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If you suffer from an eating disorder now or have in the past, please email Joanna for a free telephone consultation.



Eating Disorder Recovery
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Eating Disorder Recovery Psychotherapist
serving Arizona, California, Florida, Oregon and Utah.
All appointments are virtual.



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My morning began with delight and chaos which threw off my regular journal writing schedule. I was cuddling with laughing, singing children instead of writing in my garden. I'm clear about the value of my choice.

Later in the day I attended a social/professional luncheon. While there I felt strong social pressure on me from a group of people to play a role that is not who I am. I didn't like it. I fought against a stiffening I felt building in me. I was building and fighting not to build an inner wall around who I am. I relaxed as I moved away from them but couldn’t when I was with them. With them I was polite, pleasant and guarded behind a mask. If the façade slipped a little, and I felt the real me emerging, I felt stress in my body.

A powerful recovery guideline is, withdraw from what shuts me down and approach what opens me up. I followed this guideline and left the gathering early.

Even away from the group I still had to clear myself of negative energy and get to me again. I thought I'd like to hear some good live jazz. When I explored jazz events in Los Angeles they were starting too late for me, or were too far away or cost more than I wanted to pay.

Meanwhile my two dogs were itching to go to the park. My energy was up enough to take them.

So with chucker, a bag of tennis balls, a bowl and two bottles of water, off we went. My mood started to lift. It was a gorgeous night.

We all got out of the car, and as we walked toward our favorite running spot I heard fantastic jazz. A house on the border of the park had a party going on with a live jazz band playing just what I wanted to hear.

More than that, I could dance. I didn't even know that's what I really wanted. So I threw the balls for Winston and Treya. While they ran after them I danced to latin jazz and 60's rock and roll. The three of us were joyous under the moon.

Coincidence? Certainly. But it happened. My honeysuckle does not market it's flowers nor do the hummingbirds put out want ads for nectar. Still, they find each other every morning in my garden. They use their senses and their authentic natural selves.

I'm certain that if I stayed stiff and grim, thinking about the negativity I experienced this afternoon I would have created more negativity. But my effort to shake it off and move toward what opened me up brought me to a beautiful night in the park and even the jazz I wanted played into my life.

• What opens you up?
• What little things can you do during the day to honor what opens you?
• Can you reach for those things when negativity encroaches?

 You can't afford a negative thought.

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