4 STEPS TO SELF-LOVE – Hangovers, Body Shaming, & Binge Eating: Feeling Your Feelings and The Nitty Gritty of Heart Centered Choices

“You cannot get to happy over there if you’re unhappy over here. Unhappy over here will have your attention. Unhappy has a vibration and if you are offering an unhappy vibration, you will bring in an unhappy vibration." -Esther Hicks.

Dude, what?

A Really a big shift is happening inside me. I think I am starting to really let go. I think I am starting to really trust. I feel a flow through me. A beautiful river of loving, heart centered choices. If you take my yoga classes you have most likely heard my new favorite phrase a few.... million times. 

Heart. Centered. Choices. 
This has become everything to me and I am leading my days with buckets of heart centered choices right now. Let me explain...

Story time!

Friday night I went out with a new friend. We went to the Beehive (I love this place especially because it reminds me of my rad artist mom) Anyway, Friday night I went to the Beehive and had one too many drinks. I literally mean ONE too many. I had two. TWO. Total. Drinks.

For most people that is nothing. For most people! But the next morning I woke up and it felt like all the skin wrapped around my skull was crawling and squeezing my brain. I mean, even my eyelids hurt. It has been many years since I’d been hungover and I do not wish to go back to the old days of blacking out or vomiting an entire bottle of red wine (tmi?) ever again! 

But. Wait. Where is this story going, girl?

I sufffffered through yesterday (including a hard core high intensity Sassy Saturday class) with as much energy, patience, and compassion as I could muster. I was a wreck inside the whole day. My head was POUNDING and I was in a constant state of nausea. Trying to console myself meant a continuous internal dialog, “This will pass and I will be okay soon.” “It’s all good, babe,” I said...to myself. 

But the absolute MOST essential thing I did was to ask myself this.
“What is the most loving thing I can do in this moment?” That is what I mean by making heart centered choices. Ah ha!

"What is the most loving thing I can do in this moment?”

Unlike my non-loving days of the past, the day after the hangover was a whole new and fabulous discovery of what life without the constant barrage of negativity and shame is like...

I am finally in a place in my life where I am connected to my body and spirit in such a way that I can nurture myself out of feeling terrible. That is not to say I can stop the hangover or even stop bad thoughts from surfacing randomly into my brain, but what I can do is have the awareness that what pain I am currently experiencing needs to be met with loving thoughts, choices, and buckets of compassion. Here is what I haven’t said yet that is going to make all the difference. 

In the past, when faced with feelings of pain, hurt, discomfort, or dis-ease in any way, I almost always numbed myself away from the feelings I was experiencing. This took many shapes and forms but the most obvious are the disordered eating behaviors of starving and binging, followed by diving head first into self-deprecating thoughts or behaviors that would send me into a downward spiral of depression, or, if I want to go way way back, latching onto someone else (like a boyfriend!) to “fix me”. 

In the past, it didn’t take much emotional imbalance to bring me into a mental state of choosing to binge. It just seemed to happen. At one point, I didn’t seem to have any emotional awareness at all! I couldn’t feel the difference between pain or discomfort, avoiding responsibility, or even just being tired! Can you imagine how exhausting that would be? To never know what you are feeling exactly? To be constantly ruled and lead by emotions you don’t even understand?! Oh my gahdddddd. One moment I would be doing something and the next I would find myself in my kitchen, hunched over an open carton of something or other, just going at it! I mean really. Me. Ice Cream. Like a gallon...not a pint. And that would just continue to whatever I could find and get my hands on. I could eat a couple of days worth of food easily in one sitting and then go back a few hours later and find myself in that same state of eating, totally disconnected from what I was even doing. Mental illness is a bitch.

Back to being hungover.

I have been hungover before. This ain’t my first rodeo. But this time was totally different. I kept asking myself, the universe, my heart, “what can I do that will be a loving choice right now?” And I got answers! Drink water, take vitamins, this will pass, have something nutritious, rest, don’t put too much pressure on yourself today, be real about this situation, no need to feel shame, go outside, it’s all good, this will pass, be okay with suffering a little, you got this, this will pass, just keep showing up as you are right now! I just kept following my own loving voice inside all day and it was a fucking beautiful experience! I was able to spend time with friends, draw, watch the sunset, listen to music, and all of this without resorting to OLD, anxiety ridden, worn out, habitually stunted and unloving patterns that once ran the show.

Let me tell you how Shira just last year would have handled this situation.

Woken up hungover with total and utter dread for the day ahead. Felt such pressure to perform during class and such shame for being hungover (two drinks, people) that she would over perform, over push, totally exhaust herself during class to the point of being in physical pain. She would then go home, binge eat, and lay in bed to watch HOURS (let’s say about ten) of Netflex. She would mentally shame herself alllll day for every action she chose. She would be the meanest, most horrible bully to her body after binging,  probably spend too much time looking at her stomach in the mirror and replaying the idea of being a disgusting human over and over, she would completely NUMB out. Whatever the pain was- she was going to eat so much that should couldn’t even feel the initial emotions, which would in turn, send her into a deep depression for the rest of the day. She would not leave her house again until the next day, when she could forget (tell NO ONE and pretend) that any of that ever happened and then continue to punish herself through hours of intense exercise. No more!…What I want to express here is that there is another way and I, Shira Brenner, am living proof!!!


  • Be compassionate to your feelings, thoughts, and actions. So, you fucked up. Big deal! You are human and that is your job. To fuck up and learn from it (even if your learning process feels like you are just cycling what feels like shitty behavior.) When you judge and shame yourself for ways of being, you are aligning your thoughts and actions with SHAME and JUDGEMENT, which means that you are bringing more and more and more of that negativity and pain into your life. You deserve better, boo.
  • Which brings me to. The law of attraction. Where your focus goes, your energy grows. Want to hate your body? Just think one negative thought about it. Don’t worry, that though will turn to two thoughts and then three. Want to feel like poo? Just tell yourself you feel shitty. Want to feel ugly? Tell yourself you are ugly. How many of us torture OURSELVES like this? Stop it. Now. It’s a life sucking demonous way to live. You see where I am going here? We are creating our reality by thinking our thoughts! Isn’t that a mind fuck? Start to attract loving thoughts even if you don’t believe them at first. I have been there and in fact, these thoughts are so deeply ingrained in me that I find them rearing their ugly heads all the time. I say, ohhhh no no no! In my Queendome there are no negative thoughts allowed, only loving actions and heartfelt ways of being and thinking. Ya’ll demons can step. Check yo’self before you wreck yo’ self.
  • Try looking in the mirror and saying, “I am so pure in the deepest part of who I am. I am beauty. I am life. I am so appreciative to have this body!” ...It doesn’t have to be exactly those words, but this is Law of Attraction so bring in ways that you want to feel that are specific to you. No need to rush this process. This is all about patience and trust. Patience and trust. These things take time. You do not get to decide how long it will take you to grow into your loving ways of being, you just have to practice over and over and over and over. You will always have to realign with your loving choices. It is a way of being and riding the waves of life...and you are going to love it. 
  • And finally, have you ever heard of Heart centered breathing meditations? Having a rough day (or moment?) No worries. Close your eyes and start breathing in and out as though the breath were coming from your heart center. After a couple of deep breaths you will find how sweetly this creates a shift in your perspective and help you realign with your most heart centered, highest loving self. You are true love at your core! I am heart centered breathing right in this very moment and it is completely stilling, connecting, earth, and universe nurturing in so many ways. You can do it anytime and anywhere. On the T, on a boat, in the shower!, walking, driving (you can breath from your heart center with your eyes open!) The best part about this is that without putting too much effort in, there will be what seems like a magical shift inside of you, and even if it doesn’t seem to be working, it will be, and like everything, the more you do it, the more awareness you will build around the sensations changing inside of you.

    I recognize that this post has gotten a little lengthy and wild, but hopefully you are picking up what I’m throwing down. The point is, being a human and having challenges, obstacles, weird thoughts, and hangovers is hard, but it is only as hard and as horrible as we choose it to be. Deciding to make a shift and feel your feelings instead of numbing certainly does take some courage, but I know it’s in you, it’s in ALL of us, but we have to say YES to it and be open to what is on the other side. Take a deep breath into your heart, give yourself some extra love’n, and know that everything will work out in time. 
Shira BrennerComment