Awaken To Your Needs

And one day she discovered that she was fierce. And strong. And full of fire. And that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fear
— Mark Anthony

I’ve been lucky in my life. I’ve been surrounded by strong women in my life who always showed up real, unscripted and fallible.

Yesterday at the Mother + Daughter Workshop was no different. I was again surrounded by a group of strong women and girls who showed up for each other in a way that is vulnerable and real. Often times, we moms will shy away from a difficult conversation, like body image and self-care, because the discomfort is too much. Sometimes it’s our own discomfort but quite often, it’s our daughter’s discomfort. We want to protect them, so we shy away. It’s not because we are weak or scared, it’s because are love them so much we shield them from awkward and unwanted conversations. 

 For 7 years I have worked with girls, boys, women and men, body image effects every single one of them. It’s one of the most common pains we all share, yet we don’t talk about it. I always ask myself, why is that? And my answer always comes to the same conclusion, it’s too uncomfortable. We want to diet, numb out or spend thousands of dollars to fix the outside because the dive inside is too deep and unclear.

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Despite all of that, yesterday’s workshop was different. So I asked myself…why is that? I come to a new conclusion today because I saw a strength and commitment from those women and girls that I want to shout out to the world “HEY EVERYONE, WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT!” We have a group of mothers + daughters who are here awake, present, willing, accepting and loving…I have prove it is possible! 

“WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT! ” 

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I asked the group to sit and image their mind is like an ocean and silently allow a word to surface from the bottom of the floor to the top of the water. We use this word to ground ourselves and set our intention for the day. For myself, I choose AWAKEN. I wanted to be awake, in the moment. I wanted to experience the strength and stillness in the room without jumping into my worry-mind thinking “what time is it, what will I say next”. I wanted to let the words come in the moment and mirror the energy in the room. What I experienced was complete tolerance and willingness to sit silently in their bodies, fully present. 

Throughout the gentle yoga practice, I stopped and journaled. I jotted down a question and continue to move and process. It’s a form of meditation that I’ve learned to use to help with my busy ‘hamster wheel mind.’ My question was, “what is needed?” As I moved and engaged with the women and girls in the room, I had my answer! All I had to do was put my two conscious words together “NEED” and “AWAKE”. 

We need to awake to our needs

What do I need? 

What will keep me awake?

Now let me first say that I’m not one to jump into the world of  none sense energy reading, cosmic signs and tarot cards. I’m a behavioral therapist who appreciates evidenced-base therapy based in research and large population sizes. I use to qualify self-care as “soft, weird, and unnecessary” but since shifting into motherhood and entrepreneurship, it has turned into a necessity. Mostly because my clients are wiser than me and taught me the strength that it takes to care for myself. Yesterday, once again I was the the student and they were the teachers. 


 
 
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Audrey Grunst, LCSW is the owner of Simply Bee Counseling. Simply Bee Counseling specializes in mental wellness, through services such as therapy, group, public and private workshops and retreats for all ages. Their expertise is on positive health and wellness using nutrition, yoga, movement and counseling to treat the mind and body. Audrey is a public speaker on a variety of topics including anxiety, decision-making skills, body image, perfectionism, and mindfulness. Her dynamic presentations include mental health psychoeducation, skills training, and heartfelt dialogue.  Audrey is a MBA candidate from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, received her MSW from Loyola University Chicago, and was a Division I volleyball player at Loyola University, where she received her BA in Psychology. She spends her free time with her two young children and husband and enjoys gardening and studying.