December, 2023 Newsletter

The vibe that December brings has changed for me now that my kids are adults. While the air around me still has the smell of busyness, I find myself centered, quiet and focused. 

What changed?  The short answer is I did, but that is only part of the story. 

In 1999, I started to meditate daily, and fast forward 24 years to 2023, and I can begin to piece together how my mindfulness practice changed me. The first change is I am taking time off. It sounds like a ‘Duh’ moment, but it is easy to forget that everything, from computers to people, needs to be unplugged and recharged. 

Time off wasn’t an option for me as a single mom in 2006.  It is hard to imagine starting a mindfulness practice, but there I was, meditating in a closet while my kids slept. I now understand the neurobiology behind meditation, but then it was the healing salve that I needed while ending my marriage. Before my separation, I habituated to being busy and felt off when I wasn’t doing something. I suspect this is why meditation appealed to me. It was a ‘thing’ that made me physically stop. Over time and with lots of support, I have been able to slow my brain, relax, and be. My mindfulness practice includes daily meditation, weekend retreats, and extended periods of silence. I am fresh off a three-day retreat that focuses on compassion. The photo below is an example of Maine holiday humor. 

When was the last time you had time to yourself to reflect? 

Six years ago, I decided to become Ordained in the Trirartna Buddhist Order. This decision has given me the needed support to be with my thoughts, desires, and possibilities. 

What images pop into your head when you feel supported? How does support feel in your body? What is your professional circle of support? 

Many of you know that for the past three years, I have been caring for my 92-year-old mother. The decision wasn’t a choice but a deep desire to give my sister space to treat her breast cancer and drum-roll, she is cancer-free now, phew! 

Caring for my mother has provided many lessons, including my willingness to juggle life’s alligators. This past weekend, while on retreat, my sister texted, “Mom fell. I will be staying until you get home.” So many emotions emerged – fear, relief, and the realization that I would not be fine one day. As I get older, I am reminded of the need to manage my health in ways that aren’t taught in school. Meditation has given me the essential tool of listening deeply to what my aging body needs. 

What helps you be with your body, coming alongside yourself with compassion?

Few things in life change a person more than nonjudgmental listening. I experienced this initially during a three-day Non-Violence Communication, NVC training. Since 2010, I have been training in Motivational Interviewing, and this summer, I participated in a fantastic four-day retreat at the Health Education Training Institute with my teacher, Stephen Andrews. Deepening my commitment to skillful speech has been possible by learning motivational interviewing.

What support do you need to deepen your communication skills and engage in compassionate inquiry?

December is the summary month, and I would like to summarize the changes from 2023 and those you will see in 2024.

  • Inclusive Diabetes Care offers self-paced professional education to help unpack the many stigmas surrounding diabetes care. The 12 courses answer key questions about inclusion. What changed? All programs will be self-paced. 
  • The Inclusive Diabetes Care Newsletter is a free way for professionals to explore stigma in diabetes care. Paid subscribers will get access to a monthly video called The Knot is designed to guide you in untangling the many internalized stigmas in diabetes care. What changed? The publication is now offered twice a month.
  • Inclusive Diabetes Care for Professionals Facebook Group. What changed? I am no longer on Facebook, so this group will close on December 31, 2023. If you want a weight-inclusive Facebook group, please consider Weight-Inclusive Nutrition and Dietetics, WIND.  
  • Professional CPE training on Mindful Eating via Skelly Skills. What changed? Core Concepts of Mindful Eating and Diabetes Counseling and Educational Activities were updated. They are available at Skelly Skills 
  • No Weight Loss Required Newsletter is a free weight-inclusive publication for your clients. It is published 2-3 times per month. What changed? I added a paid subscriber feature called Sunday Coffee. It is a brief, 10-minute video, where I am in my PJ’s drinking my coffee, talking about different aspects of diabetes care. 
  • consulting and speaking. What changed? Nothing. I will continue to help organizations identify how they can reduce oppression and stigma using the Inclusive Diabetes Care Pyramid. Reach out if your organization needs support addressing stigma and oppression for clients with elevated glucose.
  • Social Media. What changed? I think this is a place I can grow. I am trying to find weight-inclusive professionals and chefs to share and promote content with. If you are a content creator (chef, diabetes educator, dietitian) offering programs or resources, please email me. I would love to connect and learn more about your work. If you want to learn about other weight-inclusive professionals, follow me on SM and LinkedIn.
  • I am offering virtual appointments for clients via Nourish.
  • Coming: April 10 and 17, 2024! Mindful Eating and Motivational Interviewing program via The Center for Mindful Eating.  

The Air We Breathe Podcast:

E31. Challenging Binary Thinking: Not Good or Bad with Registered Dietitian, Diabetes Care and Education Specialist Megrette Fletcher

Happy holidays! I am so grateful that you hung out with me for this newsletter.

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