Last month, I was standing in a store buying almonds. Suddenly, I see the bin of chocolate candies and then I was filling a bag with them and eating them. Who cares, you might say, a few chocolate candies?

But here’s the thing: I was finishing month three of a six month food plan of no sugar, no dairy, no gluten, no caffeine. My naturopath had suggested I clean up my food to help with some mild health issues. I didn’t want to take pharmaceuticals and so am trying other options. Now, there’s no gluten in these little candies, but alarming amounts of everything else. 

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And this behaviour was not mindful or grounded in wholeness.

So, as I’m standing there mindlessly munching these little pieces of poison, a brief space of sanity appears on my emotional horizon. I put the candies down and walk out of the store. I was sick for 48 hours with mild flu like symptoms: headachy, roiling stomach, sore joints and mild diarrhea. 


I’ve made a lot of progress in my mindfulness practice over the years. Still, I can be unmindful and unconscious as I was that day. Changing my food so much recently has caused some deep reflection in how important it is for me to increase my balance and stay grounded in the body and the emotions.

As a life coach who guides others through the process of reaching for dreams and moving through change, I pay attention to being present and mindful—with lots of guidance from coaches, guides and close friends. But now and then, things rear their teeny tiny ugly yet colourful heads and demand attention.

First, I needed to congratulate myself and drop the guilt: I had done really amazingly well for three months. 100%. Now, I had this weird, awkward gift that was messy and yucky. And so I Invited the underlying feelings to emerge.

The result was this deep yearning to go slower and to stay connected with more quiet. For this to happen, I needed to follow through more on my commitment to slow down.

Slow Down

Noticing sooner when the balance is off so that I can pull in, get quiet and nourish myself, letting the mind drop and be still and open.

Circle of Stones 

My beloved friend Julie Davey-Prior, who died from breast cancer many years ago, introduced me to Judith Duerk’s treasure of a book, Circle of Stones: Woman’s Journey to Herself.

“It is … from her own suffering that allows a woman to descend, each time anew, into her own depths, to be present to the truth and wisdom lying there. For only by her willing descent can she uncover, again and again, the meaning of her life.” Judith Duerk

The sugar thief surrenders, sinking into the heart of what I know to be true: I need to be grounded with the body, heart and spirit. This creates wholeness. And when I’m not, I am presented with weird and wonderful gifts.

As I finish writing this to you, my imaginary reader (but for myself), I treasure this sweet chilly spring day. I move more slowly and step consciously out of the frantic drivenness of this society and of the mind.

Be still, dear heart, and watch as the silvery spring rain nourishes the new seeds rising in the earth.

Join our 8-Week MindfulnessProgram

Come into the heart of stillness with mindfulness practices and gentle yoga.

January 31-March 21, 2018    7-9:30 pm

One day silent retreat March 11

Free Information Session Wed Jan 31, 2018, 7 pm 

Janati Yoga School, 16 Bath Road, Kingston, Ontario

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Thank you. We'll keep you posted. For more information go to the Mindfulness link at the top of Susan's website.

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