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Now we will turn to the next three Principles of Mindfulness: Letting go, non-judging and acceptance. Personally, I stress these three principles in the work I do with all my clients. When I can help them to let go of preconceived notions and ideas, to stop judging themselves and to accept themselves and those around them, I go a long way in guiding them to mindfulness. Think about this for a moment. Imagine how calm you might feel if you stop expecting, judging and forcing things to go your way. Try this. Clutch your fists as hard as you can. Really tight. Tighter. Tighter. Feel the tension and strain around your fingers and knuckles. Now open them up. Do you feel a rush of energy as you release your grip? Do your hands feel more relaxed? That release, that flow of calmness can be yours when you learn to let go, not judge and accept. These three principles will work together to calm weight-related anxieties based on expectations, judgment and force by assisting you in cultivating a point-of-view that avoids reactivity and allows for thoughtful action. By learning to be less reactive you can prevent the urge to toss this approach and go in search of another diet. Instead you will stay the course and graduate to mindful eating. Adapted from Mindful Bites – Joyful Life: 365 Days of Mindful Eating. Available in bookstores everywhere.

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