hopelessness is tough.
The way out is to allow yourself to see the fullness of life. There’s much goodness, hope, and joy in life as well as pain.
Glass half empty or full? Maybe neither. Maybe if you’re thirsty and there’s water in the glass it’s a great moment. Maybe if you’re thirsty and it’s empty, that’s okay too, because you know that you have the ability to seek out some refreshing water and fill your glass.
Having a growth mindset is like this. You see the world through the view of possibilities. There are options and you have choices. There are problems, some of them are huge and at the same time there’s a lot of really good situations too.
Quick fixes, like any of the popular quick weight loss diets, lead down the path of “all of the bad things in life will be gone once you get back into your high school jeans!”
How is it that we, the smart women that we are, fall for this? It’s just so alluring. A little pain for a lot of gains. Most of us who have fallen for this illusion know just how short lived the gain is.
Long lasting change is not a quick fix.
It is shifting the way you think about the world into a growth mindset.
Yes, there are problems.
Yes, you may emotionally eat.
Yes, one meal practicing Conscious Eating and being free from food worries is progress.
With each success you will gain a little more experience, a little more awareness of what works for you and a lot more peace.
3 things you can do right now to practice a growth mindset.
- Focus on your health and wellness. Shift out of thinking, “not this, I can’t, that’s bad.” Instead, think about moving toward what you want and what you are creating in your life. It takes much more energy to repel yourself than to move toward what you want.
- Create a positive mantra that is meaningful and quick for you to repeat. Develop a mantra that you can repeat to yourself in those times when it’s difficult to stop thinking about what’s wrong. This happens to all of us. It will take extra effort. And it will get easier with practice.
- Remind yourself you’re in this for the long term. You are transforming your relationship with yourself and you are worth the kindness to learn as you go, make changes, be curious, and most of all take good care of yourself. You will get there. The reward is a lasting change that frees you from food worries and gives you choices for the rest of your life.
Speak No Evil
The way you use your language is a good indicator of your mindset. The way you use language is a window into your experience of the world around you and your expectations of it.
There is a fraction of time where you can consider what your brain has just processed into language for you to make an assessment. Language shapes how we think about things. Communication is also two ways, even within our own being.
The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship and has all of the things you need to transform your way of thinking.
Your vision of what you want your life to be, based on the Golden Rule of Self Care, is something you can change today. Everything doesn’t need to be in place at the beginning. Start where you are and shift when needed. There’s no big reveal – it’s just you doing your life.
Do you ever notice that people who complain, find faults, and sit in judgment tend to gravitate toward each other – usually without offering to help or be part of the solution?
Thoughts can be like this too. You get on one negative thought and it’s easy to build on it.
The converse is also true. In fact, people would much rather be around positively balanced people. People who don’t shy away from problems, but who actively try to be part of the solution. You can do this with yourself too. Build the positive thoughts and the experiences will follow.
This includes your relationship with yourself as well!
You will have a much better experience making the changes you desire when you allow yourself to step through the fear and disappointment and shift into patiently transforming your relationship with food, your body, and your heart. Practice setting the tone. Let the words you say to yourself be encouraging and growth focused.
Plan for your success. Take care of yourself and prepare for your day. Have an idea of what you would like to create for yourself. Have a backup plan for those times when life goes in a different direction and flexibility is needed.
Changes made slowly over time allow you to intergrade what you need and weed out what doesn’t work. You can communicate with kindness even when you’re frustrated or angry. If you know what your need is, you will have greater mastery over your impulses.
3 ways to communicate with more kindness.
- Set the tone for growth with your internal conversations. The most important person to focus your positivity on first is yourself and all the other relationships will flow with kindness too.
- Give yourself patience. There isn’t a deadline on when you need to be a fully conscious person. It’s a process of becoming more and more aware.
- Allow yourself to accept the good things in life with grace and gratitude no matter how small and know that the challenges will be met with clarity and forward moving momentum.
The Golden Rule of Self Care is this relationship you have with yourself and the daily interactions you have with everyone else. Being kind, respectful, and loving to yourself in the very basic sense of each word is the foundation for transforming your relationship with food and creating the life you enjoy.
Let me know how you apply the Golden Rule of Self Care to your life in the comments below.