Intellect and willpower only go so far
When your child suffers from an eating disorder, you eventually realise how helpful when you can get yourself grounded and compassionate. On a bad day it helps you get by. On a good day you can fly! And how unhelpful is the opposite, when you lose your temper or sink into despair.
A common source of discouragement from parents is this: “I know I should be kind, and calm, and confident, and compassionate, but so many times I just can’t.”
Well, that’s us just being human. This extreme parenting thing can’t be done 100% all the time, and it certainly can’t be done on our own through sheer willpower. We need fuelling for ourselves. We need compassion and understanding and hand-holding.
But it’s breakfast, or lunchtime, or you’re trying to fall asleep in spite of your high levels of dread or grief, and you’re on your own. So I have produced some audio resources to bring out your own internal resources.
My book gives you the why and the how of compassion (see Chapters 13 and 15 in particular). My new audio resources help you actually experience the power that lies with a compassionate state, so you can shift yourself into a state closer to wellbeing.
I created two main audio tracks. One is long (27mn) and it does a lot of surreptitious teaching while giving you a chance to experience each principle I introduce. It’s on YouTube here and you can buy a download from me here. The download would be good if you want to keep the audios on your phone or mp3 player, iPod or computer, even when you don’t have an internet connection.
You might well fall asleep on this long audio if you’re tired, so there’s a waking bit at the end. But if you’d love to use the audio precisely to help you fall asleep in a lovely state of calm and clarity, then I’ve done a version with several minutes of hypnosis-style sleep suggestions.
The other main audio I produced is just 7mn, so you can use it, say, just before supporting a meal. Again it’s on YouTube (here) or available as a download from me. It uses all the same steps as the longer audio, but without all the explanations, and it’s not even specific to eating disorders.
Finally, if you’d like even less talk and more pauses, I’ve done of of those and it’s part of the pack available for download.
Does it work?
In other words, will you feel better, empowered, more compassionate?
I researched the principles in some depth, which is why this project has spread out over a year. I found out about different approaches to meditation (which is a well-researched practice since psychologist Jon Kabat-Zinn introduced it to the West), and to what various disciplines recommend we do with suffering and with painful feelings.
As I write, since posting the audios on YouTube, I’ve had nothing but good feedback. And it works for me. I’ve also been including this type of meditation as I support particular parents one-to-one.These are the bits that seem to bring out the positive, loving, strong human being in them the fastest.
So, I dearly hope these audios are helpful to you. And if so, let me know (or tell me what doesn’t work for you), and tell your clinicians and other parents, will you?