True Confession: I Am a Recovering Emotional Eater.

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered my true relationship with food.   I knew that I was struggling with a sugar addiction for the past few years, but I would sweep it under the rug and tell myself that I just loved food and it was solely because of stress.

Although stress is a trigger for me, it wasn’t until I recently started intermittent fasting a few days a week, when I discovered that I couldn’t run from this disordered way of eating.  If we are all honest with ourselves, each of us has somewhat of an unhealthy relationship with food. We all binge eat or deprive ourselves of food for our own reasons, the same way we may deprive ourselves or overcompensate with other external stimuli, such as relationships or finances.

While I was intermittently fasting (which is amazing, by the way) I was able to be one with my body in a way that even meditation couldn’t provide.  If something or someone triggered me in the middle of my fast, the first thought would be, “What can I eat?”  Honestly, that does not change much in my day to day life when I am not in the middle of a fast.

I started to notice a pattern.  If I was sad, I would eat sugar.  If I was anxious, I would eat sugar.  If I was happy, I would eat sugar.  If I celebrated something great in my life, I would eat sugar, and then I would feel bad so I would eat more sugar. Don’t get me wrong… I would fit in those vegetables and fruits, but it was as if my mind had tunnel vision and all I could think about was pasta, pizza, cheese and ice cream.  There were days I would cave and eat Burger King.  I was somewhat aware of this unhealthy eating pattern that I would shame myself.  I would hide food & sometimes eat on high alert as if I was committing some sort of crime.

That isn’t to say you should judge yourself if you have this challenge, but ignoring it doesn’t solve the problem.  I took up spin class, hiking, and meal prepping healthy foods,  thinking those were the ‘solutions.’ It doesn’t matter if you exercise every day or eat vegetables and fruits.  You must treat the underlying emotional triggers and issues.

It forced me to get real honest about why I emotionally eat most days of the week.  Some things that bubbled up had to do with feeling lonely and exhausted, not being in the career I want to be in full time, finances, fear of never being whole and nevering meeting another ‘whole’ woman, etc… Other reasons were in relation to who I would become as my best self.  After all, loving yourself includes taking care of your Spirit, your emotions & your physical body — your temple. During the times I would take care of my whole being, I felt empowered in a way I never knew was possible.  I felt sexy.  I felt like I could conquer the world.  For me, that was almost too much to bear.  To be seen and heard is so far out of my comfort zone that it would trigger my ego into old patterns of self-sabotage again and again and again.

I really wanted to share this part of my life because I kept it hidden for so long.  I was mad at myself that I couldn’t fix this, especially as a Massage Therapist, soon-to-be graduate of Intitute for Integrative Nutrition, and aspiring Life/Health Coach.  It made me believe I couldn’t help others because I didn’t conquer these obstacles already. Although I wholeheartedly believe in authenticity, the fact that I am bringing this struggle to the Light instead of keeping it in the darkness is a start.

If I had any piece of advice to give, it would be to be gentle with yourself throughout this process of unraveling.  Sit with your emotions. Honor them.  Work through them.  Find a healthy outlet for your emotional wounds that serves you.  If you slip back into old patterns, that is ok.  Stay conscious and aware enough to make a change that is for your Highest Good. You are not alone and sharing your story with others does make a difference.

Are you an emotional eater? Do you currently have an unhealthy relationship with food or did you have one in the past? I’d love to hear your stories!

How Massage Therapy Chose Me…

A lot of my clients ask me why I have decided to become a Massage Therapist.  I don’t really think much about it, but as I reflected, I had realized this sole decision kickstarted my life as a healer.  Growing up, my sister use to always ask me to massage her, and when I was in college at Pace University back in 2006, a friend of mine use to always ask me to massage him.  I never really knew what I was doing, but word got out that I was good at it.  I never thought much of it since my dream was to be a writer and filmmaker, but all of that changed once I graduated in 2010.

I remember being so miserable moving back home to Long Island after feeling free and independent in NYC for four years.  A part of me was torn between moving to California and starting a life as a filmmaker, but another part of me wasn’t sure if that was my true calling.  What happened? I settled for a job that I hated as a Legal Assistant. My relationship at the time was crumbling.  I wasn’t happy and I didn’t know what to do about it.

After some thought and a nudge from my partner at the time, I decided to take a chance and go to school for Massage Therapy.  Needless to say, it stuck.  I was so dedicated to studying, understanding the human body, and stepping into a profession where I felt I was truly helping others.  Almost four years later, I am still a practicing Therapeutic Massage Therapist.  I have had some nightmare jobs, but I have also met some incredible clients.  As passionate as I am about my career, I know it chose me in order to open my heart to my true Mission.

Although I do not see myself leaving the Massage Therapy field anytime soon, I believe stepping into my power as a Therapist has allowed me to open up to something greater than me.  I began my journey of spiritual awakening not too long before I started practicing and that is not a coincidence.  Massage Therapy has taught me to be still in the silence and become aware of what the client is experiencing without any words being spoken.  It is a collaboration between the therapist and client — a conversation between your hands and the client’s body & energy.  Separation is an illusion because in that moment, we are both creating a healing space through positive intention.

Massage Therapy has not only helped me connect with clients and help them, but it has connected me to myself.  What is my intention in this moment? What energy am I carrying? Am I transferring positivity or negativity?  When I walk into a session feeling moody and not grounded, I know my client will feel that.  The same happens in return, as well.

I am so grateful for this career because I am not just helping others. I am not just helping myself. I am allowing my soul to expand by using this art as a way to do other types of energy work (Reiki and Integrated Energy Therapy) and to allow the Divine to work through me for both of our highest good in order to connect the Mind, Body & Soul. I am able to serve others through other modalities as well, such as Life/Health Coaching, Angel Card Readings, etc… because everything is connected. All the pain we experience is just emotional debris manifested in the physical so you can’t just treat the body, although it is an incredible start.

I honestly believe my path unfolded the way it did so I could be a conduit of healing energy through Massage, and once that Purpose was fulfilled, expand through the connection of Source.  It took me quite a while to get there, but I am here, and savoring every second of it.

We Choose Our Pets & They Choose Us!

Growing up I had a childhood dog, Angel. I remember begging my parents to get him, but let’s be real… caring for a pet as a kid was not my forte.  Although I loved Angel, he preferred to spend time with my dad.  They had a connection that was beautiful to witness from the day we adopted him until the day he passed, and beyond.  I truly did not know what that felt like until I adopted Yogi.

Just a bit of history: I loved cats as a child but was terribly allergic.  I use to have severe asthma attacks, fever, and would end up in the hospital. So, before I adopted Yogi, I pretty much knew I could get deathly ill, but I decided to take a chance anyway. Here is why…

Around six years ago, my first partner and I broke up. I moved out of her apartment and was completely devastated, alone, bitter, and felt a complete void in my heart.  The thought of ever falling in love again felt nauseatingly impossible (dramatic, I know). About a month later, my ex showed me a picture of Yogi and mentioned the owner couldn’t keep him because her boyfriend developed a severe allergic reaction.  I can’t even explain it, but the moment I saw a picture of Yogi I knew I was meant to adopt him. It went against all logic, but hey, that’s what love does!

Being a new cat owner, I expected Yogi to keep his distance at first, but to my surprise, we became attached almost immediately.  Did I break out in hives and have a respiratory infection the first couple of weeks I had him? Oh yes, but I survived and currently have minimal to no allergic reactions.

Fast forward to four years ago, Yogi was diagnosed with heart disease at two years old.  If you know me, I do not believe in coincidences.  I truly believe Yogi and I chose to be a part of this life journey together to learn our own individual soul lessons as a team.  I’ve read that pets oftentimes take on the traumas and stresses of their owners to prevent certain illnesses and ‘lighten the load,’ so to speak, and I wholeheartedly believe that.  Although I know I did not give Yogi heart disease, I believe we both chose to heal our hearts together, but in different ways.  Part of that journey of healing requires me to open my heart.  In loving Yogi and experiencing the unconditional love he gives me every day, it has taught me that love is real. Love is safe. Love is our natural state of being.  A pet does not choose to love. It just does.  And as Yogi aids in healing my heart, I believe I help heal his just by loving him with gratitude.

When I look at Yogi, I do not see a sick, helpless cat.  I see a Soul who wants love, just like the rest of us.  As much as it is difficult at times, I look past the test results and tell Yogi every day, “I love you and you will be with me for the rest of my days.”  I really believe it to be true.

If there is anything we can learn from our pets it is to live in the moment and BE LOVE.  It is with great comfort and an honor to know that your pet’s soul contracted to love yours in the same lifetime, with mutual reciprocation.  Now that is a true Soul Connection… one that transcends all and never dies.

Did you feel that instant soul connection with your pet? I’d love to hear your adoption/furbaby love stories!

God is Non-denominational.

Often nowadays, whenever God or Jesus is brought up on social media or in conversation, you clearly see the division of perspectives. A lot of people assume that if you believe in God/Jesus then you are a “Bible hugging Christian” or spend your spare time at church.  This isn’t a post to bash religion or a certain belief as we are all entitled to feel what we feel. There is nothing wrong with practicing Christianity or Judaism or any other type of religion, or belief system such as Atheism or Agnosticism; however, I think it is important to get clear about God.

For me, God and Jesus are interchangeable. I sometimes use Source or Universe, too, because for me, God encompasses everything.  I was raised Roman Catholic, and up until I was about ten years old, I attended Catholic school. I was dedicated to going to Church weekly and prayer was second nature to me. I remember being a loner a lot as a child. I didn’t feel I belonged anywhere. I was extremely timid and it was difficult for me to ‘fit in’ and make friends. In my old house in Yonkers, my parents hung a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in our playroom. Every day I would literally pull up a stool and talk to him. I believed he was my only friend, and you know what? I had felt like I was actually being HEARD. It gave me comfort knowing that a Higher Power loved and supported me. Some people may hear that story and think it’s weird. I get it. It’s not every day you hear that a child was talking to a picture of Jesus, but honestly, I was fortunate to have had such strong faith at a young age.

Fast forward to adult Cathy… I do not currently practice Catholicism. I consider myself spiritual, but my bigger point is to drop the label. Does it matter if you are Catholic? Christian? Muslim? Hindu? The list goes on. God is everywhere. God is a part of you. God is in Mother Nature, in the thoughts you think and the words you speak. God is in every single person you pass on the street. God doesn’t just exist in a Church or temple or monastery. God is within and without.

No matter who you consider as God, please realize we are all One. And if you have lost your faith in God or don’t know if there is a God, I honor your perspective. However, I challenge you to dig deep and ask yourself: How could my life be different if I opened my heart and let God in? God could be your Higher Self. There is no wrong answer.

All I know is that God is not a weapon to be used against one another. God does not choose who to love. God is Love. Anyone who preaches otherwise has gotten wires crossed somewhere along the line.

We are at a time where it is imperative to allow ourselves to be open to a Higher Power and honor the God within each of us. Are you ready?

 

How Ho’oponopono Saved My Soul & My Life!

About four years ago, I went through what I would call ‘the heartbreak of my life.’ It was a short lived relationship, but damn, it woke me up to start my healing process in such an extreme way.  Not only was I going through an intense period of heartbreak, but the other areas of life were collapsing around me. I literally felt like I was left with nothing. My anxiety was at an all time high and my self-esteem and self-worth were at an all time low. I had played with the idea of ending my life. I sulked in my depression and felt like there was no way out. I often wondered what my Purpose was and if I’d ever feel whole again.

You know how the Universe/God brings people into your life at the right time? That was one of those times. I reconnected with a friend of mine whom I hadn’t really spoken to in a couple of years. She had told me about her Life Coach, Dr. Mary Ozegovich, who’d helped her through her own personal journey of healing. Mary was leading a workshop about Ho’oponopono, a Hawaiian Healing Process, and something about the name intrigued me.

I’ll be honest… I had resistance. A part of me wanted to heal but another part of me didn’t. I mean, who actually wants to sit in their own shit, feel some deep pain, and figure out how to transmute it all? Yeah, not my idea of a fun Friday evening.

Finally, I caved, thanks to a little soul nudge. Let me tell you… it was one of the best decisions I have made. Ho’oponopono is a healing process of rectification with God or Source using the four phrases: I Love You, I Thank You, Please Forgive Me, I Am Sorry. It is about taking responsibility for your wounds and having the willingness to clean and clear them without judgment. One of the things I love about Ho’oponopono is that you can feel an immediate shift and it essentially creates a healing foundation for self-expansion. There are so many wonderful things I can say about Ho’oponopono, but that’ll be another post. I urge you to do your own research though, if this resonates.

Anyway, when I walked out of that three hour workshop I felt reborn. Renewed. Hopeful. I thank God every day for bringing an old friend back into my life as a gateway to Ho’oponopono because it was the first time in a long time where I started to feel whole again. I wanted to live. I dug deep to find my Purpose, and I still, till this day, practice Ho’oponopono. It saved my soul, and ultimately, saved my Life.