By Paige Burkes 

The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently. ~ Pema Chödrön

Before I begin today, I have a question to ask?  Does anyone want to meet me for a nice cup of tea?

Great, would you please call my Dentist and tell him I can’t make my appointment.  And whilst you’re speaking to him, would you be kind enough to mention that it doesn’t matter what he says, those injections hurt and I don’t think much of his numbing cream.  Thank you.

It’s a good job, I have an Encourager for you this morning.  ‘Cos I’m not doing a very good job so far.

So without further ado please meet Paige Burkes.  Paige is my Encourager for the month.  She has an amazing way of getting to the heart and soul of life that’s both encouraging and uplifting.  And she does it in a simple, uncomplicated way that feels…well peaceful.

Today, she’s going to be encouraging and inspiring us in ways that I most definitely need if I’m to eliminate the dreaded jiggly bits. Over to you Paige.

“What is it about diet and exercise that has to be so darn difficult?

There’s a presumption in our culture that says that, if we don’t carefully manage what we eat and implement certain types of exercise into our schedules, we’ll become fat, lazy and sick.

While some people do fall into this trap, it’s much easier than you think not to.

How would it feel to eat whatever you want and have fun moving your body each day?  Did I mention that you could actually lose weight, have more energy and be a lot happier by doing this?

If you’ve tried every diet under the sun with no lasting results, I have your answer.

The secret is sprinkling mindfulness into the equation.

What is mindfulness?  It’s simply noticing what is in the present moment without judging it.

Incorporating mindfulness into eating means slowing down and noticing whether you’re hungry, thirsty, or attempting to feed some emotional need (boredom, depression, anger, loneliness, etc.).  You don’t judge yourself as bad for wanting food or wanting to feed that emotional need.  You simply notice it.

The next step is to ask your body and soul what they need.  You may think you’re hungry but a big glass of water is what your body is yearning for.  Maybe you usually reach for a bag of chips or some chocolate when you’re stressed but, using mindfulness, you realize that your body is begging you for some vegetables to feed the loss of nutrients you’re experiencing from your stress.  Or you may always eat a certain food for lunch but now you realize how low your energy is and how messed up your stomach feels after eating it so you choose something different that will revitalize you.

Once you’ve narrowed down exactly what your body is asking for, do your best to deliver.  If you choose to eat something, take the time to savor the sights, smells, tastes and textures of every bite.  Enjoy it fully.

Incorporating mindfulness into exercise means listening to your body and moving it in ways that are fun and exciting for you.  Forget the word “exercise” since it drums up so many negative connotations of things we “should” do to be healthy (i.e. going to a gym).

Instead of saying, “I have to exercise today” try “How can I have fun moving my body today?”  You’ll feel better and come up with all kinds of wonderful ideas and none of them have to look like “exercise.”

When you slow down to tune into your body, you’ll be able to eat whatever you want because you’ll only want healthy things in moderate portions.  You’ll also find fun ways of moving that you never considered to be exercise.

You may be asking, “How the heck can I slow down when I’ve got so much to do?  I don’t have the time to think about every little thing!”  That’s exactly the kind of thinking that keeps you in the negative state from which you yearn to escape.

We all make time for what we feel is important in our lives.

Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more. ~ Mother Theresa.

Are feeling good and looking radiant important to you?   Maybe you think it’s too hard to maintain those qualities so you don’t even bother.

Know that it’s simple and you have the key to success inside of you.  It’s just a matter of listening.

The next time you reach for something to eat or drink, before you take any action, close your eyes and take at least three deep breaths.  While you’re breathing deeply, do your best to clear your mind and ask your body what it wants.   Then give it what it’s asking for.

 Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Satisfy your body’s needs, not the crazy and fleeting needs of your monkey mind.  You’ll feel and look amazing.”

Well I’m definitely encouraged and I’m definitely going to follow her recommendations.  Told you she has a way of keeping things simply inspiring and  encourages us even more, Paige has a new Mindful Body Programme, the details of which you’ll find below.

Let’s continue to encourage one another. And share your encouraging words in the comments below, you know we love to hear from you.

Love Elle

Paige Burkes writes at Simple Mindfulness where she inspires her readers to see the world in a new light, experiencing life mindfully and inviting in more happiness and joy.   Download her FREE Mindful Living Guide and learn how you can invite more joy, peace and happiness into your life.  Check out her new Mindful Body Program, a comprehensive program that uses mindfulness principles to transform how you think about diet, exercise and health.  It shows you how fun it is to be healthy.



Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. Wow! Elle and Paige – 2 of my favourite bloggers in the same post!

    Truly a day of abundance:-)

    Having read this, I am just off to mindfully have another glass of greens powder and a few other divine ingredients…

    • Elle

      Thanks Arvind…after five hours in the dentist chair, attempting mindfulness all the way, I now need my green smoothie too! 🙂 Paige has some wonderful ideas doesn’t she. I’m blessed to have her visit. 🙂

    • Thank you so much Arvind! Those greens sound very yummy!

      Wow Elle! Five hours in the dentist chair – that takes a LOT of mindfulness. My dentist is a drummer on the side and gives me his iPod to listen to when he’s working on my teeth. It totally helps! And greens definitely help with the healing.

    • Elle

      Welcome Steve, Paige is truly inspirational and encouraging isn’t she. 🙂

    • Thanks Steve! Sometimes we look past the simple (yet effective) answer thinking that everything should be hard if it’s going to work. Mindfulness blows that theory out of the water every time.

  2. Hey Paige! So nice to see you here. We are what we eat…and how we eat 😀 Just making up our minds to be mindful can transform our lives. Thanks for the great message. Hugs!

    Thank you Elle. Paige is one of my favorite-est persons!

    • Elle

      Hi Vidya, she is great and I’m blessed to have her visit my place. 🙂

    • Exactly Vidya! Growing up in a family that regularly practices mindfulness, you know best. So many of us get caught up in the “what” that we don’t realize how important the “how” truly is. Thank you so much for your awesome comment! Hugs!

  3. Elle,

    Thank you so much for letting me share the “mindful message” with your readers! My mission is to help as many people as possible discover ways of implementing mindfulness into their lives to create more happiness for themselves.

    I hope that my Mindful Body Program can help more people find the joys in eating and moving their bodies and loving the process of getting healthier and happier from the inside out.

    I truly love all that you write here. You’re one of my favorite-est! Thank you! Thank you!

    Big Hugs!

  4. Elle and Paige – Since I’m a food lover, I have spent my life watching what I eat. Some weeks I’m more successful than others. But whenever I go on a baking binge and pack on a few pounds, I get back to the basic – lots of veggies, protein and complex carbs….and I immediately feel MUCH better.

    And nothing beats daily exercise….without it, my happiness level takes a dip.

    Paige – having read your program, I know the work and thoughtfulness that has gone into it. You are living testament for being a mindful eater.

    Elle – thanks for hosting. As always, you both rock! Fran

    • Thanks Fran! You rock! You understand the powerful impact that simple choices that are in alignment with your body and True Self can make in your health and happiness.

      The other key to mindfulness that you point out is not to judge your past decisions (i.e. going on a baking binge). You enjoyed the momentary good feelings and listened to the following uncomfortable feelings and made different choices that led to feeling better. Nothing to feel bad or guilty about. All good things in moderation.

      Thanks so much for sharing!
      Big Hugs!!

  5. Thankyou, my eating is something I could definately improve some more. It’s funny how automatic our eating habits can be, whether it be driven by emotion or whatever and we can just eat and be like “oh whoops” after you realize.


    • Elle

      So true Ben, we’re often on automatic which is great when the automatic is to our benefit, not so great otherwise. But the great thing about what you say is you get that ‘woops’ which is your awareness kicking in…the beginning of mindfulness.

    • Exactly Elle. We tend to subconsciously associate certain foods with certain moods or times of day (or both) and not even realize that we’re experiencing a certain emotion that triggers a certain eating pattern.

      This is why the Mindful Eating Journal (part of the Mindful Body Program) is so powerful. It helps to create mindfulness, awareness, as we go through our days. It helps to identify those emotional or other triggers that we don’t normally notice. The first step in any change is awareness of what is. The next is making a decision to do something different (or not).

      We’re constantly making choices, whether they’re conscious or subconscious. Mindfulness helps to bring more awareness to more of those choices creating the opportunity for new choices and new outcomes.

      • Elle

        I’ve noticed that about myself Paige. The association thingy. Used to be when I had a nice cup of tea I had to have a biscuit (cookie) with it and once I realized it was simply a habit, through association, I switched it up a little. Now I can have my cuppa without expecting some little treat to go with it! 🙂

        • Elle,

          I used to do the same with my tea. Now I focus on the quiet of the moment and savoring the warmth, sweetness and occasional spiciness (if it’s chai) of my tea as I sip in silence. That tends to turn a regular cup of tea into a whole new experience.

          • Elle

            So true Paige – during my early morning contemplation period, I have my tea, my book, my pen and ask my spirit to join me. Aaah, as you say…a new experience. We’re on the same page. Ouch was that just awful? Sorry, couldn’t help it. Love you. 🙂

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