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Skip the resolutions and go for a personal revolution I’m forming a tribe for 2017. Who’s in?

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I don’t know about you, but right about now I could use a tribe, a group of like-minded folks who want to band together for support on the journey. I was thinking recently about ways to reinvigorate some of my spiritual and physical practices—from regular prayer and healthy eating to more exercise and less distraction—and I decided I’d commit to practicing what I preach and work through one of my own books, Cravings: A Catholic Wrestles Food, Self-Image, and God. Then I thought about how much better this would be if I could do it as part of a group, or maybe even lead the group, or at least serve as Cheerleader in Chief.

Cravings is about how we fill the empty spaces in our lives with things we don’t really want or need because it’s easier than facing our demons and living our lives with more attention and intention. Although the book was written specifically with food in mind, the principles can be applied to just about anything: shopping, alcohol, social media, gossip, gambling, TV or whatever vice gets the best of us.

“When we begin to connect prayer lives to physical lives, when we look beneath the surface, we often discover just how deeply intertwined the two are and how our food issues are wound around our spiritual needs and longings,” I wrote in the opening chapter. “We’re not hungry for a carton of ice cream or a bag of chips. We’re hungry for acceptance—from ourselves even more than from others—for love, for fulfillment, for peace. We’re hungry for a life we think we don’t deserve or can’t have, for the person we know we can be if only we’d give ourselves the chance.”

Cravings memeDoes any of that sound vaguely familiar? If so, I hope you’ll consider joining me on this journey through Cravings, an internal and virtual pilgrimage that I hope will result in a group of people committed to living life more fully—and more mindfully. We’ll take chapters one week at a time, and I’ll post regularly here. I also plan to do some Facebook Live events where we can “talk” with each other. Over the course of eight weeks, I hope we’ll build up trust and tear down barriers until we have a bond that allows us to move forward individually and as a group, offering encouragement and support, prayers and a listening ear. For those who may live in the upstate New York region, perhaps we can even take the virtual off the screen and make it real, if only for a one-day retreat experience toward the end of our journey.

Starting with Chapter 1 on Jan. 2, we will travel week by week through dieting delusions, feasting and fasting, finding our balance, turning meals into meditations and more, until we end, appropriately enough, right before Ash Wednesday, at which point we begin a journey of a different kind and can segue beautifully from one season to the other.

Although it’s optimal to have a copy of Cravings, it’s not absolutely necessary, if you can’t or don’t want to buy a copy. I’ll be sure to post something weekly on my blog, and I’ll post multiple times every week on Facebook and Twitter, providing a basic outline of what we’re discussing, along with some practical exercises.
img_0468We aren’t meant to travel this path alone. We need company. We need encouragement. We need spiritual friends to share the way, but that’s a book group for another season. I can’t wait to get started on our Cravings spiritual adventure. I hope you’ll join the tribe and come along for the ride.

To purchase a discounted copy of Cravings, go to www.avemariepress.com/cravings before Jan. 31, 2017, and use the promo code CRAVINGS, or buy the book on Amazon. Watch this blog for information on the virtual book group and to learn more about mindful eating and living. Follow my author page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MaryDeTurrisPoust/ for regular updates and Facebook Live events.

This column originally appeared in the Dec. 8, 2016, issue of  Catholic New York.

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37 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great idea, count me in!

    December 10, 2016
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Great! Thanks for being one of the first to join. I’ve got a few more folks over on my FB page. Once I see where everyone is, I’ll figure out the best way to make us a group. Stay tuned… I’m really excited about this!

      December 10, 2016
      • Thanks so am I….I am very new to Twitter. I have the book but will hold off starting it until we begin….thanks again.

        December 10, 2016
  2. Beth #

    I’d like to participate also. I have your book and think this sounds like a great idea. Thanks.

    December 10, 2016
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Great! Thanks for joining us. I hope to see you here in the weeks ahead.
      Happy New Year!
      Mary

      December 31, 2016
  3. Lucinda Kaiser #

    Hi Mary, I’m in. Is Facebook required? I do live in upstate NY. Thanks, Lucinda

    December 10, 2016
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Facebook is NOT required. Thanks for joining me!!!

      December 10, 2016
  4. Wendy #

    I am very interested in joining and have just ordered the book. This has been a lifelong challenge that I have worked on in various throughout my life. Looking forward to this. Thank you

    December 10, 2016
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Welcome, Wendy! Thanks for joining us!

      December 31, 2016
  5. Kim Paczewski #

    I so need to join you on this!! I have the book, but haven;t read it! God Bless

    December 10, 2016
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Hi Kim,
      Nice to see you over here. Glad you’ll be joining us!
      Happy New Year!
      Mary

      December 31, 2016
  6. Tina Triplett #

    I’m in. I’ve read your book, but need the refresher.

    December 11, 2016
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Great! Thanks for coming back for seconds! 🙂

      December 31, 2016
  7. Moya #

    I would like to do this (I need it), but I don’t have your book Maybe I will ask for it for Christmas Thank you and God Bless you

    December 12, 2016
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Hi Moya,
      Did you end up getting the book? If not, you can follow along with out it!
      Happy New Year. Hope to see you here in the weeks ahead.
      Mary

      December 31, 2016
  8. Melani Roewe #

    Me, too, Mary!

    December 12, 2016
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Great!

      December 31, 2016
  9. Linda Holbrook Rufi #

    Yes, I would love to do this. I have the book and I need a tribe.

    December 12, 2016
  10. Cindy #

    This sounds great, please count me in.

    December 15, 2016
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Hi Cindy,
      Thanks for joining us!
      Stay tuned to this blog….
      Peace and blessings,
      Mary

      December 15, 2016
  11. Margaret Reilly #

    I would like to join your group – however I don’t “do” Facebook, Twitter, etc, and am not sure exactly how a “blog” works. In other words, I am technologically challenged!

    December 15, 2016
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Hi Margaret,

      No problem! I’ll be doing most of my posting right here. So if you bookmark this address or this website, you’ll always know where to find me/us. I’m also thinking of doing an occasional newsletter. If that’s the case, anyone who would like to receive that could send me their email privately. I’ll keep you posted here. Just come back to http://www.NotStrictlySpiritual.com at least once a week and you’ll be in the loop. Thanks for joining me!

      Peace and Blessings,
      Mary

      December 15, 2016
  12. Lee #

    Mary, I’m very happy to find your blog today. I’m searching for some spiritual food! I think this fits the bill and will consider joining you in January! 🙂 Off to Amazon to read more about your book…

    December 15, 2016
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Great! I hope to see you here in the weeks ahead!
      Peace and blessings.
      Mary

      December 15, 2016
  13. Leslie #

    I’m in. Read your book last month and would love a tribe to encourage me along the way!!

    December 15, 2016
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Great! Glad to have you in the tribe!

      December 15, 2016
  14. Patricia Albanese #

    Read and enjoy your writing in Catholic New York. Please count me in!!!

    Pat

    December 20, 2016
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Great! Thanks for joining us!

      December 20, 2016
  15. Catherine Siegel #

    I’d love to join..

    December 28, 2016
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Great! Welcome. Thanks for joining our tribe!

      December 29, 2016
  16. Ann #

    I’m in! I don’t have Facebook, so I will follow the blog!

    December 31, 2016
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Great. Welcome!!!

      December 31, 2016
  17. Mary Kay Frederick #

    I want to join

    December 31, 2016
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Great! Welcome, and Happy New Year!

      January 1, 2017
  18. Melinda Okeley #

    Sounds like exactly what I need! I heard about you and your book on The Busted Halo show tonight, and will be ordering it, thanks!

    January 3, 2017
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Great! Thank you. Just FYI: Amazon and B&N sold out this week. (Thank you everyone here!!!) Amazon should have it in stock by the end of week. Ave Marie Press always has it. You can get a 25 percent discount at Ave using the promo code CRAVINGS. http://www.avemariapress.com
      Thanks for being in the tribe!

      January 3, 2017

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