Father of Psych

The guy who’s often called the father of
modern psychology, William James, is
quoted as saying:

“There is nothing so fatiguing as the eternal
nagging of an uncompleted task.”

But WE know it’s really about the eternal
nagging of an “un-inquired thought.”

By that I mean a thought that keeps knocking…
and knocking…and knocking on the door of
our awareness….

…politely trying to get our attention at first…

But cranking it from a gentle knock and a whisper…
to a thump and a loud cough…to a louder, “Hey!,”
to a scream and kicking the door down if we continue
to ignore it.

It’s like the Ever Ready Bunny that keeps going…
and going…and going…

Of course, I think a wonderful and safe place to
“open the door,” acknowledge the knocking,
and inquire into the thought and the pain, is
to sit yourself down and do The Work.

You can do this soon,
in my teleclasses, one-on-one sessions,
and Seattle weekend retreats.

The upcoming weekend Seattle workshop on food,
eating, weight issues (the same agony I went through),
is called:

Horrible Food-Wonderful Food!
Healing the Love/Hate Relationship with
Eating, Food, & Our Bodies-that Leads
to Weight Gain & Loss, Anorexia, Bulimia,
Exercise Addiction, Binge Eating,
Dangerous Diets and Depression.

It starts on Friday night, Jan. 13 and only has 3 spots left.

The teleclass on the same topic starts on Jan. 17,
and is limited to 10 people…so let me know as
soon as possible if you’re interested (same link).

For some reason (I think it’s New Year’s resolutions),
the January classes fill up faster, and I expect to
have a waiting list.

Be better than well.

Love,

Grace

Top Ten Stressful Thoughts From 2011

I’m reflecting over and over again
about what I heard and witnessed at
the 2011-2012 Cleanse
with Byron Katie, in Los Angeles.

Being there made me grateful… again
and again and again and again and again.

And again,
And again!

Because I never dreamed that being happy,
and calm, and clear and just peacefully enjoying
an ordinary life…was in any way possible.

Not back in my “past life” when I was SO unhappy,
and SO confused, and SO twisted up inside about food and
relationships and sexuality…and just
about everything under the sun.

And now I’m not (most of the time :)

I do still get stressed about things. I want you
to know that. But it’s nothing like the “old days.”

Not even close.

Now, it’s like I’ve turned down the volume knob on
pain and suffering so I can hardly hear it. Sometimes
it gets louder, but I know what to do…The Work.

Anyway…

Here’s something I thought would be fun.

Because the last few days it’s been EVERYWHERE!

Everyone’s on the New Year’s bandwagon
with predictions, reminiscences, and
oodles of “Top 10” lists.

So I’m asking for YOUR top 3 stressful
thoughts from 2011.

I’ll post some of them over the next few weeks
and let you know which seem to be the TOP ones.

I WON’T USE NAMES, of course.

Send them any way you want…as a list,
with your story, anything that feels right.

Send them to: gracebell@comcast.net

I WON’T use names!!!

And thanks in advance.

It’ll be fun.

Love,

Grace

P.S. My start-the-New-Year-right classes
are just a few days away. Check ’em out on
the home page of my website:
www.workwithgrace.com

Fresh From The Cleanse With Byron Katie

I’ve just come from being “live” at the
2011-2012 Cleanse with Byron Katie, in Los Angeles,
with a BIG gang of old friends and new friends.

So I’m keeping it short…

First, that last email caused a wild stir of explosive
laughter, anger, and everything in between.

I so appreciate everyone who wrote in!

If you had a strong reaction, I’d love to hear from you.

Now back at my desk and ready to welcome in 2012,
I’m as busy as a long-tailed
cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

Busy as a moth in a mitten.

Busy as box of kittens.

And yet, I’m still at peace which is soooo
amazing to me…despite leaving Seattle
at 4 A.M. to come to L.A., and handling
my business and family and the usual things
that pop up just before you leave.

I’m not at peace every second.

But I never would have believed this much peace
was possible a few years back, before I got deep
into The Work and gradually quit trying so hard.

Now I know that REAL busyness is a busy MIND
that’s trying to fix you, defend itself,  “win,”
prove it’s right, and control the world.

It’s impossible and exhausting–though the mind
keeps on trying.

So getting “more” done in 2012 can even happen
in the midst of what others would see as chaos…

if the mind is peaceful…like the blue sky and gentle
ocean breeze in the eye of a hurricane.

Or it may be sitting reading the morning
paper (or your browser) with a cup of tea.

How do you KNOW that’s NOT getting
a lot done?

It’s all in the mind.

Much love to you…

And wishing you peace
if your mind starts racing,

Grace

Remember: My upcoming classes for 2012
are right around the corner. The home
page of my website is:
www.workwithgrace.com

Horrible FOOD-Wonderful Food!
Healing the Love/Hate Relationship with Eating,
Food, & Our Bodies-that Leads to Weight Gain
& Loss, Anorexia, Bulimia, Exercise Addiction,
Binge Eating, Dangerous Diets, Depression.
Seattle Weekend Food Retreat, Jan. 13;
Food Teleclass, Jan. 17

Our Wonderful SEXUALITY!
Untangling the Passion, Attraction, Love,
Fear, Body Image, Confusion, Tenderness…
and Joyful Intimacy!   Starts Jan. 19

Why Relationships are HELL (When
They’re Supposed to be Heaven)
To get off the relationship roller coaster,
ask yourself: Do you wonder who’s fault it is?
Do you want someone to forgive you?
Are ancient grudges destroying your family?
Do you fight and make up (a lot)?
Are You Right…and They’re Wrong?
8-week teleclass starts: Feb. 10

MONEY & Running Your Biz:
Where’s the Freedom When You’re Working
for Yourself? Underneath Your Beliefs About
Self-Discipline, Lazy Employees, Free Time,
Procrastination, Overwhelm, Being a Failure,
Confidence, and What it Means to be Successful!
8 Week Teleclass Starts Feb. 11

“I have nothing but good to say about your class,
thank you so much.  As I told you at the beginning
when I was just thinking about taking the class, I didn’t
even know what the stressful concepts WERE, let alone
questioning them. Your “homework” assigments totally
cleared that up for me. I’m still amazed at how your
questions cut through the illusions and got me to begin
to see what the thinking is that’s causing my suffering.
The journaling was exceptionally helpful.  Plus knowing
you’ve been exactly where I’ve been has been very
comforting and powerful.”—B, Midwest US

Breakfast Cereal Killer

Recently a guy in my one of my teleclasses mentioned
the Showtime hit, “Dexter.”

Apparently, Dexter is a serial killer who only kills “bad”
guys…so the audience finds themselves rooting for him.

Which, of course, makes me think of the “serial killing”
we do in our minds…especially around the subject of
food…but in other areas, too…money, sex, body image.

For some reason, we try not to direct our most vicious
thoughts toward others…at least we try not to let such
“nasty” stuff pop up into our awareness.

But when it comes to ourselves, the attacks aren’t just
every now and then…or once a week like a TV show.

The things we do to ourselves, in our minds, make Dexter
seem like a saint. We annihilate ourselves with a ferocity
and mercilessness we’d NEVER inflict on anyone else.

If we don’t do something “right,” we just get meaner
with ourselves…innocently believing it will help.

The greatest gift I can help you find…is treating yourself
with infinite care and exquisite gentleness and patience.

Which melts even our most icy, hard-hearted places…and then
extends outward to those around us as naturally and without
effort as opening your eyes in the morning…or enjoying
the warm kiss of the sun peeking out from behind a cloud,
or a delectable bite and fragrance of our favorite childhood food.

It’s the greatest gift I’ve ever been given after all those
years of trying to fix myself and be better and be worthy.

Natural…effortless…”being” lived.

To glimpse the gratefulness of this reality is available to all
of us and expands with questioning our minds…

…little-by-little into a life without suffering.

…which is our birthright.

Love,

Grace

P.S. An amazing woman in my “business” teleclass recently
said she was looking to join a group and just happened to
find me on the Byron Katie website.

She said it didn’t matter what group, she knew that
working on her thinking in ANY area, would spill over
into every other.

And that’s what happened. Suddenly, working on
her business became the perfect thing to do.

So take a look at what’s coming up next. My
in-person Seattle workshop about food, weight, body image,
(and trying to make sense of all that) is the Friday
evening and weekend of January 13.

It’s followed up by my 8-week telegroup on the same
subject on Jan. 17. This telegroup is open to you whether
you attend to in-person workshop or not.

Then 2 days later, the 8-week “Sexuality” telegroup
starts on Jan. 19th. It’s called:

Our Wonderful SEXUALITY: Untangling the Passion, Attraction,
Love, Fear, Confusion, Tenderness, and Joyful Intimacy

Dates, times and cost are all at my website (which I’m working
on so be a little patient if there are a few glitches).

The homepage link is: www.workwithgrace.com

P.P.S. I encourage you to forward this e-mail to a friend
or family member…someone who’s suffering…someone who
you think might enjoy hearing from me…or just someone you’d like to
join you on your journey…who you’d like to share in
this amazing adventure. Thanks so much.

“Thank you so much for another great class today. I’m just getting so much out of every week’s class and all the Work it’s inspiring in between”—-Jennifer, Ontario

Eating Disorder in Mouseville

Did you know that Disney (aka: Mickey Mouseville) was in
the headlines the other day? Because of eating disorders?

A former Disney actress named Demi Lovato was in a
Tweet war with Disney, her former employer. It was over a joke
about eating disorders on a show called, “Shake It Up.”

I won’t go into the details, but it sure reminds me of
my own internal war about food, body image, and
the battle with myself and others.

I used to rage against the world and myself.

It was an internal NUCLEAR holocaust that ravaged every
aspect of my life.

And not just total annihilation of ME…but also of YOU
if you so much as raised an eyebrow about the subject.

God help you if you made a joke.

Now it’s  more like the occasional “ping” of an
underpowered BB gun-a reminder of former horrors.

Now my heart goes out to Demi Lovato and Oprah and
John Candy and Karen Carpenter and Elton John and
Mamma Cass and Daniel Johns and Lady Di.

I also admire them for their courage to be open about their
struggles and encourage others to get help.

And it doesn’t matter if it’s weight loss or weight gain,
anorexia or bulimia, a few extra pounds or comfort
eating for the depression after the emotional holidays.

It’s all the same process when you finally start to
understand the simplicity of why we struggle, how the
mind works, and what to do to finally get relief.

It’s not about MORE control but about LESS.

Because war doesn’t work. It just creates the illusion of control
and temporary peace…’till the pressure builds and explodes
all over again…and again…and again…destroying
our lives and everyone around us.

There’s a better way-beyond discipline and self-control
(which are just cleverly disguised buzzwords for internal war).

I’d love to help you put down your weapons and your war.

I’d love to show you the way of the “peaceful warrior,”
that is FAR MORE POWERFUL than brute force-though
the whole world would tell you different.

It’s the only way I know that’s not just putting a finger in the dike.

I never knew life could be lived without self-hatred,
confusion, rage, depression, and shame.

But it IS possible.

In the meantime, do your best to be gentle with yourself.
Be kind to yourself. And give yourself some credit for
everything you’ve tried so far.

Go to my website. Grab a little courage and hope.

Love, and every good thing,

Grace

Eating-Tweeting Santa’s Success

Santa just sent me a Tweet.

It went a lot better this year.

Because he and I did a couple one-on-one tele-sessions.

Then, on his chimney deliveries he didn’t eat EVERY
cookie…and it wasn’t that hard. He didn’t feel as deprived.

He also said he didn’t feel as guilty about turning down food,
even when a couple of “totally cute” little kids were really
disappointed (stuck out the bottom lip). He felt some guilt, but not as bad.

And for Christmas dinner? He’s proud as a peacock about not
eating everything in sight without knowing why. What a relief!

He and Mrs. Claus are still planning to go to my upcoming
weekend intensive in Seattle on Jan. 13. And Santa registered
early…didn’t procrastinate ’till all the spaces were filled.

And yes, Mrs. Claus is a little scared, but Santa reassured her
I’ve been through EVERYTHING to do with:

-overeating and under eating
-over exercising and refusing to exercise
-bingeing and cringing
-compulsive, impulsive eating
-un-eating (a nice way of saying “throwing up)
-self-torture (I’ve done it all except chains and “the rack”)
-every crazy self-discipline trick and strategy
-every therapy and group…including 12 steps

And Santa told her I’m not very scary-that this whole
“thing” about working with your thinking and beliefs is NOT
about criticism or yelling at yourself.

If that worked, we’d ALL be the perfect weight… and rich!

Santa told Mrs. Claus I even understand tough “guys” like Santa
(who thought this might be too touchy-feely).

Also, if he and Mrs. Claus do go on their post-Christmas Caribbean
vacation (a much-needed break), they still plan on joining the tele-group,
…on Skype. They never go anywhere without their Blackberries.

The tele-group starts on Jan. 17, a few days after the Seattle intensive
and is open to everyone…those who attend the intensive and to those who
don’t. It’s OK either way because we all learn from each other
and we begin from wherever we are.

Santa mentioned that in the past, he’s gone through some nasty
“backsliding”…so he definitely wants to follow up. He knows how
real life can be tricky sometimes…when you’re suddenly in an
old eating pattern–stuffed to the gills–and didn’t even notice how it happened.

So if you’re struggling with weight loss, anorexia, bulimia,
(or trying to gain weight), frustration, self-hatred, faking
it and ready to give up…you’re in the right place.

I’ve been there…done that! I lived for years in absolute terror
and desperation about how I was going to survive or ever find
any peace of mind.

So ’till we meet, be nice to yourself. Be gentle with yourself.
Be patient with yourself and respect all the efforts you’ve
made along the way-no matter how tempted you are to
pile on the punishment.

Because no matter what you’ve been told, love and kindness
are FAR MORE POWERFUL than any harsh, pull-yourself-up-by-
your bootstraps techniques.

For deep change in anything…gentleness wins hands down!

Blessing on your holidays and wishing you harmony
between you and your loved ones.

Grace

P.S. The elves who were previously signed up, decided they’re too
exhausted to make it to either program…maybe in a month or two.

So if you were uncomfortable about elves being part of the program,
you now have no excuses. It’s just us humans!

———–
Thank you again for your class. I’m so thankful for you to have reached out to help those of us who were looking for relief from this life-long battle! I honestly thought it was going to be a never-ending stuggle (but that’s cuz I was beliving my thoughts!)—Anne, Los Angeles

Santa’s Eating Disorder

Poor Santa.

He’s already worried about that “little extra”
around his middle-and the chimneys get smaller every year.

He knows how tough the holidays can be for anyone
who struggles with food-yet EVERYONE leaves out milk
and cookies and they feel offended if Santa doesn’t eat it
all…down to the last bite.

On the other hand, Mrs. Claus is too thin.
He suspects she may have an eating disorder,
but he knows it’s just the flip side of his own struggle…

What to do?
————-
Dear Fellow Eaters,

Even though I’m bringing up this topic in a light way
(food, eating disorders, weight loss), it was deadly serious
for me for many years and I’m grateful to be alive.

I’m also grateful that eating is no longer an issue in my life…
except now I can enjoy it and and live like the people I used
to resent and be jealous of.

And I now get to help my fellow sufferers learn
that eating can be a pleasure-just a normal part of
life as ordinary as Tweeting a friend or brushing your teeth.

So if you’re fighting with your weight, frustration, an
eating disorder, binging, self-control, anorexia,
bulimia, body image, secrecy…I know them all.

I’m also WAY too familiar with all the self-torture surrounding
these “shameful” issues-depression, embarrassment, anger,
confusion, self-hatred, frustration, feeling misunderstood…

…trying with all your might to change…but having
nothing happen except feeling worse afterward (like
a failure) because your best shot wasn’t good enough and now
you’ve got nowhere to turn.

That was my life for many years–out of control
bingeing, compulsive eating, anorexia and bulimia.

But what’s really amazing is how these issues are ALL
the same when you get down to brass tacks-for men,
women, too fat, too thin…and everything in between.

And out of my own healing, and my study of addictions for 6 years
in college and my Master’s Degree…plus doing (and then becoming
certified in) Byron Katie’s “Work” for 10 years, and working with hundreds
and hundreds of clients…

I now lead both telegroups and in-person workshops that focus
on deep healing–demystifying why we seem to have no control of
our eating, then deprogramming ourselves in a whole new way…

…even if you’ve read all the books, gone to therapy, tried Jenny
Craig, Weight Watchers–even Overeaters Anonymous or
12-step programs on addiction (I did it all, and then some!).

My 2 upcoming programs come right on the heels of the most
difficult time of the year for most of us…between Thanksgiving
and New Years…where family tensions and emotions running
rampant seem to make eating issues spiral out of control.

And “by accident,” there’s something special about my programs this year.

I do have space limits for both programs and they’re filling up.

What’s special is that accidently (I’d like to say I planned it),
I have the weekend Seattle intensive followed immediately
by the 8-week telegroup.

So you have powerful immersion in the healing process,
followed immediately by an “anti-backsliding” program that
helps anchor your changes when you go back to “real” life.

Each program stands alone and/or supports the other.

I’d love you have you with me at both or either.

Love to all and a blessed holiday season,

Grace

NOTE: I’m also privileged to have both Santa and Mrs. Claus (and 2 elves)
registered for both January programs…though they seemed a little
“iffy” about the dates…I could hear them whispering something
about a Caribbean vacation.
————
“I find it a really amazing discovery that the hunger I was feeling previous really came from my mind (my UNQUESTIONED mind) and wasn’t just happening physically on its own. It’s amazing and wonderful to have found this out. I still love telling people how I’m literally only eating 50% of what I’m burning every day. I love telling them that the only obvious difference between now and all the other times I’ve gotten on the weight loss diet wagon is what’s going on in my head. I’m curious to find what other things can change in my life from applying the Work!

I had been through so much therapy, session after session after session, and I have searched in so many ways for peace of mind. And although therapy was helpful in some ways, I love The Work cuz it seems to have been the expressway to freedom!

Thank you again for your class. I’m so thankful for you to have reached out to help those of us who were looking for relief from this life-long battle! I honestly thought it was going to be a never-ending stuggle (but that’s cuz I was beliving my thoughts!)”—Anne, Los Angeles