Tag Archives: peace

A Joyous Sufficiency

I’ve been adding more meditation time to my life and this has been a wonderful decision.  I was deeply encouraged by a dear friend (Thanks Gina!) to pursue this and it has helped me in so many ways.  I am feeling less stressed.  I am feeling more grounded.  My dreams at night are rich and vivid!  There are so many good things.

In my work with a coach last year and in my meditation this year, I have come across many tools and phrases that I use to help keep me centered and feeling whole.  But in all those tools and phrases, for me one has stood head and shoulders above the rest.  I simply tell myself, “Jeanette, you are enough.”

I often need to tell myself this phrase over and over.  Because throughout my life, I have often felt I wasn’t enough.  I wasn’t tall enough or thin enough or smart enough or rich enough.  I wasn’t sexy enough or talented enough or kind enough or a good enough friend, daughter, sister or wife.

And in my life when I have felt the deepest despair, I wonder if I am even under there.  Under the awards and the press clippings and the degrees and the friends  list and the family ties and the wardrobe and the public smile.  Under the niceness and the smile I share even when I feel like crying am I under all that?  Is there a me there somewhere?

But through my meditation work, I am starting to understand that I am a joyous sufficiency.  I am enough.  Not my money or my work or my friends lists or my accomplishments.  Not my friends lists or my awards or my photographs or my resume or my portfolio.  I am enough.  Just me.  Whatever I bring, or do, or desire or act upon. I AM just fine.  I AM.

I share this because I hear you.  I hear you when you are frustrated and sad and feel like you will never live up to what you think the world wants you to be.  I hear you when you fail yet again to capture the perfect selfie that will convince you that you have convinced the entire world you are okay.  And for those moments, whenever they come up, I want to say something.

Breathe.  You are okay.  You are enough.  You ARE.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S. Want me to come talk to your group about the importance of understanding “joyous sufficiency”?  Email me at jeanette at the fat chick dot com.  Learn more here.

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Can we get a little FREAKIN’ PEACE around here?

HolidaySwing

Here in Southern California, the holidays are a special kind of stressful.  People here just sort of just plum lose connection with any sort of common sense for a few weeks.  And in the week before Christmas, the whole area vibrates with a special sort of near-nervous-breakdown energy that makes me want to stay inside and pull the covers over my head.  In the last two days, I have seen some death-defying, I gotta get the eggnog before 7 PM maneuvers that left me screaming.  On Friday, I watched a van driver flick on his emergency lights and pull over the shoulder.  I had plenty of time to observe this as the freeway was in its usual “Friday Before a Holiday Parking Lot” mode.  I thought to myself, “oh, that poor van driver person.  What a yucky day to break down on the freeway.”  I then watched as said van driver BACKED UP OVER 1/2 A FREAKIN MILE ON THE FREAKIN FREEWAY.  Why?  The driver had missed the desired ramp.  After the backing maneuver, the van bumped up over a lane divider and pulled in front of exiting traffic to exit at the desired ramp.

“SERIOUSLY?  ARE YOU EVEN KIDDING ME?” I shouted.

That is only one of many incidents of horrible driving, deeply problematic mall stampeding and grocery store aisle smackdowns I’ve witnessed in the past few days.  And I have to tell you, it’s made me slow down, stop, and think.

You know what I want for the holidays this year?  Just a little bit of peace.  Just a little bit of space to breathe and appreciate and enjoy.    And that’s my wish for you as well.  I hope this holiday season (or what’s left of it) allows you to find a little bit of peace.

I wish you peace on the road–free from people screaming, cutting you off or as my friend jokingly puts it, “using the fellowship finger”.

I wish you peace as you shop.  May the people around be considerate and kind. May they only have positive things to say about the way you act and the way you look and who you are.

I wish you peace as you eat.  May you enjoy every bite and allow it to nourish you both inside and out.  May you enjoy holiday gatherings free from food policing and body shame.

I wish you peace with your family.  May everybody around you be grateful for all you have done to make the holiday special, even if all you were able to do this year is to allow your beautiful self to take more breaths and exist on this amazing earth.

I wish you peace with your body.  May you declare a cease-fire in any war you may have waged against your good self.  May you appreciate the staggering awesomeness of the body you have right now.  May you pamper and find joy in the skin you are in.

IMG_2585

And I wish you a peaceful new year.  May you find a way to scoff at those in the world who believe the way to greet the new year is to change everything that makes you, well, YOU.  May you face the new year with courage and optimism.  May you choose for yourself a path that is strengthening, enriching, enlightening and encouraging.

Sleep in heavenly peace my friends.  Sleep in heavenly peace.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

Radical Self Care

RASCAL

I am so excited to announce our new challenge on the Fit Fatties Forum called the RASCAL challenge.  This stands for Radical Activist for Self Care and Love.  In this challenge, we encourage you to think outside the box about what self-care means and we challenge you to prioritize self care in your life.  Given my current focus on healing, this challenge just could not have come at a better time.

One of the reasons I’m so excited about this challenge is that it helps us broaden our definition of what is included in the definition for “health”.  Some of us believe that being healthy means being thin.  If we are thin, we are healthy.  If we are not thin, we can’t be healthy.  I’ve talked quite a bit about this in the past.  There are lots of studies that indicate that simply isn’t true.  In particular, this study shows that healthy behavior is a better predictor of future health than BMI.  But this begs the question, what is healthy behavior?

Of course joyfully moving your body is a wonderful healthy behavior.  Of course eating in a way that is in tune with your body’s needs as well as your spiritual and emotional needs is a healthy behavior.  But is that all there is to wellness?  Eat an apple and go for a walk and you’ve got it covered?  I don’t think so.  To me health is nuanced and multidimensional.  And health involves self-care.  (Insert deep sigh here…) Why is it that so many of us are so good at taking care of other people and so lousy at taking care of ourselves?  Are we conditioned that way from birth?  I don’t know.  But I DO know that self care gives us the strength to help others.  Think about what the flight attendant says before you take off.  “First secure your own oxygen mask, then you can help small children and those around you.”  In other words, breathe.  Take a moment to care for yourself.

And that moment may involve eating something wonderful or going for a walk.  Or it may involve simply breathing.  Maybe your self-care moment is spending just a few seconds of your day simply being.  Maybe it means getting a little extra sleep.  Maybe it involves asking for help.  Maybe it involves doing a booty-shaking victory dance.  Maybe it means calling a friend and reconnecting.  Maybe it means writing a letter to someone who wronged you.  Maybe it just requires 5 minutes of quiet and a cup of tea.

Self-care is different for each of us.  But it is absolutely critical to our well being.  That’s why I’m so excited about the RASCAL challenge.  We’ve come up with over 100 official Radical Acts of Self Care and Love, and we’re challenging folks to do one of those acts every single day.  Aside from the intrinsic rewards that come from self love, we are ACTUALLY rewarding you with badges and encouragement and prizes for taking care of yourself.  Seriously.  How cool is that?

I hope you’ll join me in spending some time to take care of yourself this month, either by taking the challenge or simply choosing to do it on your own.  Because the world needs you to take care of you.

Love, Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

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I’m Back! (With a New Video)

Maybe we all need to do a little more dancing...

Maybe we all need to do a little more dancing…

Okay kids, I’m a little bit tardy (2 days) but I am back with a renewed desire to offer you juicy blogging goodness.  And I’m back with a brand new video showing just a little bit of what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks.

On September 18, we held our second annual Hot Flash Mob in Justin Herman Plaza on the Embarcadero in San Francisco.  The weather was GLORIOUS!  Our initial turnout was small, but after some rapid recruiting among those enjoying the fabulous San Francisco sunshine we got a crowd together and did our dance…

This crowd was a great mix!  There were men and women.  There were older people, younger people and in-betweenies.  There were thin people and fat people and people with amazing hair and even a cameo from one of San Francisco’s street population.  We all had a wonderful time.

And all of this makes me more determined THAN EVER to get groups of people together and get them dancing.  Because dancing is sort of like a magic catalyst.  It crosses line of age, shape, gender, class, language, economic status and more.  And even if you can’t do the moves just like I do, we can all find and share the beat together and boogie down.

It this time of serious strife and division, where I almost can’t bear to look at the news and hear the latest details about the complete breakdown of civility and communications, I think it is more important than ever to just dance.

Maybe that’s what we need to do.  Just get all the politicians in the world together to dance:

Then again, maybe not…

Love,

Jeanette

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Coming Home to our Bodies

sepia_houseIf my blogging has been somewhat irregular this week, it’s because I’ve gone home.  I’ve gone to the house that my Mom and Dad and sister and I built with our own hands, stick by stick and brick by brick.  I’ve gone back to the deep green grass and country quiet of where i grew up in Wisconsin.  My sister moved into the house we built together and now lives there with her husband and two kids–my nieces.  The older of these just graduated from High School and I was there to celebrate with her and 50 other family members.  She’s headed off to college in the fall, and I’m so proud I could bust!

It was odd being back in our old family home, but deeply comforting as well.  I was surprised at how little had changed.  I have to admit I am feeling acutely aware of the passage of time.  I had a minor freak-out when I realized that my niece is now the same age as I was when I met my husband.  Yikes!

But on the second day of the trip, as I sat on the front porch and watched the sun go down over the pond, I had some time to think.  And one of the thoughts I thunked was about how wonderful it was to find a place of peace that is deeply connected with your roots and who you are.  And immediately following I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we could feel that way about our bodies?  Wouldn’t it be great if getting in touch with our physical selves gave us a sense of “going home”.  If checking in with our limbs and our laughter and our breathing and the beating of our hearts could ground us, remind us of where we came from and who we are?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could return to our physical being, if we could rest in the core of ourselves and simply find peace?

frontporchviewI have to own up to a certain amount of family privilege here.  Sure, I’ve had disagreements with my family, but I’ve always known without a single doubt that in all important things, they had my back.  They are my posse.  I live in certainty that the strong family I have has allowed me to grow to who I’ve become.  And when it comes to family and being loved, I have enjoyed an embarrassment of riches.

I’m acutely aware that not everyone has this “home” to go back to.

But it is this idealized version of this moment of coming home that I wish for all of us.  That we find in ourselves the love we may not have always had, but have always, always craved.  That we find in the cradle of our bellies and the length of our arms the embrace we deeply desire for ourselves, rocking us and assuring us that we’re okay, we’re okay, we’re okay.

Love,

The Fat Chick

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Stuff that Weighs More than Me: The World Peace Bell

BellIn the aftermath of all our country has experienced in the past week, I felt that I was ready to think about peace.  So today, I bring you the World Peace Bell.  It is located in Newport, Kentucky and is one of more than twenty large peace bells located throughout the world.  It was first rung at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2000, and it was said that it could be heard up to 25 miles away.

The bell was first cast at a propeller factory in France.  It then underwent a 1.5 month sea journey, and arrived in port at New Orleans, Louisiana.  The bell was then transported to Newport via the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, stopping at 14 cities along the way.  Presently the bell is rung on special occasions and every day at 11:55 AM (so as not to conflict with the courthouse bell which rings precisely at noon.)

Here’s the stats:

Materials: 80% copper, 20% tin

Diameter: 12 feet

Musical Pitch: A

Yoke: 16,512 pounds (7,490 kg)

Clapper: 6,878 pounds (3,120 kg)

Total Weight: 73,381 lb (33,285 kg)

The inscription reads:

“The World Peace Bell is a Symbol of Freedom and Peace. Honoring Our Past, Celebrating Our Present and Inspiring Our Future”.

The bell stands as a symbol for much that I am yearning for this week, and incidentally, weighs more than me.

Love,

The Fat Chick

P.S. If you’d like to learn more about making peace with your body, you might wish to consider buying one of my books or a DVD.  And if you go to my website and buy a copy for a friend, you can save $5 off the regular price! Just click HERE and enter the code “peace4_18” in the box!

Setting Boundaries to Get Through the Holidays

When Ragen Chastain put out the call to record this amazing new song she created, I just KNEW I had to do it. So I fired up the video camera, lit the fire, plugged in the tiny Christmas tree and got to it. It was so much fun!

I know that for many of us, the holidays are a scary time. Sometimes our family while meaning well, can inadvertently be extremely hurtful. And for many of us, holiday family gatherings can bring up a sense of dread.

I am very lucky that this is no longer the case for me. My family is extremely supportive of all that I do. (My Mom edited my book!) There was a time long ago when my family’s concern over my weight was hard for me. Ever since I learned to set boundaries and to clearly articulate what I needed, I haven’t really had a problem with them. Sometimes you have to help people understand how you’d like them to help you. Remember, it’s not your job to convince them that you are right and they are wrong. You can present evidence if you like, but people are allowed to believe what they wish. You can request that people talk to you or treat you differently. Then they can choose whether or not to honor your request, and you can choose how to react. I have found that even if people choose not to do what you ask, there is empowerment in the asking. And having planned and articulated consequences ahead of family events may help you approach the holidays a little more calmly.

I wish you a holiday season filled with light and peace.

Love,
The Fat Chick