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Tools to Step Out of Body Avoidance and Access Self-Confidence & Intuition



Things We Dive Into In This Episode:

  1. The difference between body avoidance and body negativity

  2. Letting go of people’s judgements about your body

  3. Tool for letting go of body avoidance and stepping into a life of embodiment


📘Resources


📌Episode Highlights


Q&A


What's the difference between body avoidance and body negativity?

  • Body negativity is objectifying your body, viewing your body as an object, and living in the third person. You're looking at your body from the outside in, as an observer rather than being embodied and experiencing your senses. You're looking at your body through the lens of how other people would see it, and you're looking at it in a very negative way. You are tearing apart your body, you're saying my body is wrong, my body is ugly, etc. It is the complete resistance and rejection of your body.

  • Body avoidance is when you're shifted out of living in the third person. You're not objectifying yourself as much. You're not picking apart your body. You're not having consistently negative or obsessively negative thoughts about your body, but you're not quite living your life in the first person either. You're not quite sensing into your body, you're not quite experiencing your body, you're avoiding your body. You don't want to think about your body. You don't want to look at your body. You don't want to feel your body. You don't want to sense into your body. 

  • Body avoidance can feel like a really cozy place to live after you emerge from body negativity. Because if we avoid our bodies, we feel protected from the threat of getting caught back up in a spiral of negative thoughts. And if we avoid our bodies, we often avoid having to process any emotions, any trauma, anything sticky that's living inside the body. And when we avoid our bodies, we can avoid having to navigate some of the nuances of our relationship with food and our relationship with exercise. 



I want to step out of body avoidance and into embodied living, but I get stuck whenever I think about the idea that people are going to judge me based on my body, people judge what they see first. How do you deal with that?

  • People are going to judge your body. That is a really hard truth to land in and to accept because accepting that requires grieving that truth. Accepting that truth requires being really pissed off about that truth. Accepting that truth requires feeling some negative, hard, and heavy emotions. We have to hold space for the really difficult reality that we live in a world that is judgmental and fat phobic, and a lot of people walk around with body dysmorphia that makes them view themselves differently and makes them view other people differently.

  • We're can hold space for our grief, our disappointment, our anger, our frustration AND  lean into the fact that what's truly attractive is confidence, energy, kindness,  authenticity,  self-expression, art, and beautiful words. 

  • The people who love us are going to love us for the intangible things - beautifully unique and authentic things that make us who we are. Real true love is formed on intangibles. It's not formed on the basis of a particular body shape or size. 

  • What's also true is that it feels so much better to be known than it feels to be admired. It feels so much better to be loved than it feels to be liked. When we think about the individuals who judge us for our body shape and size, these are people who aren't going to know us. These are people who aren't going to necessarily love us. These are people who we're looking to maybe just like us. And these are people who were looking to just admire us. And being liked and being admired doesn't feel like being known and being loved feels. 



Tools for stepping out of body avoidance:


Eating Without Distraction

  • Give yourself an opportunity to set a timer, even if it's just three to five minutes, to actually just eat and taste each bite of food

  • When you really taste food and really notice your hunger cues and your fullness cues you can relate to food differently. 

  • You will be able to relate to food in a way that's not about checking a box, but instead to relate to food in a way that's about nourishing yourself right now. 


Conscious Emotional Release

  • This is a practice of dropping into as many of your five senses as you can. 

    • Activate your sense of smell by lighting a candle that smells good, dropping a few drops of essential oil on your hands, spraying the room with an aura spray, or burning sage/palo santo.

    • Activate your sense of sound by putting on a very intentional playlist. Choose songs that are going to allow you to tap into certain emotions - two or three songs that allow you to tap into a sense of joyfulness and happiness, two songs that allow you to drop into a sense of anger and frustration, two songs that allow you to tap into a sense of grief and sadness, and two songs that help you reground. 

    • Activate your sense of touch and feeling by stretching, moving your body intuitively to the music. Invitation during the angry songs to punch pillows and really get the anger out. Invitation to dance around and be silly during the joyful songs. Invitation to cry during the sad songs.

    • Activate your sense of sight by doing this in front of your vision board or just in a really beautiful corner of your space.

    • Activate your sense of taste by drinking a cup of tea or having some water after the playlist ends to help reground.

  • This practice allows you to really move through and process emotions, be in your body, be really present, and take time for yourself.


Breathwork

  • Breathwork is the key that unlocks your capacity to be embodied. 

  • Even if you don't have intense emotional releases every time, you get this opportunity to go inward and to be with yourself. To be with your body free from distraction, free from scrolling, free from notifications, free from whatever someone else has to say to you, free from whatever is going on around you. You go inward and you're just with yourself in this space that is so meaningful.

  • It helps you integrate whatever it is that's going on in your life and helps you release clutter that's building up in your body so that you can really hear what your body has to say.

  • Breathwork clears out clutter and gives you the capacity to hear what your body has to say to you - in regards to hunger and fullness cues, food cravings, the kind of movement your body likes, and helps you unlock your intuition to make really good decisions about other things in your life.


Thanks for listening! 💖 Stay tuned to my website for more episode updates and other exciting programs and resources.


Transcript


Caitie: Self-worth is a sense and self-confidence is a sense, right? It's not a thought of self-worth. It's not a thought that I am worthy, I am worthy, and I'm worthy because of this, and because of this, and because of this. No, it's a sense, it's a feeling of worthiness. And it's not a thought of confidence. It's not a I am confident, I am confident. It's a sense. It's an embodied thing. And that's another reason why staying stuck in body avoidance makes it difficult for you to have this sense of self-worth and this sense of self-confidence. Because if you're in body avoidance, you're not sensing anything. There's no sense happening because you're avoiding all senses. So yeah, an individual who approaches you based on what they can sense in you is much more likely to be someone who knows you and loves you rather than someone who likes you and admires you. 


Welcome to Whole, Full, & Alive, a podcast helping you feed yourself, feel yourself and be yourself. I'm Caitie Corradino. I'm a registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, a body image coach and the founder of Full Soul Nutrition, a method that combines nutrition counseling with a powerful toolkit of somatic healing modalities. I have guided hundreds of clients to freedom with food, their bodies and every aspect of their lives. I've also been through this healing myself, and on this podcast, I want to help you eat with confidence, embrace your body, form aligned relationships and create a life that you're in love with. I'll share actionable tools, no bullshit stories and interviews that will remind you why you have everything you need within you to feel whole, full and alive. Are you ready? Let's get into it.


Hey, welcome back to another episode of Whole, Full, and Alive. I am very excited to talk to you about today's topic of stepping out of body avoidance. I find that being stuck in body avoidance is the thing that prevents people from feeling like they really have healed their relationship with food and their body. I find that for my own recovery and for a lot of my clients' recovery, actually addressing the question of, are you avoiding your body, is the thing that helps people tip from feeling like, okay, yeah, I'm not thinking negatively about my body anymore, and I'm not obsessing about food anymore, but I could feel better, to I actually do feel really good about my relationship with my food. And I actually do feel really positive in my skin and I actually do feel comfortable in my body. So I'm so excited to just address this question of, are you avoiding your body with you and help you get from that place of pseudo recovery to full embodied wellbeing and contentment and confidence? 


Before I dive in, let's take a really deep breath together. That is one way to stop avoiding your body. It's taking deep breaths. So let's take a nice deep inhale through your nose and then exhale, let it go out your mouth. One more time, take a nice deep breath in through your nose and think about filling all the way through the base of your lungs, expanding your back, really filling up, really filling up, really filling up, and then nice long, full exhale to let something go.


All right, before we dive in, I also want to say that I can't be held responsible for the sounds that are occurring around me while I'm recording this podcast. I'm hoping that my new microphone doesn't pick them up. I got this new mic that I have to like be really close to in order to talk to you. And I think that it's going to help with background noise, but I'm coming to you from an Airbnb in Maui right now. I don't know why, but someone's doing construction on a Saturday morning. And I'm like, I thought Saturday was going to be the absolute safest time. And I also thought maybe Maui was going to be an absolutely safe place to record quiet podcasts. And, you know, that was, that was delusional of me. The noise will follow me wherever I go. So it's always a practice of trying to tune it out. I am hearing someone drill in my right ear while I'm chatting with you today. And I'm thinking like, uh, should I just throw in the towel and not do a podcast this week. I'm kind of at the last minute for recording, but I'm feeling so incredibly called to talk to you about this topic today. And so I'm also recognizing that maybe this is a lesson in me trying to drown out the noise around me and stay focused and stay present in my own experience, not get pulled away by the noise or given to the temptation to be really annoyed. The drilling's not that loud. I think I can kind of make it white noise or background noise if I practice.


Anyway, another thing I want to share with you is that I have a few spaces left still on my Nutrition & Intuition retreat that is coming up in exactly two months from today in Scotland. We are going to be not only traveling to Scotland together and exploring a really beautiful country with really homey hospitality. We'll also be doing five and a half days of breathwork workshops, feel good movement classes, yoga classes, body image healing sessions, workshops that will heal your relationship with food, and just having a lot of fun and being in community. If you are feeling at all called to this experience, I really wanna encourage you to book a commitment free clarity call with me to discuss and see if it's a good fit for you to hop on this retreat. I have to tell you every retreat I've ever been on, I haven't really felt fully logically like I should go on it. I just felt like a sort of intuitive call to go on it and they all have ended up being the absolutely most game changing experiences of my entire life. Retreats are incredible and this retreat is really going to be centered on helping you heal your relationship with your body, get embodied and make really amazing friendships and just feel really fucking good about yourself. And I know that this retreat will be game-changing for anyone who comes on it. And so even if it doesn't feel like the most absolutely logical thing for you to jump on a plane and join us in the foothills of Scotland, I wanna encourage you to explore it and talk to me. And if a payment plan is a thing that you need, I have very flexible payment plans available. And yeah. If you feel like I'm talking to you right now, definitely reach out to me. You can just DM me on Instagram @caitie.c.rd or you can, you know how to contact me and go to fullsoulnutrition.com. You there's so many ways to get in touch with me. Email me caitie@fullsoulnutrition.com. I want you on this retreat. I am calling you. I know there is someone listening to this podcast that is supposed to be sitting in that opening circle with us. So yeah, I'm here for you. Come chat with me.


All right, let's get into today's episode. So per my new format of this podcast, I'm gonna start by answering two listener questions, and then I'm gonna dive into some tangible tools to go a little bit deeper into today's topic. Let's do it. 


The first question that I received about body avoidance is what's the difference between body avoidance and body negativity? I love this question because I think it gives us an opportunity to define what I mean when I say, are you stuck in body avoidance? So very simply, body negativity is objectifying your body, viewing your body as an object, kind of living in the third person rather than living in the first person. You're sort of looking at your body from the outside in as an observer rather than being embodied and experiencing your senses. You're looking at your body as through the lens of how other people would see it, and you're looking at it in a very negative way. So you are tearing apart your body, you're saying my body is wrong, my body is ugly, my body is this, my body is that. And that's what body negativity is, to put it kind of simply, is this just like complete resistance, rejection of your body and also kind of living in the third person rather than living in the first person. It's like you're looking at a picture of yourself all the time and you're thinking consistently about what do other people think of me, really feeling like a square peg in a round hole when it comes to your body. Trying on clothes is incredibly difficult because you disparage yourself. All of those things. That's body negativity. 


Body avoidance is when you're kind of shifted out of living in the third person. You're not objectifying yourself as much. You're not picking apart your body. You're not having these like consistently negative or obsessively negative thoughts about your body, but you're not quite living your life in the first person. You're not quite sensing into your body, you're not quite experiencing your body, you're kind of avoiding your body. You're not avoiding your body. Yes, of course, Caitie. You don't want to think about your body. You don't want to look at your body. You don't want to feel your body. You don't want to sense into your body. And body avoidance can feel like a really cozy place to live after you emerge from body negativity. Because if we avoid our bodies, we feel protected from the threat of getting caught back up in a spiral of negative thoughts. And if we avoid our bodies, we often avoid having to process any emotions, any trauma, anything sticky that's living inside the body. And when we avoid our bodies, we can avoid having to navigate some of the sticky nuances of our relationship with food and our relationship with exercise. 


I was stuck in restrictive eating for a really long time. I recovered from a serious clinical eating disorder and a serious cycle of yo-yo dieting, restricting and binging, restricting and binging. And I also recovered from a very compulsive relationship with exercise where I was obsessed with going to the gym and I was obsessed with exercise classes and it was like a lot of my identity. And after I let go of those behaviors and got to a place where I was technically healthy or at least healthy enough for people around me to no longer be concerned about me and I was healthy enough for me to live my life and do my thing and not be thinking about food and exercise all the time, I was stuck in body avoidance. I got to a place where I was like, okay, I feel fine, I'm eating enough and I'm moving my body enough to get by, but I don't really feel like being intentional with food at all, and I don't really feel like being intentional with movement at all, and I don't really feel like trying on clothes at the store, I don't really feel like looking in the mirror, I do not wanna see myself in a picture, I don't wanna do a meditation exercise, I was really resistant to these things for a while because I thought okay, if I try to figure out which foods feel good in my body and which foods my body doesn't like, then I might get obsessed again. And if I try to dive back into a relationship with fitness classes, with group fitness classes, I might become obsessed with them again. 


I also was really resistant to things like meditation and breathing because I found that whenever I dropped into these things, I would feel uncomfortable. I'd experience really uncomfortable emotions. And so after I recovered from my eating disorder, I went from being obsessed and objectifying my body to just being completely disembodied. But it felt really safe because I somehow felt protected from objectifying myself again. And I also felt protected from some negative emotions, some powerful emotional, some unresolved emotions that were living in my body. We know that when we experience trauma, our body kind of stores the traumatic experience until we release it. You know, we kind of push things down and the body sort of keeps the score and until we fully feel the feelings associated with that experience, our body holds onto it.

 

And I didn't know this logically, but I sensed that if I were to drop into my body in any way, the things that I had been avoiding are going to bubble up and it was going to feel very hard. And so I had this subconscious, I would say resistance to dropping into my body. I was feeling protected, but ultimately, body avoidance really prevented me from accessing the wisdom of my body. And if I'm not sensing my body, if I'm not dropping into my body, if I'm not feeling into my body, how am I going to feel in my gut when something's off in my life? 


And body avoidance also prevented me from accessing some of the best pleasures of life. You know, all the things that feel really, really good in life are experienced most deeply through our body, right? Like the taste of really good food is experienced in our body. The feeling of endorphins in an exercise class, right? When exercise does feel really, really good, it feels really good in our body. When we love someone, we feel it in our body. Obviously when we have sex, we feel it in our body. When we get really excited about something, we feel it in our body. We just like our body like explodes, our chest opens and our arms fly out. We ultimately can't sustainably live in body avoidance if we want to live a life that feels deeply good. I think some people do get stuck in this idea that their life feels good enough. And that's totally okay. If you're in a place where you're not ready to step out of body avoidance, it's not that your life is going to be totally miserable if you're stuck in some form of body avoidance necessarily. It might feel really functional and really safe for you to stay in some form of body avoidance and life can feel so much better. It can feel so much more pleasurable, so much more deeply pleasurable when you get out of avoiding your body. Body negativity is the subjectification of the body and body avoidance is you're stepping out of the subjectification, but you're kind of avoiding thinking about the body and feeling into the body. You just detach completely. Hope that provides a clarifying definition. 


And the second question that I got is, I want to step out of body avoidance and into embodied living, but I get stuck whenever I think about the idea that people are going to judge me based on my body, people judge what they see first. How do you deal with that? That's a really good question and a really, really good point. If you are someone who is feeling called to work on stepping out of body avoidance so that you can live in embodiment and feel a true sense of confidence and a sense of presence and a sense of energy in your body. But you get stuck on the idea that like, well, people are gonna judge me based on my body. Let's start here. People are gonna judge your body. People are going to judge your body. That is a really hard truth to land in and to accept because accepting that requires grieving that truth. Accepting that truth requires being really pissed off about that truth. Accepting that truth requires feeling some negative emotions or some hard emotions, some heavy emotions. And we have to hold space for that really difficult reality that we live in a world that is judgmental and fat phobic, and a lot of people walk around with body dysmorphia that makes them view themselves differently and makes them view other people differently. And there's, there are judgments that come from seeing people. And there's a very common dysfunction that a lot of people have in their minds when it comes to judging body shape and size that is influenced by the culture that we live in that's influenced by what we've been told is right and wrong about body shapes and sizes and it's not fair and it's disturbing and it's uncomfortable and it makes and it makes the world more difficult for us to navigate in a lot of ways, especially for individuals who live in marginalized bodies, which I do not live in a marginalized body. And I fully acknowledge my privileges in having this conversation right now as someone who doesn't live in a marginalized body.


So the reality is that we will walk into situations sometimes where we will be judged, and that is hard. And this is why true body image healing or true healing your relationship with your body comes from allowing many things to be true at the same time. So we do have this dark reality of the harshness of the world, the fat phobia of the world, the diet culture of the world, the constant pursuit and idealization of thinness, of extreme thinness in the world and extreme toning. And then we also have the light and we're not going to use the light to completely block out the dark and pretend that the dark's not there. We're not going to use the light, like a sparkly unicorn sticker and just like slap it over the dark and be like, okay, well, we got to just land in this lightness, right? We're going to let both be true at the same time. 


We're going to hold space for our grief, our disappointment, our anger, our frustration. We're going to feel it out. And we're going to lean into the fact that what's really truly attractive is confidence and energy and kindness and authenticity and self-expression and authenticity and self-expression and art and beautiful words. And the people who love us are going to love us for these intangible things, these intangibly, beautifully unique and authentic things that make us who we are. That is true. And that will always be true. That real true love is formed on intangibles. It's not formed on the basis of a particular body shape or size. What's also true is that it feels so much better to be known than it feels to be admired. It feels so much better to be loved than it feels to be liked. And when we think about individuals who judge us for our body shape and size, these are people who aren't going to know us. These are people who aren't going to necessarily love us. These are people who we're looking to maybe just like us. And these are people who were looking to just admire us. 

And being liked and being admired doesn't feel like being known and being loved feels. 


I would say approximately once a week, at least I have a conversation with a client about this idea of I'm afraid that if I gain weight, a man isn't going to come up to me at a bar and I'm speaking very hetero normatively because I work with a lot of clients who are female and straight but you can, I guess, insert any gender here, right? So a lot of my clients say to me, I'm afraid that a man's never gonna come up to me at a bar if I gain weight. And this is a good example of a place to use the dark and the light. The truth is that an individual who is approaching you at a bar on the basis of your body shape and size is probably like there's a 0.01% chance that you're gonna have a deep and meaningful lasting relationship with that individual. That individual is looking and scanning for a certain body shape or size, at a bar, 0.01%, you're gonna have a deep and meaningful lasting relationship with that person. If you’re sitting at a bar and someone is attracted to your sense of confidence, your sense of positive energy that you're radiating, your sense of kindness, your sense of presence, your sense of having fun with your friends, there is a much higher chance that you are going to have a deep and meaningful relationship with that individual who was attracted to your sense, was attracted to what you were dropped into in your body. 


And I keep saying the word sense because I just wanna pull over and say that self-worth is a sense and self-confidence is a sense, right? It's not a thought of self-worth. It's not a thought that I am worthy, I am worthy, and I'm worthy because of this, and because of this, and because of this. No, it's a sense, it's a feeling of worthiness. And it's not a thought of confidence. It's not a I am confident, I am confident. It's a sense. It's an embodied thing. And that's another reason why dropping into, saying stuck in body avoidance makes it difficult for you to have this sense of self-worth and this sense of self-confidence. Because if you're in body avoidance, you're not sensing anything. There's no sense happening because you're avoiding all senses. So yeah, an individual who approaches you based on what they can sense in you is much more likely to be someone who knows you and loves you rather than someone who likes you and admires you. And I'm not saying that again as a sparkly bandaid over the really tough reality of weight stigma in the world. I'm not saying like, well, you know what, you want to be loved and known. And so let's just use that to block out how much it stings when a guy talks to your friend and not you, right? Like maybe it does really sting if it feels like your friends are getting chatted up and you're not getting chatted up. I've been there. I've been there and I acknowledge again my privileges in the body that I live in right now. And also I've been there. I've fucking been there. And my weight has fluctuated a lot throughout my life and I'm not going to pretend that I have an experienced weight stigma because I have, I've been told by a doctor to lose weight and I've been called large by an ex-boyfriend. And I have some experience with that. It is not, it is not to the extent that other individuals have experienced this. And I fully, I fully acknowledge that I do not know what it's like for a store to not carry anywhere near my size and I do not know what it's like to feel anxious about going on an airplane. And there are aspects of a thin privilege that I hold and I won't be able to ever sit down and say that I fully understand what it feels like. And I can empathize with a lot of aspects of weight stigma because I've experienced it from doctors and friends and ex-partners, and I just know what it's like to be ignored. And I know what it's like to blame your body shape and size for being ignored, especially when you go to a doctor and they tell you that you have to lose weight and then you're sitting in a bar and no one's chatting you up and your mind rolls back to the doctor telling you to lose weight. I just I'm getting emotional because I know what that feels like. 


One of my mentors was recently telling me a story about his life and he started crying when he shared the story. And he said, you know, I cry when I share this story, not because I haven't healed from it and haven't integrated it, but because when I tell the story, I go back and I can feel I'm sitting with and really empathizing for that 20 year old version of me who experienced that pain. And I think that's kind of what's coming up for me right now. I was in my early 20s when I experienced a lot of that stigma and I feel for her. I really feel for her and she didn't want to feel that body negativity anymore. So she landed in body avoidance because that felt like an easier place to live. It wasn't an easier place to live. It was an unhappy place to live. And so I guess that's one of the reasons I'm so passionate about talking to you about this topic.


So anyway, kind of lost a little bit of my train of thought, but I hope that answers these two really beautiful and brave listener questions that I received for today. Because it took me so long to answer them, I'm gonna have to fly through the last part of this podcast, but what I wanna do is share three tools or three ideas related to stepping out of body avoidance if this is resonating with you and you're someone who wants to become more embodied, live less of your life in your head and more of your life in your body so you can finally feel this sense of embodiment, this sense of energy, this sense of empowerment, this sense of self confidence. So let's go.


Tool number one is related to food. Can you try to eat without distraction at least once a day and as often as possible? So especially if you're eating meals alone, can you aim to eat meals without distraction? And remember that it doesn't take that long to eat a meal. So if you're like, I can't, I gotta answer five emails while I eat. I can't, I gotta do my taxes while I eat. I don't know, taxes are on the mind. Can you give yourself an opportunity to set a timer for even if it's just three to five minutes, for the first three to five minutes of your meal and actually just eat, actually taste each bite of food? And I'm not talking about doing like this really intense like meditation where you like really slowly, slowly eat. It doesn't need to be like that, but just eating without distraction. To really taste food and to really notice your hunger cues and your fullness cues and to relate to food differently. Relate to food in a way that's not like, I gotta check this box, but to relate to food in a way that's like, I'm nourishing myself right now. I love the idea of relabeling food as nourishment. Nourishment. You are nourishing yourself. How does that sit with you if you think of food as nourishment rather than thinking of food as food? I gotta get it done, I gotta get it in. What if it's something that helps you replenish yourself so that you can move through the rest of your day in a way that feels really aligned and good for you? When I eat my breakfast, lunch, or dinner in front of my computer, I feel disconnected from my body. I feel disconnected from my fullness cues. I feel like I have no idea if I'm actually hungry for a snack two hours later, or if I'm just feeling like I wanna connect to my body because I completely missed the opportunity to eat dinner. If you're someone who's feeling really just disconnected from hunger cues and fullness cues, just eating, eating without distraction is really powerful and simple. Set a timer, even just the first three to five minutes of your meal could be really helpful. And I understand that this is not accessible for people who are in really acute stages of eating disorder recovery, and you've got really anxious thoughts that are coming up. Sometimes watching a YouTube video or talking to your friend while you eat or FaceTiming your friend or looking at some funny dog video on social media is a more accessible way to eat for individuals who are in a really intense negative relationship with food. And so I'm not really talking to you with this, maybe eventually after you feel a little bit more regulated and you're working with a provider for a little bit longer. But this is one thing that's helped me step out of body avoidance is really committing to eating without distraction when I can.


Tool number two is what I like to call a conscious emotional release. I share this practice with a lot of my clients and I do this practice myself at least once a week when it's accessible to me. And this is a practice of dropping into as many of your five senses as you can. And what it usually ends up looking like for me is that I light a candle that smells good, or I drop a few drops of essential oil on my hands, or I spray the room with this really cool aura spray that I have that smells like sage and palo santo, or I literally light sage or palo santo to activate my sense of smell. Two, I activate my sense of sound by putting on a very intentional playlist. And I choose songs that are going to allow me to tap into certain emotions. So I put two or three songs that allow me to tap into a sense of joyfulness and happiness. I put on two songs that allow me to drop into a sense of anger and frustration. And I put on a song that allows me to tap into a sense of grief and sadness. And then I put on some songs that help me reground. Play that music. I drop into my sense of touch, of feeling by stretching, moving my body intuitively to the music. Sometimes during the angry songs, I'm literally just punching pillows and like really getting it out. Sometimes during the joyful songs, I'm just dancing around. And during the sad songs, I am like stretching. I'm doing a pigeon pose or something while I'm crying. And to activate my sense of sight, I usually do this in front of my vision board that I make for the year, or just in a really beautiful corner of wherever I happen to be staying that day. I'm nomadic right now, so I'm always somewhere different. And yeah, I activate four out of my five senses, and I don't taste anything during this practice. I guess you can drink a cup of tea or something in between if you want to. But this conscious emotional release really, really helps me drop into my body. 


I, if I'm not living alone, I lock the door, turn the lights off, I light a candle, I put on the playlist, I let myself move intuitively to the music, I feel the feelings that come up with the music. I'm really, really present during this practice and you'd be so surprised as to what gets released. If you need any more support with this conscious emotional release practice, don't hesitate to send me a DM and ask me more. I really want to spread conscious emotional release around the world because I think that it is a really important practice. I originally learned or kind of riffed on this practice from I learned dynamic meditation from a company called Path of Love. Dynamic, Osho style dynamic meditation is a style of meditation where they basically play music and have you do different things to kind of release during the different songs. Then, Rachel Brathan, who is a podcast host also was talking about how she also did dynamic meditation. I was like, yeah, me too. And she's like, I've kind of riffed on it by just putting my own music on and deciding what I want to do during each song. So those are my two sources of inspiration for this practice and I've kind of made it my own and I've kind of made my own Caitie, Full Soul Nutrition, conscious emotional release. So if you're interested in learning more about that, I'm happy to support you in creating your own conscious emotional release practice. 


Tool number three for stepping out of body avoidance and into embodiment is breathwork. I freaking love breathwork. I adore breathwork. I have a whole episode just about breathwork. It's called How Deep Breathing Saved My Soul and I tell the whole story of my journey with getting involved in breathwork really deeply in 2022. And so because I have that episode, I'm not going to go fully into the mechanism of it and why it works so, so well for getting through these last stages of body image healing. I just will say that breath work is the practice of dropping out of the head and into the body, releasing what's stuck in the body, getting grounded in the present moment, really regulating your system. And it works better than anything else I have ever tried. It works better than anything else I have ever tried. And it is a huge part of my counseling practice now. For any clients that I took starting in 2022, I basically help them heal from disordered eating through a combination of nutrition counseling, body image coaching, and breathwork. It's a really big part of my practice because I believe it's kind of a key that unlocks your capacity to be embodied. It's the key for getting out of body avoidance. I feel like I was still tethered to body avoidance in some ways until I found breathwork. I went from being good to great in my relationship with my body. I went from being sort of confident to completely confident that I was living an embodied life and I had the capacity to fully receive my life and fully feel my life and fully drop into my hunger cues and my fullness cues with breathwork. I just, I can't say enough about the practice of breathing intentionally. And even if you don't have intense emotional releases every time, which you kind of usually do have some sort of emotional release come up during a long breathwork practice at least. But even if that doesn't happen, you also just get this opportunity to go inward and to be with yourself and be with your body free from distraction, free from scrolling, free from notifications, free from whatever someone else has to say to you, free from whatever is going on around you. And you just go in and you're just with yourself and you just get this space that is so meaningful. To help you integrate whatever it is that's going on in your life, to help you feel whatever's going on in your life, to help you release just clutter that's building up in your body so that you can really hear what your body has to say. And being able to hear what your body has to say is so liberating. It's so, so liberating.


Being able to hear what your body has to say is not only important for being in touch with your hunger cues and your fullness cues and the food cravings of your body. It's not only important for recognizing what kind of movement your body likes and knowing what kind of exercise actually feels good for you and what kind of exercise feels kind of not so good for your body. It's also a key to unlock your intuition and make really good decisions about other things in your life. You know, I'm going to, I'm going to share something with you. So I recorded a podcast. Um, I recorded a podcast in May of last year called, I started having negative thoughts about my body again. And here's what I did. And what I shared in that podcast was tools to help you if you feel like you're having a negative body image relapse tools to help you really cope with that and step out of that. And all the tools I shared on that episode are still very, very valid. And all of them are still very, very true. And they're the exact tools that I would use if I ever had a negative body image flare up again. 


But what's no longer applicable about that episode is that I recorded that episode when I was like three months into a relationship last year with a British man that I've referred to a few times. Should I be one of those podcasts hosts that starts like nicknaming my ex-boyfriends? So with the British guy and I was three months into the relationship and I started having, I started feeling really uncomfortable in my body, like really uncomfortable in my body. I was like, what the heck is going on? Why do I feel like I'm standing in a fire right now? And what I shared on that podcast is I was like, well you know, I haven't exposed myself to the vulnerability of a real relationship for a while. I've been dipping in and out of these situationships for a little bit. I haven't been committing to someone and now I'm in the vulnerability of being seen in a relationship and I'm vulnerable to being broken up with and I'm vulnerable to this and I'm vulnerable to that. And yeah, that was true. Honestly though, the real reason I was feeling bad in my body when I look back on it is because my body was trying to tell me something. My body was trying to tell me, hey, this dude is not for you. You're going the wrong way. And I was like, okay, my body feels, I feel unsafe and I feel these feelings of tension and heaviness and stress in my body because I haven't been in a relationship for a long time and that's what's coming up. And the reality was that man had addictive tendencies that were a complete mismatch for me. And he really was me repeating a negative pattern that I had in my last relationship. And so looking back on it now, I'm like, yeah, my body knew the whole time. And because I'm so embodied and I'm living in a place of embodiment, I need to pay attention to that, that heaviness, that tension, that stress that comes up in my body and say, okay, is this a sign that something in my life is off? Right? It's not a sign that something in my body is off. It's not a sign that there's something wrong with my body. There's a sign that something's off in my life. I have the capacity to do that now. I have the capacity to use the sensations that are coming in my body as a compass, as a tool, not only for what to eat, but for but as a radar for what's going on the outside that's making me feel like this on the inside. What's out of alignment in my life? What's not safe in my life? And yeah, I look back at the relationship that I was in this time last year. And I recognize that my body was sending me signals that something was off from the beginning, but I kind of dismissed and ignored them. And I'm really grateful now to have this understanding that as an embodied person, I can look a little deeper at those feelings of tension and stress that arise and say, ooh, what is off here? What is my body trying to tell me? And my body knew things about my ex that my brain didn't want to accept, that I didn't feel ready to accept. And I'm grateful that I can look back and connect those dots now and see that that's what intuition is. 


You know, I feel like I can do a whole other episode about this and I hope I'm not confusing you by going down this rabbit hole, but I think what's really cool is that breathwork clears out clutter and gives you the capacity to hear what your body has to say to you. And it doesn't mean that you're just dropping into the pleasures of life. It might also mean that your body's going to tense up when you're going the wrong way. You're also going to feel the kind of off or unsafe feelings that come up when you're in a situation that isn't aligned for you. And that is really special too. And you get to trust those feelings too. But if you're living in a place of body avoidance, I think everything's gonna feel a little blah or a little off at first. You know, if we're not comfortable dropping into our bodies, everything's gonna feel like it's off. But if we have a sense of comfort and practice, like really dropping into our bodies, we'll be able to feel like, okay, body is at ease right now. Okay, body is at dis-ease right now and what's going on around me, what do I need? You know, it's not just about the hunger and fullness cues that you get. 


So anyway, number one tool is eating without distraction. Number two tool is conscious emotional release. And number three tool is breath work. And I am so excited to announce to you that every month I'm going to be hosting a Back To You Breathwork & Intention Setting Ceremony via zoom. Once a month, every month, I am going to host this back to you breathwork ceremony and intention setting ceremony. This is gonna be an opportunity for you to take one hour to practice dropping out of body avoidance. We're gonna start the session with a deeply healing and clarifying breathwork practice. If you've never done breathwork before, this is gonna be a container where I'm gonna really guide you into it and talk about it intentionally before we just like fly away and take off. We're really gonna set up the space so that you feel like you really know what you're doing and why you're doing it. Then we're going to move into 20 minutes of light stretching and journaling to sort of process what came up for you and give yourself some time to maybe set intentions based on what you learned about yourself when you just dropped into your body. And then we're going to end with 20 minutes of connection and community, which is always one of the best parts. It's so good to meet people who share the same values as you and are doing the same type of healing as you. It's going to be an opportunity for you to come in cozy clothes and bring a cup of tea and just get ready for one hour that will leave you feeling really grounded and nourished and inspired. And yeah, I'm going to be doing this once a month, every month for the entire year of 2024. 


And if you sign up, you always get the recording. And I'm offering a special package where if you pay $200 one time, you get access to all 12 of the sessions this year. So you can pay $30 per session, or you can pay $200 one time and save well over $150, like $170 and get access to every one of these sessions that I lead. I always love leading this intention setting ceremony at the end of every calendar year. And I decided that we don't have to wait for another new year to have a nice intention setting ceremony, to have some time to come back to you. Let me just do this, or let me do something like this once a month, where we do breath work and we stretch and we have time to journal and we have time to process and discuss our goals together and ask questions. And yeah, just feel good and connected and held. 


And so I'm really, really excited about this new thing. It feels really aligned. I wanted to do something that felt more like a ceremony in my business a little bit more regularly because I am a deeply spiritual person and I am obsessed with breath work. And it is something that I do with most of my clients. And I just wanted to incorporate that a little bit more regularly and share it with a wider group of people in a way that is accessible. So the first one is on Monday, January 29th at 6 p.m. Eastern time, 6 p.m. New York time, 1 p.m. Maui time, where I am right now, 3 p.m. L.A. time, 11 p.m. Lisbon time, where I am sometimes. Yeah, January 29th, it’s a Monday, it's a week from today, if you're listening to this podcast on the day it drops. And I can't wait to have you there so that we really can practice stepping out of body avoidance together, stepping into a sense of embodiment, have true embodied living. 


There's so much I can say. I don't know if I was successful in keeping this episode short again. Thank you so much for tuning in today. I'm so grateful to have you here. I am so grateful to have you in my community. I'm so grateful that this is a community that we're all working together to feel a little more whole, a little more full, a little more alive and really change the world and make the world a better place because we've taken care of ourselves and we are walking out with our fullest cup. If you love this episode, please help me out by leaving a five star rating on Spotify or on Apple. Those ratings and reviews really do help me get the podcast out to more people. And maybe if you enjoyed this episode, you can also share it with someone or share something you learned from it or share something you're thinking about and share with me something you're thinking about and send me your questions because they really do inspire my episode topics. Okay, all right, love you. Have a great rest of your week, a peaceful rest of your day, wherever you are. Take a deep breath. See you next week.


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